Monday, September 28, 2020

Masterpiece Monday at Home


Masterpiece Monday is an important part of the MCP curriculum.  Art is very important to your child's development.  We connect art to math, science, literature, geography and so much more.  How do you start?  Start with colors.  
Introduce the names of primary and secondary colors.  Talk about warm and cool colors (don't do this all at one sitting😁)

Want to do more?  Invest in some inexpensive craft acrylic paints.  The basic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purples, white, black and brown)  are what we use and then we will lighten and darken with white and black. Your favorite on-line superstore or craft store will have 8 x 10 canvases that are the perfect size for preschoolers.  
Build your child's vocabulary-canvas, palette, smock and art gallery.  We used to use Styrofoam egg cartons for paints and have moved to paper plates for easy painting and easy clean up.  Large yogurt tubs are filled with water to clean brushes.  A kitchen washcloth is used to dry brushes (they used to be white. Now they are beautiful) 

Try not to interfere with your child's work.  Try not to make suggestions.  One of the most important lesson children learn in creating art is decision making.  We tell them it is 'their art' and let them enjoy the experience of creating something that is uniquely theirs.  Big stuff for our preschoolers! 

Experiment with colors.  Food coloring and water.  It's that simple.  It's science.  Preschool science is about exploration, discovery and FUN!  

Sensory bottles!  Have some fun with colors and your child!  

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Cookie Monster Sings C is for Cookie

This week we work on Letter C!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

100 Wednesday-Sorting, Patterns & Counting

We have thousands of items for the children to sort, create patterns and count (I'm not kidding).  What can you use at home?  Anything-coins, Legos, cereal, snacks (Cheerio, Cheez-it, Cheerio, Cheez-it), crayons, markers, all those pony beads in the craft bin...anything.  
Sort items.  Create patterns and count.  Have some fun finding things to sort and pattern with your child.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Letter B---Bears


Letter B means bees, bears, biscuits, butter and Beanie Babies!  

Your child can sort stuffed animals by color.  Have your child line up their soft friends from the biggest to the smallest.  Sort by fur and feathers and much more.

Learn about bears...

Ideas and info---

Friday, September 18, 2020

Statue of Liberty Boat Tour

LEGO Statue Of Liberty

Fun Food Friday---A is for Apple Muffins

 Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins - Recipe Girl 

It's Fun Food Friday!  Try this super easy apple muffin recipe with your child!   

1 box spice cake mix

1 apple

2 cups applesauce 

Preheat oven 350*.

Have an adult peel and thinly slice the apple.  If you feel comfortable, allow your child to chop the apple slices into small pieces. When we cook at school, we give the children a plastic knife and a paper plate for cutting. Put the apples in a small bowl. 

Add a spoonful of the cake mix to the apples to coat. 

In a mixing bowl combine the remaining cake mix and the applesauce. Mix well and fold in the apple pieces.

Line or spray 12 muffin trays. Scoop into each muffin tray. Bake 18-20 minutes.

12-16 muffins

Found this at ---

Don't have a spice cake mix?  Use a yellow cake mix!

Yellow cake mix-add 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. ginger & ¼ tsp. allspice or cloves

I added a 1/2 cup of oatmeal to the dry ingredients and added a second apple. I consistently had 16 muffins and need 20-25 minutes to bake.  Enjoy some time in the kitchen with your child!  Yum-oh!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Making a Mess is Making a Memory


There is no doubt art is messy.  At home cover the table, your child and if you feel it's necessary the floor.  We invested in canvas drop cloths and cut them down to size for our school tables (I did zig zig the edges on my sewing machines to prevent fraying) Too much?  Use an old tablecloth to cover surfaces.  

Why is art important?

Make sure you are including art in your child's preschool homeschool. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

MCP Homeschool Ideas---Our Centers

Are you homeschooling your preschooler?  Preschool is all about play.  Preschools are arranged in a wide variety of centers.  Our MCP students move freely from art to building to the library and then back to art if they desire.  It's a good size room with lots of kids. Your living space may already have centers or areas for your child's play.  Keep it simple.  If you search ideas for preschool homeschool space you'll get nine million results.  Your child is not interested in a 'pin worthy' space or something that qualifies for an HGTV series.  Your child needs space---not a lot but space to be creative and play. 
The MCP classroom is a calm and relaxed space.  We avoid the 'crayon flu' on the walls where classroom space is saturated with bright colors and lots of charts on the walls. A room that looks likes a box of sick crayons walked in and got sick all over the walls. Too busy.  Too distracting.  Would you want to work or live in such an environment?  

