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Starting a New School Year with Mother Goose Time

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Are you researching preschool curriculums? Trying to plan your daily child care or preschool activities? Need a better daily routine? Are you struggling with how to implement all that needs to be done in a day? Want to grow your child care or preschool business? Do you, as the provider, need fresh motivation and purpose? Need to reduce your stress, make better use of your time AND save money? Who doesn’t?!

Starting a New School Year with Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum #MGTblogger

It’s almost September and I’m getting organized for preschool. I just have to share the amazing curriculum I’ll be using again this year. Not only is there lots of materials and exciting lessons but there are exciting new features and helpful tools for educators.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve been writing about our preschool activities for years and am a big fan of Mother Goose Time. Why? For every reason! I will say I’ve tried other curriculums and I came back to Mother Goose Time for good. Nothing else compares. Continue reading for an up close look at what makes my child care program the quality it is. Warning: picture heavy post!

Opening the first Mother Goose Time box can be overwhelming because it’s full of EVERYTHING you will need to teach for the whole month. The September box includes all your circle time display materials as well so it will take a bit to sort through. Don’t fret, it’s an easy system that flows.

Welcome

First, you will see the Welcome booklet which introduces you to the Mother Goose Time curriculum system. Keep this. It’s a great reference, even for myself after all these years of using Mother Goose Time.  Need help setting up your space? Check out the suggested set up diagram. Need an example routine for the day?

The Welcome booklet will help you get started. It shows you what’s in the Bus Box, how to set up circle time and classroom displays.

You will see what’s in the Teacher Tool Bag, the Daily Discovery Bags, and get you ready to teach.

This full curriculum shows you exactly what the children will learn…

…how to assess and document learning…

and make the most of your curriculum.  

Helpful resources like a Summary of Skill Assessment to document a child’s learning as you explore the activities and a Tracks & Lyrics page are included.

The activity calendar will help you see at a glance what you will be teaching each day and help you customize the curriculum. Pick and choose the activities you will do based on the age or development of your children, or the time you have available.

Some users rearrange the order the days, go directly to the topics they believe their child/ren will identify with best or what interests them. Personally, I commit to following the days in order and attempting to do most of the daily activities. This aligns with my commitment to professionalism, communicating with parents what we will be learning and then follow through. Basically, it keeps me on task and leading my group in a consistent manner!

Circle Time & Classroom Display

The following pictures show what is included in the Circle Time and Classroom displays.

In the Welcome booklet, there’s an explanation for each piece so you can best make use of the materials included.

Need some help setting up your Circle Time and Classroom Displays? I’ve set mine up very similar to the photo below. First I laminate it all. Then attach the pieces to the board with masking tape or Velcro spots. I use Command Picture Hanging Strips to attach my tri-fold display board to the wall. It is always on display at room height for my group (1-5 years). During circle time, I pull the board down and move it to an area where we have more room for everyone to sit. This is a perfect solution for my small space!

Don’t do circle time? That’s okay too! Maybe you have a helper who puts up the calendar number each day and a weather helper to switch out the displays. I encourage you to let the children use the display board! They will be learning all day long once you introduce it. Using a pointer, they will count, say their alphabet letters and play school.

Teacher Guides

I’m GIDDY with excitement to start using the September My Amazing Body curriculum because of these new lesson plan books! While this curriculum is for the children, it’s just as much for the educators! Each monthly theme is organized into 4 weeks so there’s 4 books. They are full color and gorgeous! Most teachers are organizers and planners and we love this stuff! All the details, just for us to get organized.

Here’s the first week’s theme web. I like to tell the children what we’ll be learning about so they know and can be excited so show them these pages. They will like the cute little boy too. 

Here’s two pages showing us the Learning Objects and Overview of activities for the first week. All this in one week!

I am equally excited about the Weekly Planning Calendar pages being included right in the lesson plan book. I plan to use it to note which activities coordinate with individual child goals – intentional planning that I need to do for YoungStar. There’s enough room for observation notes, child quotes and additional planning. This is a section I really need to make use of this year.

STEAM Stations

What, more ideas?! Yes! Each week there are additional ideas to set up your environment to encourage children to test out new ideas through free play. Set up these stations at the beginning of the week and leave them open every day for continuous, repeated play. These materials are not included in the kit, but use simple materials you probably already have around your home. I *adore* these simple hands on learning ideas!

20 Daily Lessons

Look at these gorgeous pages of activities! It’s easy to follow and provides a well rounded day for your young learners. Perhaps that’s what I love most about Mother Goose Time – it helps me be the best provider I can be. When I follow the curriculum, it’s well rounded and covers all the learning objectives children need. There’s something for everyone and is based on hands on playful learning that is developmentally appropriate. The themes are in depth and expose children to culture, art and diversity. We have it all, every day!

The lessons often challenge me as an educator as well. We’re not just creating holiday or seasonal art.  We’re actually learning about real world topics that expand children’s understanding and encourage development in all domains. I believe children are capable of more and deserve more than just focusing on holidays, seasons, and celebrations.

