Getting Ready

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!

Hello beautiful!

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.


Capes, Masks, and Superpowers – Part 2

Continuing on in our Superheros theme for August with Mother Goose Time, today we finished our personal superhero apparel as we counted down the hours for the solar eclipse.  Still enjoying the casual schedule of summer, we haven’t made much progress yet into this month’s theme as of yet, so the kids were excited when I pulled out the box this morning.

On the docket today, Capes, Masks, and Belts. I didn’t realize until I started this post that we were having so much fun today, I forgot to take pictures of their work in progress, so I’ll highlight what we were focusing on!




Play Story Prompt: Wear the cape and find something safe to jump off.
Create a story about flying. (I didn’t even read this, but you know this was already happening.)

Play Challenge Prompt: Experiment by throwing different objects in the air.
Which items float and which fall quickly to the ground.
(Again, you can pretty much find this happening any day of the week around here, no instruction necessary.)

One highlight of Day 4’s Mask theme was the book recommendation, You Are Special by Max Lucado. This was already one of our favorites (I’m not sure why we don’t own it yet?), but this time around we got to introduce it to Daddy-man. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it! The video is posted below! Great message about allowing God to define our worth and the importance of meeting with Him daily.







Here is my superhero crew!



I also wanted to make sure I included this month’s book, Super Friends! Each month, Mother Goose Time includes a book related to the theme, which we love to pull out early in the month to start enjoying.

Meet our characters, Ally, Billy, and Cody.

They have superpowers!

Our conflict arises!

The climax continues to mount!

Yep. I’m going to leave you with a cliffhanger folks. But not to worry, there is a happy ending.

More Superhero fun to come!


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.

Peter’s First Bible Curriculum

September will start a new school year for us, with Natalie (“The Sweetness”) starting second grade (what?!) and Peter (Little Prince) starting 4K. We are eager to get into a new routine, and by we, I mean me, the structured, task-oriented, lover of plans and routines.

We will be continuing My Father’s World with Natalie, starting Adventures in U.S. History, their second grade curriculum. We have been through My Father’s World Kindergarten and First Grade curriculum so far and have enjoyed it, so we’re looking forward to seeing what this year holds!

And Mr. Peterman, who turned four in March, will be ready to start a more structured program as well! Up to this point, he has tagged along with us when it made sense (or really, more like when it interested him), but this year we will be working alongside each other (fingers crossed) and getting used to a whole new flow. Prayers appreciated!

Over the summer, we started Mother Goose Time, a Pre-K curriculum that we enjoyed when Natalie was Peter’s age, and that he even tagged along with quite a bit even as a little Little Prince.

Here are some adorable blasts from the past!


(You can see here our handy-dandy manipulative rolling drawer cart. This is our old house in GA, where we primarily did our schooling in the kitchen, and so we kept all our monthly math manipulatives readily accessible for them to pull out throughout the day, for free play and school-related activities. We still have the same system, although I may need to invest in a second cart soon! We just now thankfully have a curriculum closet right next to our dining room table, so the kiddos can easily still snag them when they want to, but I can also close the door and provide some boundaries for us from our focused “school” time.)

We loved how hands-on the activities were back then and I really felt like it would be a great fit now to introduce Peter to a more structured routine as we prepare for Kindergarten next year (wiping away a tear).

The past 3 months have been a lot of fun, as we have had a pretty casual approach to the curriculum, enjoying a leisurely summer while still trying to get Peter accustomed to sitting a little bit longer at the table with us for school time. Both kids have enjoyed really just engaging with the curriculum, crafting and creating and building off each other’s ideas.

This September’s theme will be My Amazing Body, and so I wanted to share a little bit about that, but primarily focus on what we will be using for Peter’s first Bible curriculum (eek, so excited!)!

So I’ll do a quick overview of some of the resources in the Teacher’s Tool Bag this month so you’ll see some of the new stuff!

Here is our theme web for September, revealing that we will be focusing on Body Parts, the Five Senses, Staying Healthy, and Clothing. And since we have been making strides as a family this year to learn more about nutrition and being better stewards of our bodies, I’m excited that this will go hand in hand with what we are learning “outside school time” so to speak. And as we continue on what will be our third year of homeschooling, I’m learning that it’s all “school time” when you homeschool. 🙂 We’re always learning and God has an awesome way of integrating it altogether, as only He can do it, the Ultimate Lesson Planner. 🙂

New Design for the Teacher’s Guide this year! Love it!

Let’s peek inside Week 1’s Lesson Plans!

Here on the left of the columns are the daily topics (each will have a corresponding bag with supplies & a Daily Topic poster).

And following the columns to the right, we’ll see the different activities categorized by subject (Math & Reasoning, Creative Arts, STEAM, etc.). I will probably go more in-depth on this new layout later, but for now, I wanted to highlight what we will be using for Peter’s Bible curriculum this year! Mother Goose Time offers several additional programs for each month’s box, on top of the usual curriculum, which also correlate to each month’s theme so that each can be integrated very easily into the month’s lesson plans and flow! We have chosen Experience God. We did this for a couple of months when Natalie was four years old, and so I am really excited to give Peter the same opportunity now that he’s a little bit older.

This month’s theme, which correlates to our month’s theme “My Amazing Body,” is “God Cares About My Body.”

This month features the Miracles of Jesus and the Bible verse for this month is Psalm 139:14, “I praise You, God. I am wonderfully made.”

Here is the first lesson for the week (each month includes 4 week’s worth of lessons, each with 5 days): How Does Jesus Heal The Sick?

We will start out our lesson by reading the Story Card that is included for each week.

Front cover of Week 1’s Story Card
(I love that you can hold this up while reading so that my kids can see the images while listening to the Bible story. Great functional design!)

Bible Story found in the middle of the Story Card

Back of the Story Card

Here are some examples of the activities that we’ll be focusing on each day of the week as we review the Bible story.

The last day’s activity comes with supplies for us to create a craft, a medical bag to remind them that Jesus heals, including prescription cards for love, faith, and prayer.

Here is what our month’s worth of supplies look like for our weekly activities. I usually forget to snag a picture before I take them out of the bag, but I want you to see how organized everything is when it arrives!

Here are the examples of the four crafts we’ll be making this month as we learn about how God cares for our body.

Here are the supplies for our medical bag and our prescription cards.

And here is a close-up of the instruction sheet to walk me through Week 1, Day 5’s craft with the kiddos.

Here is Week 1’s Family Sheet that we can share with Daddy-man if we choose to do our Bible time each day after he leaves for work. This will be a great way to share with him each week what we are learning, as well as a gauge for me as to how well Peter is retaining the lesson.

And finally a coloring sheet to show what we’re learning!

I’ve said it a lot, but I am just so excited and thankful for this curriculum. I love how thorough of a job the team at Mother Goose Time executes to provide such an overall, comprehensive curriculum that is well-organized and so detailed that it really takes 99% of the work out of it for me, as a mom and a teacher, and frees me up to just enjoy teaching my kids. Because I am freed up from having to lesson plan and gather gobs of supplies each day, I can spend my energy and time where it really matters, in relating and connecting with my kids as they learn. Because at the end of the day, while I do hope and pray they are well-educated, I also really want to have a stronger connection with them than when we started. And this task-oriented mama can sometimes get distracted by the set-up and lose focus on what I’m trying to accomplish in the first place. And so Mother Goose Time is a blessing for me because it’s already prepared. We can just sit down at the table and enjoy. Kinda of like someone else is making dinner. You know how good that feels, to just feel like you’re being served and can just relax and enjoy? That’s what this is for me!

More adventures to come! Stay tuned!


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.