Remember it doesn't have to be fancy.  It has to be fun.  If you have the time, energy and space, you can change it up so your child remains engaged and interested in what you have planned.  It's new for you. It's new for them.

MCP Centers---

Art---is always best in the kitchen or outdoors.  Crayons, markers, paper, glue and scissors.  Create a collage box.  Random stuff for gluing.  Save cracker and cereal boxes for a sturdy glue surface.  

Stop fighting the flow of the glue bottle---

Writing---an old coffee table, pens, pencils, paper, envelopes (save from your junk mail), recycle greeting cards.  Remember scribbles are writing!  

Home Library--If you have the time, energy and space try not to place ALL of your child's books in their reading corner.  We rotate books seasonally, with the holidays and when we can see the kiddos are tired of the library.  

We put books everywhere.  Kids are hard on books when they are incorporated into their play. This might not work for you and your child because the books do get a little more wear and tear when they are in a center.  More info---

Grab a bed sheet and cover the kitchen table and place a basket of books underneath for a fun space.  Family room?  Is there space for a card table with a sheet?  (cover three sides and leave one open so you can see your child inside)

I love our building center!  
Building---Why are blocks important?
If you have the time, space and energy switch it up.  Put the blocks away and have LEGOS, a train set or other building materials.  

Messy Tub---it's not for everyone because it's messy!  We use rice, sand and black beans but crinkle paper used in gift bags and baskets is fun and easy clean up!  Look under the 'Sensory' label for more ideas.

Dramatic Play---does more than you think for your child's development.  

Keep it simple. Our castle, fire truck, rocket ship and pizza oven are large cardboard boxes.  Nothing fancy plus they fold flat and are easy to store in our attic space.  For more ideas check under our 'Dramatic Play' label.  

We hope this helps you and your child with your homeschool preschool.  

Friday, August 21, 2020

Books & Brain Development

 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Growing Brain

A study at Cincinnati Children's Hospital on a  child's brain development. Reading and screen time-what happens to your child's brain development?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I'd Like to Teach the World to Read

I'm lucky.  My 'boys' love to read. We had lots of books available when they were young. As they grew older, they bought their own books. Books were birthday gifts and Christmas gifts.   We have moved about 500+ books out of our house and into their living space. Their childhood books are boxed up for later.  Books are still everywhere in our home.  So, how often should you read to your child so you can raise a reader?  

Every day.  You should be reading to your child every day.  I
 loved reading books to my boys when they were little. They are both good readers and they still read a lot!  Reading to a child EVERY DAY is one of the best ways to help them achieve success in school. Reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity for parent and child. Here are a few tips to help you help your child become a good reader-

  • Read any time and all the time but make reading a part of your bedtime routine.  Most children like hearing a story every night at bedtime.
  • Let your child pick the book and hold it. 
  • Read your child's favorite books over and over and over again.  Young children enjoy knowing what is to come.  
  • Discuss the illustrations. Point to the pictures. Encourage your child to point and discuss illustrations.
  • Read alphabet and counting books.
  • Read to your child with expression and feeling. 
  • Stop and discuss unfamiliar words to build vocabulary.
  • Rhyming and silly stories are well liked by preschoolers.
  • Use books to help w/new experiences (going to the dentist, first sleepover, a new baby, etc.)
  • Use 'voices' for different characters in the story.  
  • Encourage your child to repeat refrains (for example in the book Owl Babies I have students 'be' Bill and say "I want my Mommy!"
  • Discuss wht your read to make sure your child compresheds the story.  Ask questions like "What do you think would happen if..."
  • Make predictions. Ask your child "What do you think will happen next?"
  • Make sure your child has books at home. 
  • Read every day! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Start with the Child

"It starts with the child and not with the subject matter."
Learn more...The Wisdom of Play

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tell Mom ASAP

There are many benefits to owning a pet.  May is National Pet Month and I have had my share of pets.  I have calculated that from childhood to present, I have had---5 dogs, 2 gerbils, 2 birds, 1 guinea pig, 2 rabbits, several lizards, hundreds of fish and one piranha.  My childhood was filled with pets and my kids have had their share including our first family dog, Rosie.

