When the school bus box arrives at your door and the children SQUEAL, you know you've got a winner! From the garden themed number display, to the flower pot site words and color flowers, the the "character" bird feathers, to the abc flip cards. There is NO lack of imagination and HANDS ON learning with Mother Goose Time!
Each day's circle time activities are full color displays that resemble magazines for tiny hands. I LOVE the world map and the curriculum web that maps out how houses, chores, nests, and termite hills all collide for a month filled with unique topics.
They sent boats, bubbles, puppets, music c.d.'s, paint sponges, games, manipulatives, and TONS of math and science. Some curriculum are heavy on literature, which I LOVE, but are weaker when it comes to math, science, and social studies (which I don't love); leaving the teacher to fill in those gaps, not Mother Goose Time! I would have to say this one is very conscious of little ones need to experience with his/her whole body.
If you have a group of little learners that enjoy floating and making boats, discovering ant hills, spider webs, crave painting with more than a brush, singing and dancing to snappy pop rhythms this is for YOU!
If you are a teacher that needs a well organized curriculum that keeps the children away from the chairs and tables and allows active bodies to learn through play...this is for YOU!!!
Here are the items included in their June curriculum box... (see below).
As you can see this is the "out of the box" state, prior to use. Even though the month of June is about "Houses," they have done a SUPER job of having something exciting and new everyday. It moves from the different types of homes (castles included!), to the rooms of our home and what we do and find there, to animal homes (a SUPER lead to from our Funshine Express "Baby Animals" theme we studied prior!!), to helping out around the house with chores, pets, welcoming friends...
Though there are printables, this is a very PLAY BASED curriculum. I am in L.O.V.E.!!!
Check out our previous reviews here:
I have taken a lot of heat from preschool teachers for reviewing "Out Of The Box" ready made curriculum.
Check out the comments here:
www.linkedin.com/ladonnawoolsey (connect with me here too and let's encourage one another!)
The assumption seemed to be that a prepared curriculum was rigid, didn't consider a child's interests, didn't allow for spontaneous or emergent play, and was...therefore...inferior. I also believe that none of these comments were from "in-home" providers, but rather those that were center or school based.
The life of an in-home provider is far different than that of a "for hire" teacher. I do not doubt the passion of either, the level of commitment, and am not saying one is better. It is simply very different. The in-home provider works a minimum of 12 hours in the direct care of children. This doesn't include grocery shopping, cleaning, meal planning, curriculum planning, party planning, web and social media business strategies, and certainly doesn't include time spent with his/her own family (who needs sleep???) The in-home provider seldom gets sick days and very few, if any vacation days. This makes for a VERY committed provider!
The three curriculum I have reviewed so far; Mother Goose Time, The Learning Box Preschool, and FunShine Express have all done an amazing job of valuing the child's interests, level of attention, differing ages and personalities, time of the provider, and expense, WHILE meeting state standards and providing research based Theme Web's that encompass Math, Literature, Science, Social/Emotional, Social Studies, Language and Literacy, and Creative Arts; AND being F.U.N. for ALL!!!
I am THRILLED to have been able to review these amazing curriculum and would be more than happy to provide any one of them with my preschool/childcare daily routines.
I Have So Much More To Show YOU!
Science almost daily!
This was just one of the science lessons from Mother Goose Time called, "Don't Sink The Boat!" There is a beautiful cardboard science display for the teacher and children to refer too that gives ideas for making aluminum foil boats and object they can utilize to try and sink their boat. We opted for materials in our play yard. Our littles discovered that if their boat was wide and long, it took more items to sink it. If their boat was small or wadded up like a ball, it didn't take very much at all!
Mother Goose Time gets a GIANT kid approved high five for engaging play that promotes thinking, creativity and learning for the whole child and whole class regardless of age!
I hope these reviews are helping you in your search for a high quality curriculum for your little learners!
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today!
Second on my list was FunShine Express. One thing that JUMPED out at me upon setting up my classroom with their circle time activities is how easy it would be for all of them to be contained in a "file folder" format.
The colorful displays were well suited for laminating and placing in file folders for individual observation and experience. This would be PERFECT for the in-home provider with little space or that didn't want their home to look like a child care center while still providing all the educational materials for their enrolled students.
The picture at the left was just one example of the fun daily activities provided by FunShine Express.
This activity was cross referenced in their easy to follow, image laden Teacher's Guide that accompanied their box of May curriculum. Everything expect paint was included.
From heavy weight paper, to styrofoam trays and mixing sticks along with conversation activities and observations. As you can see, my children were ALL IN! Take a look at the below pix. They LOVED the sticks and also opted to bring in some of the natural materials to experiment with from the play yard; leaves, sticks, and seeds (we call them prickly pears).
We reflected in the final pictures that when ALL the colors were mixed they made BLACK!!! Black elbows, black chins, black fingers and sinks....all in a day of play with FunShine Express!
What Comes In The Box?
FunShine Express comes with everything shown here...except the blue pocket wall display. That was purchased through Amazon.
However, it isn't necessary to have one. As shown on the right, with the barn image, is the included calendar and one could just as easily use that along with the included calendar numbers pieces in a file folder format.
In fact, if done in this fashion, the calendar then also becomes a game and so interactive. I did this just on the table with my littles. I gave them the calendar and pieces to place the numbers in sequence. The LOVED being able to "play" with the pieces hands ON!
