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Making Homeschooling Work For You - Mother Goose Time

My mother came and visited for a week early in the month so we had a long break early on in our Nursery Rhymes unit from Mother Goose Time, but I am proud to say we made some changes to our routine and have been ROCKING IT overall. 

In previous months I was pretty stuck on that fatal flaw in homeschooling: bringing school home!  It is frequently something that leads to failure in homeschooling, and apparently preschool is no different, at least for this mama.

I would try to do Circle Time everyday, which wasn't very engaging with one child.  Yes, it is a time to review patterns and counting, but we do that throughout the day anyway.  In a classroom setting, it makes sense, and is a good way to start a schedule and have great conversations.  In my house, it was something I had to set up, and find a place to put it, remember to update the calendar dates if we skipped a few (or more) days.  It really wasn't working for me, but since that was how the day is "supposed" to start, I ended up skipping everything if I wasn't up for Circle Time.

This month, other than going over the Nursery Rhyme of the day, we have not been doing Circle Time, and we are doing really well at doing Mother Goose Time on a regular basis.  Something I have heard many times is: Don't be a slave to your curriculum, or Your curriculum needs to work for you, you don't work for it.  As a (oxymoronically) slacker perfectionist, this just didn't compute.  Eventually it clicked, and I realized that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  Preschool is not a necessity.  It is a luxury.  For us, it is a time that Little Guy and I can spend together doing age appropriate activities that center my attention around him for a limited amount of time.  Which is perfect for us.  I don't have to do it "just right" for it to be beneficial and educational.

Going along with that, I have finally put my Planning Journal to work this month.  Usually it stays in the box while I use the Teacher Guide. 

For those of you that prefer video (probably most of you) I have recorded a short video explaining what is in the Planning Journal.  If you are a weirdo like me who prefers to read things, there is an explanation under the video, along with some pictures.

In the Planning Journal there are quite a few resources, including two calendars, a blank calendar for you to fill in as you want and an activities calendar with ALL the activities for the whole month filled in on the suggested days, including which skill domain the activity focuses on.  There is also an overview of daily child projects and art, so you can see what Make and Plays and Invitations to Create you will be working on this month.  The rest of the book is weekly overviews with a suggested schedule, planner pages, and a skills record at the back. 
For this month I have started using the activities calendar as I go through the Teacher Guide, and circle in the Planning Journal which games and projects I think will be fun for Little Guy, suitable for just the two of us, and don't involve a lot of supply gathering on my part.  Then I cross out each activity when we do them and put a check next to the day we have finished. 

This keeps it organized while I do another almost unheard of thing: Bounce around from day to day rather than doing it in order.  Some days only have one or two activities that I want us to do, others have more, so sometimes different days will fit better with our schedule.  Bouncing around helps us keep on track by getting things done even on days we have less time, rather than saying "We don't have time for that, so we are not doing anything today."  This is the first box, out of a dozen, where I think we will actually do all of the activities I wanted to do!

My new method looks more chaotic on the surface, but underneath it is allowing us to be MORE consistent, and get more learning done.

*Little Guy and I get to use Mother Goose Time curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our honest opinions and experiences.  All opinions are my own.*


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