Using the Planning Journal

In case you don’t already know, I have a deep love for our monthly thematic study from 
Mother Goose Time.  Each month I try to do all 20 days.
I have failed every month… for 7 months in a row thinking each month will be different.
Obviously I can’t do it all.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
I am not insane, nor do I want to set myself up for failure every month.  It’s time to analyze what I am doing, change how I am doing it it, and see where it takes us.
As I was thinking about starting Sweet Pea’s newest unit on Ponds, (so excited…this weather is perfect), I remembered back to a blog post from another Mother Goose Time blogger, Keely.  She too realized she couldn’t get it all done, so she decided to let her kids pick out six bags of their choosing and she also includes the Celebration Kit.  If they had more time at the end of the month, great!  Grab another bag and let’s go!  But if not, that’s okay too. 
This.  This is what I needed!  Now the question was:
How do I even choose?  Sweet Pea is only 2.5 years old, and not the best talker.  She just started saying “I like this” last week! Having a conversation with her about what was in each bag and letting her choose, wasn’t in the cards for us (yet). 
Here’s how I answered that question and planned for March.
I get these two awesome guides every month.  I always use the teacher guide, but I had not figured out how to make the Planning Journal work for me, until today.
This post is all about the Planning Journal.
The Planning Journal has this bad boy in it- The Daily Art Projects, an array of crafts and invitations to create.  I love looking at this page.  This is the only reason why I would open the Planning Journal… to see this beauty.  But not today. 

The Planning Journal also has a calendar that you can follow to help you plan your days throughout the month.  We have a lot of set outings that don’t allow us to follow this plan daily, so I needed to choose which days were top priorities.  This calendar helps with that! 

I needed to choose the things that Sweet Pea most loved about MGT.
Monthly book (day 7)
Puzzle (day 7)
I Spy (day 2)
Science card or Cooking card (day 9)
I Can Read book (day 14)
My Little Journal (day 3)
Those are the days I highlighted below.  Only 5 days.  I knew we could fit 8 daily bags.
I want us to fit 8. 
How do I choose 3 out of so many?
I turned to another blog to help me figure it out– Stacy and her monthly “What’s in the Box” post.

By looking through her post,  I could see better what each day had to offer and decide which 3 days Sweet Pea might like the most. I also turned back to the Daily Art Project page looking at what Sweet Pea might like to create.  She absolutely loves painting, so I decided to add:
Duck (day 5)
Alligator (day 19)
Fish (day 20) 
3 craft days and 5 Invitations to Create.  In the words of my girl, “I like this.”

I flipped back to the Calendar page and highlighted all the days so I could really focus on them.
Reason 1,347, 987 on why I love MGT: I don’t have to use the bags in order.
Now I needed to plan which days I wanted to do when and in what order. 

The Blank Calendar page.
The beauty of MGT is you can make this stuff work for you and your life.  
I decided it might be wise to give myself 2 days per bag.  It allows me to go further, or do an activity more than once, or if the afternoon is beautiful and we want to go to the park and not do MGT, we can do that too.  
I filled in a few days where we will do school with the local co-op in town.  I teach 2-4 year olds arts and crafts and that is when we will use our Celebration Kit!  I just love MGT.

That’s our month.
All planned out. 
Now the question is:  Will things go according to plan?
Guess you’ll have to keep up with us in March to see how things pan out. 🙂
Until then,
Happy Planning!

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