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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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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!


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.


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.

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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.

So about that little mouse…

Guys. GUYS! Are you ready to be mind-blown? I learned something last night, and this is so amazing to me that I had to blog about it.

If you’re familiar with the popular That’s not my series from Usborne Books & More, maybe this isn’t new information for YOU, but it was for ME. Many people learn about and fall in love with Usborne books when they are gifted a book at their baby shower, stumble across one at their local library, or even by attending a social selling event. I often hear customers say that their very first Usborne book was one of the 50 titles in the popular That’s not my series. The 50th title will be available very soon from Usborne Books & More, and in case you’ve not heard yet, it’s That’s not my unicorn. I’m so excited!!

Back to my original point: I have a secret to share with you, that maybe wasn’t a secret for you, but hold on to your seats, because I’m going to share it with you now.

Did you know that there is a little white mouse to find in this 12 page book (which  includes the front and back of the book, as the story technically starts on the cover of each book)?


See? There he is!

You did? Okay! Good….me too! I knew that little guy was on the cover, back, and on the spread of the pages. Let’s take a look at some of the examples where this little mouse can be found in this particular series.

A few of the titles in the That’s not my series, and a new variation as well!


Bold colors and contrasting thick black lines are great for infants and toddlers. Different textures accompany the describing word to connect learning.


My toddler loves to find the mouse in these books! Here’s a fun surprise in the That’s not my fairy with mouse donning a pair of fairy wings and a magic wand too!


One of the perks of attending National Convention: brand new titles given to attendees at registration!

So, this is great? Right? That’s still not the insider intel I have as an Usborne Books & More Book Lady. The mind-blowing information is that the little mouse that shows up in this popular and well-loved series is the NARRATOR of the books! Take a look back at the images of the books posted above and you’ll have the “aha” moment that I did last night. Our friend, the little mouse is telling the story.

The next time you pick up one of the books in the That’s not my series, take a peek. Observe where the mouse is on the pages. Tuck away this piece of information, and if you have another aha moment or one of mind-blowing information in another Usborne or Kane Miller title, please share with me!

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Heights Happiness

Welcome to the official launch of this blog! I’ve written many ideas down since the beginning of 2017, and it’s time to get this started.

I have so many ideas to share about motherhood, raising three children, how I incorporate my Usborne Books & More business into my daily life, activity and curriculum ideas for your home or classroom, and exploring the vibrant city of Cleveland while showing how I found my happiness in the Heights.

I’ll be gradually adding more to this blog, so stay tuned!

Keep Reading!-Beth