2day’s 2do’s

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weekly and daily schedules…

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Do you keep a calendar for appointments? Do you write out to-do-lists for work, chores, shopping, etc? Most adults have a plan of what their day will look like and what they hope to accomplish. It keeps us feeling in control, even if it doesn’t always go as planned.

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all about me… my family and friends…

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Recently I asked kids about the plan for their day and many expressed frustration that they never know what to expect.  Even young children need predictable daily routines or at least warnings before activity transitions. For toddlers and preschoolers I’ve always hung up picture schedules.

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creating friendship puzzles

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As my own kids and students get older I have them help define schedules and remind them of transitions. We talk through what goals need to be accomplished and how to prioritize the schedule order. Learning how to schedule activities is a life skill.

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MGT craft kits

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Learning how to organize our life helps us feel more in control. Feeling in control makes our world seem more calm – and less chaotic!  This week we talked about other ways to feel calm and in control.  As we continue learning about ourselves, our families and our friends, we talked about supportive people and our own “mindfulness.”

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Hands on learning

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Next week we’ll transition to lessons on feelings.  How to know when we’re feeling overwhelmed and how to know what others are feeling.  We’ve been using the “Friends and Feelings” curriculum from Mother Goose Time. Lessons are simplified for our littlest learners and expanded on for our older students.

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MGT manipulatives&books

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We have access to top rated curriculums and learning materials for our homeschool classes, tutoring programs, parent workshops and provider trainings.  We’re filling up quickly, but some fall services still have spaces if you’d like to enroll.  Contact Christi@MiFamiles.com or visit www.MiFamilies.com for more information! Also find MiFamilies on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

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and just like that – summers over

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Chaos2Calm

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The beginning of the school year feels chaotic to many.  Many parents, students, and teachers feel overwhelmed with changes to their environments and schedules.  I try and keep our schedule flexible, but with similar routines year round to make seasonal transitions easier.  In the fall when I have new students, or new classes, I start by letting everyone know what to expect – what the routine will be during our time together.  We go over the rules so students know what is expected of them.  The rules are simple: be responsible and respectful.

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Being responsible means learning to take care of oneself.  It means making sure you brush your teeth and do your homework, etc.  Being respectful means learning to care for other people.  It means being kind and helpful, helping others with chores and helping others learn… We talk about reasons we want to be respectful and responsible, and reasons we have rules. Rules help turn chaotic environments into calm areas. Rules help keep us safe.  Safety drills also help keep us safe.

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During the first couple sessions we go over drills and safety plans for homes, schools, and out in the community.  We talk about how we learn to stay calm in drills, so if there is ever an emergency we can stay as safe as possible.  We want everyone safe and healthy, because everyone is special – important – valued…  Everyone is a part of our team – a hero team.  We start off the school year with an “all about me” theme talking about how everyone is a hero who can help others.

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This last week we transitioned from the theme of ME to the theme of family.  We talked about how each family is a unique team.  We talked about team work and helping out our families.  I teach infants through adults so such lessons look differently depending on the class.  Preschoolers might talk about helping pick up toys, elementary students might draw a picture of why their family is special, teens might write ways their family can help the community, parents might learn new team building games to play at home with their kids…

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Different stages learn differently.  Mi Families (“my families”) programs are stage before age based and include provider trainings, parent workshops, individualized tutoring services, and group class (such as Body and Brain builders (lg/sm motor development), Sensory Studies (art class), Journalism, Child Development… Parent and Me Playgroups, etc..).  To learn more about program options visit www.MiFamilies.com. To enroll your child in tutor time email Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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All programs, especially tutoring services, include “education through recreation” activities through top rated curriculums, such as our early-education Mother Goose Time curriculum.  This month MGT has prepared a “Friends and Feelings” kit we’re transitioning to next week as we go from ourselves, to our families, to our friends, and learning more about our world. Our world studies will help us continue learning how to be responsible and respectful – to ourselves, other people, and the world around us.

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You Rule & New Rules

SEPT18 CLICK for this months schedule !

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You Rule! Yes – you.  Everyone who reads this is post is awesome. Taking time to read makes you smarter, so your awesome and smart.  Reading articles about kids and families means you’re a caring person.  You’re an awesome, smart, and caring person. I might not know you, but I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful you’re taking a moment to read this.

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I’m thankful for your support and hope you have supportive people in your life. During a recent youth survey many kiddos reported they felt no-one supported them.  They felt no-one appreciated them or complimented their efforts.  It’d be weird to walk around town telling everyone they are awesome, but I will try and make everyone in my programs feel valued.

