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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Homeschool Routine Saved by Mother Goose Time

Mother Goose Time safari animals on a Christmas napkin.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke
Now that Christmas and New Years is over, we have started getting back to our homeschool routine.  We have added some fun, new activities and it is working out great.

The girls were sad that it was over, but as we started back to our routine, I could see they were happy with all our new activities planned.

Cleaning Up

They love to use their dad's shaving cream to clean their desks. I did this when I was a K-2nd grade teacher, too. Kids love it and it makes the room smell so good. It does an excellent job getting the desks clean. I dare you... Try it!

Of course, you will need to draw pictures and write nice notes...
Cleaning Desks with Shaving Cream is Fun
"Thank you God for Dad, Mom and Sis."
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Cleaning Desks with Shaving Cream is Fun!
Here is Blue Bear, Blue Bear
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

We put away all of our Christmas decorations. Last year, they cried when we took the tree down. Fortunately, this year they had fun taking it down. It was so much easier having both of them help me this year! They had lots more questions about the ornaments and where each ornament was from.
This is going to get easier with their amazing help. I let them know I was thankful for all of their help. They made it fun.

We talked about going to Hobby Lobby and getting some fun Valentine's Day decorations as we put the Christmas decorations away. We ended up getting an adorable Valentine's Day decoration for our front door and a Valentine's day puppy craft. That really helped make the transition into January easier. I let them know they had Valentine's Day to look forward to. Plus, we got our January Mother Goose Time box! I explained that we would be going on a safari this month! They were happy about that.
Warm Fuzzy Valentine by Caroline Brooke
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

One night, I had the idea to surprise them and make these cute, little warm fuzzies. I put the red one on my husband's coffee maker. I put the pink and blue ones on the girls' desks. I chose their favorite colors. They were so happy. I glued little notes on the side, inbetween the heart feet and the fuzzy. I thought this would be a good way to show them that I love them. I didn't want them to feel like all the fun was over... I want January and February to be fun for them, too.

One Warm Fuzzy for Everyone in the Family
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Even though Mother Goose Time is a preschool program we are using for our youngest daughter, it has really been nice for my older daughter, because she can relax and take a break from her 3rd grade level work and complete some fun activities with her little sister. She enjoys doing arts and crafts, singing the songs, playing the games and lots of other fun activities.
Mother Goose Time
This month, we are learning all about going on a safari.
Here is a song for day #2.
Every month we get a new ring of songs that go with our theme.

Bulletin Board

Here is our Mother Goose Time bulletin board, which we use all together in the morning. The girls like to say morning prayers, the pledge and then write in their morning journals.

My older daughter writes the date in cursive. She also writes and draws a picture about anything on her mind.

Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke
Mother Goose Time Bulletin Board
This is portable, so you can move it around... You could even travel with it!

Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke
Blue Bear traveling to other planets.
She made this all on her own.
She loves airplanes and she is interested in space travel.

Studying and Concentrating... Serious looks. :)
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Then, we get started on all our academic work. A few days a week, we go to sports classes (Krav Maga and/or swimming). We also go to Bible studies and other activities with our friends.

Showing We Care While Following Routines

I was thinking about how we can show that we care for our kids, while still following our routine. That is why I think all routines need to be flexible.

Pink Warm Fuzzy
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke
For example, if your child wakes up and they had a horrible dream and they start to talk about it during morning journal time, you may think of a more appropriate activity to help them be able to process what is really going on with them.

Maybe they need to say more prayers?
Maybe they need to call someone to talk about something that needs resolution?
Maybe they need to address an issue that day that is unexpected...
Like the day that our cat died.

On those days, we need to decide if it is healthier and more appropriate to follow the routine or to just stop... Listen... Care... And address the issue at hand in a constructive way. Things come up everyday, so I've learned to be flexible, so they know I care about them...

Truthfully, that is at the heart of taking the initiative and teaching our children ourselves. We need to be flexible for our children, so they grow to their fullest potential. We can create the best environment for them to learn to their fullest potential, based on their needs, talents and strengths.

On those days, I'll remember to get out our warm fuzzies.

Blue Warm Fuzzy
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Looking at the Year/Planning

I love the "My Calendar" that Mother Goose Time sent out! Look, it has a place for handprints at the beginning and end of the year.

I had the girls show me the following on their calendars:
  • Their birthday
  • Today's date
  • A week
  • A month
  • A year
She felt like this little doll matched her calendar, so she set her next to it while she worked.
Writing her name at 4-years-old.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

My Calendar by Mother Goose Time
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Enjoy Everyday and Make it Fun

We made passports and the girls enjoyed looking on their maps to see all the places they could travel to...

We stamped their passports after they rolled the dice with all the continents.

They chose a country in the continent and found out the name of the country.
They used their Leap Reader pens to read the map.

Finding the names of states using the Leap Reader Pen.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

We rolled the dice and saw Europe.
Then, she colored Europe in her passport, stamped it and found a country in Europe on the map.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Asia on the continent dice and passport.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

What country do you want to go to in Europe?
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

I colored South America red in my passport to match the picture on the dice.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

I want to go to Brazil in South America.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Let's stamp your passport and write a "B" for Brazil.
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Studying... Concentrating...
3rd Grade Work is Challenging
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Peace Party

I love that Mother Goose time sent a packet of activities for a Peace Party. One of the activities inside was this Peaceful Poses activity. The girls spin and find out which exercise we all do together. It's a fun way to get exercise as a family.

Peaceful Poses Game by Mother Goose Time
Time to do the surfer pose!
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke
Turn the spinner.

Looks like we need to do the surfer pose!

Here she is doing the surfer pose.

Surfer Pose
Photo Copyright Caroline Brooke

Looks like we found a fun activity to add to our morning routine, Peaceful Poses.

Thank you, Mother Goose Time!

Seriously, without all the fun packed into our Mother Goose Time box, I would have a heavy burden and the girls would not have nearly as much fun.

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