It is officially September and we are gearing up for our new school year! I’m pretty excited and optimistic about this year’s dynamic with two kiddos participating in the school day! We won’t get officially started until Monday, September 11th, so we are wrapping up our current theme and this mama is getting all her materials together in the curriculum closet (more on that later).
Over the summer, both kids have enjoyed Peter’s preschool curriculum, Mother Goose Time, and it’s allowed us to stay in somewhat of a school routine, but also with a low-key nature to give ourselves a little breather between school years. We’ve really enjoyed August’s theme, Superheros, and we were wrapping up some of the days today that we hadn’t gotten to yet! Day 15 was a big hit as we discussed Protecting Animals and about what animals are endangered.
I love the visuals that MGT includes each month. Here are some of the animals highlighted in Day 15 that are in the endangered species list. Peter was super sad to see a turtle on there.
Peter’s turtle, featuring the creative shell (a cupcake cup) and a fun new tool to us, wax sticks! These will definitely be a keeper in practicing our letters and numbers this year for Peter, and for another spelling manipulative idea for Natalie! I love that Mother Goose Time offers so many fun little resources.
As I mentioned above, I’m in “school nesting mode” and have been cleaning out my curriculum closet to make sure we have all our supplies easily accessible for this school year. It’s definitely still a work-in-progress (as you will see in a minute), but I’m so thankful for a little nook to be able to store all our supplies close to our dining room table (where we primarily land for school activities) that allows us to also close the door after school hours to offer some healthy boundaries between home life and school. While I want my kids to learn and enjoy learning 24/7, I also want to be able to give them (and myself) a break from the visual triggers that remind us of the day’s lessons so that we can have healthy rest and play.
So here is my closet (ta-da)!
Nothing much to look at, but it makes my heart so happy!!! The colorful rolling cart houses completed work (currently all the crafts and fun art activities that we’ve been doing this summer with Mother Goose Time), with magazine files (a bright find from Ikea) that hold Peter’s 4K workbooks, ranging from Alphabet and Number workbooks to Kumon cutting and tracing books. I have a major weakness for cute academic workbooks, and you’d be surprised what you can find at Dollar Tree, too! I have also snagged a few magnet boards from Target’s Dollar Spot over the summer to help with simple phonics practice, doubling as spelling practice for Natalie.
Next to the rolling cart is our art bin full of various supplies and do-dads, which gets pulled out on the regular. Hanging above it are two desk mats that I found on Amazon this summer, which are great table protectors (so we’re not engraving our daily math lessons into our new dining room table). Unfortunately we discovered the need for this after the grand kids visited Nanny & Pop’s house. Good thing grandparents like little reminders of their grand kids around the house, right? (Ugh, maybe not so much craved into their table.)
On the wall shelf, from left to right, we have the read-alouds that came with my daughter’s curriculum, a space next to them where my extra school supplies tote usually goes (was currently on the table when the picture was taken), and then we have our current DVD storage solution in 4 totes to the far right since our living room since we no longer have use for a TV stand, which is blinded out by our current light solution for our lightless closet. Like I said, work in progress!
As you enter the closet, on your left hangs this cute shelf I found a year ago at HomeGoods. This is where I keep my Teacher’s Guides and what I will be using on a daily basis, as it’s super accessible and allows me to organized by student. On top we have my teacher’s materials for Peter’s 4K curricula, Mother Goose Time and K4 Curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler. We did both with my daughter, Natalie, when she was 4 and I just loved aspects of both programs, so we’re going to see how it goes. I’ll definitely keep you posted!
On the bottom, we have my daughter’s curriculum’s teacher guide ( Adventures in US History by My Father’s World), as well as the teacher’s manual for Spelling by Sound and Structure, and I’ll probably be throwing my planner in there as well, which doubles as my lesson planner where I keep track of what we’ve accomplished each day.
And then dangling from the end there are some fun encouragment stickers to remind us all that we’re making imperfect progress and that we want to be encouraging teammates for each other!
As you keep walking into the closet, you’ll see our daily supplies on the blue rolling cart. This we roll out every morning for school, as well as the desk mats I mentioned earlier, to set up our spots at the dining room table. Next to the blue cart is a rolling drawer cart, which has all of the Mother Goose Time math and shape manipulatives that we have collected so far (each month we receive two new sets!), as well as a drawer for construction paper, and the top for small supplies like kid teezers and dice. Pretty soon I am going to have to find a new solution for our maniplatives that we will be adding each month! The kids also use these daily, so it’s great to have them accessible. On top of the drawer cart, in the white crate, is my daughter’s 2nd grade books. Most of what you see is recommended by My Father’s World, but we have added a few fun resources that we felt would supplement US History quite nicely!
The middle shelf holds our Daily Learning Notebooks which will start out our daily routine, as well as Leading Little Ones to God, a book that a friend recommended that we will try out as a family devotional before Daddyman leaves for work. Because Natalie’s curriculum is Bible-based, and Peter’s curriculum has a Christian add-on called Experience God, I am excited that we will be encountering intentional conversation points during our day as we’re learning about God’s creation and our nation’s history.
I love that I have several Usborne books represented in this year’s choices, including my newest favorite, Not-Your-Everday Illustrated Thesaurus. I am a complete word nerd, so I’m totally going to be using this personally, but I was also thrilled to see the kids’ interest in it so far. It is going to be an awesome writing tool this year! Like pretty much everything you will find through Usborne, it is just so visually appealing, great quality, and so kid-friendly! I also snagged My First Storybook Writing Book & the Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary.
And last, but definitely not least, is my poor little Mother Goose Time curriculum solution. HA! We’re literally working right out of the box these days. In the past, in our old house, I had two colorful rolling carts set up for each child, and intentionally separated out the week’s daily lessons ahead of time into its own drawer (so Monday was red, Tuesday was orange, etc.). However, I then ended up with a craft & art project storage problem, as I had nowhere to keep all the fun little creations they were making each day. So we then opted for the rolling cart to become a place for the completed work until we could have a Show-and-Tell with Daddyman, and then find out which crafts were heading towards Mommy’s keepsake bin and which ones did not (shhhh, don’t tell them). The daily bags then got filed into daily hanging files in a little clear bin. But right now, I don’t have room in my curriculum closet for this at the moment.
So we’re back at square one with storage for Mother Goose Time. I’m considering adding a filing cabinet to my closet, where I can easily separate the daily bags into 20 separate hanging file folders at the beginning of each month. But I am open to suggestions! I will definitely be checking out my fellow Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador’s set-ups to see what I can glean!
So there ya have it! My nesting urge is still pretty strong, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a couple weeks into school and I realize that I need to change the whole thing! But the ultimate goal is to make our space functional for us day-to-day, accessible materials that enable and empower my kids to be able to engage and learn when the inspiration hits them. I will be there, right alongside them to help, but I love it when I see their eyes light up with new ideas and they can run by themselves to our closet to get what they need to make their idea come to life. So we’re working towards more of that. But I also know that I thrive when things are neat and orderly, and so for some self-care and teacher-care, it’s great to be able to organize a space that meets our needs!
As an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador,
I receive curriculum in exchange for posting about our honest and authentic experiences with the curriculum.
Click here for more information on Mother Goose Time.