Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Discover the Desert with my Little Goose

March with Mother Goose Time is all about the Desert, not dessert.  :)  This first week we are starting with the USA themed desert and learning about some staples in the Wild Wild West.  Cowboy Boots, Cowboy Hat, Lasso, Horse and Rodeo.

I have been using Mother Goose Time now for about 3 years.  I started when Lachlan was a bit over 4.  He is my oldest and he is now just over 7.  That means Peter was about 2.  As Lachlan entered 1st grade and Peter entered PreK we have continued to use it.  We skimmed over some of the things that were a bit easy and we adapted some of the lessons to make them more challenging.  I had to do this for both of my boys because Peter, although only in PreK, is able to do all of Lachlan's 1st grade work.  It's been working great.  Such a great way to introduce new topics and discuss them.  Like the food groups we learned about last month.

But a few weeks ago I realized that I was only on lesson 30 something of 130 something lessons in my sons 1st grade math curriculum.  I didn't completely freak out, but I did a little bit.  :)  I mostly realized that I need to get better about doing these basic subjects daily.  It's time, unfortunately.  I so enjoy learning through play with Mother Goose Time and avoiding worksheets as much as possible.

I have now transitioned to using Mother Goose Time primarily for Adam.  He just turned 2 and he is so ready!  He started talking over night and he can follow detailed directions.  I am in awe of his abilities.  I now mostly use the Little Goose Teacher Guide and grab some highlights from there to do together as a family, for fun!  Because although we do need to hunker down a bit on the main subjects, I just can not eliminate fun.

I have to emphasize, that this is a BIG shift in thinking for me and it is a BIG deal.  I almost feel like I am going through mourning for a loss.  I find solace in the fact that I get to start the Mother Goose Time journey with Adam but I am very sad that it is, in a way, the end of a journey for Lachlan and Peter. 

I will, however, continue to use Mother Goose Time as the main source for science, music and geography for all three of my children.  We do all sorts of scientific discovery with MGT, sing a new song everyday, dance to their new CD every month and they introduce at least 3 new countries from around the world each month.  This also brings me comfort.

So with out further ado, here are some of the things we have done with our Little Goose.  On this day we did a little bit of Cowboy Boots day and Cowboy Hat day.  This first one is a little sensory play.  As the two older ones have grown I have forgotten about these fun moments.  Here I asked Adam to pick up the pokey ball and we talked about what we were feeling.  Pokey mostly.  Then I asked him to put it on different parts of his body.  Here I asked him to put it on his eye. 
 Then his ear.

 His nose.
And then mouth.  This one was a mistake because he put it in his mouth.  Ooops!  Yuck he says as he spits it out. 
I had hung up the theme poster for the next day, cowboy hat day and I remembered the little black dress up cowboy hat we had and put it on Adam.  He came up with his own game.  He put a manipulative on the rim and then he would dump it back into the bin. 
 First I made him freeze for a picture. 
 He's got red rabbit hiding back there. 
Check out that awesome collection of manipulatives we have collected from the last year and a half of Mother Goose Time.
Here is the Little Goose guide open to the Cowboy Boot page.  This is where I got the recommendation for the sensory play.  It was in the Boot Design activity under Together Time.
Then it was time to paint his boot.  He used the pokey ball as his brush.  He dabbed it on the boot a few times and said "all done".  Okay, fine by me.  I really want him to take the lead in the art process.
Peter also did the art project with us.  I can't believe I forgot about art!  Of course, MGT is our main source of art and creativity as well, for all 3 boys!!  I am making myself feel better as I write this post.  We really will be still incorporating a lot of MGT into our day.  Maybe not the full MGT routine everyday, but many of the parts and pieces. 

Peter chose to paint the whole boot green and then used the pokey ball to make texture marks in the still wet paint.  It looked really cool and I was proud of his creativity. 
I have been raving a lot about these trays lately.  I got them from Lakeshore Learning and they really have allowed me to let go and let the boys do art it all it's glory because it is contained.  But they also work great as a drying rack.  I stack them like this and air can still move between them and they can dry completely before I mess with them. 
I also set up my version of Fill and Spill Boots which was the Tray Play for Boots day.  I did not want to put in the effort to make the paper cowboy boots so I just picked colored cups out of the cupboard. 
Adam picked up one color cube and put it in the right colored cup and then disregarded all color rules and just filled and poured and that's okay!
I left this tray out for a few days and both my older boys sat and sorted out every cube by color.  

Next we played Stomp Out Your Name as a family.  I wrote Adam's name on a name tag and Peter, Lachlan and Lucy (she was here the day before and wrote her name) all wrote their names on a name tag.  We put down a towel on the ground and I chose a name tag to put on the towel.  Then they had to use their boots to stomp on it if it was their name. 
This is our no pants cowboy.  I had to take just a few pictures for fun, because, I mean seriously, he's too cute. 
 "Mom" he says and hides his face. 
 Peter's turn to stomp. 
Love this time we had together and I know Adam was studying those name tags and learning what his name looks like.  His name is also written on his new rubber boots, so he will see it regularly and I know he will recognize it soon.
I am excited for the new "look" of Mother Goose Time in our home and our adventures with Little Goose.  Excited and a bit sad, but also so thankful for the years we have had with our Mother Goose Time adventures. 

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