Handwriting 101

I lovingly (and jokingly) will ask my husband when paperwork needs to be filled out if he’d like me to fill it out for him. It’s not that his handwriting is bad, it’s just different than my handwriting and the detail that I put into making sure what I’m writing is legible, especially when it comes to important documents.

My oldest is still working on his penmanship, and I know that he’s probably slightly behind his peers on his handwriting skills, mainly because of his vision impairment during his Preschool years. Some things simply got left out of our day to day routine, as we spent more time focusing on distracting him to keep his patch over his good eye to build up his weaker eye. My daughter loves to write, draw, doodle, color…you name it and she’s doing it! I know that I’ve mentioned before Theo’s hesitation in writing, and I’m so please with how he’s been doing lately! Thank you, Mother Goose Time!

It’s been so easy to see the progress that my younger two have made in just a few short weeks by naturally observing their skills when working on our lessons together, and also through a casual observation when they’re playing together or independently. It’s called Authentic Assessment for a reason, and I’ve taken some steps back this week in observing their lessons, focusing primarily on Theo’s recognition of the letters in his name and his first name, and in how Charlotte chooses to use her writing materials, especially when printing her name.

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I grabbed these wipe-clean pocket folders from Target in the Dollar Spot mid-summer. They’ve come in so handy! This month I slipped their writing plate that corresponds with this month’s theme. For Theo, I drew on two of the name plates: once using all capital letters, and the second time using the right way to print his name with both upper and lower case letters.

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Cross-referencing the Developmental Continuum, I’m able to keep track of this Authentic Assessment to add to Theo’s portfolio.

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Charlie’s working hard on remembering to hold her writing tool the correct way each time!

We did some traveling this week too to Atlanta for a wedding. I love these Wipe-Clean cards from Usborne Books & More to engage the kids and entertain them while I can quietly sip coffee in restaurants.

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Authentic Assessment in action! Observing how my children handle their materials when drawing, doodling, and drawing. It’s great to see their creativity at work!

 

What did you observe this week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

Keep Reading!

Beth

 

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As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from personal experiences in implementing this curriculum with my children. All opinions and thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

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Learning About Your Child

So, this week during our Homeschool Preschool lessons from Mother Goose Time, there was a lot of learning going on for my trio. More importantly,  I also learned something equally important: my children love to be told stories about each of them. I know I’ve shared their birth stories with them on different occasions etc., but what was so great about our lesson this past week was taking the time to remind them how we’re all alike, and how we’re also different from one another.

Here are some of our highlights from this past week:

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The Teacher Guide provides the blueprint of what we’re doing each day. We got some help with our Creative Arts lesson with Self-Portraits and learning about Pablo Picasso. We did consult one of our Usborne Books  to see if this particular title had more information on Picasso before we headed to the internet. This book does not highlight Picasso or his works, but the children did see other examples of self-portraits.

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My youngest, who just turned three at the end of July. He’s very apprehensive to try new things, and I love that he sat and worked on his self-portrait. We discussed his eye and hair color, what shape he thinks his nose in, and how his face is different than mine and how it’s also the same.

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My oldest and middle really enjoyed seeing the different body designs that could be made using the tangram shapes and shape design mats, which were both provided for Table Top Math. Through this process, I was able to see if my children could use the tangrams to recreate the puzzle pictures. After the puzzles were completed, they took the process one step further to then recreate their own Tangram Bodies by pressing the pieces into Modeling Magic.

After Theo and I worked on Tangram Bodies together, I let him use the Tangrams open-ended to see how he would manipulate materials. By using the Benchmark guide provided to me in the back of my Teacher Lesson book, I was able to document where he is developmentally with Mathematics and Reasoning. Using Benchmark 18.2, he is able to sort objects by one feature, such as size or color. In the pictures above, Theo sorted the tangrams based on their size, and stacked each Tangram based on their size. He was also able to use deductive reasoning skills to tell me which of the shapes were bigger when given two like objects and two different objects. This is Benchmark 19.1

It’s not necessary to consider every move that my children are making when completing these lessons, but from an educational standpoint, I’m able to look at the Benchmark guide and see where my children are excelling at from a developmental standpoint. It’s nice to to jot down a quick note in the back of the guide to compile together in their Childfolio Assessment.

What did you learn this week about your child? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Keep Reading!

Beth

 

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As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from personal experiences in implementing this curriculum with my children. All opinions and thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

 

Playroom Preschool

My home is quiet for the night, but there is still a buzzing in the air. The buzzing is the excitement that a new school year brings. My oldest son is a second grader this year, my daughter is in Pre-K Plus, and my youngest is starting his first year of Preschool. I knew that this moment was coming…that all of my children would be in school at the same time. I just did not realize how quickly it would happen, and now it’s right here in front of me just like their three backpacks hung on the hooks in the entrance.

My children have always attended a traditional Preschool and Elementary program, and my husband and I have felt that this has been the best fit for them so far with their education. Still…I’ve always had this nagging voice in the back of my head as a reminder that they needed more. I’m embarrassed to say how many things I’ve pinned on Pinterest over the years, with the full intention of doing.all.the.things with my trio.