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This week we started our Back2School programs. I have a few tutoring spots left for fall students if you know anyone who’d love some ideas for “homework without tears.” I’m also scheduling other youth services, parent workshops and provider trainings… My husband and I also keep busy teaching through our public – school / home – school partnership.

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There are amazing classes offered through the partnership.  Some of the classes my husband’s taught are photography and photoshop, filmmaking, drama, robotics, martial arts… I’ve taught cooking classes, parent and me preschool programs, child development, and elementary art classes.  This semester I’m also teaching a small/large motor skill class and sensory studies.

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School settings, community environments, and home based programs all need to be structured differently.  The way a setting is organized sets up participants for success vs struggles.  This month I focus on spaces to be user-friendly with activities to promote self worth.  This month all my programs will have a “you are awesome” focus.  Our youngest participants will be using Mother Goose Time’s “Friends and Feelings” curriculum to build on their awesome social/emotional development.

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As the month builds we’ll transition from learning about our selves – to our family and friends – and learn about responsibility and respect.  We’ll learn ways to feel confident in our responsibilities.  We’ll learn ways to be respectful towards others.  We’ll learn how rules keep us kind and safe …and how our senses keep us safe and healthy.  Feel free to check back to see what we’re up to and contact Christi@MiFamilies.com to join in the fun! Also visit www.MiFamilies.com for more information and find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, ect…

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SEPT18 CLICK for this months schedule !

 

 

 

 

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Back-2-School

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It’s Labor Day – meaning summer is ending.  It’s time to prepare for fall! For many fall means Back 2 School.  Mi Families is preparing back-2-school programs for providers, parents, and youth.  Our learning adventures have an “education through recreation” focus.  This means we’ll learn through hands on and open ended activities, using our bodies and brains to heighten our senses, while making us stronger and smarter.

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CLICK images to enlarge

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One of our classes is actually called “Body and Brain Builders,” and another is “Sensory  Studies.” Our director, Christi Morgan, will be teaching these classes, along with Journalism, Debate, Child Development, and Early Education at a homeschool partnership – through a Northern Michigan public school program. These programs (and others) are also available through other public and private groups.

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Christi also offers group and individual tutoring sessions, parent and me preschool playgroups, family workshops, and teacher trainings… One training teachers, caregivers, and homeschool parents have enjoyed is “curriculum combat.”  Deciding which curriculum to use is a challenge with so many options, and most are pre-packed for particular age groups. Students need stage before age options…

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Every student learns at their own pace and in their own way.  Open ended curriculums, such as Mother Goose Time, make lesson planning easy and can be simplified for the littlest of learners and expanded upon for older students.  Students need open ended experiences and environments to learn through. Environments outdoors, in centers, and in homes can be maximized for learning.

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Christi is trained to help maximize learning environments.  As she sets up her program areas, feel free to ask her to come help set up yours! Providers can earn credit hours for environment education!  This past week kids learned lots about learning environments during the last week of Mi-mini-camps.  We prepared our bodies and brains for school, while exploring fables and folktales about sharing our knowledge, interests, and talents with others.

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For more information about how we share knowledge through Mi Families (“my families”) LLC – visit www.MiFamilies.com.  Also feel free to network with our team and family members on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn… and feel free to learn more about Mother Goose Time at www.MotherGooseTime.com (Some of the pics posted showcase their curriculum materials.)

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Email Christi@MiFamilies.com to sign up for programs!

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Also email Christi for more information about the Homeschool Partnership or services her husband (Jeff Morgan) provides from film/video work and instructional courses, photography/photoshop work and classes, computer programming and robotics courses, self defense classes and more!

Posted in Uncategorized

TALL tales

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I can’t believe it’s time to go Back 2 School already! As summer comes to an end I’m starting to get lots of calls for services and program enrollment! There are limited spaces left for tutoring and we’re starting to enroll for programs like “Parent and Me PLAYschool…”

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click 4 Mi Families / my family schedule

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Fall is going to keep Mi Families (“my families”) LLC and my own family busy! So we’re starting to organize our schedules and curriculums.  Our “education through recreation” programs have access to some amazing curriculums.  One curriculum we utilize is Mother Goose Time.

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Mother Goose Time is a pre-packaged program designed for preschool stages which can be simplified for the littlest of learners and expanded on for older students.  Older students love expanding on the themes and helping teach their younger peers.

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Students and siblings have gathered around fires for storytelling and this week separated stories into fact and fiction, as well as fables, folktales and tall-tales.  The tale tales about Paul Bunyan were some of their favorite stories and activities.

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As we get closer to school starting we’ll focus on the importance of reading and writing and how to expand stories to learn all subject matters.  Mi Families offers curriculums crossing STREAMS (Science, Technology, Reading (&wRiting), Art (&Music), Math, Social Studies (&hiStory).

