Describing our house as a mad house isn’t an understatement. Currently in residence we have a three year old, a two year old, and a two month old. There is never a time when all parties are content and quiet and if there is it surprises me so much, it often takes me a few minutes to figure out I have a chance to do something not directly related to the children, like put away laundry or draft a blog post. Anyone who has ever attempted to complete a craft, teach another child how to count, or tried eating a full meal in one sitting knows that having a toddler can make any of these tasks almost impossible.
Homeschooling more than one child can present similar challenges, especially when they are both young. If you doubt me, come try to complete any activity, your choice, with my preschooler. By the time you turn around or heck just inhale, toddler #2 will have taken off with whatever your are doing and shredded it, eaten it, or thrown it across the room. Cue preschooler screaming and an awake and likely hungry infant. While, no product can solve all these problems, Little Goose, the toddler supplement that can be purchased for use with Mother Goose Time does a fair job of providing ways to keep his little hands busy. This is a simple, but true example of how I survive homeschooling a preschooler with a two-year-old in tow thanks to Little Goose.
One of the ways we have successfully included our toddler in preschool activities is through the use of Little Goose’s methods for a “participation story.” Participation stories are short tales consistent with the month’s theme that call for the children to be involved in the story line. Active engagement is achieved via story cards, cued movements, or other props.
This month’s “Going on Safari” participation story, “Why Am I Small?” is about a meerkat named Mo. Ladybug (3-year-old preschooler) easily focuses on the story of Mo as he envies the strong legs of the lion, the long trunk of the elephant, the big wings of the flamingo, and the long neck of the giraffe. Owl (2-year-old toddler) is more excited by being able to recognize animal names and finding the stuffed animal counterpart. In the story, Mo needs to hide from potential danger and suddenly realizes how much he values his own attribute of being small. As meerkat concludes that he is happiest as himself, Ladybug cheers and Owl races to put as many stuffed animals on Daddy as possible. Both kids have fun, learning something, and pandemonium is kept at bay.
Participation stories are excellent listening comprehension and self direction skill builders. Preschoolers mature enough to participate in Mother Goose Time‘s preschool curriculum are invited to discuss the concept of size. Questions included in the Teacher Guide prompt the child to evaluate what is big and small in the room and consider their own size. The instructions that accompany “Why Am I Small?”encourage exploration of rulers and a variety of objects that can be used to measure, compare, or investigate different objects. The story is then read aloud. Cards are provided that are to be flipped as prompted in the story. There are also comprehension questions at the end of the story.
Children lacking the fine motor skills necessary to turn the cards, the detail orientation and concentration needed to turn one card at a time, or the focus to complete the entire story, while sitting still might benefit from the inclusion methods published in the toddler supplement, Little Goose. Rather than focusing on specific goals and outcomes, Little Goose views the participation story as an opportunity for together time. Young children are encouraged to interact with stuffed animals, while the story is being read. Ideally, they select a stuffed animal as prompted by the story and storyteller, but even just holding an unspecified stuffed animal can help some restless children become more engaged in the read aloud.
Our little home school has greatly benefited from the inclusion of Little Goose with our Mother Goose Time curriculum. To learn more about Mother Goose Time and Little Goose visit their web site or subscribe to receive posts directly to your inbox. I post about our family’s experiences with Mother Goose Time at least 1-2 times a week and Little Goose activities are often included. We also routinely post pictures of Mother Goose Time and Little Goose activities on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you have a Little Goose?
What are your challenges when homeschooling preschool with little ones underfoot?
As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.