Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Christmas has been over for two days, but the kids are still wanting to celebrate Jesus's birthday. We did the last activity in the Mother Goose Time Experience God bible study. The "cupcake" was cut out of paper and tissue paper "frosting" was added. As we added the "ingredients" of love, kindness, peace, glory, joy, patience, and worship, we discussed their meanings and how they showed these things in their lives. It was a very sweet activity and they enjoyed it a lot.

Happy Birthday Jesus! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bible Study/The Christmas Story with Mother Goose Time

Oh blog readers, it has been a rough, rough week. One that has brought me to my knees, praying that God would help. I know that I don't share much about Tiny B here, as I just don't know what she wants "out there" and I want to respect that about her as she grows. On one hand, she could end up being a very transparent person like myself who wants to use her sufferings to show the power of God. On the other hand, she could be a very private person who likes to share in her own time. I do know this...if a future boss were to google her and find information about her, they'd see that she is a complete miracle and has the strength of a superhuman. She has the heart of gold and she is a determined little soul. Really, if I were to tell you her whole story you would be amazed. Someday I might go a little more in depth, but for now, I'll just share small bits.

She suffers from cyclical vomiting disorder and migraines. It happens every month on the dot and scares me so badly that I end up in a state that can only be described as despair. Prior to her feeding tube wean, we knew that she could still get the calories that she needed to grow. Now that we aren't using the tube, she has to supply it all by herself, and it's very scary.

Last night I texted a few friends begging them to pray for me. One stayed up very late into the night texting her prayers and encouraging me (and she's recently had a very rough loss in her life...It is in instances like this, where a person who is struggling prays for me relentlessly,  and I can see that God truly uses people to do His work). God is the only reason why I am okay and why I was able to function today. Another friend tells me repeatedly that no, I can't handle this by myself, but God can. I can't believe I've never thought of this before. She tells me to cry out to God and just repeatedly pray my worries and my fears...It's amazing the freedom that this has given me, to completely admit that I cannot do this without Him. It takes the pressure off of me and it like a huge weight lifting from my chest.

Two nights ago, Tiny B was still in her episode. We were all struggling. I knew that Strong B, Tiny B, myself, and my hubby all needed to focus on God and the real reason for Christmas, so I pulled out the first activity of the Mother Goose Time (MGT) curriculum for the month. They had me begin by reading the Christmas story on the story cards. They are big and beautiful cards with the text on one side and pictures on the other.

We discussed the story and read the memory verse, and we recorded the kids saying it. It was absolutely adorable. Tiny B's verse sounded like, "Let everything that has breath, save the Lord!" instead of "praise the Lord." It was adorable!

We then started our A is for Angel door hanger.

We traced the kids' hands and my husband immediatelly took Tiny B's current hand and compared it to her 5 month-old hand. It was beauful and an awesome visual/reminder that God has helped her to grow since the moment that she was in my womb. She's always been tiny and He has placed her in the palm of His hand (could be literally as she could fit in the palm of a hand when she was born).

The kids then cut out their hands. This part was difficult for them to cut the individual fingers, so we had them cut on a curved line that I drew around the entire hand. (I adore my husband's hands in these pictures. Doing our bible studies at night means that he gets to participate).

The kids punched out the letter "A" and glued everything to the door hanger. They used their pincer grasp with their fingers (a perfect occupational therapy exercise!) to pick up the glitter (which we used even though my husband begged me not to take it out. Seriously though, how can one do a craft without glitter??)

We hung their door hangers to dry on our line where we normally hang their art projects.

What a sweet project and a very welcome distraction to what was going on in Tiny B's little body. I thank God for these distractions/learning moments. It's one of the things He had planned all along through the hard times, I'm sure.

*I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest sharing of experiences, resulting from our personal use. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stringed Instruments and a Little Help From Daddy with Mother Goose Time

We had the absolute sweetest lesson with Mother Goose Time (MGT) this week. The topic was stringed instruments. We made an adorable violin and played along with our MGT circle time CD. 

We also put rubber bands around a shoebox and the kiddos learned about vibration and how stringed instruments make their sounds. Tiny B said that "they wiggle." Soooo cute.

My hubby heard us discussing the subject matter and just had to bring out his guitar. (He does not play guitar, much to his dismay. He has high hopes that someday he will...It's been in our closet for 20 years, ha ha!) Anyway, he let the kids play and reinforced what we had learned. It was so sweet, and another reason that I just adore homeschooling...The whole family can play a role in the education.

