Monday, December 29, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five In A Row: Papa Piccolo

I just realized I never posted about this book!  We loved this one so much we spent two weeks on it.  It's called Papa Piccolo and it's about a tomcat in Venice who finds himself adopting two mischievous kittens.  What's not to love?  In fact, LittleBear now insists he wants to go with me on a trip to Venice...totally fine by me!

We took the opportunity to learn about cats with this book, which worked out well as we have Orbit with us in our family and he got lots of extra love and attention this week (along with a few extra pokes, but he seemed ok with that). 

Mr. Patient this week...

We talked a lot about Venice and some about Italy and enjoyed intermixing fun school things with Christmas activities...

This gondolier sings Christmas carols!

Enjoying spaghetti and meatballs!

We did our usual book work:

We also took some time to play: 
LittleBear and I built our version of a Venice canal out of blocks!

It was a fun week and now we are excited to take some time off for Christmas!

Resources and printables I used for Papa Piccolo can be found at:
Go Along Books we used for Papa Piccolo (* indicate ones we especially liked):
* Papa Gatto
* Madeline and the Cats of Rome
* Olivia Goes to Venice
* Look What Came From Italy by Harvey Miles
* Canals Are Water Roads
* C is for Ciao 
* Gabriella's Song
* What Cat is That? from the Cat In The Hat Learning Library
The Orphan Singer
Cats by Gail Gibbons

 adding the story disk to our map...

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...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five In A Row: Grandfather's Journey

This was a book we read a few weeks back right before Thanksgiving and somehow I forgot to post it. Ooops!  Because of that, this post will be a bit lean on pictures and content, but since I'm mostly posting for my own records, I think that's ok :)

We recently read a new-to-us book called Grandfather's Journey.  It's about a Japanese man who travels to California and then gets homesick for Japan and travels back and forth a bit between the two.  We reviewed what we had learned about Japan from our A Pair of Red Clogs unit and also talked about birds.  
LadyBear especially enjoyed the bird stickers!

LittleBear cutting out Life Cycle of A Bird sequencing cards...

 Our book pile for the week...

Resources and printables I used for Grandfather's Journey can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board

Go Along Books we used for Grandfather's Journey (* indicate ones we especially liked for this unit):
*Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
*How My Parents Learned to Eat
*Birds of Central Texas pamphlet from the grocery store
*Grass Sandals
*The Magic Fan
*All About Japan
Yoko's Paper Cranes
How Birds Fly
A Bird's Body

adding our story disk to California on our map...


Friday, November 7, 2014

Five In A Row: How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World

This week we got to read one of my favorite FIAR books, How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World.  Thankfully the kids enjoy this one too :)  It's a story about how you make an apple pie...if the market is closed!

Some highlights of the week include:

We talked about apples and their different parts as well as how an apple grows (the tree starts as a seed, etc.).
 Talking over the parts of an apple...
 How the apple grows!

We also made a little passport and found each of the countries mentioned in the book on our world map.
 Going over the different things that went in our passports...the ingredient that came from that county, it's flag and a small map of that country...

We also did all our normal worksheets including Math, Spelling/Grammar and Handwriting each day.

 He's getting much better at writing!!

And how could we not make an Apple pie?  Thanks to my amazing friend, A., we had a great recipe and the kids really enjoyed peeling the apples, mixing in the cinnamon and sugar and cutting out the pie crust shapes on top.  Mom even made some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it!

 Both kids enjoyed using the apple peeler...

 Gettin' silly with the skins!

 Cutting out dough shapes for the top of the pie...

 Applying said shapes to the top of pie...

 Ready to go in the oven!!!

So, we had another fun week of learning here at Crestwood Oaks.  Stay tuned for what we're reading next week!!
Our books for the week were a bit sparse because Mom admittedly reserved them late from the library...

Resources and printables I used for How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board

Go Along Books we used for How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World (* indicate ones we especially liked):
*The Value of Adventure, The Story of Sacagawea by Ann D. Johnson
*The Seasons of An Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons
*Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington (we checked out a bilingual version!)
*The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
*Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
*Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

 Our story disc ended up in Vermont, where they get the apples from and the last stop in the book...