full STEAM ahead

Today is Scientific Saturday! Mi Families (“my families”) schedules many Scientific Saturday activities. Mi Families is building up STEAM programs as requested for families and those who work with families… From provider trainings, parent workshops, family events and youth services we’re trying to meet all requests!

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STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Our recreation through education approach offers all subject matters through fun learning activities. Currently tots through teens are using transitional themes to cover all school subjects in our preschool, tutoring and homeschool co-op classes.

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Our youth themes have been transitioning through Winter to the Ice Age to Dinosaurs.  Lesson planning is easy using theme based curriculums from companies such as Mother Goose Time , even for multi age and stage classrooms.  While little ones are introduced to new concepts, older students expand on the lessons.

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This past week we had a DINOmite VALENTINES day and started transitioning discussions of the world of yesterday to the world of tomorrow. Time travel activities are helping us learn the importance of loving the world around us, loving the people around us, and loving ourselves.  It was a LOVELY week!

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The week ended celebrating the Chinese New Years and learning about the other side of the world. Whether we’re learning about the other side of the world or the world long ago – the world is fascinating to children.  Our social studies and science lessons combine through geography and geology.

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World studies encourages problem solving through scientific studies.  Earth science encourages observation of a our local environment vs global environments, nature and weather.  Learning about global concerns of yesterday vs tomorrow helped students debate dinosaur extinction and current endangered animals.

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Life science encourages students to consider how the environment impacts animals, people and all living things.  Life science grows empathy towards life, teaching students to care about future environments. Environments include land, sea and sky.  Future themes will incorporate all environments.

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All subject matters are taught through all themes, including STEAM lessons.  STEAM includes all science areas from earth to life and physical studies.  Physical science is the study of inanimate natural objects, including topics such as astronomy. Children love exploring physical science through sensory play and other materials.

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Sensory play and ART SMART activities are enjoyed in all our classrooms… If you’d like to learn more about our different classroom environments and program options please visit www.MiFamilies.com or network with our team and family members on LinkedIN, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

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*Also visit www.MotherGooseTime.com to learn more about product images in this post*

FEB

Posted in Uncategorized

Science School

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This winter we explored the season and weather around us – and around the world.  We learned to appreciate that our community has all four seasons, while discussing the impacts of global weather.  Global discussions led to a focus of social studies in many of our programs.  Social studies includes global awareness, acceptance of diverse cultures, historical appreciation, and an understanding of geography and geology.

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“GEO” is a term relating to “earth” studies.  Studies of the earth through observation and experimentation is also under the subject of science.  Mi Families (“my families”) LLC  combines subject matters throughout programs.  Mi Families programs include teaching providers, parents and children through hands on activities.  Our hands on curriculums have been described as “education through recreation.”

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Recreation is defined as an activity done for enjoyment.  Recreation is not work.  Learning can be hard work, yet our programs are designed to teach through fun themes.  As we transitioned from the theme of winter to dinosaurs we used Ice Age as a social studies/scientific theme in our youth programs.  Topic transitions help students retain information of past studies, while preparing their minds for new lessons.

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This week we used the theme of Dinosaurs to teach all subject matters – from social studies and science, to reading, writing and mathematics.  The subject of math brought us back to the term “GEO” with geometry.  The subject of geometry and lessons of lines and shapes incorporated art, while bringing us back to studies of the earth and how everything is made of shapes: lines or curves.

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Ice Age … Dinosaurs … Creation of creatures, man, land … Studies of the past led to deep discussions between young and old – including discussions that people have different beliefs.  Students discussed big words like “archaeology” and “paleontology” as they learned how people discover stories of the past.  Being a paleontologist and digging for dino-bones helped some kids find passions in storytelling, writing as an author and drawing as an illustrator.

