{BFIAR} 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!

Before Five in a Row: Katy No-Pocket

This week we rowed Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne. Illustrated by H. A. Rey,  the kids immediately recognized the illustrations and thought it was Curious George.  We talked about the difference between authors and illustrators and compared our Curious George illustrations to this one.

 

images-7This is a story about a kangaroo without a pouch looking for a solution so she could carry her joey.  She finds a kind, generous man in the city wearing an apron full of pockets.  He kindly remedied her problem by cheerfully giving his apron to her.

We discussed Deuteronomy 15:8 and Timothy 6:18 and learned what it means to be generous.  I didn’t think they were listening at all, but a few days later we were in the car and Benjamin announced that he had helped Clara get what she needed (he was referring to a balloon she had been looking for).


Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.

Deuteronomy 15:8

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

Timothy 6:18


 

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We combined this story with Over in Australia from an Ivy Kids box.  It worked out perfectly since our library didn’t have much on Australia or its wildlife.

Katy No-Pocket features many animals throughout. We matched, sorted, and tallied up what we found.

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Benjamin’s kangaroo is running.

We read about boomerangs and had fun throwing them. Boomerangs are an old hunting tool and are designed to return to you when thrown correctly. Benjamin got his to curve back (ever so slightly) once!

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We created our own Aboriginal art.  This kept them busy for quite a while.

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I had given them this kangaroo print out, but after viewing some samples of real Aboriginal art online, Benjamin immediately wanted to start fresh with his own design.

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We designed our own pouch — just like Katy!

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They had a great time playing with these!  I caught them at almost 9:00 one night playing with these.

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We talked about different animals in the story and how zoos give us chance to see unique animals from all over the world.  We don’t have access to a zoo around here, so we created our own.

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Benjamin worked so hard on this swing!

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We read that kangaroos can jump 25 – 30 feet.  We measured what that looks like.  We were finally able to get outside.  It’s been terribly foggy and rainy for the past week.

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We compared our own jumps to the length of the kangaroo.

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I was really pathetic!

We counted how many steps, jumps, and one-legged hops it took us to get 25 feet.

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Benjamin got the table ready for teatime.  He decorated with his coins!

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Shel Silverstein continues to be the favorite

We sampled Fairy Bread – supposedly an Australian treat enjoyed at birthday parties and holidays.  It is nothing more than amply buttered white bread with sprinkles and was strangely delicious.  They both loved it and licked every sprinkle off of every plate.

Some other things we did this week: 

Benjamin was introduced to place value.

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I let him choose a number to make.  He just had to pick “a 9 and a 7”!  It took a while but he did it! And then of course I showed him what happens when we add 3 more.

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Clara worked on counting as well.

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The kids randomly disappeared upstairs and built the town of Pordenone.

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This hasn’t been my favorite story.  I don’t know if it was because our library had zero books on Australia or kangaroos… or if it was raining and we were a bit cooped up inside the house.  The kids enjoyed it nonetheless and we read it many times throughout the week.

Before Five in a Row: The Snowy Day

This week we enjoyed an Ezra Jack Keats classic: The Snowy Day.  A story where a boy discovers and enjoys the wonders of a snowy day.

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We read a lot about snowflakes this week.  The Story of Snow was a great one!  It talks about the uniqueness of each snowflake, how they are formed, and has wonderful close up photos and illustrations of snow crystals.  The kids loved this!

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We made our own snowflakes with coffee filters.  We had so much fun and they thought it was absolutely magical!  LRG_DSC02558

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His snowflakes were getting cooler than mine!

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In this snowflake of Benjamin’s, he commented that it looked like Peter’s (the boy’s name in the story) snowsuit.  He was right!  I love when they make those observations – I never would’ve noticed.

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We talked about Psalms 90:12 and how only God knows how many days we have here on earth, so we must make the most out of each day, enjoy the wonderful gifts He has provided, and live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 90:12

We made forts and had an indoor snowball fight with socks.

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I made snow dough and we made our own tracks in the snow with Legos, animals, and sticks.

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Down fell the snow — plop! — on top of Peter’s head. 

Benjamin had the idea of getting his Lego figure ice cubes to use as snowmen.

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When the ice melted the snow got a little slimy, so he began creating avalanches instead.

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poor Lego guys!

We discussed how Peter handled his situation when he couldn’t participate in a snowball fight with the big boys.  We all agreed that Peter made the right decision when he found other exciting things to do instead of pouting and complaining about not participating in the snowball fight.