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Our one-on-one, small group, and large group programs provide fun activities for learning across all domains.  Feel free to visit www.MiFamilies.com for more program information or email Christi@MiFamilies.com to enroll! Also find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Treasure

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We’re having an adventurous summer as a family and through Mi – Mini – Camps! During the summer Mi Families (“my families) offers flexible summer camp options for tots to teens.  Families don’t have to commit to full time services and can build their schedule based on part-time or on-call needs! We have only 2 weeks left of this summer’s program, but have a couple openings due to other families taking vacation time…

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MGT treasure crafting collage

This past week we had lots of families out on their own summer adventures and we can’t wait to hear about their treasured times spent together.  Adventures should always include treasured times – and treasure hunting! While finishing up our summer travels unit we talked about the treasures we can find while exploring.  We talked about natural treasures and world wonders and man made mysteries…

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Man made mysteries were a great transition for our next unit on Story Telling. Our kids have been loving telling mystery stories around campfires.  We’ve been telling tales about our summer adventures, and now it’s time to tell “Back to School” stories.  As we head back to school we’ll be learning about schools around the world, and read fables and folktales that teach us about the world, different cultures, and encourage character building.

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Fables and Folktale lessons will be using Mother Goose Time’s prepackaged curriculum.  As teachers and homeschoolers prepare for back to school I’d recommend this easy to use curriculum for preschoolers.  If you use a multi-age/stage approach lessons can be simplified for the littlest of learners to learn concepts, while older students can expand on the themed lessons.

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While finishing up the Nature Detectives curriculum from MGT, our older students used lessons to further research on surviving in the wild, how to build shelters, how to read a compass and star maps, how to forge for food, how to find treasure… What they found was the treasure of play and creating away from technology this summer! If you’d like to join us next summer for such treasures email Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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Feel free to also email regarding our fall programs.  We’re preparing for tutoring and education-through-recreation groups for youth, family events and playgroups, parent and provider workshops… Updates will be posted on our www.MiFamilies.com webpage as well as our social media sites: Facebook, Pinterest. YouTube, LinkedIN… Let us know where else you’d like us to be posting program reminders!

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CLICK for LARGER IMAGE of Developmental Services

And visit www.MotherGooseTime.com for more information about 1 of the curriculums we use!

Posted in Uncategorized

Senses & Storytelling

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Mi Families (“my families”) programs were on break recently as my family took our summer vacation.

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Before we left (and after we returned) we continued learning more about our “blue world”  … Traveling across blue waters and exploring the blue skies.

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We talked about watching the sky for weather and uses for water in our everyday lives. We enjoyed lots of water activities!

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Kids learn best through hands on activities that stimulate their senses.  We used water in ways that required looking, listening, feeling, tasting, even smelling.

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We used small and large motor skills to learn more about waterways, flying and land transportation.

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Mi Families often receives special discounts for field trips, where families can continue building on such lessons.

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Even the fair counts as a field trip when you consider it a continuation of transportation themed lessons.  From swings to space travel…

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Fairs and other summer adventures are a great way to stimulate ones senses.  Sometimes it’s sensory overload!

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During summer stimulation it’s important to also find time to disconnect from the world and relax unplugged.

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My own kids didn’t ask for tv or computers once while out camping in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

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Without any structured lessons or field trips they continued to learn a great deal while exploring “the blue.”

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They explored the great lakes and rivers and waterfalls – and the creatures and sand and rocks below the surface.

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Mi Families has lists of FREE family fieldtrip ideas to such locations.  Email Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information.

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Also feel free to email regarding group field trips and upcoming fall programs for families – and those who work with families.

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From infant playgroups and parent&me preschool activities, to elementary classes and teen services,  to family events, provider workshops…

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Kids, adults, and multiage programming is being scheduled for the 2018-19 school year.  I can’t believe it’s already August!

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Luckily there’s still lots of summer adventures across our state with forts, and fairs, and other fun family field trips to explore.

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As students enroll for fall programs their summer stories will help us start lesson plans based on their adventures and interests.

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Many students want to learn more about the animals they saw on vacations, and learn about upcoming seasonal and holiday themes.

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Using seasonal and holiday themes for lesson planning keeps kids engaged as they can apply the lessons to every day life moments.

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Theme curriculums are great for simplifying concepts for the littlest learners and expanding on unit studies for older students.

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Mi Families has many wonderful curriculum options, such as Mother Goose Time’s themed kits… which we utilize in during 1on1, small and large group programs.

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Our NEW fall programs are being designed with an “education through recreation” approach, intended to make learning fun!

