Mushroom Math

I wanted to share this awesome activity that we did earlier this month from Mother Goose Time. Mushroom Math! This was so much fun!

First the boys colored the caps to the mushrooms and attached a variety of different length stems. I always love projects they can partially do together. After they’d completed building their mushrooms I gave them so playdough for the mushrooms to grow in.

Q focused on the fine motor aspect of the project. It also gave us an opportunity to discuss smallest to largest and putting things in order. He also did some counting review.

X was able to use this project to practice addition! This was such a fabulous visual and hands on approach to learning to add.

He spent so much time using this project to work on his addition. Then he joined in some mushroom free play with his brother.

The test of a great activity is if a 2 year old and an almost 5 year old can both build skills and have fun from the same activity. This passes that test with flying colors!!


Pen Control and Advanced Math for Preschool

X has been loving our Mother Goose Time Experience More Math and Experience More Litteracy add-on workbooks. He gets really excited about how they encorporate the monthly theme.

I love how important concepts are reviewed and expanded upon to keep him learning on his current level.

It also pushes him to work on skills he’s not quite as comfortable with. He loves adding. He gets a little frusterated when he’s trying to write his numbers, though. This page was a great balance for him. He was excited to practice addition, which helped him focus on writing his numbers.

Pen control is such an important skill to develop at this age, I’m so thankful that even though it’s a math book, it is a strong focus through out. X loves to draw, so the balance of focused pen control practice and creative opportunity is perfect for him.

The pages are also short enough that they don’t over extend his focus and push him to get frustrated. Some days he’s excited and completes multiple pages. But on days where he may be struggling a little, he can complete one short activity.


Using Art to Teach a Varied Age Group

Today with Mother Goose Time we learned all about Lily Pads. Both boys loved the open ended Invitation to Create materials. Q has really been focusing on drawing circles and has loved cutting paper. The Lily Pad photo was a great prompt to review the color green and gave him the opportunity to draw a bunch of lily pad circles. Afterwards he went to town cutting up his tissue paper. The tissue presented a little bit of a challenge as its much less sturdy then normal paper, so he really had to focus and use his dexterity. In the end did he have something resembling a lily pad and lotus flower? No. But the amount he learned, practiced and focused on was so worth while. Open ended art is such a great opportunity for children to work on the skills they’re currently developing. X, on the other hand, was interested in recreating the photo as closely as he could. This incouraged his observation skills! He’d never colored on tissue paper before and was really pleased with how he could blend the marker colors. This project also gave us the perfect opportunity to discuss the structure and needs of plants growing on the surface of water. X was fascinated that their roots reached waaaay down into the dirt under the water! He was so proud of the end result, and it is deffinitely beautiful. I’m so happy that MGT has encouraged us to move away from adult led crafts to allowing my boys to be truly creative and innovative with the Inspiration to Create activities.


Building Concentration and Focus in Young Children

My husband is plagued by ADHD and I’m a serial multi-tasker. While I manage to follow most tasks through to completion, I can see how beneficial it would be to focus more closely on less tasks at once. Being acutely aware of these traits, I am always eager to find activities for my children that promote focus, concentration and attention to detail.

This month Mother Goose Time included tanagrams as one of our manipulatives. The tanagram activity during our Day 2: Roots lesson was just the ticket. The block size and how easily they could get bumped out of place on the mat was a huge fine motor challenge for Q. But he accepted the challenge, working slowly and with great focus.

He was SO PRPUD after completing each design!

X worked through them pretty quickly, but spent a significant amount of time creating his own design.

Each element had a purpose. He used a variety of descriptive language to explain his design.

It’s amazing how simple activities can really slow us down and give us an opportunity to focus.


Halloween Festivities

We had so much fun at our Halloween party this year! I used our Mother Goose Time holiday pack as the focus of the activities. It made putting the party together so easy! All of the games and activities were planned for me and most of the supplies were included.

We filled our Pumpkin Patch with adorable handmade pumpkins. This was such a fun activity! The big kids could do it independently and I loved how they each came out so unique.

After our pumpkins were finished they dried in our Pumpkin Patch.

