Books and a Big Idea: Summer Reads Edition!

Blog, She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

This post contains an affiliate link to Chalk Pastels ebooks from Hodgepodge. There’s a new release and a special sale. Thanks for your support.

I’m excited about today’s link up post since I’m such a fan of children’s literature and a good unit study! We are sharing lots of books with craft & activity ideas. You don’t want to miss the fun!

I’m sharing ideas for three of our favorite summer time books- I couldn’t pick just one! Below you will find links to some fun activities we have done from the Blog, She Wrote archives along with matching chalk pastel tutorials.

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

Blueberry Fun with Blueberries for Sal

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

One Morning in Maine

  • Make clam chowder
  • A Path to the Beach- the first chalk pastel tutorial from Hodgepodge Mom!
  • My Blue Boat chalk tutorial- has a great little light house and boat similar to the one in the story
  • Make a tooth keeper for under the pillow- the main character in this book has lost her first tooth

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

Night of the Moonjellies

Don’t forget that just reading to your children is always great fun and it is a sure cure for the grumpies at our house- whether they are young or old! So, don’t worry if you don’t have the activity bug. Just read!

Another tip: these activities don’t always have to be totally prescribed. Part of the summer fun is just letting kids choose how to play. Consider letting your children enjoy these activities on their own or choose to let them try a recipe on their own with only the necessary supervision. Make the materials available and see what your kids come up with!

Join other iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Books & a Big Idea. This is great fun with children’s books!

Southern Hodgepodge is holding a flash sale on the new Chalk Pastels through the Seasons for $5.99 (regularly $7.99) and The Chalk Pastel Bundle- both ebooks for $19.99 (regularly $24.99). The sale ends Tuesday, July 9th at midnight EDT.

Angus Lost

We are going to start 2010 with Angus Lost by Marjorie Flack as our first Before Five in a Row of the year. This was one of I7′s favorites so I’m sure he’ll enjoy revisiting this title with J4.

Angus Lost is about a dog who ventures out beyond his yard when he follows his curiosity. Eventually he gets lost and spends the night in a cave. The next morning he finds his way home by following the milk wagon.

J4 and I will be discussing:

  • curiosity and safety
  • silhouettes- this will be a fantastic review of our art project from Cranberry Thanksgiving (post coming soon believe it or not!)
  • dogs
  • milk- I have pictures of an antique milk wagon from our field trip to Luray Caverns a few years ago.
  • animals- those we meet in the story and a review of others using our classification game.
  • caves- J4 and I will build a cave and hang out in there talking about what we can find in caves.

Perhaps even more exciting is the opportunity to involve the older kids in J4′s Before Five in a Row study. With students in all three levels of Five in a Row, I look for the chance for the kids to work together and encourage each other in their studies.

As you know, I’ve also been interested in doing earth science with the kids this year in a purposeful way. So, we will start with CAVES!! In another post, I will share how we are going to explore caves as a family sharing resources and ideas as well as our earth science notebook.

Katy No Pocket- Before FIAR

For the last week or so J4 and I have been doing Katy No Pocket as his Before Five in a Row book. He loves this book! He will tell anyone he is doing home preschool. He is very much enjoying his status as an official preschooler. I can’t believe he is our last preschooler!


We have the B4 fold n learn for Katy No Pocket. We made them the summer before last with I-7 who was getting ready for Kindergarten at the time. J4 and I decided to fill them with some of our puppets. Click the link if you want to see more of our puppets.

Something for J4′s workbox this week

The alphabet mat has been out all week. I almost got away with putting it away last night. Nope…J4 pulled it right back out!

Alphabet Resources- This is a post I did a while ago all about alphabet resources. Enjoy them and stay tuned for more Katy No Pocket this coming week.

Ask Mr. Bear

We started a new Before Five in a Row book this week. Yes, I know. I just had surgery, but I like to shake things up. Our new title is Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack.

J3 likes to do puzzles so I pulled out this farm animal mama/baby puzzle with only 10 pairs.

Wow! A job well done.

We used the resources at Homeschool Share to put together some notebook pieces. Today we talked about animals and their sounds and J3 practiced some cutting. He also matched the animal with the gift it suggested.

We practiced the letter G sound
Today I pulled out the bigger Whose Baby puzzle and we sat at the kitchen table. Yes. I can sit there and do a puzzle one week out of major surgery. I sit well. Sleeping and lots of walking- not so well.

I’d like to go through the movements of Danny and the animals, but I think that is best carried out by his big brothers and sister this week. That’ll be a fun activity for the family.

I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time on the sofa with J3 doing this book. I can’t pick him up or put him in my lap for a long, long time yet so getting to cuddle up next to him is a real treat and I know he loves it too.

I Am an Artist

We began another Before FIAR book this week called I Am an Artist. What a great little book and just perfect because J3 loves to look all around him and discover and discuss almost anything he sees. He has a real fondness for the things in nature and is particularly attuned to what kind of day it is outside. I thought he would enjoy this book and he does.

We did a leaf book with different colored and shaped leaves.

Saturday we took a walk to the soccer fields to watch his brothers play and we found all sorts of sugar maple leaves along the way. He also pointed out a few pine cones in different sizes. His favorite outdoor creature is the spruce tree. He calls them funny trees and will show you how they laugh. I’m not so sure about all that, but he can’t wait until a few months from now when we have a funny tree in the house.

On tap for this week, we’ll be looking at clouds and our fall nature study from FIAR. We will make a leaf collage from our collection on Saturday and I think we’ll do a short apple study in honor of autumn and the apple harvest which has begun here in NY state.

Stay tuned for updates as I add them.

The second time I read the Artist book to J3, he asked for this one below. He called it the “other” artist book. We figured out he was asking for God Says I Am. On the first page it says, His hand painted the world with the light that he made. God says, “I am an artist.” He remembered it and asked for it- what a connection. Way to go J3!

One of the nature items in the artist book is the cloud. We are artists any time we see faces in the clouds the book reads. So, I thought Charles Shaw’s, It Looked Like Spilt Milk would be a fun read to go with our study.

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