After the main lessons, Tiny B and I worked in her Literacy and More book, and it happened to be perfect timing as the subject was the letter "V" and a little Violin book!

Since it's such a busy month, I have a feeling that we won't get all of the days of MGT finished, which leaves me feeling a little guilty because I don't want them to miss any of the fun stuff. However, when I taught, December was not a very productive month anyway. I plan on picking out the most fun lessons for the remainder of the month. 

We are having a play-date over this week to do a few of the MGT bible lessons, because really, nothing is more important than learning about the birth of Jesus. We'll do the remainder of the bible study the next week. 

***Tiny B is no longer sick. I'm afraid to say that out loud, so this is me whispering it...

*I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest sharing of experiences, resulting from our personal use. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Winter and Instruments with Mother Goose Time

We started the Sights and Sounds of Winter theme for the month in our Mother Goose Time curriculum, and I think this is going to be my favorite so far. I realize that I might have said that about the Orchards theme, but I'm thinking this just might surpass that!

Tiny B is doing so much better this week, and I really can't describe how much better this makes me feel. Her little body is finally healing from her sickness and she is eating more since we've started her second phase of the tube-weaning program.

You should see my house...Everything is out of place and definitely NOT clean and you can tell just by looking that we've had a rough six weeks. This week I will finally be able to finish my Christmas shopping and cards and I'll start trying to wade through this mess.

It's always so wonderful to rip open that Mother Goose Time (MGT) box and pull out all of the goodies. I did that with both Tiny B and Strong B so they had the chance to preview what they were going to do this month. Since I use the curriculum for homeschooling and not a daycare or preschool environment, I can really tailor it to our needs. I had decided that for this month I would like to do one to two activities per day from the main curriculum and one page of the math and literacy workbooks per day. Well, that all went out the window when I saw the activities! It's so nice to be able to do what I want, as I didn't have this freedom when I taught public elementary school. So, instead of the one page a day of the math and literacy workbooks, and one activity per day, I've ended up doing almost every single activity for each day, and we did five pages of the workbooks in one day as we were sitting at the doctor's office forever. It's been perfect! Tiny B has such a long attention span, thankfully. I wouldn't normally advocate doing so many pages at one time, but it just happened to work wonderfully while waiting for such a long time.

We started Day 1 with learning about the drums. We made a drum and then we followed rhythm pattern cards to make music. You can see the cards in this picture. I had them follow different patterns as I changed it up. What a wonderful tool to help kids begin to understand that reading and writing goes from left to right.

On Day 2 we learned about woodwind instruments. We made a kazoo and practiced humming with hard and soft breaths. We rolled up a piece of paper into a tube and pretended it was a woodwind instrument and practiced holding our fingers on the different color "holes" according to whatever we rolled on our color cube.

My dog also participated in this activity as she later found food in the the rolled up paper (see, I told you my house was messy) and we caught her red-handed when we walked in the room. Guilty!

We took the theme poster (sooooo cute this month with kids inside a cozy room playing instruments and the snow and creatures outside) and looked through our "magnifying glass" trying to find things that make sounds and things that start with certain letters. We made a lot of observations and it was the perfect intro to discuss the things we will be learning about this month.

On Day 4 we learned about horns and started our writing journal for the month. We learned how to draw music notes. We listened to different instruments on a website that MGT gave us, and then played a game where we listened to the instruments and tried to guess which one was which.

We've also spent a lot of time listening to the CD for the month and marching around with our kazoo and drums. My husband will tell you that he now knows every song, and it's only been four days...Fortunately the music is just beautiful. I have the CD player accessible to the kiddos and believe me, they enjoy using it to listen to each song on repeat.

We culminated our first week by attending the Nutcracker with my mom today. (I didn't plan it this way, but I'll pretend that I did...). I took Tiny B down to the orchestra to watch them playing before the ballet started, and she was able to pick out the different instruments! I was amazed! I was also able to point out the music that the musicians were reading and she understood what it was. There is nothing better than connecting curriculum to real life. The kids see the connections and get so excited, and it cements what they are learning as well as letting them know that learning in school helps them in real life.

Next week we are learning about animal tracks, ice, owls, bells, and winter birds. I can't wait and neither can the kiddos.

*I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest sharing of experiences, resulting from our personal use. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.