While we waited the kids explored pumpkin guts!

I love any excuse to work in a sensory experience. This gave the kids the opportunity to explore the pumpkin and experience the variety of textures. It was also a great exercise in taking turns because there was only one scoop.

We also decorated some monster cookies!

Possibly the most enjoyed activity was our Pin the Patch on the Scarecrow. Everyone had so much fun!

I love activites that the big and little kids can really work together on.


Autumn is Here!

This month with Mother Goose Time has been such a blast! The boys have loved learning all about Weather and the seasons. As we’re in the midst of Autumn (though unseasonably warm) we took advantage of a nice crisp morning to go on a leaf hunt!

They absolutely loved using the sponge and the leaf stencil. I loved how tactile it was. This Invitation to Create gave the boys an opportunity to explore a familiar medium like paint in a new way.

I also used this as an opportunity to review (with X) and introduce (to Q) color mixing. This was a perfect activity for creating Orange!

I was honestly surprised at the wide variety of trees on our property. That gave us the chance to explore so many different kinds of leaves.

Q and I also had a review of large, medium and small.

The boys worked hard putting the real leaves onto the tree. X used this as an opportunity to work on some addition.

X expanded on the drawing prompt at the end of the I Can Read book by adding a Spring tree in addition to his Winter tree. I enjoy how he made sure to include the roots.


Experience More Litteracy: Weather and Changing Seasons

I considered having X do a full on Kindergarten curriculum. But the more planning I did, the more I realized that there were so many aspects of Mother Goose Time that he would want to do alongside Q. I finally decided on expanding the MGT curriculum. I would add activities to challenge X and keep him learning while following the themes for MGT and having him do the activities that he’d enjoy. The next step was figuring out how to expand on the curriculum and deciding what I needed to add. I knew X needed more advanced math, literacy and science aspects. I was so excited when I realized that Mother Goose Time could take care of the math and Literacy aspects for me! The ability to use this curriculum with a variety of ages has always impressed me, and now it could go a step further.

At first I was a little skeptical. Could 2 workbooks keep X engaged and learning? Then I realized these are NOT ordinary workbooks.

These pages are filled with games, coloring, critical thinking and FUN. X loves to cut and the Experience More Literacy book provides him with many opportunities to do so.

Today he got to cut and staple his own little book. He is constantly making books on his own, so this project was perfect for him. Meanwhile he worked on recognizing letters and exploring the sound of the letter C.

I’m excited to keep this little book for him to triumphantly read on his own as we progress with his reading skills.

There is a focus on the months letters. They are presented in such a variety of ways that connections are solidly made. These books are so well thought out!

But it doesn’t stop at writing, phonics and emergent reader skills- it works on critical thinking and creating stories of their own! X loves creating his own stories. He’s really going to enjoy the opportunity to problem solve and illustrate with this story prompt. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!


Weather and Changing Seasons with Mother Goose Time

October’s Mother Goose Time theme is all about Weather and Seasons! I’ve been really looking forward to this unit. X has shown a lot of interest in how weather works- especially after Hurricane Irma.

Today we started off with Day 1: Sun. We had an illuminating discussion about how the earth spins to create night and day.

X decided he wanted to make a sculpture instead of using the included materials to make a sun.

Next they both worked on the pattern mats using shape links to create a sun and a cloud.

Q moved on to some color matching while X worked in his More Litteracy workbook. I was so thankful to have something more challenging for X to work on while Q worked on his colors.

X really loves workbooks, I guess I lucked out!

Q worked quite a while matching the links to the colored suns. By using the cards flat (instead of in the cube) Q could work solo.

I love any unit themes that I can easily expand on for X. This was deffinitely one of those. Firstly we get MGT’s More Math and More Litteracy workbooks. These are such a great resource! They have phonics, writing practice, games and more advanced math concepts. I can’t wait to share more about these later in the week.

I also found this fun science kit online.

Using the Alex Ready, Set, Bodies! kit last month added a great element to our days. I think X will be excited to dig into these awesome science experiments.

