Sunday, September 30, 2012

TOS Review: Music Together

Music is a universal language. It transcends boundaries and has the power to bond people from all over the world. It reaches beyond our cultural and language differences to touch the depths of our souls, express our common emotions, and inspire us all.

 Music Together logo

Music Together, an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program, supports this natural bonding experience, connecting families and communities across the globe as they express and explore the basic human instinct for making music.  

Music Together covers

Music Together is targeted for young children (infant, toddler, preschool, and kindergarten) and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers, regardless of their music ability.  The Music Together program encourages active participation of adults with their children in a non-formal approach, which stimulates exploration and discovery.  The mission of Music Together is to create a nurturing music environment in which children's innate musicality will blossom and flourish.  Music Together is committed to helping families rediscover the pleasure and educational value of informal music experiences, such as sharing songs, rhymes, movement and instrument play. 

 Basic Principles of the Music Together Philosophy:
  • All children are musical.  Children have a natural tendency to move and sound in response to music.   
  • All children can achieve basic music competence; that is, they can learn to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.  
  • The participation and modeling of parents and other primary caregivers (regardless of their music ability) is essential to a child's musical growth. 
  • This growth is best achieved in a playful, musically rich, and non-performance-oriented learning environment.  Young children learn best in a non-formal environment that is free from expectations. 

Our family had the opportunity to review Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook for Teachers.

Family Favorites CD

Music Together Family Favorites CD features nineteen (19) of the best-loved songs from the nine (9) Music Together song collections. This CD has won eleven awards including a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor award and includes a 32-page booklet with fun music-making activity suggestions for every song for use at home, in the car, or in the preschool classroom.

If you would like to listen to any of the songs on the Family Favorites CD, please click here.

CD with Booklet:  $14.95

Download Album (MP3) and Booklet:  $9.99

As a homeschooling mom, I have a lot of curriculum scattered organized around my house, which can lead to not having all the components together at the same time.  I absolutely love the way the Family Favorites CD case has an attached booklet that contains some activities for every song!  Everything that is needed is attached and together in one place, genius!

In addition, we really enjoyed the variety of voices throughout the Family Favorites CD.  It kept each song new and fresh and we ALL took pleasure in listening to every song!     

The companion songbook to the award-winning Family Favorites CD is designed especially for all those who work musically with children and can be easily implemented in a variety of settings, including homeschooling. 

Music Together Family FavoritesSongbook for Teachers
Songbook for Teachers

The Music Together Songbook for Teachers explains how to create a musically rich environment where children learn to move rhythmically, to sing, and to develop listening and improvisation skills through playful, developmentally appropriate activities.

The Songbook for Teachers is divided into three sections: 
  • The Opening Section introduces the Music Together philosophy, discusses the types of songs and activities for the program, explains how to incorporate instruments and props, and adaptions for children with special needs. 
  • The Middle Section contains the 19 songs from the Music Together Family Favorites CD.  Each song contains several teacher pages, which lists ideas and suggestions for different age levels and adaptations for children with special needs. 
  • The Final Section includes information about the Music Together program and reference materials.   

Songbook for Teachers:  $29.95

The Music Together Songbook for Teachers is nicely organized and contains more than just suggested activities for each song.  I don't think it's a necessity in order to enjoy this marvelous program.  So, if you have a tight budget, purchase the Family Favorites CD and just let the music move you and your children!  However, if you're looking for a more detailed explanation of activities or want ideas for multiple age levels and children with special needs, I would encourage you to consider the Songbook for Teachers.   
If you order the Storybook and CD combo (K0227), you will save $5.  
Discounted price:  $39.95

Music Together covers
Storybook and CD combo

Save an additional $2 by entering the coupon code "Schoolhouse" at check out!   

 How we used Music Together:

My girls love music.  They love to sing and dance around the house, in the car, and even at the grocery store!   We frequently have music playing in the background at home and love signing in the car.  My girls, especially Mac, has always had a natural response to music.  I've always tried to make our home a musically enriched environment with absolutely no formal curriculum or expectations mainly because I have no musical ability, seriously, I have none.  I was always the child who was too shy to sing aloud, too embarrassed to dance and sing in front of others and still find myself uncomfortable singing at church in the congregation.  However, when the girls and I are singing, dancing, and having fun--it's easy to forget about my insecurities.  I want my girls to be comfortable singing and dancing with others, regardless of their ability.  I was thrilled to incorporate Music Together in our daily routine, as it supports and encourages all children (and parents) to participate at his or her own level.    

My girls' favorite songs on the Family Favorites CD were "Stick Tune" and "Dancing With Teddy". 

Stick Tune

Dancing With Teddy

I would highly recommend  Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook for Teachers for all families!  It's a fun and exciting way to introduce music education to young children, in a non-formal environment that promotes and supports individuality.  

To see what other Crew Members had to say about Music Together, please click HERE


Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free copy of Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook for Teachers in return for an honest review.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Messy Class: Bird Feeders

Last week at our weekly Coop's Preschool Messy Class, we created peanut butter pine cone bird feeders! 

