Before Five in a Row: Ask Mr. Bear

Ask Mr. Bear, first published in 1932, is a sweet tale about a boy trying to find the perfect birthday present for his mother.  He seeks advice from all of the animals only to find that his mother already has the items suggested.  In the end, the animals advised him to ask Mr. Bear who happened to have the best idea… a great big bear hug.

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7


We talked about ways we could be cheerful givers and thoughtful of others.  Clara said we can give toys; Benjamin thought of love and help — all good ideas I thought.  In the story, Danny seeks advice from the animals.  We discussed what it means to seek advice and you can either choose to take it or leave it, but it’s a wise thing to do.

We spent a lot of time re-enacting and retelling the story with our Usborne Press-Out Paper Farm.  They both loved this and spent a lot of time lost in play.  It is really cute.

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We sampled goat cheese, cream, and eggs… as suggested by the goat, cow, and hen.

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We studied a goose feather pulled from one of our coats… the idea from the goose.

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Cozied up in a wool blanket…  advice from the sheep.

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And of course spent lots of time doling out great big bear hugs.

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We practiced moving like the animals from the story.  We skipped, trotted, galloped, and hopped all while making our best animal impersonations.

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We ate a “farm fresh” lunch one day.  Eggs, goat cheese, bacon, milk, and apples. Clara loved the feta – Benjamin did not.

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We had a very merry un-birthday party which was SO much fun!  We watched the scene from Alice and Wonderland and talked about what makes a birthday special.  We baked an un-birthday cake, wore party hats, and made some noise!

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Since the story is about gift giving, we practiced our thoughtfulness by finding things around the house to wrap up.  I also let them each choose a small token for each other from the store.  We role played how to open gifts — both graciously and rudely — great hilarity ensued!

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We had a bunch of lemons sitting around after making the lemon cake, so they got to work juicing.  I had no idea juicing could be so much fun.  I think they spent at least an hour juicing lemons which was just enough to make freshly squeezed lemonade!

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Other fun things this week: 

Benjamin enjoyed writing with the quick drying tempura paint sticks.  They are a lot of fun to color with and they don’t smear.

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We had some fun for St. Patrick’s Day.  We read about leprechauns, stamped shamrocks with marshmallows, and painted a leprechaun.

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Clara’s
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Benjamin’s

We had so much fun this week!  It is amazing to me how much you can pull from such a simple and sweet story.

 

Before Five in a Row: The Red Carpet

The Red Carpet by Rex Parkin was our pick for Five in a Row this week.  What a delightful story!  It is currently out of print and I’m glad I tracked it down at a reasonable price.  I absolutely loved the rhyme and rhythm of this story and never tired of reading it.  The Red Carpet is a tale of the Hotel Bellevue’s runaway red carpet which wildly whirled through the town wreaking havoc.

We read about policeman from Usborne’s Things People Do.  Both of the kids love this book.  We also talked about detectives and how they use fingerprints to help track down suspects in a crime.

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While we examined our own fingerprints, we marveled at our Creator’s infinite creativity and His amazing, intricate, and unique design for each and every one of us.   IMG_8741


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well

Psalm 139: 13-14

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  

Matthew 10: 29-31


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We created our own version of La Salle Avenue.

“Shine up the doorknobs, and sweep up the floor, then roll out the carpet right through the front door!”

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Our Hotel Bellevue

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In the story, pretzels soared through the air when the red carpet plowed into a street vendor.  Our town had lego pizzas take flight!

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It didn’t take long before it took over the house!

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We rolled out the red carpet when Dad came home and surprised hime with “red carpet treatment”.  The kids worked so hard.  Benjamin presented a wrapped box of conversation hearts on a structure he had built.  Clara wrapped up a doll brush from around the house and made a valentine.  We also offered him a snack and a provided a selection of beverages.

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Clara’s gift

Clara worked on posing for the red carpet event.

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I’ll have to keep these tablecloths in mind.  It is impossible to get butcher paper here.  This was handy.  Afterward, they did some large drawings.

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We hunted for street signs within the book’s illustrations and then ventured out on a neighborhood walk to see what kind of street signs we could find.  We practiced turning left and right — just like the red carpet.

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The town was still decorated from carnevale

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We continued on a nature walk through the woods.

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We even found signs of spring!

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We like to imagine what little critters may call this home. Benjamin voted for a mole; Clara guessed lizards and rats.

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In other news this week:

We got our new math curriculum – Math-U-See.  The kids had a blast exploring the new manipulatives.

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We had so much fun at our library’s Fort Night!  They opened the library after hours and allowed us to build a fort between the aisles.  We read books in the dark with a flashlight.  I’m surprised they are holding another one because there were a few kids in there emptying entire shelves!  They even provided cookies, juice, and a lollipop for the road.  It was a hit!

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They found their favorite poetry books!

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What a fun and busy week it was!

Valentine’s Day

Instead of Five in a Row this week, we enjoyed crafting and read many stories about love and Valentine’s Day.

We did watercolor crayon resist paintings to add to the calendars we’ve been working on.

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We made gluey yarn hearts.  Benjamin had zero interest in this, but Clara enjoyed it and loved hanging them when they dried.

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We conducted a failed science experiment.  I placed white mums in colored water to demonstrate how the stem drinks the water, but we had no luck in changing the color of the petals.  After almost two weeks, we could barely see a few spots in the flowers in the green and blue water.  Yellow and red were just as white as they started. Nevertheless, we still had fun inspecting them each day.

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This is how they looked in the beginning
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This was about 12 days later 

We worked on a mailbox for each family member and spent a lot of time creating valentines.  They had much more fun with this than I had expected.  I did nothing other than provide art supplies and they went to work.  I am ashamed to admit that I have not yet mailed out the valentines they worked so hard on.  I must get to it!

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Still loves making snowflakes!

 

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our mailboxes

Benjamin decided he’d rather have an actual box, so he got to work.  It was an evolving project.  It began with two coffee filters taped together with a hole in the top.

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The view from the top 

Then he cut a hole in a box and added the filters to the top.

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The next addition was a money dropper.  He discovered that if you put money into the tube and tipped the box, coins would come out like a “money machine”.  He loved making “change” and at one point required a credit card in order to give him a valentine.  Haha!

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They made their own “George Washington” money

We got ready for the homeschool Valentine’s party and they practiced writing their names.

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Teatime this week consisted of valentine sprinkle cookies and sparkling pink lemonade.

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Other things we did this week:

Benjamin is working hard on reading and is progressing quickly.  I’m still impressed with his cursive though he refuses to use it at any other time.

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Clara is working on her cutting skills.  She has a difficult time holding the scissors properly.  I read straws are a great way to work on scissor skills because they are stiff. Benjamin couldn’t resist when he witnessed how the straws soared up into the air with each snip.

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We joined the homeschool group for a trip to the science museum in town.  All of the kids were completely enamored with this phone.  I must say, I have very fond childhood memories of playing with my grandmother’s dial phone.

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We had fun crafting this week, but the weather was terrible.  We were stuck in the house way more than we like to be.  It even snowed!  Although it’s not much, I have never seen this much snow in our town.

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