At the end of the story, Peter is shown telling his mother all about his day in the snow.  We discussed memories and how much of the fun of going on adventures is being able to remember them later.  I shared some of my favorite childhood memories — a  few hours later during lunch, Benjamin asked if I would tell him more about my “adventures at Gan’s house when I was little”.  I thought it was so sweet of him.

We went to up to Piancavallo for our own fun in the snow.  We had fun sledding, making tracks, and attempting snow angels.  Clara has been desperate to make snow angels for a long time.  It wasn’t quite the right snow for that but we tried anyway.

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cioccolato caldo… yum!

We worked on story sequencing cards and created our own snowy scenes with puffy paint.

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The finished product turned out cute!

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We made a snowflake/snowman snack with pretzels and marshmallows.

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In other news this week:

Benny lost his first tooth! He was bursting with excitement and wanted to call everybody.

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We went to Boy Scouts this week and the boys learned about teamwork and building each other up.  They had to work as a team to build a tower without using any hands.  This was very challenging for them.

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We’re still plugging away with Logic of English.  We practiced writing in “snow” and Benny shot phonograms with his nerf gun.

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They loved this little story and have made many references to Peter and are still interested in hearing memories.

 

 

Before Five in a Row: If Jesus Came to My House

We started this story when we were at my Mom’s for the holidays.  I thought we’d do a lot more school while we were visiting but alas, we only managed to squeeze in one day.  We finally got around to finishing the book about a month later — it took us a long time to recover from jet lag and Christmas.

This was a very sweet story with a beautiful message… We can show our love for Jesus by serving others and treating them with love and kindness.

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We began by learning about the Golden Rule.  We made watercolor hearts.  They loved watching how the watercolors spread on the paper.  I even let them use my fancy Japanese watercolors which made it that much more exciting.  I didn’t get a picture of the final product, but we cut them into heart shapes and wrote the golden rule on it.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

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We talked about the power of music and how it can make you feel certain emotions. We listened and danced to classical music selections from Play Kids Music and they explained how it made them feel and why.  They were definitely partial to the fast, loud, and exciting pieces.  We also discovered how music can make unpleasant tasks a lot more fun…  so we blasted music and tidied up the house.

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So do not fear, for I am with you

Isaiah 41:10

In the story the little boy is frightened by the shadows on his wall at night.  We discussed different kinds of fears we all face in life. Apparently Benjamin has no fear, but Clara stated she is afraid when she is outside in the dark without her mom or dad.  We read Isaiah 41:10 and reviewed that we shouldn’t be afraid because Jesus is always with us.

“Although I cannot see him, I still can feel him near to understand and hold my hand and drive away my fear.”

Since the boy in the story mentions shadows, we had lots of fun reading about how shadows are made.

We did a shadow puppet show.

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We traced, raced, and chased our shadows at the park…

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We watched our shadows swing.

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We combined teatime this week for The Snowy Day and If Jesus Came to My House. Benjamin decided we should serve snowball cookies, so we got baking.  I have to say this Tupperware chopper was amazing for chopping all of those pecans!

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rolling “snowballs”

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We looked for all of the ways in the story the little boy shows hospitality to Jesus and decided to invite some special visitors for teatime.

We greeted them at the door and invited them in…

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welcomed them to our table…

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and offered them something to eat…

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The kids did all of the decorating for teatime today.  I loved the snowflakes as coasters.  We enjoyed the snowball cookies and root beer and of course began teatime with My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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“And with my bricks I’d build for him a palace of his own, and he would be the little king and sit upon the throne”.

We made palaces for our guests.

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This one looked a bit more like a prison cell!

I was glad I went ahead and finished this story.  I wanted to make it more service centered, but living in a foreign country makes it difficult to find opportunities.  I also wanted them to find toys to donate, but since it ends up sitting on our train table it didn’t seem too effective in getting the point across.  Hopefully we can do more service projects after we move.

Prayer for a Child

We had a lighter week this week as we were getting ready to go home for Thanksgiving and had much to do.  Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field was the perfect book — a lovely illustrated prayer of rhyming couplets.

We talked a lot this week about what it means to be content — to be happy with what we have instead of always wanting more.  I thought this lesson went totally lost as both of their Christmas lists continued to grow, but it as it turns out, they are quick to point out when I  am not satisfied with what I have.   Now I am constantly reminded about being content when I want to buy new pens.  And truth be told, I am beginning to accumulate an astonishing number of pens.  Alas, I suppose we’re all hypocrites at heart!

We made praying hands to think of things in our own lives for which we could pray and be grateful.  Clara loved hers so much and had me read it to her many times throughout the week.  She even packed it in her suitcase for our trip back to the states.

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I was glad to see  “better attitude” on Benjamin’s.  And cactus juice??? Where did that come from?

