I was sitting on a bench yesterday, gabbing away with my friend, when Bug ran over to me, clutching his arm. He had tears streaming down his face, and was howling, but it wasn’t that terrible, horrible, high pitched kid scream. It sounded more like a “drama mama” cry (as I like to call them in my house).
I figured it was a typical playground scrape, until I saw his arm. When he held it out, my very first reaction was “Oh crap, we’re going to need an X-ray, that’s broken.”
We’re going to need an X-Ray.
I thought it. I said it out loud. It was my very first reaction.
Did I trust it?
I tried to give Bug a soda (it was the only thing I had in my bag) thinking it would cheer up a typical playground scrape. I looked at his arm again and again. I held that boo-boo in my hand, I poked and prodded, I asked him to bend, and twist and wiggle all his fingers. It all looked okay. But my gut wasn’t okay.
We’re going to need an X-Ray.
I asked my friend what she thought, and we both agreed, he wasn’t crying enough for it to really be broken. He wasn’t screaming. We second guessed if the arm really looked funny, or if he was holding it funny, and man, is that kid skinny, so his arm just looks funny.
A second friend came to the park. Bug was walking around, still guarding the arm, but not crying. She weighed in also. It’s not broken, It can’t be broken. I took him home. I gave him ice. I poked and prodded some more. And my gut continued to cry out.
We’re going to need an X-Ray.
And I still doubted myself.
I doubted myself as I tried to find a sitter. I doubted myself as I told him to put on his shoes, and I doubted myself the whole time we waited in the ER.
My gut told me my child needed me, needed help. And I doubted myself.
After 5 hours in the ER, we learned not only did he break the ulna AND the radius, he also dislocated the bones enough that we have a surgical consult in the morning. He needed that X-Ray.
And I knew it.
I wish so badly that I would have trusted my mother’s instinct from the beginning, and brought Bug in hours before I actually did. He was much braver than I could have imagined. He’s a tough kid. He didn’t cry much, and he didn’t fuss, and at one point in the Emergency Room, he told me he thought it was probably better. But my instinct said otherwise, and it was right.
How many times do we as mothers push off that still, small voice that speaks to our hearts, and our guts and tells us “my baby needs me.” It whispers when they are hurt. It nags when the situation is unsafe.
Sometimes, the world tells us “they are FINE” . . . “you are worrying too much!”
Sometimes, the kids themselves tell us they are fine.
I’ve learned over the years that my mother’s instinct is rarely wrong. Some days, like yesterday, my instinct is clouded by self-doubt. But it still didn’t let me down, not when I really stopped to listen to it, and pushed all the other feelings aside.
You have a mother’s instinct too. Do you trust it? Is there anything nagging at your heart right now, telling you that something just isn’t right? Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look, and trust that voice.
You have that instinct for a reason- trust it.
Happy National Pancake Day! We started our morning with a big stack of pancakes before school to celebrate. We just *love* pancakes around here, which is why when we were offered the Pancake Pile-Up Relay Game from Educational Insights to review in honor of National Pancake Day, I couldn’t resist!
This game is tons of fun, and was perfect for today.
How do you play?
Pancake Pile-Up Relay is a fun, physical game for kids.
In the box are 10 plastic pancakes. Two are plain, two have bananas, two are strawberry, two are blueberry, and two have chocolate chips. Also included are two thick cardboard plates, two spatulas, two pads of butter, and order cards.
To play this game, you split into two teams (you can play with 2 kids, or as many as 6 per team). The kids are the “servers” and the adult (or one of the kids) is the customer in the restaurant.
The box (the griddle) goes on one end of the room, and the restaurant where the customer sits is on the other side of the room.
The customer picks an order card from the deck, and calls “order up!” The card shows a stack of pancakes, and the servers must deliver the order with the pancakes stacked in the right sequence, and top the pancakes with a pad of butter. Servers move one at a time from the griddle, carrying a pancake on their spatula, until the order is complete. If you have more than one server, they pass off the spatula “relay style” until the order is complete.
