Sample Mother Goose Time

Mother Goose Time offers the option to “Experience a Day” through their curriculum sample kits. These kits currently aren’t for sale to the general public. But MGT distributes them for free to various non-profits who provide training to childcare providers.  The kits include one full day’s worth of lessons and activities. It’s a great way to experience a day in the life of a MGT student and teacher. As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador I was sent one of these sample kits to highlight the contents. Mother Goose Time was originally meant for daycares and preschools but it easily adapts to our homeschool environment, or even to a non-traditional school setting. You can read our full review of the monthly subscription boxes here and here.

Mother Goose Time Sample Kit

The sample kit included everything needed to complete a full day’s worth of activities. There were beans, grass seeds, everything needed for a potted plant/bird craft (except the soil), calendar materials, a folder game, letter of the day, storytelling kit, and teacher lesson book.

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We started with calendar time. We don’t typically do a traditional circle time like many preschools. I’ve tried but it usually just falls flat in our homeschool. We usually just put on our Days of the Week song from our Mother Goose Time CD (not included in the sample box), sing the song, and apply the current day’s number to the calendar. We chart the weather and then we move back to the table for “discussion”. I’ve mentioned before that the discussion part is Oliver’s least favorite. But he obliges and I get creative with it so he’s not keen on what I’m doing. In our house the lesson plan, although wonderfully scripted, must be read more organically or he stages a coup over the discussion questions. He’s polite. But it’s always some form of “okaaaaaay mom.”

Mother Goose Time Sample Kit

Many times I have him help with cutting out the more straightforward materials like these garden photos. He needs practice with fine motor skills and I need the help with prep work. It’s a symbiotic teacher/student thing we’ve got going on here. Plus it buys me some time and stretches out the lesson. I sometimes think Oliver likes to see how much Mother Goose Time he can do in a day. His favorite phrase during the school day is “what’s next mom?” The boy is just goal-oriented, what can I say?

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Getting messy with projects is still not totally his thing. The projects, yes. The glue on his hands, not so much. So I lend a hand every now and then when there’s glue involved.

Mother Goose Time Sample Kit

We explored different kinds of seeds and the letter ‘S’. He’s totally expecting the beans he planted to turn into magic, giant beanstalks….overnight. So, we need further lessons on seed germination and the actual size of bean stalks. But he’s excited either way.

Mother Goose Time Sample KitMother Goose Time Sample Kit

The board games are always a hit. They’re easy for him to understand but still apply the important concepts. This particular game not only had us focusing on colors and counting but also the identification of vegetables. Potatoes and tomatoes are easy words to mix up.

Mother Goose Time Sample KitMother Goose Time Sample KitAnd here’s the proof that “discussion” is not his favorite. He sat quietly and listened to me read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. But when I inquired about the details of what he just learned, this was the face he gave. It’s a terribly grouchy face. On this particular day it just wasn’t happening. He retold the story a bit but his heart just wasn’t in it. Clearly. Never a dull moment with this bunch.

As you can see, Mother Goose Time is designed to work in many ways. It’s a thoughtfully designed curriculum but it leaves plenty of room for flexibility in your own unique environment. There are a 1,000 ways to use the curriculum while still maintaining the learning objectives.

Identity crisis

The truth?

I don’t feel so much like I have an identity lately. And I think that is probably no accident right now. But I just don’t like it. Plain and simple. I’m trying to be graceful and learn to embrace the stripped feeling. But I haven’t done that yet. I just feel like a stranger. Everywhere.

For a while after we moved I thought it was strictly related to the fact that I was a literal stranger in a new town. A year later I know that is not the case. Looking back and evaluating the past couple of years I can now see that I was beginning to feel a bit like an alien long before the move.

The truth is things didn’t turn out like I thought they would in my adult life. How many people say that? Life never turns out like you thought it would. Good or bad. Life usually surprises you. For pete’s sake, I used to lay in my bed at night in middle school and beg God to let me marry Mr. Thistle. For 8 years I walked the halls of our schools with him and he never really looked my way. But I married that man. And it has been the best 10 years of my life. Never imagined it would happen. Not for a minute. Those are the times I’m glad life didn’t turn out like I imagined. Because my imagination wasn’t big enough to even dream what God would give me down the road in him. He’s not the boy I swooned over in school. He’s so much more.

