Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mother Goose Time - Me and My Family

We have been digging our mitts into the Me and My Family themed curriculum! I am having a blast teaching Wes more about our family! I want to share a few of our highlights so far!

My Family Tree
Since Brady attends a modified year round school, he was home with us for the beginning of this month. He joined us in a few of our activities.

The first activity we did was My Family Tree. I adapted the activity by writing our family names on the apples instead of having the boys do it. Since I adapted it this way, I had the boys practice identifying names instead. It was a pretty straight forward activity but the boys loved doing it!

Wes is pretty good with glue now!

"Another photo?"

I gave up trying to get both boys to look AND smile

I love how each created a different looking tree

Pick Me
We have been working hard on pre-writing activities with Wes. I'm so proud that he is able to write his name pretty legible! We use this name tag to identify where he sits a lot of the day. Another way that I've been re-using this name tag is by putting it by items he needs to tend to like his pile of clothes or items that go to his room. Multi-tasking!

Green Wiggles
This month we received super cool color wands. In this activity we used the green wand to identify green objects indoors and in nature. Since we have a fairly large sliding door that looks towards our backyard, I used a chair and asked each boy to sit in it and find things that are green in our yard. By using the chair, it made turn taking and restraint a little easier for Wes. He is kind of in the "blurt out the answers and never let Brady talk" phase.

We keep our Color Wand holder on our fire place mantle. Surprisingly, both boys ask to do this activity quite often.

See the Circle
Generalizing shape identification has been something we have been doing more and more with Wes. "Wes, what shape is this cookie?" "Wes, what shapes are in this wind chime?" "What shapes would you use to make a Christmas tree?"

In the See the Circle activity, we used the provided "Circle" Cube to talk about things that were circles. Wes was pretty good at naming a ton of things that were circles. The one thing I thought was absolutely hilarious is that when presented with a photo of a record, Wes called it a black DVD. It reminded me how different our childhoods are! 

Jack & Jill
We've had a bit of fun talking about the infamous siblings Jack & Jill. 

In one activity, we painted the hill Jack & Jill went up to fetch their pail of water. We started off with hand printing blue and yellow paint up the hill. We sing-songed the rhyme as we placed handprints on the grassy areas. As Wes started to overlap and mix the paints we spoke about how yellow and blue made green. After the paint dried, we used our "grass" to re-enact the rhyme with our cut out Jack & Jill puppets.

We also used our "pails" to do color sorting and talk about all the things we could use pails for, like carrying water, dirt, crayons and as Wes lovingly added "POOP". Boys...

Family Members
Now, this activity may not seem like that big of a deal. But, let me tell you why I think that this one is really important and why I use it with my older son, Brady, who happens to be autistic.

This activity uses a simple picture of several people doing things in a park. It uses magnifying glasses to have your child "look" for specific images in the photo. Once the child has found the image, it gives you prompts to get them talking "ABOUT" what is going on and things they do with their family. This activity is great for Wes, but WONDERFUL for my older son who is working hard on answering open ended questions and carrying on a two way conversation. The photo contains just the right amount of different images but not too many that it is chaotic or confusing. 

I've always raved about how a lot of the Mother Goose Time activities can be saved and re-used in places like waiting rooms, restaurants and at home and this is another one that I'm adding to our outing bag!

This is how you use a magnifying glass, duh!

I've always enjoyed the journaling aspect of Mother Goose Time's curriculum. It's neat for us to look back on the activities we've accomplished through the month.

We started our journal by writing our name on the front.

We then made an UPPERCASE "M" and a lower case "m" with a hand stamped "O" in the middle. Yup, this page and day we talked all about MOM! In the photo below, you can see how I'm placing my hand over most of the page. Because Wes still struggles with spatial awareness when writing, I simply block the page off to make a physical barrier of where he needs to write. He has good control when making an uppercase "M" but needed more hand over hand assistance with the lowercase "m".

The Letter "M"
Mother Goose Time's materials are top notch! I love the Letter cards that come each month. We save and use them all the time. Wes really likes the arrow pointer and we use and re-use it in many activities. After we did the initial letter activity, I used glue to add texture to the letter for more finger tracing practice.

Mom's Helper
Since we mostly run a "One man preschool", Wes gets to do ALL of the helper roles. But, since I want to focus on one role each day, we decided to go over what each helper does.

Then to really make it a fun lesson that would stick with him and I pretended to make a silly mess with all of our foam circles. I should have won an Oscar for the performance I put on. Since Wes was on "garbage patrol" he helped pick them up and reassure me that "messes happen, no big deal".

"Wow mommy! This is a real mess!"

"Dad, I'm on Garbage Patrol!"

Dress Up Daddy Art
We made a Daddy stick puppet that had us chuckling at what Wes thought his daddy looked like. "Mommy, where's the grey crayon for Daddy's hair?"

We started by "looking for Daddy's hat?" and using a "daddy" voice to find it. It was hilarious to hear Wes portray his Daddy in his deep voice. "Where's my hat? Oh my goodness! I NEED my hat!"

This activity worked on a variety of things such as fine motor control (coloring, glueing) and color identification ("what color is daddy's hair/eyes?").

"Maybe under here?"

"Found Daddy's hat!"

Coloring his apple

Apparently daddy's hair is a goldish grey

Read With Me
I know that I've mentioned how much I like the included books. This month's book was My Dad the Tuk Tuk Driver. It's a super cool book about a Tuk Tuk driver in Cambodia (a Tuk Tuk is pedicab). Wes found it fascinating to talk about Tuk Tuks. The book also includes prompts to talk about what is going on in the photos. I love that Mother Goose Time talks about other cultures and brings them into our home! We've looked up on a world map where Cambodia is and Wes wants to go there!

"Mommy, they have the same trees as us!"

Writing Skills
The curriculum included some fun Emergent Writing activity sheets.

Family Dominoes
I have to admit, I've never played dominoes before. EVER. So, I had no idea how it went. This month, the curriculum included a family domino activity. Because this was the first time for both of us, I placed the cards in one big pile and we took turns matching our cards in domino fashion! It was actually pretty fun! We bagged them up and plan on using this one on the go! Maybe I need to invest in some real dominoes!

As always, Mother Goose Time is a ton of fun! I love this month's theme of Me and My Family! If you'd like to learn more about the Mother Goose Time boxed curriculum, please visit their website at Homeschooling Wes for preschool has been fun for our entire family. If you are considering it but don't know if it's for you, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have!

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