I also found these Usbourne books to go along with our theme:

X loves these lift the flap books. They provide the perfect amount of science and facts for his current learning level.

My kids are book worms, so the more books to support our theme the better!


The Senses with Mother Goose Time

This month had been such a great start to the year. X has loved learning all about the body. I wanted to share a few of the awesome activities we did with Mother Goose Time while learning about the 5 senses. The boys just loved learning all about their sense of smell. We made flowers and built gardens. They really enjoyed digging in and creating their garden. I loved how X taught Q about patterns and how well they cooperated. I considered giving them seperate bins of dirt, but I’m glad I didn’t. They worked great together and we’re more creative.

Q worked on some color matching and X was all about the patterns. This additional skill work was completely self motivated by them both. It’s so cool when they expand on an activity all on their own.

They also decided their garden needed some grass. This activity held their attention for over 30 minutes.

Next we moved on to creating flowers that had a scent!

They applied scented gelatin mixed with water. It created a good scent and a fun texture.

They enjoyed the opportunity to get creative and use a medium they’d never explored before.

Next we moved on the the I Can Read book for this month. It features an adorable skunk. X enjoyed using the pointers and used the space provided at the end to practice his writing. I was so impressed with his writing skills! Here are a few more highlights from learning about our senses!

Both boys just loved this sand painting activity!

Q loved the texture and X enjoyed pouring and mixing colors.

I put this phonics matching game together to help X work on the letter sounds. He really enjoyed this hands on approach!

This month has been so much fun, but we just can’t wait to start learning about weather!


Our Routine

Homeschooling a preschool aged kiddo and a Kindergartener can take a little juggling. Last year as we worked through the Mother Goose Time curriculum they each worked on the projects at their own capacity. Fine motor, language and sensory experiences were Q’s focus, while X was working on letters, math and bigger concepts.

Now, I’m doing two different programs with them and using MGT to bridge the gap. Q is working on the Mother Goose Time in its entirety, while X is getting more in depth on the topics and learning to read. 

Here’s a peek at what our day looks like.

After we wake up we cuddle and read a few books. Then we sit down for breakfast. After that the boys do some free play on their own while I clean up and get ready for the day.

X starts his morning with reading. He’s most focused first thing. Q will happily look through his own books while X and I work through a few pages in The Reading Lesson.

Next we usually jump into the Invitation to Create or the Make and Play, depending on what is provided that day. This is a great opportunity for them to work side by side on the same thing, but following their own ideas. Today X used a hole puncher to make “germs” and then brushed the germs off his tooth. Q explored the included toothbrush by using paint.

Then we do either sensory play or a gross motor activity. This year MGT includes a variety of STEM station ideas that are so much fun. This one was just perfect to go with learning about our teeth. The boys had a blast brusing and squishing the shaving cream.

Then we usually do a little reading. After all that fun the boys are ready to focus again. We’ll read the books suggested by MGT for that days theme. We also find the section in our Usborne books about the body to learn more facts. Today that involved learning about our tastebuds!

Next we worked on some fine motor work and counting with a little bit of adding for X. Both the boys loved this activity!

We finished up with this fun activity from our Alex Ready, Set, Bodies! kit. These activities have been such a great addition to our learning this month! They used cups to add teeth to the mouth. Then X put stickers on the tongue for different areas of tastebuds. Finally they got to brush away the germs and food stuck between the teeth. So much fun!

Today the boys were really engaged in all of our activites, so it filled our school time. Other days they move a little more quickly through the activities and I’ll supplement with our tray activites for Q and some critical thinking games or workbooks for X.

After school time we have lunch and then nap. We spend our late afternoons playing and exploring outside before dinner.

I really make sure to alternate fun, creative or gross motor activites with the activites that take a lot of focus. This allows them to get their wiggles out and gives them the ability to focus on harder tasks. It really makes the flow of our day easier. I also completely follow their lead on how long we spend on each activity. The beauty of homeschooling is we can spend as little or as much time on activities as we want. Often times we also revisit an activity (usually a sensory play or STEM activity) after nap. I love seeing the variation on play when doing something again. They make completely new discoveries and connections.