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Digging for dino-bones and other experiences builds a love for learning across all age groups.  If you’d like to learn more about our multi-age programs visit www.MiFamilies.com.  If you’d like to learn about the products used in our Dinosaur Dig curriculum visit www.MotherGooseTime.com.  If you’d like to ask me questions regarding the curriculum or our programs feel free to email Christi@MiFamilies.com OR network with our team or members on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc …

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Posted in Uncategorized

social school

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drawing lines for matchbox car roads

Mi Families (“my families”) LLC is not a school in the traditional sense, but our teams mission is to provide “education through recreation” for families and those who work with families.  Our programs are designed with hopes that all who participate have fun learning!

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cutting lines for igloos

Mi Families team members facilitate provider trainings, parent workshops, family events and youth services across Michigan. Our youth services include a homebased care program between Traverse City and Cadillac, as well as tutoring and homeschool courses.

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This week we learned about different types of lines. Thick, thin, strait … intersecting, symmetrical … and the difference between wavy lines and circles

Some of our homeschool courses are taught by myself (Christi Morgan) , and my husband , through the Northern Michigan Partnership.  The partnership program is a unique school for homeschoolers to attend elective courses in a classroom setting.

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arctic animals

There are many opinions about homeschoolers, especially regarding social skills.  I honestly find many homeschooled students to have stronger social skills then their traditionally schooled peers.  Maybe this is because many of them are encouraged to interact with all age groups and not only same aged classmates…

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arctic to ice age wildlife

Many homeschool groups and non-traditional schools use multi-age classrooms.  Multi-age classes allow a stage vs age approach for developing and mastering skills.  In my homebased childcare and tutoring sessions I have loved watching tots to tweens work together through theme based activities.

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seasonal storytelling

Theme based activities can be easily taught through prepackaged curriculums such as Mother Goose Time.  Since MGT does not date their materials we were able to continue their December theme throughout January, since the students were still enjoying the winter lessons.

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seasonal sensory play

As February begins we begin our transition from Winter to Dinosaurs.  Winter lessons started during the fall with Migration, Hibernation and Adaptation lessons.  Winter animals transitioned to reindeer to Santa to Christmas and other winter holidays. Winter holidays led to winter seasonal fun.

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play = social studies

Seasonal fun continued with Arctic Adventures and transitioned to ICE AGE lessons of the world before our time – which transitions us nicely into the dino-days.  As we transitioned through winter we learn about how our area vs lands north and south -and around the world- are impacted by seasonal changes.

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social studies pictures encourage playing out lessons

Seasonal weather impacts wildlife, and the studies of it have led to lessons on social studies and science – geology vs geography – archaeology and now paleontology.  As early learners are introduced to new concepts, older students are expanding on topical units and encouraging each other to love learning!

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teaching through pictures

From social studies to social interactions all our programs encourage beyond learning the basic core curriculum.  All our programs encourage learning through hands on activities! If you’d like more information check out www.MiFamilies.com.  You can also network with myself, “Mi” team and participating “family” members on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc

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bring on February

Posted in Uncategorized

snow school

Our first week of  this winter semester went great! But the schedule keeps changing, so today I’m working on such updates and lesson planning – and prepping for next weeks programming.  Although every day is very different with different activities, different students, etc I try and keep the routine similar for meal times, learning times, play times … My kids personally need the predictably and kids who join us find the transition easier when they know what to expect. What to expect from our schedule is updated below:

WINTER SCHEDULE 2018 (CLICK LINK)

Knowing what to expect helps kids transition  to new activities and new places.  Unpredictable schedules makes children feel anxious and their anxiety impacts their behaviors. I recommend keeping the same routine when changing environments.  Keeping the same pattern for meal times and bed times during trips can help with the biggest challenge of returning home after exciting travels!  Writing out what to expect on trips, or holiday breaks, or even changes to daily routine helps.

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I have my kids (and students) help with writing out what to expect.  During the first classes of our new semester my elementary age sons wrote out their new schedules and practiced going from classrooms in order,  so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed figuring out the next step to their day.  During each class I had my students talk through the order of the class and wrote out the daily routine on the chalkboard.  Since some students were in my past classes – we continued where we left off to give a sense of security to the new semester.