They all had a messy time!  

Many of them ate more peanut butter than they put on their pine cone!  Everyone was rubbing the pine cone, then licking their fingers...I know, gross!  Thankfully, I don't think they ate the bird seed! 


Mac was very proud to hang her bird feeder on the tree for all our backyard birds!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fruit Of The Spirit

For the first 3 weeks of school, the girls have been learning about the Fruit of the Spirit. 

 I found this wonderful Fruit of the Spirit Devotional. 

Front cover

"The format of this devotional is simple and practical. Every day touches on one of the Fruit while reinforcing previous lessons. Everything is written out for you, the teacher, in bold lettering. Possible answers are in plain text, and any extras you need are in red. Each devotional is short and easy for young children to understand. This is not meant to be an in-depth Bible study, but rather an introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit."

  I created a PowerPoint to use as a visual aid with the above Devotional. 

Fruit of the Spirit PowerPoint                                                           

**Unfortunately, Scribd only allows the PowerPoint to be "free" for a certain amount of time.  If it is encouraging you to "pay" for the Powerpoint download, please DO NOT!  I will be more than happy to e-mail you a copy of the PowerPoint.**

Each day, a new "fruit" was introduced.  While I read over the devotional for the day, the girls colored the fruit of the day and added it to their basket.  Printables can be found here.   

Mac's completed Fruit Of The Spirit basket

Izzie's completed Fruit Of The Spirit basket

They were super excited to focus on the particular Fruit of the Spirit throughout the day.  If I "caught" them incorporating the fruit of the day, they received a star for their Fruit of the Spirit chart.  

Izzie's completed Fruit of the Spirit chart

Messy Class: I Spy Alphabet Bottles!

This year at Coop, I'm teaching a Preschool Messy Class!  Yes, a messy class! 

Our first week, we created I Spy Alphabet Bottles.  

I Spy Alphabet Bottle

 Mac had the best time helping me prepare the rice! 

First, we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

I took in our sand table from home.  After the book, I dumped out all the rice in the sand table. I had numerous scoops/spoons/cups for each child to fill their empty juice bottle.  Unfortunately, the first week was a little chaotic; therefore, I wasn't able to snap any "action" shots!  I had 12 little 3/4 year olds...that's 24 hands dumping rice everywhere

After they filled their bottle, we carefully added alphabet beads, then hot-glued the lid on.  

I Spy Alphabet Bottle

 In addition, I created this simple Alphabet Handout (laminated) for each child to take home along with the I Spy Alphabet Bottle.  

I Spy Alphabet Bottle with Handout

Shake, find and identify a letter, then cover letter on handout. 

Finding and Identifying Letters

Super fun way to learn and recognize the letters of the alphabet!

Monday, September 24, 2012

First Day of Coop!

My girls have been anxiously waiting for our first day of Coop!  We were sad to leave our previous Coop, but very excited to begin our adventure with the new Coop!  

Our Coop meets weekly on Friday from 9-3.  They will be taking 5 classes this year.  

Izzie's Schedule:  K-1
  • Introduction To The 50 States
  • Journey Through The Bible
  •  Literature 
  • Spanish 
  • PE 
Mac's Schedule:  Preschool
  •  Science 
  • ABC's
  • Free Play
  • Snoozy Stories 
  • Messy Class
 Izzie was a little nervous about meeting new friends and had a few jitters, but she had a GREAT first day!  She made several new friends and really enjoyed her Spanish class.  I was able to stay in the Preschool classes, so Mac was fine, as long as she could see me!  It was a long day and we were all completely exhausted by 3pm, but it was so worth it!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Service Stars

This week's community service project was picking up litter at a local park.  



 The girls actually enjoyed searching for the trash!  Thankfully, we didn't discover anything too gross!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Moments to Remember...

Mac: (screaming) MOMMY!  MOMMY!  MOMMY!  MOMMY!  MOMMY!

Me:  What?!

Mac:  No!  My other Mommy.

Izzie:  What, honey?

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Day of Service

Last Saturday was AHG National Day of Service.
One of the attributes of an AHG girl is her dedication to demonstrating faith-filled servant leadership. Hundreds of thousands of “girl” hours of service are given to their communities each year, with even the youngest girls participating. This year, AHG held its first-ever AHG National Day of Service on Sept. 15, a date that coincides with its founding.  AHG girls from across America and abroad fanned out to impact their communities. These girls baked cookies, collected and packed food, assembled school supplies and toys for foster children, reached out to seniors, painted a building or participated in some other important endeavor. 
Izzie's American Heritage Girls' Troop participated in several service activities.


Each AHG girl made Christmas cards for our soldiers.  


The girls were divided into three different groups.  One group baked muffins, another cleaned the church pavilion, while the last group sanitized all the toys in the preschool and nursery area of the church. 



  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  1 Peter 4:10
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