The game is finished when one time has their order complete and correct.
Pancake Pile-Up Relay game has kids balancing pancakes, walking carefully, matching pancakes to pictures, working on sequencing, and encourages team work. It’s a fabulous game!
My kids really loved playing Pancake Pile-Up. They even took it to the park today to try and play it with some of the neighborhood kids. We’ve had great luck playing it with only two servers, and a couple more.
While this game is recommended for ages 4 and up, Little Miss has claimed the pancakes as hers, and hates to see the other kids run off to play with them! I think that’s one of the best things about this game- it’s really very versatile. A younger child can play by themselves, and use the cards and pancakes as a matching game. She has spent quite a bit of time this week stacking and re-stacking the pancakes all by herself.
When we aren’t playing the game, I put the pancakes in the play kitchen, so they have plenty of use, even when we aren’t relay racing!
Where to buy Pancake Pile-Up
You can get Pancake Pile-Up Relay from Educational Insights- and many other places games are sold for $17.99.
Enter to Win!
I am so thrilled that Educational Insights offered one Pancake Pile-Up game for a giveaway. This is one we really love- and I am sure you will to. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Em is my third child. When the boys were 2-4, I was really good about doing crafts with them, and reading stories, and doing all the “right things.” With Em, it’s not as easy. The boys demand so much of my attention these days since I homeschool both of them full time, and lately, it’s been too easy to just send Em off with her blocks while I focus on teaching the boys. It’s really not been fair to her, and it hasn’t been much fun for me either. I *love* preschool. I just didn’t have time to teach it. Mother Goose Time has made my life so much easier, and has made the day so much more fun for Little Miss.
For about a month now, I’ve been sharing pictures of my precious Little Miss using our Mother Goose Time curriculum. I’ve been pining away for a program that is easy for me to use, high quality, developmentally appropriate and fun. I don’t normally say things like this, but Mother Goose Time is, hands down, the absolute best preschool program I have seen on the market (and, y’all know I get a lot of products coming through my home).
What is Mother Goose Time?
Mother Goose Time provides a complete, creative preschool program that can be used in child care centers, at home day cares, or as a homeschool program for just one child. It is designed for kids 2.5-5 years old, and comes with almost everything you need in the box, with supplies broken down into daily packets so it’s completely open and go. Each month has a fun theme, high quality, colorful materials, and a CD full of cheerful, professionally produced music.
What’s in the box?
The first month you receive will come with your monthly curriculum, and the Starter Kit. When you first open the box, you’ll find a whole bunch of packages. Each daily lesson is packaged separately, with everything you need to complete the daily lesson- readers, worksheets, activities, crafts- it’s all there.
The starter kit is really neat. It comes with all the circle time goodies, printed in full color on nice paper. You’ll get:
- A Beautiful World Map
- Shapes Poster
- Little Helper Chart
- Weather Set
- Color Wand Display
- Friendship Nest Poster (to teach character traits)
- Alphabet Strip
- Healthy Plate Poster (to teach nutrition)
- Number Line (numbers 1-20)
- ASL poster with helpful signs
- Activity Area Signs
- Monthly Calender Labels
- Circle Time CD
I pulled these things out, laminated a bunch of the posters (you’ll need over-sized laminate sheets- the pages are 8.5 x 14) and hung everything up in our circle time corner. Each month covers a couple letters, colors, number, and shapes, so most of the posters are interactive. When you learn the new concept, you get a little “badge” to stick on the posters, so you’ll keep coming back to these elements as you teach.
I was blown away when I put the circle time CD in the player- these songs are beautiful, and are recorded professionally. These are exactly the kinds of songs you want to listen to in the car, and hear again and again. All the materials are just beautifully done.
