This latest unit study from Mother Goose Time has been my new favorite (well, right behind dinosaurs). This month’s theme is Fables and Folktales, and the curriculum did a wonderful job at incorporating daily stories and the activities. I am a bit of a junkie for literature based units, and this one really hit the mark for me.
If you haven’t heard of Mother Goose Time before, it is a preschool curriculum that comes in the form of a monthly subscription box. Almost everything you need is included, down to the manipulatives, and the little elements (like googly eyes and pipe cleaners) that you need to complete the crafts. We have been using the program for over a year with our third littlest, and I can’t even put into words how much I love this program.
Fables and Folktales are such a fabulous resource for ALL students. We have used them in the past for character education, and as a part of our writing curriculum, but I hadn’t found a way to use them intensively with my younger kids.
Mother Goose Time found a way to take the fables, and presented them in a more child-friendly way, with simply worded (yet still clear) stories in a picture book. Typically, I gather my own books to go along with the curriculum so we have something to read daily. This month however, we pulled out the book (or read an included folktale) with every lesson, so every day this month we came back to literature and stories. Little Miss has been slowly learning to read, and I loved how simple this month’s curriculum made it on me to keep the focus on literature.
Each daily reading was accompanied by crafts, recipes, songs, and activities, all of which tied back to the story. Not every lesson included some sort of moral, but fables and folktales are so much more than simple stories. I was able to bring in all the kids to discuss the stories over mealtimes, and I feel like we all walked away from this month’s curriculum having learned something!
For example, when reading the Boys and the Frogs, after reading the story, we talked about times we have accidentally hurt someone (especially our siblings) on accident while playing, and what you should do if you get hurt, or hurt someone else. Then, we talked about frogs, explored texture, played a game, did plenty of counting and reading practice, and finally, headed outside to look for frogs in our own yard. (Toads actually, we have a whole bunch of toads for some reason…)
School time lately has become a whole family endeavor. We always included Daddy as much as we could, but these days, our success really depends on him being able to help out. With both of us working full time, I just don’t have the time in my day to keep everything running as smoothly as it used to. Now, when Dad gets home from work, we call “School time” and everyone comes to the table and works together. Sometimes, that means kids are working in workbooks while Dad teaches preschool, and I am working, and sometimes, Dad is teaching one child math while I teach science to someone else, and sometimes it means we are all working on a project together.
Mother Goose Time contains enough varied activities to work well in our routine. Many of the days include games and activities to keep her busy long after the official lesson is done. Oftentimes, the activities are reusable (like the counting game shown above). She sat with this game three nights in a row, matching colors and numbers and building structures out of clay and the counting sticks.
I’m still (over a year later) thrilled to have found this program. I don’t know if I could teach preschool without it, not because preschool is inherently difficult to teach (it’s not) but because it takes a level of creativity and patience that I just don’t always have in me. With Mother Goose Time, all I have to do is open the bag, and roll with the instructions given.
The plan for Little Miss this year is to continue with Mother Goose Time for her K4 year, adding in Logic of English Foundations and Right Start Math. If all goes according to plan (and I actually get all my morning board pieces laminated), I’ll be back later this week to show you our Preschool set up, and to chat more about the themes for the coming year! Wish us luck!