The Yellow Ball

We read The Yellow Ball by Molly Bang for Five in a Row this week.  There are many similarities to My Blue Boat, but the journey belongs to a child’s yellow ball that gets lost at sea for a time.

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Monday is our laundry day, so we usually try to take some stories and read while the clothes are washing.  After we read the story, the kids had fun swatting yellow balloons around with a (clean) fly swatter.

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We found the oceans, learned a song about them by Dr. Jean and spent a lot of time comparing The Yellow Ball to My Blue Boat.  The past two weeks we have read many stories about the sea, dolphins, and whales.  We made list of things we might spot at the beach.

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In The Yellow Ball, the ball is shown from many different perspectives — under, above, far away, up close, behind.  We played a game practicing positional words with a  ball and cup.  They had a hard time with this.  It is no wonder that they can’t find things when I tell them where they are.

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We recreated the cover  of the book with watercolor and cotton balls.  It didn’t work very well because the paper got too soggy, but they enjoyed squirting from the pipettes anyway.

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We locked ourselves in the playroom and bounced many bouncy balls at one time.  Benjamin LOVED this! It was a little scary, but we somehow escaped without any injuries.

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We played many ball games.  Unfortunately I had ordered a yellow beach ball, but it didn’t arrive in time —  one of the joys of living over seas (sigh).  We substituted with Benny’s basketball.  We practiced catching, kicking, and passing, tossing, and throwing.

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We had fun with a yellow splat.  Benjamin’s exploded fairly quickly and I believe Clara’s splat it still stuck to the ceiling somewhere.

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In the story, the yellow ball weathers a storm and arrives safely on shore when the storm calms.  We related this to Luke 8:22-25 and discussed having faith and how Jesus also went through a storm, calmed the winds, and arrived safely on the other side.

We read a lot about thunderstorms this week and tried some experiments.  This one was somewhat of a fail, but they loved it anyway.  I’ll try it again someday with more blue in the  ice.  It is supposed to show how a thunderstorm is created.  We were watching to see what happens when a cold air front runs into a warm air front. The cold air forces the warm air up causing unstable air, thus creating a thunderstorm.

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When the ice began to melt, you could see the red water rise and the blue sink to the bottom.

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We tried to create the sound of thunder from WeatherWiz Kids .They explain it like this:  hitting the bag causes the air to compress so quickly that the air rushes out and pushes the outside air away.  The air continues to move forward in a wave. When the moving air reaches your  ear, you hear the sound.  When lighting strikes, the air is heated so quickly and expands producing waves of air resulting in thunder.

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For teatime this week, we had yellow ball sea theme.  We sipped yellow lemonade, ate lemon Oreos, and made a jello sea complete with swimming fish.  After teatime, we ventured outside to put those water balloons to good use.

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Neither one of them liked the jello and went fishing for Swedish fish instead, so I cooked up the rest of the boxes and turned into a sensory bin.  I think they would have loved this, but it wasn’t a very hot day (despite the boy in underpants) and the jello was cold.  Next time I’ll bring it to room temperature.

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It was a fun week!  Apple week is next!

My Blue Boat

This week we rowed My Blue Boat by Chris L. Demarest.  A child’s imagination takes his sailboat on an adventure from his bathtub to sailing through channels, past sleepy villages, into busy harbors, dancing with whales, steering through storms and much more.

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We read Psalms 107 and brainstormed our own list of the Lord’s wondrous works.   We couldn’t quite get off of the sea theme, but that’s ok as there is plenty of wonder in the sea alone.

Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on mighty waters.  They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.  Palms 107:23-24                                                               

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I loved Clara’s picture of “Jesus on the cross”

We observed how the illustrator showed movement in the picture and found similarities in Van Gogh paintings.  Benny said that it looked like the “eye of the storm” which happens to be the title of his favorite song at the moment and was quite fitting since several major hurricanes were brewing at the time.