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We learned the song Jesus Loves the Little Children and watched it on YouTube.  I loved hearing their voices caroling throughout the house all week.

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We read Children Just Like Me.  A story that spotlights the lives of children all over the world.  Although we discovered many differences —  types of shelter, languages, clothing, and traditions — we also found many similarities.  We learned that kids all over the world go to school and like to play with toys.  In countries where toys are scarce, the kids create their own.  We invented our own toys just like the kids in the book.  Benjamin made a sword out of a stick and his praying hands, and together, we made a ball out of old grocery bags.  We had fun playing games of tennis and soccer with our ball.

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In the story the girl spends some time gazing at the stars.  We read a few books on stars and learned about the big dipper.  We worked on making pinhole constellations.  We never had time to stargaze through a flashlight as intended, but they enjoyed poking holes in the paper anyway and I was happy because it was great for fine motor skills!

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And then Benny decided to make the Big Dipper with his bread.

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The prayer begins with ‘bless this milk and bless this bread.’  We watched a little video about dairy farming and wheat harvesting.  We also read Little Red Hen.  I didn’t even need to talk about the moral of story because that spoke for itself.   We baked some bread to practice being cheerful helpers.

Benny measured the flour while Clara made a tally mark for each cup.

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We learned how to knead the dough.  Clara tired quickly, so Benjamin did most of the kneading.  Clara got to grease the bowl for the dough.

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Ready to watch it rise!

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They loved working with the dough so much that they continued to “bake bread” with the play-doh.

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They loved checking in on the dough and watching it rise.  Purely magical!

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The finished product was excellent! We enjoyed the fruits of our labor all week!

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I love this sweet little face!

We had a special teatime for Thanksgiving this week and Dad could even join us because it fell on a Sunday!  We slurped hot apple cider, licked the frosting off of pumpkin spice cupcakes, and read stories about Thanksgiving.

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Our Thanksgiving tree is complete!  Though I regret not recording what they had said each day, I love how it turned out in the end!  One of my favorites from Benjamin was “turkeys in all of the land”.  I hope to make this a family tradition and will look forward to it every year.

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That pretty much sums up the week!  Now we are looking forward to a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving and holiday season with family in Utah and California.

Blueberries For Sal

Blueberries for Sal, a beautifully illustrated 1948 classic by Robert McCloskey was up this week.

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother go a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter.  Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries.  –Amazon

The first day we studied the illustrations to find similarities and differences in how we live today.  We also read Then and Now from Usborne.  It’s a book comparing past and present ways of life. Lots to discuss in this one — both kids loved this story and wanted to read it several times.  Now I frequently overhear them talking about the “olden days”.

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We did a blueberry picking race around the house and then sorted and counted by two’s.  We loved dropping different objects in the pail to see which would go kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk.

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Benny and I worked on some math while Clara transferred pompoms with tweezers.

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We made smashing cotton “blueberries” — an idea I got from Fabulously Frugal.  It consisted of equal parts flour and water, some food coloring, and cotton balls.  We dipped the cotton in the mixture and baked it.  You’re supposed to be able to smash them with a hammer, but I don’t think we baked them quite long enough.  They were a tad too squishy to smash.  Photo Nov 07, 6 14 46 AMPhoto Nov 07, 6 15 06 AM We still enjoyed counting, stacking, and listening to them go kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk when they hit the bottom of the tin pail.

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Every now and then I like to surprise the kids with a themed meal.  It never fails to get a chuckle out of them.

IMG_7971We played find the hidden bear where I would give them clues about a number and they had to guess the correct cave.  They loved this game!

Photo Nov 10, 1 17 56 AMWe worked on a directional book.

Photo Nov 10, 2 22 08 AMWe created our own blueberry hill with oil pastels.

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Clara and I baked blueberry muffins for teatime.

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For poetry teatime we served up blueberry muffins, blueberries and cream, and blueberry juice.

Photo Nov 11, 6 29 12 AMWe had  a lot of fun with this story.  Clara’s favorite part is when little Sal and little bear followed the wrong mom.  Benjamin’s favorite part was when little Sal got tired and sat down in the bush to eat berries.

Other things we worked on this week:

We practiced blending words together and beginning sounds.   Ziggy came out for this one.  They go wild whenever Ziggy makes an appearance.

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Benny learned the phonogram “d”.

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For math we did counting games with the number mats.  We did exercises, built towers, and, sorted toys.

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We tried to think of all the possible ways in which we could sort socks.  We discovered we could sort by family member, boy/girl, colors, size, and tall/short.

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I made a fall themed sensory box with rice, colored pasta, pumpkin pie spice, and apparently just about every kitchen utensil we own.  I’m working hard to get over my fear of messes!

