August was a hectic month for us and I am honestly glad to see it end. My husband returned working five days a week and I, somewhat reluctantly, started two days a week. Even though it is only two days a week, those days typically start at 4:30am and often do not end until 10:30 or 11pm. I am thankful to work for a very flexible company. They have allowed me to change my schedule as the needs of my family change but it is always hard to return after an extended break. As difficult as it has been on my husband and I, the kids are struggling the most to adjust to the new schedule.
In anticipation of the schedule change, I made the wonderful decision to switch to the Mother Goose Time curriculum. For the past six months, I prepared my own unit based lessons based largely on things that sparked the kids’ interest. I purchased a few curriculums but they failed to deliver on their promises. I found myself still scouring Pinterest for supplemental lessons to fill important gaps of information. Due to my return to work, I needed something comprehensive, virtually effortless, and still easily adaptable for my two distinctly different children. I feared our means of accomplishing our financial goals to interfere would circumvent my desire to educate our kids. Fortunately, a friend shared her experiences with Mother Goose Time and I was immediately enamored.
Mother Goose Time is a research-based preschool curriculum that fosters a joy for learning through sensory-based experiences. For over 29 years their nationally recognized preschool curriculum has supported a child’s social-emotional, physical and cognitive development. – See more at: http://www.mothergoosetime.com/#sthash.i0sHIyV2.dpuf I have to admit, I was almost drooling over the previous year’s curriculum and completely devastated I had not learned of it a year sooner! Nevertheless, I was delighted with the originality of the upcoming year’s themes and took the plunge.
We completed our first month of lessons focused on Fables and Folktales. The kids were still at home full time with me for the first two weeks and everything went flawlessly. (Well almost…during the flapjack lesson, my son decided to stick his probiotic up his nose that required an ER visit.) They had been in childcare settings before, were familiar with the circle time and organized lessons, and soaked up my undivided attention and the course material. Pinterest was utilized simply because they were left wanting “more lessons” but certainly not needed for any other reason. We started the lessons immediately after breakfast and often picked up the supplemental games again after nap.
The second two weeks were more trial and error as we each tried to adjust to our new schedules. On some days the story was presented during breakfast and then the corresponding lessons were completed in the evening as I prepared dinner. Although they still enjoyed the crafts immensely, I felt like incredible teaching opportunities were being missed and knew there had to be a solution.
Thankfully, one of my Facebook friends posted 31 Crockpot Freezer Meals for Back to School by http://www.NewLeafWellness.biz and I was intrigued. My first attempt at batch cooking occurred during pregnancy and was pretty much a total failure. However, it was something crazy that only seems like a good idea when pregnant or almost homeless, something like 30 freezer meals for $30; everything was unhealthy, bland, and mushy. I am convinced the slow cooker contributed the mushiness. I spent some time researching slow cookers and purchased an Instant Pot. My second attempt at freezer meals appears more successful. After most of a Saturday and a few hours on a Sunday, I ended up with 36 reasonably healthy meals. I splurged on crock pot liners and I significantly reduced the amount of time I spend in the kitchen each day! Not only is this providing more quality time with my kids, it should reduce the amount we spend going out to eat! I will provide a full review once we have tried each of the meals.
Despite our challenges this month, I am excited by what is to come!