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.

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