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We danced like whales, played tag like dolphins and watched Raffi’s Baby Beluga.  We were all singing that song for weeks! We made our own blue boats and had our own bath time adventure.    IMG_7322 3IMG_7321 2IMG_7325 2

We ate sailboats for lunch.

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We read a story called Boats Float. It’s about all different kinds of boats used around the world; one of which was a sea plane as it becomes a boat when it lands on water.  After reading this Benny immediately ran off to construct his own sea plane.  Pretty darn good I thought.

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We rowed our own boat out to sea, passing harbors and fishing fleets.  (Don’t mind the junky table in the background.  It’s mostly toys to donate, but donating is impossible in Italy…so there it sits).

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Clara liked this for a bit.  Benny wanted like it, but I could see the wheels in his mind turning.  He finally jumped out of the boat and got busy building a bridge over the sea.  This kept them busy for quiet a long time.

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I love how he added his Lego boats

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We enjoyed making origami boats.

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One day I could see Clara eyeing my bed and said:  “this looks like a great sea” and it certainly was! We spent at least two hours pretending to be whales, dolphins, and sharks; we waited to be rescued by Benny’s seaplane, searched for the beacon, and before I knew it I was getting lost in giant swells.

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We sailed little blue ice boats outside in the sea.  Benny built a dock for the boats.

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I was inspired by Julie Bogart, creator of Bravewriter, to introduce Poetry Teatime into our homeschool week.  I absolutely love the idea and hope to stay consistent with it.  The idea is that you set aside a special time each week to eat a snack, sip tea, and simply read poetry.

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For our first teatime, we munched on little cakes and savored fruit punch.  Shel Silverstein has been their favorite thus far.  20170908-DSC0177320170908-DSC01775

In other events, Benny learned how to make egg-toast.  I had ordered some books from Thriftbook.com and they sent the wrong order.  One of the books they happened to send was a Betty Crocker children’s cookbook from the 50’s.  They told me to keep the books and they would send the correct order.  Benny flipped over the egg toast and was so proud to make it for himself.

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

This year we are starting a program called Before Five in a Row.  It is literature based and has you “row” or read the story five days in a row completing an activity for a different subject each day.   I purchased this program a few years ago and am so excited to finally get started with it.  I chose “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”  by Michael Rosen for our first row.

We made maps and binoculars so that we would be ready for our own bear hunt.

Photo Aug 16, 3 50 53 PM Clara’s Koala Crate this month had a camping theme so we built a tent for camping, a campfire, and made a delicious “smores” snack to eat around the campfire before we reenacted the story throughout the house. I had also made a cave for the bear, but forgot to get a picture.  We must have gone on at least 20  bear hunts this day.

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We had fun reading the story while hanging out in our tent.

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We did some yoga through Cosmic Kids on YouTube where she narrates the storyline and takes them through a yoga routine.  They had a lot of fun with this and did it several times throughout the week.  We also watched the author’s read aloud of the story on YouTube.  They love this so much and still ask to watch it on occasion.

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We took a hike through the woods to gather everything we’d need for a Lego bear hunt. Benny was in charge of scooping up dirt to make thick, oozy mud.  We would’ve liked to  hike longer, but Clara and I had gotten almost 40 mosquito bites within about 20 minutes — it was pure torture.  The itchiness almost brought me to tears.

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They had a blast reenacting the story with Legos. This kept them busy for a couple hours.

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Later in the week, we drove up to Dobbiaco (about 2 hours up the Dolomites) and happened upon a delightful park — it had everything we needed to do a bear hunt (aside from the snowstorm of course)!

Long, wavy grass…

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A deep, cold river…

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Part of the kniepps course at the park – Benny loved dunking his face

Thick, oozy mud…

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And a tall, dark forest…

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The kids had so much fun playing with this dam feature.  The top of the hill had a water pump and they could stop the water in various places.  Benny could’ve worked all day on this.

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Benny has quite a knack for finding caterpillars.  He finds them everywhere and I’m always stunned to see how small and camouflage they can be.

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Can you even spot this one???

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We loved our first “row”!  Can’t wait for what’s ahead!