FunShine Express is also VERY well organized and all the activities, games, song, fingerplays, and projects were age appropriate and allowed for lots of extension on topics. Their theme for the month was Baby Animals and Farms, a completely engaging topic for my preschool girls and boys! I live in Willard, MO, in a farming community, so this was GOLD!!!
There was shoe lacing, flower pot making, letter, animal, number recognition, math, science, literacy; and regarding literacy, their book was hard cover! "Lola Reads To Leo" was about a little girl who loves to be a big helper and has a little brother. It was precious as I have a little one that just had a baby sibling, this was timely!!! They also included music and movement, games, foreign language, "all about me" packs, stickers, all necessary supplies for each craft (sans paint, scissors, glue), they even included sidewalk chalk for their "experiencing different mediums of drawing" activity. The supplies were perforated and easy to disassemble for use. They did have minimal cutting to do...nothing that was overly tedious for the teacher! My students LOVED the piggie and duckling masks!!! They especially enjoyed the lacing beads activity that came complete with plastic needles, beads, and thread for some easy and fun fine motor skill practice!
Below are the examples of the product and my littles thoroughly enjoying it!!!
What Does A Typical Day Look Like?
A typical FunShine Express day was FULL of engaging and interactive activities.
Most of the above pictures were from Tuesday, May 19th, utilizing the "All Grown Up!" theme from the May 2015 Curriculum Guide. We began our day with the "I Am Special" song (included) and our calendar and weather observation conversations.
We then dumped out ALL our crayons in search of the purple ones...it turned into this extension project!
Instead of just hunting for the purple...we mixed and matched and made "new" crayons in the shapes of circles and baby animals! What a SUPER FUN project!
We then discussed what types of foods make us grow? What are healthy choices? For snack we tried a veggie tray of edamame, pea pods, carrots, celery, and cucumbers with yogurt ranch dip! During snack we practiced the Spanish word for "grow," "crecer." We also discussed and practiced our yoga poses; tree, boat, snake, cat, and mountain. We had a lengthy conversation about all the different kinds of excercise. We tried somersaults, handstands, turtle crawling, frog hopping, chase, hide and seek and YES!!! We discovered that they are ALL exercise because when we put our hands on our hearts we could feel them "thump!","thump!", "thump!!!"
We learned a new song called "I Am Growing!" (FunShine Express Curriculum Guide May 2015)
Sung to "Are You Sleeping?"
I am growing, I am growing,
Yes, I am! Yes, I am!
I'm getting bigger everyday,
Bigger, bigger everyday,
Look how much I've grown!)
We then measured each child (as shown above) with the included yarn and made a "people pocket" in our own likeness. We practiced writing our names on the included name tag sticker, attached the yarn to it and placed it on our wall for everyone to see the differing heights of our friends!
We used the included "Growing Up Learning" picture cards of the chicken, egg, and chick and discussed which one comes first? We talked about how we are growing and how many things we can do now; potty on the toilet, dress ourselves, drink from a cup instead of a bottle, ride a bike! These are all "evidence" (vocabulary) that we are indeed growing up!!!
The FunShine Express Curriculum Guide!
Funshine Express also has FunShine Online for those that want the convenience and help of a research based curriculum at a VERY affordable rate. The link is here. You still get all the incredible lessons plans, sans the supplies! These lessons are state aligned and an incredible value at only $19/month for their premium plan! I think this is FAB!!!!!!
It is possible to have a fantastic, prepared, state aligned, research based, interactive and engaging curriculum at your fingertips with lots of room for extension and active P.L.A.Y! I am THRILLED with FunShine Express and I know you will be too!
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today!
We Are Hiring!!! We Are Seeking A Fun Loving Preschool Teacher and Energetic Childcare Provider Assistant For Woolsey Academy in Willard, MO!
Have you always wanted to work with children and have a job that changes lives for the better? Or maybe you have dreamed of opening your own daycare, but lacked the knowledge, training, or confidence?
As a Preschool Teacher/ Childcare Provider with Woolsey Academy For Young Learners (a home based childcare and preschool) in Willard, MO you will gain the training, knowledge, skills, and confidence to be able to step out on your own and open a childcare/preschool in your area, or remain and grow with us as we reach children in the North Greater Springfield/Willard/Bolivar area.
I am currently taking applications for part time to possibly full time assist in all aspects of childcare and preschool. This will include website development, blog writing, marketing, curriculum development, direct care and teaching of children, daily routines, meal prep, diaper changes, state and local document maintenance, grant writing, field trip (in house) scheduling, meal and budget planning, etc. You will be on the floor rolling cars and trains and jumping up to safely return a little one to their feet as they try to climb the train table, holding and playing with children ages 1-6 years. You will be singing finger plays and nursery rhymes, reading books, making dirt pies, pushing swings, inspecting bugs and digging for worms. You will get to know when a cry is angry, frustrated, tired or hungry and be able to respond quickly. Your days will be filled with hugs, sweet moments and milestones accomplished. You will also have days filled with challenges, tired little bodies, and transitions from baby to toddler, and toddler to preschooler. Each day is a rewarding one as we navigate the wonder of childhood at Woolsey Academy. www.woolseyacademy.com
Four hour + shifts available, flexible scheduling. You must be at least 18, CPR/First Aid certified, medical exam and tb test, and background screening (I can help the right candidate obtain these).
9$/hour to start.
For consideration please contact me to schedule a time to meet and discuss why you think you are the perfect fit to Woolsey Academy for Young Learners!
The children in my care are of the upmost importance, references will be checked.
Visit www.woolseyacademy.com for information about our philosophy and program.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com