The teachers pack includes:
This month we used the “Baby Animals” theme. We are running a month behind everyone else using Mother Goose Time, but it still works out wonderfully for us. This month covered:
- Letters: Q, Y and G
- Shape: Octogon
- Colors: Green and Brown
- Character Trait: Gentleness
- Numbers: 5, 15
and came with:
- The badges and goodies for the posters
- Baby Animals CD with the same high quality music
- Recommended book list
- Materials list for items not included (things like paint, glue, and pretzel sticks)
- Monthly Calender
The theme is broken down into weekly sub-themes, with each day taking a closer look at the topic. This month, we did the January Baby Animals Theme.
Week 1: Waiting for Baby (Babies Grow in Mommy, Hatch from an Egg, Help from a Daddy, Born on this Day, Adopted by a Family)
Week 2: Carrying Baby (Carried by Mouth, Carried on the Back, Carried in a Pouch, Carried on the Chest, Carried in the Arms)
Week 3: Keeping Baby Safe (Check Ups, Camouflage, Herds, Danger Calls, Staying Close)
Week 4: Raising Baby (Feeding Baby, Learning to Move, Getting Home Safely, Learning to Survive, Growing Up)
I loved how many varied activities in the Day Bags we had to do! We worked for 1-2 hours a day, and still didn’t get to finish every single activity. Some, Em was too young for- like anything involving writing, but she could do almost everything else. To give you an idea of the things we did:
13 art projects, read a whole BUNCH of books, practiced the ABCC pattern, practiced some sight words, and the -ick word family.
We learned two ASL signs, learned about Canada and practiced new manners, learned some Spanish words, sang, danced, played pretend.
We sorted, and made puzzles, and worked on tracing, sequencing, and name recognition.
We learned about animals, and habitats, and the weather, and did science experiments.
We measured things, and pounced like lions. We did mazes, and learned to take care of animals.
We did SO much MORE- and I can’t possibly list it all!
Best part is- I did it with minimal preparation time. I did it without being overwhelmed. I did it while Homeschooling two older kids.
Lastly, our box came with a Bonus Bag with activities to celebrate the holidays. I grabbed the bonus bag out of the box meant for February since we’re working a month behind, so we could do the Valentines Day activities. I loved that they thought to include the holidays so you can have special fun projects to do. I did ours in addition to the daily lesson, but you could skip a day, or add it in as an extra day if you wanted to.
Em and I have had an amazing month. Each morning after breakfast, all the kids gather together for circle time. We start with our Mother Goose Time circle time songs, and do a quick morning lesson from the teachers manual (ALL of the kids, even my third grader, participate). We fill Em’s bucket first, and let her sing and dance with us, practice the ABC’s and count. When she looses interest, the Boys and I continue on with our other circle time activities, while Em plays with playdough or blocks. When circle time is done, we all head to the table.
Little Miss almost always gets right up in her seat and asks to “do school.” Because Mother Goose Time is set up so well, I don’t even open the lesson pack until the day I teach it. I get her started with something as the boys get to work on their own lessons, and I rotate between the three kids teaching, helping, and encouraging as needed. Em typically does 1-2 activities in the morning, before heading off to play again on her own.
After Lunch, Em knows she gets her own special “school time” without the boys. They head off to go play a game in the other room, and Em and I sit down together for her lesson. Anything she didn’t do in the morning, we finish up after lunch. Typically, if there is a craft or science activity, we do it now since she gets my full attention.
I love that Mother Goose Time has so many activity choices each day (see Lesson Plan Sample), so Em can come and go from the table as I teach the boys as much as she wants, and I always have something to bring out to do with her. I found that a lot of the activities are also easy to repeat, so some things, like the puzzles, counting mats and other games I store in Ziplocks, so I can pull out a favorite from a previous day for her to play with again.
We’ve just had so much FUN. I love that Em is getting to do crafts, and I am not having to plan a single one. I don’t have to round up supplies other than basic materials (like markers or paint which is already on my schoolroom shelves). I don’t have to read ahead or assemble much of anything. I just get to open the bag, and enjoy teaching my daughter. It’s so much fun to see her light up, and she is SO much happier each day knowing she is also getting one-on-one time with me, instead of always having to play alone while I teach her brothers.
