Before Five in Row: Caps for Sale

“Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!”  We had fun with this 1940’s classic by Esphyr Slodbodkina this week. “A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business”.  I remember loving this story when I was little and it’s always fun to revisit a childhood favorite.

We’ve probably read this story a hundred times already and the kids already knew it quite well.  We began the week with some acting.   We practiced walking “slowly, slowly, so as not to upset his caps”.  We also talked about how having good posture helps us with balance.  Something I clearly need to work on for myself because when I demonstrated the meaning of  good posture, both kids burst out laughing! Haha!

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We fell asleep under a “tree” with our caps on…

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When we awoke… little monkeys had swiped our caps! LRG_DSC03401

We took turns being peddlers.  Isn’t this the cutest little peddler you’ve ever seen?!LRG_DSC03393LRG_DSC03391

They both preferred to be monkeys, so I spent most of the time peddling my wares.

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“You monkeys, you, … you give me back my caps!”

For Bible we learned Proverbs 29:11.  Umm… yeah… I had A LOT of conviction, confessing, and owning up to do with this one.  In fact, it was just a week later that I had one of the finest moments of my life when I shattered my phone in an angry rage — in front of my kids!   And they are not letting me forget it and are real quick to tell everyone about their “foolish mom”.  This is proof that I do not have it all together, nor do I care to pretend that I do.  But… this is why I love Jesus! Only He can take an outburst like that… and somehow work it for good.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.

Proverbs 29:11

We made salt dough peddlers and stacked caps on his head.  Clara helped knead the dough and it was great for those little hands!

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The peddlers… I thought they were so cute.

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A monkey peddler! 

We read about coins and sorted them into like piles .

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We observed many ways in which we could make fifty cents.  This was way over their head, but exposure nonetheless. Benjamin was a bit more interested.

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Teatime was fun this week!  We sang variations of Five Little Monkeys, played Monkey see, Monkey do, ate chocolate covered bananas, and slurped root beer — a favorite for all of us.

On a side note, we read No Monkeys, No Chocolate,  and learned that monkeys have been the only way in which the cocoa bean was spread because they were the only thing in the rainforest able to crack the shell containing the seed. God is good!  His design never ceases to amaze me!
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This was a great week and I’ll be back to wrap it up… at “Monkey Mountain” in Austria!  This was the whole reason I chose to officially “row” this book.  Because… how often do you have access to real live mimicking monkeys running freely around their environment???  Stay tuned!

Before Five in a Row: The ABC Bunny

This week we read The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag.  It follows a little bunny’s adventure as he makes his way through the letters of the alphabet.  The rhyme was published in 1933 and is actually set to a song.

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We studied the musical notes on the pages and learned that we can also read music just like we can read books.  We watched the song on YouTube, but they hated it  (I won’t lie, I didn’t enjoy it either) so we danced to this one instead.  Much jazzier!

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I was originally going to skip this book as well, but we’re finally finishing up Foundations A  Logic of English with Benjamin so I thought it would a fun book to do since we’ve learned all of the alphabet now.  He’s made so much progress!

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Nothing more satisfying than an empty workbook!

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We didn’t spend much time on this story, but played letter games all week. We made alphabet soup.  They dipped up bowls and had to read the letter sounds. They look so sleepy!

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We used our animal classification cards from Homeschool Creations to search the illustrations for different kinds of animals.  I’m always surprised at how much they delight in hunting for animals on the page. We even have to take turns because there is too much fighting about who gets to find them!

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Logic of English is a bit different in that it doesn’t teach the order of the alphabet or letter names until the second book.  We practiced lining them up in order, reading the sounds, and then found objects beginning with each phonogram.

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On a side note, we  (mostly) had fun making bird houses for teatime.  Clara had fun, but Benjamin clearly had grander visions for his structure and quickly became frustrated when the frosting was to too thin.  In the end he was happy with how it turned out and I loved the addition of a ramp!  I would’ve been intrigued to see what he was actually envisioning.

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We visited a local farm, Agroturismo Gelindo, hoping to see bunnies.  Again, we had no luck, but we did get to see pigs and horses and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect! I cannot believe I didn’t get a picture of Clara with the horse!

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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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We made kangaroos.LRG_DSC02764

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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: 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.

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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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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