Friday, May 26, 2017

Mother Goose Time Bug Blitz Part 2

In my last post, I described the boxes that I'm currently trying to make my way out of. Here is a picture for reference. I know just the sight of this will get very some of you the anxiety of thirty cups of coffee.

In spite of the boxes and the moving and the complete upheaval of our lives, I was able to find my Bugs and Crawly Things Mother Goose Time box and have a three-hour long Bug Blitz.


On hour two the kids started getting a bit fussy with each other. And by "fussy" I mean that they were ready to tackle each other in competition for these manipulatives that were included in this month's MGT box. The stress of moving does strange things to people... :)

Strong B has quite a love for building things. It turns out that Tiny B might be picking this up from him! Where there wasn't interest before, there is now.

They took the pieces and copied the pictures (an important visual/fine motor skill). This type of activity lends instead to future writing skills for Strong B and even the current writing skills that Tiny B has worked so hard apon.






In hour three, Tiny B still wanted to get her Mother Goose Time on, and therefore I brought out a Praying Mantis Invitation to Create. Strong B had vacated to the backyard in search of real praying mantises. 

For the second time today, she created a work of art that I would never have envisioned myself. And a million times better than what I wouid have made. 

Don't you just love it?


Stay tuned for more posts as I work my way through our moving boxes. 

*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.


Mother Goose Time Bug Blitz Part 1


These are the faces of two very excited little ones who had been deprived of academic activities for the last two weeks. We moved. It was the largest move of my life in that I have never had so much stuff to move. Months ago I had begun planning for this, getting rid of things that were useless or didn't bring me joy. I sold stuff and sold on online sites but I still had two truckloads plus the extra we brought over in car loads. I'm now up to my ears in boxes at my new home and have realized that I didn't get rid of enough, so I am purging my belongings as we speak.

Moving with little ones while I'm homeschooling is nothing other than impossible. And what I mean by that is that I could not both move and homeschool. One had to go. Guess which one went?

I had quite an internal war going on in my brain. 

Imagine my public school teacher self on one side repeating things such as, "They must continue to learn the objectives up until the last day of school! You cannot stop now! Instruction must take place until the last minute! If you stop now, you are doing these children a complete injustice!" 

Then on the other side of my brain is the homeschool mama that I want to be, clothed in yoga pants and my husband's shirts, saying, "You have all summer to read and write with them. You are setting up an entire dedicated homeschool room for them. You can see that Tiny B is progressing in her reading even without direct instruction! Her brain is growing and changing right before your eyes and you don't even have to give her direct instruction for the next month--only guidance--and she will still grow and learn! Strong B, through simply watching Tiny B read, is starting to read himself! So unpack those boxes. Get your home ready! This is where all of it takes place...The schooling and my work and our lives...Get your home in order and everything else will follow." 

For once I listened to my homeschooling mama brain. It's been trying and there's been a lot of yelling unfortunately (by me) and very bored children, but I have to continue my unpacking, and I will, until I am ready to begin our new life. 

I finally found my current Mother Goose Time box which I kept all of my materials in this time, because of the move. I decided to pull out the Day 16 bag on caterpillars, and it turned into a Mother Goose Time Bug Blitz...Basically a three-hour long marathon of MGT lessons and activities, purely because the kids were missing it. 

The I Can Read books are becoming quite a source of joy because Tiny B can really read now and Strong B can too (I can't wait to blog about this!) 



Jack the Standard Poodle approved of the Invitation to Create activity. 

They made caterpillars completely unlike I had imagined they would, which is really what makes the Invitations to Create so special. They are supppsed to do things how they want to. 


Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Bug Blitz. Breaking out of the boxes and creating and learning with the children was a gigantic break from the doldrums of unpacking. I cannot wait until our new life can officially begin.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Self-Guided Learning and Ladybugs

There is such beauty in self-guided learning! 

As I've been packing us up to move (most of the time not knowing exactly where or when we were moving!) I've given the kids time for self-guided learning. I feel so fortunate that this Mother Goose Time theme really allows for this. The Bugs and Crawly things theme is just begging for kids to get into their backyard and search for Rolly Pollies. 

They made a "bug museum" and labeled their specimens. Isn't it adorable?


They caught Rolly Pollies (Pill Bugs) and worms and a few other Crawly Things that I don't know the names for. 


They were intent on knowing the life cycle of Rolly Pollies so we watched a few YouTube videos and discussed them. We now know the difference between male, female, and pregnant Rolly Pollies and even watched a few of their birth videos. Eek.

We opened up their Storybook that comes with this month's theme and looked at the pages which label the bugs. (I wish I had taken a picture of those pages for you!)


We don't always start the unit with Day 1 but we decided to this time because Strong B has had quite a few ladybugs land on him recently. I've read that this is a sign of hope. I love this. 


This day contained an adorable game in which you spin the spinner and place the spots on the ladybug according to the number you spun. 


Strong B did really well at this game and it was quite the confidence booster for him. I love it when curriculum educates and boosts confidence. 

We then did the Invitation to Create which was a ladybug headband. This headband has actually continued to be worn around the house and backyard for the last ten days. 


One must wear their ladybug headband when ladybug hunting. 


My heart melts to be such an integral part of their everyday and to watch them facilitate their own learning. 


*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.


Exploring and Authentic Anticipatory Sets with MGT

This past month has consisted of taking chances, lots of prayer, too many worries, and trusting God. I know that's vague...but I can tell you this: I've decided that attending to real life stuff and making sure that the kids are happy takes precedence over hitting every assignment in Tiny B's Kindergarden curriculum or in both of their Mother Goose Time curriculum. 

One of the greatest things I've found about MGT is the sense of exploration that every unit provides. Even when not doing every lesson, we have a theme to pour our attention into, and a reason to seek out books on that subject. Our conversations always include talk of what we are learning and you better bet we are YouTube'ing whatever we can about it.

It was brought to my attention that MGT used my kidsos in their poster. On the left near the word "Explore" you can see both kids at the pond, exploring. And this is my favorite part of MGT: The Exploring!. 


We began our Bugs and Other Crawly Things unit, and before we did any lessons, we started exploring. One of the first things we did was go to Bugs Land at Disneyland. We have season passes, and this was a must-do on my list. 



They were determined to discuss every single bug we encountered. 

 We went to the Bugs Life Theater the see the 3-D movie.


I was amazed at just how perfect this was for our theme! While waiting for the movie to start, we went around and read every fact on the bugs on display. It was so informational and adorable! 



When I first began teaching, my favorite part of the lesson was what we called the "anticipatory set." I would get the kids excited about the topic by doing some sort of fun activity or demonstration. With MGT, we begin with a huge anticipatory set (I never got to take my students to this many field trips!) and we continue exploring in ways that are authentic and not some quick thing to feign interest in the subject. We do real life exploring and it just doesn't get better than that!

I can't tell you just how much the kids have become bug-obsessed even before starting the actual lessons. This is what I love about Mother Goose Time. I've been able to attend to the real life adult things that I need to while not worrying that the kids aren't studying anything. The strides they have made this month in their own self-discovery and in their reading skills have astounded me. 

*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.