Pets teach children responsibility. I found the lizard note  in my son's room...the only problem?  He forgot the 'tell mom asap' so when I found the note I found the dead (really dead) lizard.  Children and pets provide humor, too!  The note still hangs on my bulletin boards because it makes me laugh.

Want to know more about why pets are good for you and your child?

Monday, May 11, 2020

MCP Class of 2020

To the Metamora Community Preschool 
Class of 2020-

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Thank You, Little Richard

Thank you, Little Richard (1932-2020) for the best Hokey Pokey of all time!  We have danced to this hundreds of times over the years.  Time to put your right hand in and shake it all about.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Why Do I Teach?

No one should teach 
who is not in love with teaching.
Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

I love teaching.  More importantly, I love teaching preschool.  I did not set out to be a preschool teacher.  After graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in elementary education, my goal was a second grade classroom.  Boy, was I wrong.

Life has a way of putting people and events in our path to prepare us for what is ahead.  I always start with my parents as my biggest influence but many others provided experiences and knowledge that nurtured my love of teaching.  Through a series of events in my life, I ended up teaching preschool when my boy were littlie and I was hooked.  

LOVE. LAUGH. LEARN. GROW!  It's the MCP way.  It is our program.   This allows us to really teach your child and not just implement a curriculum kit.  I love to teach and develop curriculum.  I am so grateful that I can add ideas that continually enhance and improve your child's preschool experience.  Masterpiece Monday, 100 Wednesday and Fun Food Friday are activities we added a few years ago.  Our Morning Meeting starts your child's day with letters, numbers, patterns or a graph.  Our day is packed with learning in a unique and fun way.

I don't teach alone. The MCP staff continually goes above and beyond the all of duty.  These three ladies are dedicated to MCP.  I could not have taught our MCP Homeschool without their help and support.  Thank you is not enough for their commitment, extra hours and hard work.

Eight weeks ago we began the MCP Homeschool. We had no idea how we would take preschool through the screen into your home.  I took it as a personal challenge to rework our curriculum for our homeschool lessons.  Some lessons were better than others.  Some were complete fails (I posted them anyway).  There were a lot of changes from the original concept but it worked.  The primary goal was to create an environment so your child could feel like they were in the classroom. It was something, someone and someplace that was familiar in a very unfamiliar time.

We thank your for your continued support.  Thank your for sharing your child with us in the classroom or on the screen for a few hours a week.  It has meant more than you can ever imagine.

I truly have loved teaching your child and have the best job in the world.
Be happy. Be healthy. Be safe. D

Monday, May 4, 2020

A Message for Mother's Day

On Sunday, we will celebrate Mother's Day.  My mom has been gone ten years.  Her lessons remain with me but I still miss her.  I posted this originally in 2011 and felt the message was appropriate for 2020.  My sister-in-law sent this to my Mom on May 3, 2007.  It was written by Temple Bailey in 1933.

Parable of Motherhood---
The young Mother set her foot on the path of life.  "Is this the long way?" she asked.  And the guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard and you will be old before you reach the end of it.  But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young Mother was happy and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the Mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid for you are near and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary and the Mother was weary.  But at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed and when they reached the top they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."

And the Mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I've given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil and the children groped and stumbled, and the Mother said, "Look up.  Lift your eyes to the light."  And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness.  And that night the Mother said, "This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."

And the days went on and the weeks and the months and the years, and the Mother grew old and she was little and bent.  But her children were tall and strong and walked with courage.  And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.  And Mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone and their children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said, "We cannot see her but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence..."

Your Mother is always with you...She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street; she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well.  Your Mother lives inside your laughter.  And she's crystallized in every tear drop.  She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take.  She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you.