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I also made little ribbon rings for Clara.  She had fun dancing around with these for a while.

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We crafted our thankful tree for November.  Clara helped me paint the tree and get the leaves ready.  Each day we will name something we are thankful for and add a leaf to the tree.

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No glitter left behind in this house!

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The finished product!  I’m not very artistic, but was quite happy with it in the end!

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Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

Our Five in a Row pick for this week was Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?.  Written by Nancy White Carlstrom and illustrated by Bruce Degan,  it is a delightful rhyming story about a little bear’s day with his mom.  I absolutely adore the illustrations in the Jesse Bear series.

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We read a lot about patterns.  We looked for patterns throughout the story in the wallpaper and their clothes, we found patterns in our own closets, and since it was laundromat day, we went on a pattern hunt around base.  We found patterns in many of the buildings and in the floor tiles.  We also made our own with gummy bears.

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We hung “Jesse’s” laundry out to dry with clothes pins.  Clara really enjoyed this and spent at least 30 minutes hanging laundry – Benjamin had no interest.

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We discussed dressing for different kinds of weather.  I surprised them with these felt weather bears.  Clara LOVED these bears.  I think she spent 3 hours dressing them the first day.  She played with them all week and  I found her narrations to be most amusing.  Benjamin dressed the boy bear once and lost interest. IMG_7926IMG_7925IMG_7930

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This poor bear must have had a rough day!

In the story illustrations, Jesse Bear’s home has shapes on the carpet.  We worked with pattern blocks and discussed different shapes.  I’m amazed at how Benny seems to notice shapes everywhere now.  He has found hexagons in restaurant floor tiles and in shopping carts…I never would’ve noticed these.

IMG_7969Clara enjoyed sorting the shapes by color and made neat stacks.

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We also painted a “tablecloth” with shapes on it.  They always love when the sponges come out.

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We recreated Jesse Bear’s healthy lunch and practiced rhymes from the story.  Printables from Homeschool Share.

Carrots and peas and a little more please…

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Juice from a pear and rice in my hair…

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We also read about oral hygiene and watched a Brain-Pop Jr video about teeth and practiced flossing with play-doh and legos.

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We painted eggs with coffee and tried to brush it off with toothpaste.  It was really hard to get off! No wonder why my teeth are in desperate need of whitening!  I drink a lot of coffee.

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We learned that tooth enamel is the hardest part of our bodies and observed what would happen if we eat too much acidic food and neglect our teeth.  We soaked an egg in vinegar and witnessed what happened to the shell.  After a few hours, it was so soft it caved right in with barely any touch.  Now Benjamin walks around scolding us for drinking acid.  Haha!

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After all of that talk about tooth care and healthy foods, we made Rice Krispy treats and settled in for teatime.  We invited our weather bears, used our tablecloth of shapes for decoration and slurped a Monster Capri-Sun in honor of Halloween.

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They had fun in water to float my bubbles and boat.

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In addition to Jesse Bear, I began Logic of English Foundations A with Ben.  The first few lessons spend a lot of time practicing blending sound segments.  I “unglued” a clothing item with sound segments and they got to dress up in the matching attire.  This was difficult, but they loved getting bundled up.

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We practiced handwriting in sprinkles.  They both loved this and it was Clara’s high point of the day.  And yes, I did catch them dipping their tongue into the tray more than once.

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Other fun things we did this week…

The base put on the annual big Halloween Fest.  It is the bases largest event as Italians don’t celebrate Halloween.  They had donkey rides, bounce houses, a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, and lots of candy!

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Can you find the ninja?

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We also attended the homeschool party this week.  They played a few games, munched some candy, and ran wild round the field.

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To finish off the week we blasted rockets off with the boy scouts — they were all so thrilled!  Derek built the rocket and Benny painted it.

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When his rocket launched, it shot straight to the side and exploded with a big flame bursting out.  I was fairly certain his rocket was going to set the field on fire.

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One of the boy’s rocket landed high up in a tree.  The poor boy was desperate to launch it a second time.  Derek tried to knock it down with a ball.  He had great aim, but the string was wrapped around the branch too tightly.

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Wow it was a busy week!  So much going on, but we had a great time.  Next week we’ll keep having fun with bears when we read Blueberries for Sal.

I forgot to mention the broken bones.  Early in the week we took the bikes out to the piazza to enjoy some fresh air.  He was riding his bike on top of the fountain (which is several steps up), wasn’t watching where he was going and drove his bike right off of the top and landed on his wrist.  Luckily it was just a buckle fracture and was quick to heal.

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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!