Hubby and I have seen Em grow leaps and bounds in the last month. She’s learning so much, so fast. Her motor skills are improving. She is more verbal. She recognizes the letters we learned this month, and knows the sounds they make. I’m blown away each day when I bring out her lesson materials and see how much she is capable of.
I also learned that I have been underestimating her, and worrying too much about my ability to teach all three kids. I know that I don’t “have” to “do preschool” at all- but I do have to give her opportunities for growth, creativity, and learning- and Mother Goose Time has given me the tools I need to get the job done.
I plan on continuing with this program as long as I can!
Purchasing Information and Supplemental Materials
Mother Goose Time offers a few different products to help you make the most of the program in your home.
Monthly Themed Curriculum: The basic curriculum comes with everything shown in this review. The first month you order, you’ll recieve the free starter kit along with the monthly lesson plan book, music CD, and daily packets. You can order it for as many, or as few children as you need.
Experience God Christian Supplement: Christian Homeschoolers will be thrilled to see the Experience God supplement that includes memory verses, songs, and bible themed activities to each month’s lessons.
Infant/Todder Lesson Plan Supplement: If you have a child younger than two that you would like to include in your preschool time, Mother Goose Time offers this supplement that will help you adapt activities and lessons to a younger child’s developmental needs.
More Math/More Reading Activity Books: If you are trying to use this program with a slightly older child, or a gifted/advanced learner who needs some more math and reading practice, these workbooks will give them an added challenge, which still allowing them to enjoy the fun lessons with the monthly themed curriculum.
Toys and Musical Themed Products: Each month, Mother Goose Time has a toy collection, Dancing Beats DVDs, and other supplemental goodies you can purchase along with your curriculum.
In a Nutshell
Mother Goose Time is a truly complete preschool program. You get everything you need to set up a “circle time” area, as well as music CDs, and teaching materials. You also get daily packets that contain everything you need to teach, including materials for the crafts (everything except for things like snacks and paints, and glue is there!). The kit even includes bonus bags to help you learn about holidays during the year. Mother Goose Time is intended for kids 2.5-5 years old, but supplements for older and younger children are available. It is a completely secular program, but there is a christian supplement you can add if you’d like to do a bible study with your preschooler as well. Boxes are sent once a month, but other than the bonus bags, the contents are labeled by class date rather than calender date, so you can complete them any month of the year (helpful if you have an “off month” and need to reschedule). This is a completely open and go, multi-sensory, professionally published program.
I can’t recommend this program highly enough. Since I have had it in my home, multiple friends have come by to see it, and have gone right home to order their own. It’s really just that good. I wish I could have you over to peak through my materials too- so if I missed any details and you still have questions, please do leave a comment, and I will do my best to answer it!
We’re not done with Mother Goose Time yet!
Mother Goose Time has decided to continue their relationship with our blog for the time being, so you can count on seeing more pictures of Little Miss’ adventures with the curriculum, and hear more of my thoughts on the program with our Mother Goose Monday series here on the blog. Each month, I will also try and answer your questions about the curriculum, and give you a close look at the elements included- so please, leave a comment with any other questions you may have, and come back to check in with us each week!
I have a cute freebie for you guys today!
These printable ABC Puzzles will be free *forever* so please pin and share them with all your friends. Each puzzle has three pieces, one with an uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and a picture. The puzzle shapes are the same so they are NOT self-correcting, but your child will learn fast!
I’ve been giving Em just one or two letters at a time, and we’ll slowly build up to being able to match more and more.
Never miss a giveaway or freebie by subscribing to our new email newsletter. You’ll get emails 1-2 times a week, filled with all our giveaways, printables, freebies, reviews, posts and other awesomeness. Or, Follow us on Facebook and Teachers Pay Teachers to be the very first to find out about new goodies!