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.
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
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.
It’s that time of year in New York State when we pick and process blueberries! We hope to pick when we arrive home again (this post was scheduled for while we are gone), but I did buy a flat of them to freeze and to make a pie.
A very yummy, amazing pie. Polly’s Perfect Blueberry Pie
|The crust is as easy as…well…pie! You mix it right in the pie dish.
|The blueberries stay whole for this pie.
|Ready for the oven…
I hope to make another one or so this season and I seriously wonder how it would freeze. If any one knows, leave a comment!
About six months late…
We always make a Five in a Row book related Christmas ornament each year and this year they never made it out, but I have redeemed the family name.
Now I can take the FIAR stuff off the dining room pencil tree. I think we’ll replace them with some decorations related to our first unit of the new school year.
Now…I wonder what THAT will be.
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!)
- 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.
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.
It’s that time of year! July cannot pass without some blueberry fun. I was determined to hit the blueberry fields yesterday and I needed to set the mood. I grabbed Blueberries for Sal out of the Before Five in a Row box and I gathered a few around…of course when this book comes out the kids drop what they are doing and listen. Even E10, who was listening to music, took off his headphones and enjoyed the story. With the mood properly set, we set off to find the blueberries!
I started the morning with a reading of this book- Blueberries for Sal
Once I finished reading Blueberries for Sal, J4 asked for the “one that goes with it”. Of course he was talking about One Morning in Maine
. We love both of these stories dearly and it is joy to read them over and over and over. In fact, there are several more Robert McCloskey books that are FIAR books. He is one of our favorite authors.
The blueberries are amazing this year! Every bush was teaming with them with more to ripen on each one. I am seriously considering some blueberry bushes for our yard. Reportedly, they make a great bush for the yard and you get blueberries as a bonus.
Miles and miles of blueberry bushes…in every direction.
R9 was teamed up with J4 as they scoured the bushes for berries. Turns out that J4 is a serious picker. He really loved using his own tin pail. I had gotten it from the Target dollar aisle earlier this spring when all the gardening stuff was there.
This was J4′s first time really picking. All the kids enjoyed it this year (it helped that the picking was so easy!) and we talked about the book while we picked. They decided we were playing out the story right down to a baby boy walking up and grabbing berries out of J4′s pail!
Kerplink! Kerplank! Kerplunk!
We picked 14 lbs of blueberries and there was not one complaint the whole time!
We ended the day with a blueberry crumble. Traditions are fun. Each July we spend time on Blueberry Hill with little Sal and her mother. We do blueberry and bear crafts, we pick blueberries, freeze them, and make a fresh blueberry treat.
(from Fruit: Fresh, Fun Fabulous a MOPS
cookbook compiled by Marybeth Lagerborg):
- 3 c berries (blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
- 2/3 c packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c flour
- 2/3 c quick-cooking oats
- 1/3 c butter or margarine, melted (I used Smart Balance)
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread berries in a lightly greased square 8x8x2 inch baking dish. (I used my square PC stone baker) Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over berries. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is light brown and berries are hot. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired. We surely did have the vanilla ice cream!
For next week I have more ideas for blueberry fun. I will share them in another post.
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.
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.
This game was a gift from the grandparents to J3. What a hit and so easy to play!
You have to pick cards and do what they say and try to get to stores.
Once you get to stores, you pick up a card from that category and see what you’ve bought. Then you put the card on its matching store. When you finished all your errands, you win the game!
There are a few twists and turns in the game like having to give some things away, but in the end it all turns out.
What a great game to go along with My Big Green Pocketbook- a Before FIAR book.
Every year we row Blueberries for Sal when the blueberries are ripe for picking here in NY which is the end of July. J3 simply adores this book (as do I) and we read it nightly. I decided to involve all the kids this year by using the lapbook from Hands of a Child. There’s a lot of content in there on blueberries, fruits, bears, what animals do for the winter, bear hibernation…among other things. All the kids have been putting together a lapbook. We also did a blueberry graph surveying how many people like various blueberry treats. We asked the FIAR moms and they heartily delivered!
R8 did a fantastic job taking two flats of blueberries and putting them into Ziploc storage for the freezer. Nothing like fresh frozen blueberries to make blueberry yummies with all winter long.
The first night home with our blueberries- bought by the flat from the farm not picked this year. The weather in July was super unpredictable and we find blueberries difficult to gather in large numbers. We made a blueberry cobbler.
E9 recorded our data by tally off of the FIAR website. We had a sample size of 104 people. We posted twice because the kids decided that our original sample size was not big enough to yield reliable results. There was no way muffins were going to beat everything out by a long shot. Not on our watch! We had to gather more data to see if this influenced our results.
R8 works diligently on her bar graph. Of course we are working on correct graph construction. Unlike many of the kids I taught back in the day, my kids will go into sixth grade knowing how to make a proper graph- labels, units, and all!!
I-6′s final graph. Note that muffins beat out fresh blueberries by a small margin. Obviously, most participants have not tasted our blueberry pancake recipe
I think the finished product is very nice. I was thinking of stamping on some small tote bags. So cute!
We learned about where bears live around the world (north of the equator) and what kind of plant blueberries grow on. There’s something for older and younger kids in this project pack. We plan to add one fact about each bear tomorrow.
This cool mini-book shows a bear species and its range around the world. For some reason the polar page is huge.
We will have a few more things to add to our lapbooks tomorrow before calling it another great year with Blueberries for Sal. This was sort of our warm up to the new school year which begins on Monday at our house. I know…it’s only August, but we’ve been off for 11 weeks already! Time flies and all that… Besides, I think the weather may be turning already. I’ll keep you posted.