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.
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!