And I have a million things like that to be thankful for. And I am. But there’s the other that creeps in, too.

I thought I would know what I wanted to be when I grew up by now. I’ve written about that before. How it’s not totally socially acceptable to not know what you want to do with your life at the age of 31. As a kid and even into my 20’s it still seemed okay to like ALL the things. Not so much in my 30’s. I feel the pressure now to find my identity in something. I used to look at the laundry list of things I’d checked off and see them as experiences and accomplishments. Being a member of a semi-pro cheerleading team just because I wanted to. Owning a hair salon in my early 20’s. Attending nursing school. When the time came for those things to be over I didn’t really look at them as failures. I saw their end as the beginning of something else. I saw them as moments of bravery to try the new thing. To do the thing I liked even when others thought it frivolous or difficult or fiscally irresponsible or just plain weird. Now, I lack the courage to try the new thing and see it through to it’s end even when I long for it desperately. I’ve become stuck in the “meantime”. I don’t like it.

I’m also not the mom or wife I imagined. I imagined that I would be better at it. I see myself repeating the same destructive habits I grew up with. And I feel defeated by a generational curse of sorts. I know that I should yell less, engage more. I know that my words can be cutting. And when I get in bed at night I kick myself for at least one thing I’ve said or not said. I thought I would be better at play. It feels so unnatural to me sometimes. I am not the fun mom I thought I would be. And, I don’t like it.

I was always an independent child, teen, and young adult. In my 30’s I feel so very dependent. And fragile. I think my skin used to be thicker. But I’ve found the smallest things bringing me to my knees lately. I feel so out of control of my own life some days. It’s a terrible feeling, this vulnerability. I don’t like it.

All of these things I thought I would be that turned out to be different than my mind had imagined have left me feeling like a stranger. Like an impostor in my own world. My own expectations have left me feeling alienated. My own standards have left me feeling inadequate. Even with nothing to complain about, nothing truly wrong, I’ve felt burdened. Even when I can look around and see that my household is healthy, my problems are merely first-world, and my blessings are many, I can’t help but feel a little stab of something. Something not quite right. I have friends who are experiencing real tragedy right now and I’m complaining. It makes no sense when you put it all on the table. Of the long list I have these days of things I didn’t imagine, a pity party is one of them. I want to yell at myself to get over it and often I do. I don’t like it.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix all of these things that have crept up on me from behind the last couple of years. The things I don’t like. I’ve been trying to figure out how to change my perspective. And I’ve come up with nothing really in the way of a solution. Instead, the more I try to fix them the more they consume me. The more thankful I try to become, the more I feel like an impostor.  This week I’ve felt the dam spill over on me. I’ve felt a flood of feelings. I’ve felt the heaviness of “this one life” on me and the moments slipping by. I’ve wanted to give meaning to them and meaning to myself and re-create an identity so that I feel like I’m “doing it right”.

Ann Voskamp - A

And the thought occurred to me this morning. Maybe this “loss of identity” I’ve been experiencing over the last couple of years is no accident. Maybe this feeling of being a stranger in my own world has been carefully planned out. Maybe stripping me of the little props I’ve made to hold myself up is going to allow me to fall into who I really am. Maybe this naked feeling results in becoming my true self. The person God meant for me to be. Maybe this seemingly meaningless sad feeling I’ve had lately is a bit of mourning over the realization that eliminating the last of my props will be grueling hard work. And I’ve been scared that I might not be up to the task. Maybe I’m at a crossroads with myself. Will I adapt and change those things I need to become the person I want to be or will I not be strong enough for the challenge and set up permanent camp in my “meantime?” I think the unexplained sadness lately has been my opportunity to have a pity party before the hard work starts. The hard work of real faith. The hard work of stepping out into the unknown. I don’t know if I’m up to it. That’s the scary part. I’m probably not. And I’ll need to fully rely on God to guide my steps.

Did you see the hidden list of things I don’t like in all of that?