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mgt postcards

New students didn’t have to try and catch up as we started off the semester using the current season/weather as our topic during preschool classes, Messy Arts for K-2nd graders, Elementary Explorer classes for 1-5th graders, and a child development course for 6-12 grade students.  The current season/weather theme relates to last months Mother Goose Time curriculum.  Mother Goose Time prepares an easy to use preschool curriculum each month, but since no materials have dates on them – they can be utilized whenever!

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mgt discussion poster

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Since the Mother Goose Time curriculum is open ended it can be simplified for infants and tots to be introduced to concepts, while older students expand on topics for deeper knowledge.  The Winter unit has been expanded on to teach about seasons in different areas and how we Michiganers are blessed with all 4 seasons, while the arctic and antarctic areas stay cold.  Arctic Adventures led to discussions of weather and how people impact climate.  Season studies expanded on how nature, people, and cultures are influenced by simple things like temperature.

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MGT snow&ice manipulatives

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MGT inspired snow-track-art

Temperature influences wildlife and human life – it impacts health and behavior – and this common topic of discussion influenced classes to discuss deeper concepts of global awareness, empathy, acceptance and understanding.  World wide discussions also influenced deeper concepts of responsibility and respect for our community. After looking at world weather images students discussed why they appreciated their community and valued our county vs state vs country vs continent…

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MGT inspired sensory tables

Even young students were able to note differences in images between the north and south poles, between the poles and equator areas, between our home town and other towns through pictures.  Pictures led to talks about different areas having different cultures, traditions and beliefs. Understanding that areas are different helps even young children understand that people who live in different places have different values. People who move from those different places learn to adapt, while celebrating their unique heritage.

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Learning about different places and the diversity of people encourages children to consider the feelings of others. In my (Mrs. Morgan) and Mi Families (“my families”) LLC programs – we encourage nurturing empathy in simple ways, such as offering diverse toys, beyond black and white baby dolls.  We encourage students of all ages to identify and manage their own emotions to better understand the emotions of others. Many of our education through recreation programs teach social studies and historical concepts encouraging appreciation for all people and places.  Places near, places far ~ Places warm, places cold.

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Next week we’ll continue focusing on our social studies unit with a historial cold places focus – as the ICE AGE. Then onto DINOSAUR themes! If you’d like more information on homeschool classes, tutoring, childcare, parent workshops, provider trainings etc – please visit www.MiFamilies.com or email Christi@MiFamilies.com.  Also feel free to network with our family members and team members on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.  As we build social media connections let us know where you’d like us to be and what you’d like these articles to be about :)

Posted in Behaviors, Uncategorized

NEW semester starts NOW

JAN18

CLICK 4 larger schedule/menu/theme

It’s Sunday night. Tomorrow our new semester starts.  Meant to post this before now, but I lost track of time preparing for the new semester.  Our new semester we’ll be same old programs presented in a new way! During our new semester providers and parents have asked for old programs to be brought back so visit:

http://www.mifamilies.com/professional-partnerships for provider programming,

and http://www.mifamilies.com/parent-programs for parent information,

THEN visit http://www.mifamilies.com/adventure-academy regarding youth services.

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Our provider trainings, parent workshops, family events, child care, tutoring … all have an education through recreation focus – meaning lessons are taught through fun / hands on activities.  If you would like to inquire about our all age programing email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Today I (Christi Morgan) re-arranged classrooms and organized subject supplies…

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Depending on the program we offer top rated curriculums, such as Mother Goose Time to enhance our theme based experiences.  Last month Mother Goose Time packaged up materials for a “Winter Wonderland” theme. One thing I like about MGT is that you can use their theme based kits any way / any time you want.  Over the next couple weeks we’ll be transitioning from Winter to the Ice Age to Dinosaur Days…

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MGT provides materials for all core subjects targeted at a preschool development, but lessons can be simplified for tots or expanded on for even tweens. From art to writing, reading and math, science, social studies … students love learning through theme based experiences.  Since we’re in a winter wonderland here in Northern Michigan this theme has encouraged science and social studies of the weather around us and around the world.

