Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rainforest Favorites: Snakes!

Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum has turned out to be an excellent choice for our family! It has saved me time, given us a flexibility we didn't have before, helped foster an early love of learning in our girls, and made learning fun for everyone.

We have agreed to share our journey with Mother Goose Time in exchange for free curriculum packages each month. Rest assured, the stories and opinions shared here are completely our own.  Lately, we haven't been "sharing" as much as we normally do. That's because we are still adjusting to life with a newborn. Lately, Mother Goose Time has been responsible for less time spent planning lessons and stressing about curriculum on my part and I'm utterly grateful.

A few weeks ago we were studying the Rainforest and although a little time has passed, I couldn't help sharing one of our favorite lessons from the unit: snakes!

We began our snake lesson with the Community Challenge called "Big Anaconda." The girls had fun learning to say the word "anaconda" and they all enjoyed lining up 30 strips of paper to represent a giant anaconda snake. I love watching them work together!

Next, we moved to the table for creative art. This lesson's Invitation to Create involved using bubble wrap to make snakeskin paintings. Even Noah, usually opposed to arts & crafts, enjoyed pretending to make his own snakeskin. 

Then we practiced some math skills by building snakes with the "Build-A-Snake Game" activity. I have to admit that it wasn't a favorite for everyone. Noah adopted the snakes and truly enjoyed building snakes by matching the patterns. The girls were mostly disinterested, but they had fun exploring how snakes move with the rubber bands I set out.

Next we practiced letter recognition by matching capital and lowercase letters in "Snake Letters," at literacy game.  Finally, we finished our day by playing "Slithery Snake" from the Rainforest CD and letting the kids "slither" on the floor like snakes. It was so fun to watch!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Rain Forest Favorites: Sloths!

It has been a few weeks since I've had a chance to update the blog. We welcomed our third blessing from the Lord, John Langdon, on November 25th and it has been a whirling dervish around here since then!

I wanted to take some time to recap. Although I haven't been able to update our readers as often as I might like, we have certainly still been doing lessons as much as possible. Last month, we finished our study about the rainforest with Mother Goose Time and I discovered a whole new love for this fun and engaging curriculum!

I'd like to remind you that while we do receive our monthly curriculum from Mother Goose Time free of charge in exchange for sharing our journey with our readers, the journey is truly ours and that means my opinions are completely my own.

So how are we still doing homeschool with a brand new baby at our house? We did slow down some, but having a curriculum like Mother Goose Time is most of the reason. Those lovely organized packets for every single day that are largely just "open and learn" have saved our homeschool! I've even been able to give lessons to my mom & my husband to do with the kids - it's that easy!

With all that in mind, I'd like to share one of our favorite rainforest lessons that you didn't get to see...

Lesson 11: Sloths

We started this lesson with a Community Challenge called "Upside Down" where the children took turns laying upside down on the couch to look around the room. They tried to do things like roll a ball back and forth with comical difficulty.
Then we did upside down puzzles as our Little Goose "Tray Play" activity. For this activity, I did have to do some prep work. I hand made the puzzles by cutting pictures from magazines the night before, but you could use a store bought puzzle just as easily.

Next, we explored the I Can Read books with sight word pointers and picture cards. The children really have fun memorizing these books and reading them to each other.

Their favorite book was Eric Carle's "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth. I can't count how many times they asked me to read it!

I had a doctor's appointment that day, so we took the "Sloth Snacks" math activity with us to keep them occupied in the waiting room. They had fun matching their fruit to the pattern cards. I was glad for an easy activity to stash in my bag on a busy day!
When we got home from the doctor, Daddy got to finish up lessons with the children because this day's Invitation to Create involved exploring Michelangelo's masterpiece on the Sistine Chapel and creating "Upside-Down Art." At the time, I was 39 weeks pregnant and completely incapable of laying flat on my back in the floor. They had fun coloring upside down with Daddy though and again I found myself grateful for a curriculum that allows us to do things like "switch teachers" in the middle of the day.

Stay tuned for another rainforest favorite next week... snakes!!!