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Click  AUGUST18 to see the fun learning we’ll have in our mini camps for the rest of this month.  There are still a couple part time spots if you know a kiddo who’d like to finish off the summer with us- as we move from our sensory summer activities to summer stories and fall folktales/fables!

Posted in Uncategorized

BLUE

When was the last time someone asked you what your favorite color was? When was the last time you asked someone else that question? Simple questions about what someone likes matters. Questions show care in learning more about somebody.

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Even simple questions can be hard to answer though.  Honestly I love all the colors.  Color depends on mood and weather – and if I’m wearing it, or eating it, or coloring with it! But I think if I have to pick a favorite I’d say blue.

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Wearing blue to match my eyes, eating blueberries, coloring a picture of the sky, exploring water life… This week we continued nurturing nature and transitioned to a focus on exploring the sky and water life.

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Next week we’ll also start transitioning to our August studies and planning our fall program.  This fall Mi Families (“my families”) LLC will NOT be offering child care.  Limited babysitting services may be available.

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Please email Christi@MiFamilies.com for information about children and adult services or visit www.MiFamilies.com for more information.  Mi Families will continue to reach out with resources for families and those who work with families.

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Mi Families will continue providing education through recreation. Provider trainings, parent workshops, family events, youth programs… Youth programs include (click) developmental services, tutoring, and infant thru teen groups.

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Both groups and one-on-one services will utilize top rated curriculums to learn through hands on activities. Our littlest learners will continue using Mother Goose Time’s themes, such as this months Nature Detectives (as pictured).

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Older students love using themes to learn from as well, and expanding on the study units by diving deeper into subject matters.  As we dive deeper into water studies we’ll take a field trip to the SOO LOCKS to learn more about water travel.

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Field trips exploring the great lakes and learning more about water life is a fun part of our mini camp adventures.  There are still some dates in August with spaces available if you know a tot to tween who’d like to join us!

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We’ll be enrolling for fall youth and adult programs soon so check back for more information on the awesome programs that will be starting up in September! I can’t believe summers almost over… Here’s the schedule for the rest of the summer             CLICK : AUGUST18

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nurture nature

Nurture vs Nature? How about focusing on nurturing through nature … and education through recreation?

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Mi Families facilitates programs for families and those who work with families using an education through recreation approach.

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Education through recreation means we have fun learning! Recreation is defined as “an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.”

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Learning new things often takes a lot of “work,” but this approach makes lessons enjoyable and are often enjoyed outdoors!

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When the weather makes it hard to learn and play outdoors we have fun inside our various locations – in homes, centers, and other community spaces.

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Indoors or outside – our programs have had a nature focus this week.  Our mini camp / daycare friends enjoyed Mother Goose Times nature curriculum.

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Mother Goose Time is a prepackaged curriculum making lesson planning easy, as well as adaptable for multi ages/stages.

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While tots learn new concepts, tweens dive deeper into the themes and expand on the lessons.

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Nature lessons about the land, water and sky encouraged building on self help skills as my own son made a nature/dirt-cake.

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I love watching little learners want to do the same activities as older students.  Whether it’s my own tot to tweens – or friends that visit – peer teaching is encouraged.

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Our multi stage programming focuses on students learning in their own time and in their own ways.

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Our home-based-center is designed for toddlers to teenagers, while our other locations are more age defined, yet still stage approached.

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Whether working with babies, big kids, or parents … Our hands on learning approach makes activities adaptable for kids or families to learn together.

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As we start to plan our learning activities for the fall semester – we hope you sign up for developmental services, elementary tutoring, or homeschool coop classes.

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We’ll also be offering new family events, parent workshops and provider trainings.  However to make room for new programs we will NO longer offer childcare.

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Sorry for any inconvenience this causes! If you still need part time babysitting please feel free to email Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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I have loved caring for children in our family home and invite everyone to continue visiting us through our other services.

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Our youth and adult programs will fill up quick so please check www.MiFamilies.com for more enrollment information.

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Our youngest participants will still utilize curriculums such as Mother Goose Time for theme based learning.

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Many of the pictures posted showcase MGT materials for their current nature curriculum. We’ve enjoyed activities such as crafts and games all week long.

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Last week we transitioned to animal activities learning about how creatures move differently and live in different habitats.

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This week we expanded on animal habitats and looked closer at the ground during our own backyard adventures.

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We explored the dirt and who lives under the ground, what grows in the dirt, how trees grow from a tiny seed…

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From dirt to leaves we covered all subject matters of reading and writing, math, science, social studies and art.

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We’ll continue offering theme based learning, covering all subject matters through our new programs.