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This week we’ll be on a snow-vs-ice adventure. Adventures include an “Adventures in Art” class as well as a “messy art = smart” course Wednesdays, through our homeschool partnership.  At the partnership I’ll be teaching a babysitting / child development program and early ed / parent and me preschool as well.  At my home I’ll offer part-time child care and tutoring services.

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Musical Mondays; Tuesday Tips for Happy Healthy Heroes; Art Themed Thursdays; Friday Field Trips & World Studies; Scientific Saturdays … even a Sunday School on Sundays.  Spaces / time slots are limited.  Feel free to contact about enrollment.  Feel free to find us on LinkedIn, FB, Pinterest, YouTube etc to network!

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View my families and Mi Families (“my families”) LLC schedule here. THIS SCHEDULE HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE PAST POSTINGS: WINTER SCHEDULE 2018 (1)

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Posted in Uncategorized

New Year, New schedule, Old curriculum

We’re about half way through the first month of the new year.  For many not much has changed. Most families still have the same schedule they had before 2018 started.  Most families still have the same routine of getting up, eating breakfast and leaving for their daily activities of work and school.  Most families …

WINTER SCHEDULE 2018 (here’s a glimpse at my schedule!)

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Mi Families (“my families”) LLC understands that every family is different and has a life system that works for their needs.  Mi Families understands that sometimes those needs change schedules and plans.  We asked families, and those who work with families, what programs they’d like us to change and we planned accordingly!

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Mi Families still offers programs for providers, parents and families – including part time child care and tutoring services to meet unique service needs. As the director of Mi Families – I’m always looking for more team members to provide requested services, especially since I also have to meet the requests / needs of my own family!

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While providing various services, facilitating events and teaching classes I’m also busy scheduling in life for my husband and kids.  While homeschooling my kids we often have other children around for child care and tutoring, so I’m mastering multi-tasking and multi-age programming.

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I can have a lot of infants through adults in one program and have only a couple kindergarten students in another class.  No matter the group, I rely on easy activity planning that includes entertaining hands on materials.  One curriculum I utilize is Mother Goose Time which provides theme based learning preschools.

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Although MGT is a preschool curriculum the lessons can be adapted for various age groups as you simplify to teach tots basic concepts and encourage elementary students to expand on topics.  Another benefit of their monthly kit is that you don’t have to use the current month in your teaching.

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Last month the MGT curriculum was winter based, but since we had a holiday focus and Christmas vacation we’re still finishing up the supplies and the students are still interested in the unit.  It’s been a weird weather week in Northern Michigan so we expanded on weather during science.

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We also used science time to make snow-doh for sensory play and made more homemade playdoh in our “Kids Kitchen” cooking class.  We used cooking and calendars during math.  We enjoyed our journals and I can read books for Language arts … Mother Goose Time provides ideas for all subjects.

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Using MGT and other curriculums we provide a wide range of learning opportunities for all ages / stages. As this month continues on we’ll continue learning about the weather and the world around us. We’ll transition from winter weather – to the ICE AGE – to discovering dinosaurs…

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If you know a tot to tween who’d like to join in our learning adventures or if you’d like to inquire about our parent/provider programs please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Feel free to find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc to network with our teammates and family members!

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JAN18

 

Posted in Uncategorized

New Year Countdown & Count UP

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During the last couple weeks Mi Families teammates spent lots of time with their own families enjoying the holidays.  Although we missed our friends and the families who attend our programs, we hope everyone had a great Christmas vacation!  Before Christmas we counted down to vacation and after New Years we counted up to plans for 2018!