Making Adaptations and Customizing the Curriculum

Think all this is more than you can do or more than your children can do? You might be surprised! Some days we do more and some days we do less. This year I will have a younger group so we will focus on our routine and we will practice sitting for short periods of time for circle time, story time and art. It’s a growing process! By the time children are 3-5, they are pros at Mother Goose Time!

What’s great about the curriculum, is you can fully customize it to your group, schedule, style, and philosophies. There’s a helpful section in the back of the lesson plan books that provides ideas for making adaptations so all children can grow and learn to their fullest potential. Using this section as a reference will help you teach in a way that is inclusive to all learning styles and offer adaptations for children with special needs and support children according to their needs while implementing the lesson plans.

Story Corner & Suggested Book List

Every day there’s a Story Corner book suggestion along with coordinating activities or prompts to make the most of this very important part of the day. For example, Week One of My Amazing Body features three books in the Lesson Plan book. Day 3 reviews the book the from Tues, building on the print knowledge skill. Day 5 is a review of all three of the books focusing on drama and reading comprehension skills. Of course, daily reading is important with children so there’s also a Suggested Book List for theme coordinating books that you can obtain from the library or Amazon.

CD and Book Libary

Every month a themed book is included so you can build a high-quality library. Books include a variety of fiction, non-fiction, stories representing cultural diversity and folktales that teach good values. We love Mother Goose Time books!

Same with CDs. Soon you’ll have a collection of music that helps reinforce concepts and introduces a new music genre with unique rhythm patterns and instruments. Read more about music for preschoolers here.

Assessing & Documenting Learning

Mother Goose Time has a whole system for assessing and documenting learning. Observe skills as they naturally occur during the lessons. Record observations, save work examples, reflect on learning and share this information with families. Mother Goose Time supports you all the way with reference materials, forms, labels, a binder system or the new Childfolio app.

Celebration Kits

Each month also includes a celebration kit. These are great for parent engagement! We need parents to be involved in our programs and the learning. I’ve hosted a Preschool Open House, Fall Pumpkin Patch Party, Santa’s Workshop, Preschool Art Show and family picnics all inspired by Mother Goose Time. So fun and amazing for building community and promoting your program! Find a way to incorporate these amazing kits!

Daily Lessons

Here are all the materials in the 20 Daily Discovery Bags. All the teaching materials are packaged according to lessons. Grab a bag, pen your Teacher Guide and you’re ready to explore learning with your children!

There are Core Tools that are designed to be used in many different ways to support sensory experiences that build language, math, science, art physical and social-emotional skills. There’s journals, post cards, games, books, storytelling magnet sets, puzzles, CDs, math manipulatives, logic games, letter and phonic concept activities and more!

There’s More

Perhaps some of the most popular materials are the math manipulatives, puzzles, books and CDs included each month. Wow, what more could we possibly need?! Mother Goose Time has thought of it all.

A Word About Value

Even after seeing all the awesome materials that are included in the box, the fully planned month of fun and learning, sometimes child care providers look at the price of the monthly curriculum and decide it’s “too expensive”. It’s true that it’s an investment in your business.

I’ve been there. When I first started my child care business, it was a stretch for me to make sure that charge went through on my business account each month! We know there’s not a lot of profit in child care and there’s an overwhelming amount of business expenses from food, to toys, insurance, and supplies. Consider buying all the materials individually and planning activities with this type of quality – it would take sooo much more time and money.

Let’s take a closer look.

For my child care group of 8, the monthly investment is $118.99 shipped via FedEx ground. That’s if I choose to be charged each month before the kit ships. You can choose between 3, 6, and 9 month plans to save between 10-15%, which really makes sense! *Check the website for updated pricing.

Let’s break down $119/month for 8 children. That’s $14.88/month for each child. With the 20 lessons included each month, that’s .74 per child! I CAN NOT plan a quality curriculum, save my precious time and gather the required materials for the same quality program for less than .75 a day/child! Buy the Mother Goose Time curriculum – it’s the best out there and you will not be disappointed in the quality, fun learning lessons and ideas continually available to you and your children.

It’s Worth the Money

I wouldn’t share all of this if I wasn’t a big fan of Mother Goose Time. I’ve put my heart and soul into my child care business and Mother Goose Time is at the center of it all. Parents and children love it as much as I do. My child care business is built around quality – quality care, quality environment, quality interactions, and quality learning. Word gets around and parents WANT it for their children. Families and children deserve it too.

Set your rates at the top of the range for your area. If you are providing this type of program, you can charge for it. Consider charging parents a curriculum fee of $15/month (or whatever it breaks down per child for your sized group). Find ways to reduce expenses in other areas so you can afford the program. You can do it and it will pay off!

Thank you for letting me share my passion for preschool and Mother Goose Time. If you want to see my preschool in action, visit my child care Facebook page here. Let me know if you have any questions about the program. I’d be glad to help out.

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