Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's All Fun and Games Until...

date night goes south and someone acquires a hairline fracture on a bone in their elbow after a fall skating on fake ice.

It was the best of times...

it was not the best of times...

He has been wearing a sling, not using his right arm and sees an orthepedic surgeon tomorrow to find out what needs to happen with it.  Prayers are greatly appreciated!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five In A Row: Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

This week we read another new-to-us book called Another Celebrated Dancing Bear, about two brown bears who are dear friends in Russia, one of whom is a circus dancer.  Max, the dancing bear, offers to teach Boris how to dance and the two enjoy hours of dancing with breaks for tea and bread.  It's a fun story that LittleBear and I enjoyed (LadyBear enjoyed it the first time, but overall thought it a bit long) reading several times this week.

We hadn't talked about Russia before, so that was definitely a fun addition to our geography studies.  I think it blew LittleBear's mind to learn that Russia actually spans two continents.  We also talked about things that Russia is known for, including ballet and the music of composer Peter Tchaikovsky.  We also had fun watching and dancing along to a few scenes from the Nutcracker (the Russian Dance, the Sugar Plum Fairies and the Dance of the Reeds).  LittleBear was interested to learn that boys could be ballet dancers as well as girls.

On the unexpected-but-why-we-love-homeschool front, we also enjoyed two houseguests this week.  On Monday, I discovered two very tiny Queen butterfly caterpillars on our almost-dead milkweed outside.  Their Momma must have laid her eggs there thinking it was the last milkweed plant around because I checked with the plant nurseries in town and theirs had already been cut back to stumps.  The nursery worker told me that if desperate they will also eat fennel, dill and parsley.  The temperatures were starting to drop below freezing and it appeared that the milkweed was dead, so I brought them inside and set them up with parsley, dill and the remaining milkweed leaves that weren't all-the-way dead.  I also tried re-hydrating some of the leaves, which sort of worked.  They definitely did not eat the parsley or the dill, but did eat some of the milkweed and made it through the week until today when we released them back outside (the temperatures warmed up and our existing milkweed plant seems to be sprouting new leaves).  It got to the point where they were starting to chew through the stalk of the milkweed and I knew they needed more to eat than what I could give them.  So, we took them outside this morning and as of right now they are happily munching away.  LittleBear and I decided to name them Max and Boris after the bears we were reading about in the book this week.

Really, I meant to talk about bears, but this was such a fun opportunity that we talked more about caterpillars instead.  Oh well, we'll get to bears another time.

Max and Boris enjoying the warm inside our home...
 Boris (above) and Max (below) thoroughly enjoying their new freedom outside...

We sincerely hope they will make it outside and turn into butterflies! 

Other than that, we did our usual worksheets each day...

Enjoyed playing with a set of nesting dolls given to Mommy by her dear friend A. who went to Russia several times...

And enjoyed teaching Orbit all about what we were learning when we needed a break...

This was another book we are excited to add to our library!

Resources and printables I used for Another Celebrated Dancing Bear can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
St. Basil's Cathedral from Youtube
The Russian Dance from the Nutcracker on Youtube
The Dance of the Reeds from the Nutcracker on Youtube

Go Along Books we used for Another Celebrated Dancing Bear (* indicate ones we especially liked):
*My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Becky Reyher
*Peter Tchaikovsky by Mike Venezia
*Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco
*The Magic Gold Fish by Demi
*Prince Ivan and the Firebird by Bernard Lodge
*Look What Came from Russia by Miles Harvey
*Russia ABCs by Ann Berge
*Clever Katya by Mary Hoffman
Little Kim's Doll by Luc Melanson
Russia in Pictures by Heron Marquez
The Princess of Borscht by Leda Schubert
How the Tsar Drinks Tea by Benjamin Elkin

Story Disk Time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five In A Row: Cranberry Thanksgiving

This week we read Cranberry Thanksgiving, which was a new-to-us book about a grandmother and granddaughter who run a cranberry bog in New England and invite some new guests over for Thanksgiving dinner (including a captain who digs clams for a living).  LittleBear particularly liked this story and we had a lot of fun this week learning about Thanksgiving, cranberries, New England, clams and other sea life and being thankful.  We even made cranberry bread!

 Our calendar board...
 We did a few easy science experiments with cranberries including the ever popular game of "Sink or float!"  We also talked about how every cranberry bag that weighs 1 lb might not have the same amount of berries in it and we bounced a few to see how high they could bounce. 

bounce the cranberries!

And of course, we sampled a few :)


LadyBear especially loved watching them float!

Will they sink or float?

Every morning, she rushed out to see our "cranberry bog" and make sure the berries were still floating...
Our homemade cranberry bog!

We also made a tree of thankfulness where we printed out leaves with Bible verses about being thankful and wrote something we were thankful for on the back of each leaf.

Our tree of thankfulness!

We also did our usual math, spelling/grammar and handwriting worksheets each day...

 worksheet time!

And we made cranberry bread together!  We even found a few jobs for LadyBear to help with...

 peeling the sticker off the orange...

Making cranberry bread!

We enjoyed this week and look forward to Thanksgiving week next week.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

Our books for the week!

Resources and printables I used for Cranberry Thanksgiving can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Ann Voskamp's site for the printable leaves used in our thankfulness tree
Cranberry Thanksgiving on Homeschool Share
Cranberry Harvest on Youtube

Go Along Books we used for Cranberry Thanksgiving (* indicate ones we especially liked):
*A Child's Book of Character Building: Volume 1 (Thankfulness) by Ron and Rebekah Coriell
*Cranberries by William Jaspersohn
*Surrounded by Sea by Gail Gibbons
*Clam-I-Am (from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library) by Tish Rabe
*If You Were At the First Thanksgiving... by Anne Kamma
*If You Sailed On the Mayflower in 1620... by Ann McGovern
*My Thankful Heart: A Book About Being Grateful by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Mollusks: Snails, Clams and Their Relatives by Beth Blaxland

 Placing our story disk on New England!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Five In A Row: The Glorious Flight

Well, apparently I missed a post...this book was a few weeks ago and I also totally slacked this particular week taking pictures...sorry!  I'm posting this more for my own records than anything else :)

This was a book that LittleBear in particular really enjoyed.  It's called The Glorious Flight and is about Frenchman Louis Bleriot who was the first to fly an airplane across the English Channel from France to England. 

 Our calendar board...

We talked about the history of flight and some European geography.  We also talked about Patience and some famous inventors (like Ben Franklin).   Here are some pictures from the week:

Saying the "Pledge of Allegiance"

 LadyBear has been enjoying playing with Legos during school time lately...

 LittleBear worked very diligently coloring his bi-plane picture...definitely his longest coloring venture!

Enjoying some yummy french bread!!!

Resources and printables I used for The Glorious Flight can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
How Airplanes Fly on Youtube

Go Along Books we used for The Glorious Flight (* indicate ones we especially liked):

*The Value of Patience, the Story of the Wright Brothers by Ann D. Johnson
*The Little Airplane by Lois Lenski
*How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins 
*Flying High by Jane Shuter
*Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta
*Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gene Barretta
Roman Numerals I to MM by Arthur Geisert
The Kid Who Invented the Trampoline by Don L. Wulffson
National Geographic's How Things Work: Everyday Technology Explained by John Langone
So You Want to Be An Inventor by Judith St. George and David Small

Putting up our story disk...