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We have lots of plans for 2018! We’re going to be busy planning programs for all ages.  Many of our programs will utilize our education through recreation approach- where lessons are taught through hands on / fun activities.  This week we used the holidays to teach social studies – how everyone celebrates differently … and we used science and math cooking up holiday favorites in the kitchen.

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This week we used math, reading and writing skills to work on recipes and calendars and resolutions…. We made art projects using such basic skills and played with toys to to increase our skills… Learning can be fun using hands on approaches.  Some curriculums, like Mother Goose Time, make lesson planning easy.  MGT provides a theme based kit monthly, which even includes manipulatives!

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Manipulatives are toys that teach! This past month MGT provided “snow” and “ice cube” manipulatives that helped encourage patterns, shapes, counting, measuring… Manipulatives make math fun.  Math is often a subject teachers stress about teaching, forgetting to focus on the fun of puzzles, games, cooking and other ways to add it into daily routine.

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Routines, schedules, clocks, calendars … math is easy to teach when you recognize it’s everywhere.  Forget worksheets – play store with your students! Math, reading, writing, social studies, science …The youngest of students can learn basic subjects concepts while you expand on lessons with older students in a multi age program.  Mi Families offers multi-age child care, tutoring and homeschool classes.

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Mi Families is enrolling in our 2018 youth, family, parent and provider programs.  Visit www.MiFamilies.com to learn more or email Christi@MiFamilies.com with any questions.  Also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc and network with our family – members and teammates.  Want to join the team and help provide programming for families in your Michigan area? Ask Christi how to get started!

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JAN18

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Christmas Countdown

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As I sit down to type this I realize – there’s only 3 days til’ Christmas!  The 3,2,1 countdown begins.  Parents are writing to-do lists for baking and wrapping, while scheduling Christmas parties and church services … Kids are heading home for their holiday vacation with anticipation of visiting family and opening Santa’s gifts … However you celebrate this time of year – Mi Families wishes you a happy holiday season!

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Mi Families loves to celebrate all sorts of holidays in our youth and adult programs.  Our parent and me preschool class did activities such as playing Jingle Bells, decorating “cookies,” and filling “Santa sacks” with goodies to gift others.  Our Kids Kitchen program made treats like homemade hotcocoa, and also played games like Limbo Lights, pin the nose on Rudolf and candy cane catch.

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During child care and tutor times  we kept busy making decorations, reading Christmas stories, and learning through the holiday theme.  Teachers, daycare providers and parents discussed ideas on how to teach through themes such as Christmas.  During holidays and seasons it can be especially hard to keep kids attention, much less learn new concepts.  Luckily in today’s world there are lots of ideas easily found on pages like Pinterest!

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We try and share ideas on our social sites (Pinterest, YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn…) and love when our members share ideas on our sites.  One idea we often share is using an easy curriculum to keep kids busy.  Curriculums like Mother Goose Time provide theme based fun and each month include an extra day of topic based learning for seasonal fun.  This month they provided a Santa Workshop package!

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Using the Santa Workshop theme I expanded on topics for older students while simplifying activities for younger kiddos.  From science to social studies, to reading, writing and math we kept our attention on learning through fun activities.  Santa’s elves taught us about science while cooking in the kitchen, social studies was learned about North Pole living, we read holiday stories, wrote out wish lists, and counted reindeer…

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We used math in many ways ending with counting down to our holiday vacations.  Next week we’ll be counting down to New Years! After the new year starts we will be transitioning to our winter semester schedule.  We’ll be scheduling parent and provider workshops, while enrolling kiddos in our youth programs.  We still have a couple part time spots for child care and tutoring available.  We are filling up quickly for our homeschool partnership classes …

 

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Christmas Class

Mi Families (“my families”) LLC facilitates programs for providers, parents and youth.  From teacher trainings to family functions, from child care to tutor times we offer unique services for all ages.

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Services are designed with an education through recreation approach, meaning we turn programs and events into fun learning experiences.  Learning experiences beyond worksheets and presentations.