The unknown of who I’ll become.

Telling myself to get over it and get on with it.

The vulnerability of faith.

The hard work of change.

Potential failure.

Nope. Nope. And nope. I like to do things in my own time. I like control. I like plans and goals and checklists. But I’ve got none of that to go on here. No roadmap. No destination. No route. Nothing. Just faith and discipline. Two things I’ve been iffy at best about in the past.

All these years I’ve wrapped up my identity in being creative, a wife, a mom, a business owner, a dreamer, a farmer……..

My identity doesn’t lie in checklists and doing it all and bringing home the bacon and educating our children to become little Einsteins. The standards I’ve set for myself are harsh and hard to live up to. My identity doesn’t lie in those standards. My identity lies in how God sees me. Broken but repairable. Stubborn but teachable. Scared but willing.

I am not defined by my job, my relationships, or my feelings.

Say it with me, “I am not defined by my job, my relationships, or my feelings.”





December 12, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Leilani - I cannot express enough how much I needed to read this.

December 17, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Christy - Leilani,

Aw man! I’m glad it spoke to you.

Top of the World with Mother Goose Time

**This post contains affiliate links that support our farm, family, and homeschool.**

This month’s theme with Mother Goose Time is all things Winter Wonderland. We’re exploring snow and snowflakes and ice and icicles. We’re learning about life in the alpine and the arctic. This is probably my favorite theme so far. But it’s been tricky balancing a full month of lessons with all of the holiday madness. Our sabbath school schedule this year has us on “break” from school for the entire month of December. So we’re not technically in school right now. We get this whole month off from “regular” school because we’ve been schooling since July. Oi vey. That’s a lot of school, man. While we’re not doing “regular” school, we’re still learning. Our history revolves around pilgrims and advent and saints. Our science focuses on cutting and caring for a Christmas tree. Our geography is tied in with “Christmas around the world” mini-lessons. But, as a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador I still receive my regularly scheduled box. So, how do I incorporate our MGT subscription box into our break?

One way I help us stay on track during the holidays (or even those months where sick days and life pop up unexpectedly) is to make sure I have plenty of picture books on hand at the beginning of the month related to our theme. I pull up the suggested reading list from MGT’s website and open another tab on my computer to explore our public library system’s online catalog. I search MGT’s recommendations first and put them on hold in my library account. Then I search general terms pulled from the month’s theme web, like “Nepal”, “Himalayas”, “Mt. Everest”, “Igloos”, etc. to find more little gems the boys might like. Then, when life happens and we can’t finish a daily packet we’ve still got relevant material we can sit down with that only takes us minutes to complete. Throw in a coloring sheet from MGT’s website afterward and put on the included CD of themed music while they color and you’ve got a mini-lesson in the middle of all the crazy! Exploring picture books keeps the content of the month fresh in their minds on the days we might need to focus our attention on other things (like the various Christmas tasks on the calendar).  We’ve been to the top of the world in Nepal with Toot and Puddle, learned how to build an igloo with Curious George and learned all about mountain life with Heidi. Then, when we’re able, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming and fit in multiple days’ work in one day. Oliver doesn’t mind. I think he would do a week’s worth of Mother Goose Time in one day if I let him. I also try to incorporate a couple of books each month that further engage Owen’s interests in the MGT theme. That way we can do a smallish unit study of sorts for second grade lessons while we complete our preschool material. Here are the books we’ve been enjoying so far this month.

Mother Goose Time December 2014 Winter Wonderland

Left to right: 1. Top of the World (Toot & Puddle), 2. You Wouldn’t Want to Climb Mount Everest!, 3. Heidi, 4. Nepal (Enchantment of the World), 5. Curious George Builds an Igloo, 6. Maps, 7. Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, 8. The Smiley Snowman

Sometimes we end up with a book from our library that I love so much I have to have it in our home library. The Mapsbook is one of those books. Not only is it beautifully illustrated, the maps are extremely thorough and are a great resource for learning all about a country’s characteristics. I will definitely be keeping an eye out on Thriftbooks for this one. Check it out if your library has it. You won’t be disappointed!

How do you stay on track with school during the holidays?

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