I know it is May now, and we SHOULD be moving onto Bugs & Crawly Things (EWWWW...), but we are still doing catch-up for Birds & Eggs.
Today we went even more against the grain, and we did a Mother Goose Time marathon after dinner. We learned A LOT about Tree Birds yesterday, and I was amazed at seeing some of the things Little Guy has caught onto recently!
Our first activity was Word House, which was a phonological awareness activity. Little Guy knows all of his letter sounds, but struggles with putting them together to actually read. This time we were focusing on the -it family of words.
We had a bird house, a lot of letter cards, and a card with a blank space and -it on it. Imagine my surprise when Little Guy first drew an "s", stuck it on the blank space, and said "S it. Sit." He continued to read all of the words correctly, without any assistance!
We also did Bird Patterns, which was our pattern card for the month. It was an ABC pattern, and Little Guy still struggles with patterns sometimes. However I have noticed that I waste a lot of time worrying about things that Little Guy isn't good at yet, and we continue to work on them, and he gets it, without really adding much to our usual curriculum. A month or two ago he couldn't figure out rhyming, but we kept at it, and now he gets it!
Tap For Treats was our puzzle activity, of which I did not take a picture. The woodpecker connection was that I tapped a pattern and he was supposed to clap to repeat it. He didn't do so hot, but he thought the clapping was fun, so I guess that was a win?
We also did Woodpecker Math, and I was again impressed by my little boy's growing ability to do things easily, rather than struggle. The links were bugs, and I read him story problems from the Math Story Cards. He then added or subtracted the correct number of "bugs" to the tree on the Daily Topic Poster and told me how many were left. He counted out 10 links with no trouble, and without getting distracted.
Hello Hummingbird was a storytelling set that went with Hello Bird, our storybook of the month. Little Guy acted out how the birds all became friends. It wasn't a thrilling story, and had a LOT of similarities to the pond story he made up with last month's storytelling set, but at least he is exercising his storytelling muscles.
We also had flower cards that we put into our pocket cube. I liked that the cards had the names of flowers on them, and Little Guy memorized all of them, at least for the duration of the game. I have taken to having him toss me the cube and then picking one we haven't done, rather than seeing what it lands on. Anyways, the point of the activity was color recognition, and once we had "rolled" a color, he named it, then pretended to fly over to something of the same color and drink the nectar from the flower.
Chickadees make a "chick-a-dee" sound when there is danger around. In Danger Calls we had a picture of an owl, and a picture of a cat, and lots of little pictures of each creature. Apparently owls are scarier than cats to Chickadees. Anyways, I drew a card and then I made a sound, either "chickadeedeedee" very quickly if it was a cat, or "chick-a-deeee-deeee-deeee" slowly if it was an owl. Than Little Guy told me which animal it was based off of the sound. He did pretty well at recognizing the difference in sounds, only getting one of each wrong. Then it was his turn to make the sounds while I guessed. The first time through we failed miserably. He made the same sound every time so I was just guessing. The second time through he got it a little better, but mostly made a higher noise for the cat and a lower noise for the owl. Still, he did consistently make a distinct sound for each animal.
To finish off our evening we played Hungry Birds, a board game. We had game pieces and went around the board collecting food items. When we had all of the food pieces we went back to the nest in the center. Little Guy is still working on how to count spaces when we play games. And how not to cheat to land on the spaces he wants. It was a fun game, and he beat me fair and square. According to the instructions we were both supposed to finish and make it back to the nest. I rarely play the "everybody wins" version of a game though, because I want him to learn to be a good winner and a good loser, which can't be accomplished if he never wins or loses.
I love Mother Goose Time! It is such an interactive curriculum, even when you are strapped for time and skip all of the art projects. We play games and move around, and have fun, all while Little Guy gets better at reading and math, as well as learning about the world around him. In the interest of full disclosure, I do add to the curriculum with workbooks and flashcards, because I don't feel that Mother Goose Time (at least in the way we use it) offers enough math and phonics memorization on a daily basis. In a classroom setting, where the teacher can't commit a broken up hour or two of her day to each child learning reading and arithmetic at his own level, Mother Goose Time does a great job of teaching everything, every month. However, in my opinion, one of the benefits of homeschooling is that I CAN devote a lot of my time to my son's education, and we can move at a more advanced pace because of the added time. Mother Goose Time does recognize this, and has an add-on set called More Math and Literacy for older preschoolers. It is a workbook set that blends seamlessly with the monthly theme and concepts, in the fun, friendly Mother Goose Time style. I highly recommend them for children that are ready for that extra step.
I receive Mother Goose Time to use with my son for free! In exchange I share our experiences, pictures, and honest opinions.