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Programming will be updated with our August calendar as soon as possible! July will finish off using our mini camps with current daycare kiddos!

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We have a couple spots remaining for mini camps over the next couple weeks if you know a 2-12 year old that would like to join in the the fun!

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In August we will have limited availability as we prepare for our fall classes.  Some of the homeschool coop courses are posted in the pictures below! (click image)

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Myself (Christi Morgan) and my husband (Jeff Morgan) love teaching through Mi Families (& the TCAPS Homeschool Partnership).

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Our Mi Families team of teachers and providers are growing! Mi Families has goals of reaching across Michigan!

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Mi Families is reaching out with SUPERIOR resources for families – and those who work with families…

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Check back on these articles and on LinkedIN, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc for updates and to network with Mi Families – family members!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Outdoor Adventures

Screenshot_20180628-102015Click image above to view what Mi-Mini camps did the first half of the month – and what our plans are as we finish up July.
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After Independence Day we continued to learn about our nation and enjoyed make believe travels to big cities and nature reserves across the country.

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We continued talking about traveling and made mud transportation mud tracks as we learned to “look closer” at nature.

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We talked about finding clues and details in dirt and other images – and enjoyed Mother Goose Time’s “Get Close to Nature” book.

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We use Mother Goose Time’s curriculum to inspire theme driven learning for tots to teens in our program.

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Our littlest learners love the exposure to new concepts, while older students dive deeper into unit studies.

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MGT provides a pre-packaged ready to use curriculum. It can be easily adapted and modified as the open ended supplies can be used as desired!

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In the workbook provided students found ways to transition from how transportation moves to observing how animals move.

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Students learned about animal movements and tracked foot prints.  Students discussed ways to protect animals, plants and our natural resources.

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We spend a lot of time outdoors during our mini-camps and the kids loved having their own books to work on outside.

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Some students continued to tape found items and write notes for days.  They also loved sharing their findings with others.

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I love watching the progress of student scribbles turning to writings and watching them take pride in their work.

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Although students are learning all day long they don’t consider camp school as our days are packed with education through recreation…

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Although there are lessons we don’t sit at desks listening to lectures.  We look through suggested activities and discuss ways to explore topics.

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This months kit came with 2 “workbooks.”  “My Nature Collection” was a favorite for many who came to visit this week.

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Our program is part time so materials such as these books are a great way to encourage kiddos to continue learning at home.

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Some children come for a couple hours, some come a couple days a week.  All leave with activities to continue at home or keepsake projects they made.

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Mi Families programs encourage learning through hands on fun so please send those who attend with extra clothes as they often get messy working on our projects.

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From digging in the dirt to water play and paint, etc this program is designed to make friends while making a mess.

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Research tells us that we learn more through doing then listening. Our strongest memories are linked to activities that build on our emotions.

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I hope that the emotion felt during our activities is a happy feeling.  A feeling of joy, friendship, and a peaceful place to play.

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Sometimes we must play and learn indoors because the heat is too much to bear or there’s a storm outside.

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A group of boys loved playing hide-n-go-seek-tag in the rain the other day, and were bummed when thunder meant heading indoors.

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Sometimes we have to change plans (and while I prep other options) big kids love to look through materials to teach little ones with.

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MGT lesson plan books are available for big kids to find ideas and build confidence teaching our younger participants.

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Each MGT box comes with 20 theme related day kits, an extra holiday/seasonal study pack and teacher tools such as lesson plans and music cd’s.

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Teacher materials walk instructors through preschool assessments and how to know what skills are worked on during different activities.

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Activities are broken into sub themes.  I find creating smooth transitions through themes makes lessons connect easier.

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We transitioned from our summer travels to animal travels and as we move into deeper nature lessons – families can transition topics from camp to home.

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If you’d like information how to extend the learning at home feel free to email me at Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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If you’d like information on the curriculum mentioned (and photographed) contact www.MotherGooseTime.com.

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Mother Goose Time is only one curriculum we use. Mi Families works with many ages/stages so we use many curriculums to individualize lessons.

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Lessons are individualized based on struggles and strengths.  Strength and interest focused lessons are the key to learning.

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If a student is interested in animals or art or building – or whatever – interests are used to excite them about learning!

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As we hit the middle of our summer session we start preparing for fall programs.  This fall Mi Families is making some changes…

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NO WORRIES – Mi Families will continue providing programs for families and those who work with families!

FB_IMG_1530208988103But camps and child care options will end in August so stay tuned for new program details (including a new tutoring program)                                                                                                          (CLICK developmental services )                                                                                                                 AND if you haven’t already – sign your children up for mini-camps before summers over!

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