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Barn Day - Mother Goose Time

The first two paragraphs are about the chaos of my life at the moment, if you just want to read about our Mother Goose Time experience yesterday, skip two paragraphs!

In case you haven't noticed in the last three years, and specifically the last year, my life and family changes CONSTANTLY!  I have had 20+ kids in (and out!) of my home in the last 3.5 years.  Right now I have a 4 week old (Baby Girl) and a 7 month old (Joey), in addition to Little Guy who is 3.5.  Also, my dishwasher is broken.  So, nothing happens consistently, as much as I truly thrive on a consistent schedule, I just can't make it happen.  Adding to my -admittedly small- plate, is that when children first come into foster care, they seem to have a zillion appointments the first month or so.  And Michael has class a couple days a week.  And Little Guy has AWANA.  And I decided it was a good idea to join a Bible study, despite the fact that talking in a group of people that are not my close friends nearly sends me into a panic attack, so I pretty much just listen. 

So not only am I struggling to have clean clothes and dishes for my family, I am also struggling to get Little Guy's school done.  Add to that the fact that I am supposed to remember to take pictures, then find the time between babies screaming to be fed to write about what we did, and it feels like I have a full time job (working moms, I have no idea how you do it!)!  Don't get me wrong, I love having babies, and I am blessed with 3 kids that ALL sleep through the night (yup, even the tiny one - don't worry she is growing just fine despite being kind to me and sleeping all night).  Spending time with my son, especially quality time where I am focused on him and we are both being productive and having fun - a la Mother Goose Time - is the highlight of many of my days.  It is just getting to a point where my dishes are at least done enough to not fill ALL my counterspace, both babies are fed and changed, and I have something on other than a bathrobe isn't something I often accomplish before its time for Little Guy to take a nap.

Yesterday we learned about barns.  We read Tractor Mac Builds a Barn (Little Guy LOVES Tractor Mac, and was pretty happy he was wearing a red tractor shirt yesterday) and did a few fun activities. 

Who Is In the Barn? was our first activity.  I didn't take any pictures, because, well it looked pretty trashy!  We were supposed to drape a blanket over two chairs, but I had a towel handy, so I used that.  They we used our awesome new pocket cube, and we rolled the cube under the chair ("in the barn").  In each pocket was a picture of something that we might find in a barn, including animals, corn, a tractor, and a farmer.  It was supposed to be a secret, and you would play charades to figure out what was rolled, but Little Guy got a bit to excited and blurted it out.  Every time.  But he acted out the animals with only a little help.  He even guessed that I was corn when I sat still and then jumped up and said "POP!"  Later we worked on some phonics, using the vocabulary cards that go with the pictures.  I would say a word, ask him what sound it started with.  He would tell me the sound, then the letter.  He did very well, and I love to see him inch closer to reading!

Next we did Cow Puzzle, which was the puzzle of the month. 

First we did the puzzle half a dozen times together, with me instructing him on the finer points of puzzle solving (corners first, then the edges, and finally the inside piece).  When I was pretty sure he had it, I let him take it apart one more time, then left to do dishes while he put it back together.  After about half an hour of ignoring "I can't do it" and "It is to difficult/hard" and "I don't know how", he finally got the point that he WAS going to put it together, and I WASN'T going to do it with him.  Then he put it together by himself in less than five minutes.  I was so proud of him for persevering, I wanted to take a picture of his finished product.  Then I realized that it would look just like the picture I had just taken, so I didn't.

Cow Dictation started off really fun.  We talked about things that a cow needs, then we did a mini art project, turning our foot prints into cows.  I may or may not have done the atrocious cow on the top.  Let's just go with not*.

From here things went uphill, and then PLUMMETED.  He was supposed to pretend he was a cow, writing to the farmer about the things that he wants or needs to be happy, which I would then write down.  He had some cute quips like "But, I'm not a cow!" and "Cows don't talk...", but despite my more than thorough explanation of what he was supposed to do, he just didn't get it, or didn't want to, I couldn't tell which.  It escalated to me being grumpy with him, him throwing a fit, going to his room, and finally coming back to sort-of finish the project.  Mostly I told him what he should say, he repeated it back to me, and I wrote it down.  Not necessarily a win, but not a total loss either.  It was no Mouse Day, but it wasn't our finest moment either.

I love that we worked on large motor, fine motor, phonics, and a few other skills, all while playing games and doing activities.  I love workbooks, but I also love that we can complement bookwork with playtime, while still learning.

Little Guy and I receive Mother Goose Time free of charge in exchange for sharing our experiences and pictures.  All opinions are our own!

*In case there was any doubt, that top cow it totally mine.  My art skills are SOOOOO non-existent.  It looks like some sort of deformed dog/sheep hybrid. 


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