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Learning through themes help relate lessons to real life experiences.  Since our participants are experiencing the transition to winter and winter holidays our lessons have reflected the change in theme.

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Animal lessons have transitioned to Arctic Animals to animals that live in warm vs cold climates and south vs north pole terrains.  North pole animals led to discussions of Santa’s animals and playing reindeer games.

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Everyone was included in our reindeer games and activities.  From singing Rudolph to playing our jingle bells and dancing to the Jingle Bell Rock we’ve enjoyed holiday music together.  We enjoyed creating tree ornaments and gingerbread houses.

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Using our art-smart curriculum learning takes place in creative form.  Using open ended materials learning is stage before age focused.  As younger children are are introduced to new concepts, older students expand on each topic.

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Using counting bears, penguin books, reindeer pictures … students learn more than animal information.  Materials provided through theme based curriculums such as Mother Goose Time use such animal activities to teach all subject matters.

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From science, to social studies, to reading, writing and math MGT and other curriculums we utilize teach beyond basics.  Packages like MGT provide monthly manipulatives to do counting and math story problems with.

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Math doesn’t only include learning operations, but also matching, seriation, spatial awareness, measuring, patterns, shapes… Which brings us back to our art-smart approach to learning!

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Using shapes, colors, scissors, glue, sensory bins, stuffed animals, puppets, dramatic play, blocks, trucks, nature … Hands on activities excite our students to learn! To learn more about our programs feel free to email Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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We’re busy scheduling our winter 2018 programs and have spaces available in our tutoring and child care services.  We also have some spots in our teen babysitting classes and homeschool art smart courses.

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As we schedule our youth and adult programs feel free to contact Christi with program ideas you’d like offered.  Also feel free to share topics you’d like these articles to cover – next week we’ll be covering how to use subjects, like math, in holiday themes!

 

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Arctic Animals

The snowy season is almost as distracting for students as invitations for fun in the sun! While tutoring students I notice their diverted attention to the windows –  mesmerized by falling snow.  I don’t blame them, it’s beautiful out – so we go out and enjoy it.

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If your kids attend for tutoring or child care we go outside so PLEASE SEND SNOW GEAR: snow pants, winter coat, hat, mittens, boots … If you need help acquiring such items please ask for resources.  To keep our highly rated status we must go outside daily –

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Unless the weather is less then 10 degrees (counting windchill) we will play in the snow.  However, since our winter gear gets wet we will only have one outside recess per day.  We’ll still find ways to burn off energy during the other recess time period.

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Since the kiddos are excited about the winter season we have transitioned from our “migration and hibernation” lessons to learning about adaptation – animals that enjoy the snow. We found lots of ways to burn off energy pretending we were arctic animals.

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While younger children learned about such animals their older peers researched deeper into arctic animal survival – vs different traits and facts of animals that enjoy the heat and live in the desert.  They found forms of deer live in both climates.

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Since we are nearing Christmas they decided we are transitioning to deer discoveries next week.  Deer activities may include reindeer games.  No one will be excluded from our reindeer games – not even Rudolf – unless they want to be.

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We celebrate all holidays in our programs, but respect if you choose not to participate in festivities.   If you’d like to help with the festivities – please let me know.  We have various holiday events planned for our youth and adult programs.

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Mi Families facilitates programs for providers, parents and children. Our programs are education through recreation approached – meaning we learn through fun! We learn using various theme based curriculums – such as Mother Goose Time (see material pics posted).

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Mother Goose Time and other chosen materials help teach through enriching activities and open ended projects.  From math to reading, writing, social studies, science and other subjects – we use themes, such as arctic animals to excited others about learning.

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Our child care and tutoring services work with tots to pre teens.  We also provide teen and adult events and workshops.  We are currently scheduling and enrolling for our 2018 programs.  If you’d like to learn more please email Christi@MiFamilies.com.

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If you are currently enrolled please contact me with any requests for scheduling or service changes.  Don’t forget you can network with other Mi Family teammates and members on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc!

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