The desire for me to do more with my children and continue to supplement their education at home has been been a priority for me, but I was always lost and not sure where to begin. I was frustrated by the list of the materials I would need to have on hand to complete a lesson plan, and I had an idea of curricula goals that my children needed to work on, and the developmental benchmarks for their development. But, for me personally, the planning and organization of it all was something that I continued to feel a lot of pressure about.

My children are busy children. They love to spend time outside, getting messy, and working on projects together. Even though they are each in three different developmental phases of their lives, they can agree on most things and play and learn together nicely. I was thrilled when I became introduced to Mother Goose Time, and only wish that I was familiar with and using this curriculum when I was teaching Preschool and providing Early Intervention home-based services!

So, I decided to try it out. I decided to throw my hat into the ring, and was chosen to be a Blog Ambassador! Each month I receive curriculum and everything else that I need to go with the lessons for each week of the month. How great is that? My first box arrived and I was blown away by it! Every month I receive:

The Teacher Toolbag that has the Weekly Teacher Guide, Theme Web, Teacher Newsletter and Activity Calendar, Gathering List, Skills Chart, and a CD with Thematic Music to go with the lessons for that month. What’s so great about Mother Goose Time is that it takes away the guess work of what I need to do! In each Daily Discovery Bag, most of the materials are provided for me. These are learning resources curated for each lesson and put in bags bundled together. Included are Letter and Phonic Concepts, Daily Topic Posters, Math Manipulatives, Logic Games, everything for writing, cutting, and coloring, activities to build on Friendship, Storytelling resources and Books, and even STEAM projects and ideas! Included were also materials to set up my Home Classroom, and can easily be used in any setting-whether home-based or in a traditional Preschool setting.

So, maybe that buzzing that I mentioned earlier isn’t just the excitement that my children have that they’re all starting or back in school. Maybe the buzzing is the excitement coming from me! I’m excited to know that I can continue to facilitate learning with my children at home after their “official” school day has ended. I’ve always felt that as their parent, I am their first teacher. I almost forgot to mention that Mother Goose Time uses Play-Based Research! That’s a HUGE win in my book!

How I plan to utilize the curriculum and plan our daily routine is to have my youngest Homeschool Preschool with me five days a week. He does not attend school on Mondays and Fridays, so those will be our official Homeschool Preschool days where we follow the lessons from Circle Time all the way through the provided lessons each day. Then, on Tuesdays through Thursdays, in the afternoons we’ll do more of a mini-lesson and choose one to three of the daily lessons and do them together. What’s great about the lessons is that I can break them down for my three year old who is still building confidence in learning his colors, letters, and numbers, but with my almost five year old and eight year old, I can also adapt the material for them and make it a bit more challenging to meet their developmental needs. I love the flexibility, and if we have a more relaxed weekend, or they want to do another activity from the week, we can do that again on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

So, let’s take a peek at my Playroom turned Homeroom Preschool!

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Our Playroom turned Preschool Station. I love the windows and the natural sunlight! This space is right off our main living room in our 1920’s home, so I wanted to ensure that it still felt very much a part of the house and to blend together.

This room had a bench that ran the perimeter of the room. We removed that when we tore out the carpeting, and my husband used one of the sections and re-purposed it to make an art and writing station. It’s a great place for homework and Homeschool table-top activities.

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This room had a bench that ran the perimeter of the room. We removed that when we tore out the carpeting, and my husband used one of the sections and re-purposed it to make an art and writing station. It’s a great place for homework and Homeschool table-top activities. This window is also a great space to hang up current artwork.

Thank you for reading! I hope that this helped to give you a little bit of inspiration and maybe some encouragement to think about what it is that your own children and family need. I’m exited to grow with my children this school year, and I know that you’re in the right place if you are considering Mother Goose Time for your own family or education center.

Keep Reading!

Beth

 

 

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nAs a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from personal experiences in implementing this curriculum with my children. All opinions and thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Exciting News for Heights Happiness!

 

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been selected to be a Blog Ambassador for Mother Goose Time! I’m thrilled to share with you the simple, honest, and straightforward curriculum that I will be implementing this year with my three year old and almost five year old. The materials can also be easily adapted that my eight year old can participate in the activities as well!

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I’ve never really considered that I “homeschooled” my children during their early childhood years, but I guess if I wanted to get right down to it, I’ve tried as much as possible to create for them a rich learning environment full of books, hands on learning experiences, cultural opportunities, and getting messy too with sensory and art activities.  So, In a roundabout way, I guess you could say that I’m a believer that parents really are their child’s first teacher, and if you have busy children like I do-they like to frequently change activities and have a variety of interests.

We’ll be kicking off in just two short days with implementing our curriculum for September, so stay tuned for my next blog on how we set up our learning environment, my first impressions of the Mother Goose Time curriculum box that I received, and our first lesson with this well designed curriculum.

Keep Reading!

Beth

 

As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from personal experiences in implementing this curriculum with my children. All opinions and thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.