Grapevine and Olive Shoots

growing in grace and knowledge.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt & Corduroy

on August 29, 2014

I am way, way, WAY behind on my FIAR posts.  Homeschooling, housekeeping, caring for two young children and getting back into performing professionally seem to preclude much spare time.  Strange how that happens.  Anyhow, Peanut and Mr. Fix-It are away camping this weekend, so life is much slower — I actually have an evening in which I’m (a) not exhausted and (b) not torn in ten different directions.

Our first official week of school wound up being August 25 – 29, which coincided with the public schools.  I say “official” because we basically gave up doing school for the month of August — too much travel, too many sleep issues with the baby, and a raging case of hand foot & mouth that took three full weeks from which to recover (I was the only one who didn’t get it; hooray for Mama immunity!).  It just made more sense, especially to Peanut, to start school when everyone else we know started school.

We rowed two BFIAR books together: “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” and “Corduroy.”  Yep, bears = theme.  The memory verse for the week was from Ruth 1:16 — “Where you go, I will go.”  We talked a lot about friendship in the Bible and sticking together when things got tough.

On Monday we read “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” and re-enacted it inside while watching Michael Rosen’s fabulous video:

We also did some story mapping using pictures of each scene.

Monday was HOT, so I set up an outdoor obstacle course in which we once again acted out “Bear Hunt.”

Through the long, wavy grass…


Through the deep, cold river…


Through the thick, oozy mud…

Actually, she just poked at it with a stick.  Never has liked getting her hands dirty.


Into a big, dark forest…


And out of the forest…


Through a swirling, whirling snowstorm (ignore my car)…


Into a narrow, gloomy cave…




We raced back home.  Phew, safe upstairs in bed.


We’re not going on a bear hunt again.


When we returned inside, she wanted a bear snack…I think she was fishing for honey, but instead I whipped up something a mite healthier.  She was happy with it.


Tuesday was even more hot and humid, and I was absolutely knackered from being up so many times with Munchkin the night before (the “Ladybug” moniker has been replaced by “Munchkin,” which fits her so much better) so we stayed inside in the A/C for most of the day.  We watched “Brother Bear” (the Disney movie that time forgot), as well as a documentary about pandas.  I thought she’d be bored silly with the latter but to my surprise, she was positively riveted.  This led to a discussion about pandas, polar bears and brown/black bears, in which we learned about their habitats and their diets.


Wednesday was more of the same weather, so we spent the morning coloring and learning about adjectives:


…and spent the afternoon at the only local outdoor pool that was still open, which had a wonderful very shallow area for young kids.  Munchkin got to splash around, and even Daddy played hooky from work for an hour to join us.  Awesome last blast of summer.

On Thursday, since I felt we had exhausted “Bear Hunt,” we moved onto “Corduroy,” a book Peanut has always loved.   We had a great go-along book called “My Friend Bear,” so we were able to tie in the friendship theme with both books.


My Friend Bear

For social studies, we focused on manners — particularly those of the character Lisa, who is ever so respectful to her mama when she is told she cannot have a toy at the store, and polite to the store clerk the next day.  We role-played how we would speak to someone in various settings and emphasized the importance of speaking respectfully to adults.

Since Corduroy is missing a button from his overalls, and I just happen to have a teddy bear from my childhood who also wears overalls, we cut off one button and learned how to sew it back on.  Peanut was very careful with the sharp needle (still required lots of supervision and hands-on help) and showed a keen interest in learning how to sew.

We also used buttons to create an art project.  Peanut decided to make a flower…and then another…and then we thought, let’s make a whole family!  Of course they wound up being OUR family.  🙂


Friday was math day.  Buttons once again were very useful for addition and subtraction, as well as grouping and skip counting.  We also talked about saving (Lisa saved up money in her piggy bank to buy Corduroy), and decided to consolidate her three money jars (spend, save and give) into two (save and give).  Peanut earns money by doing extra chores around the house, as well as a [very small] allowance for completing her regular responsibilities each week.  The problem is, the change she earns burns holes in her pockets.  So this was a valuable lesson in the power of saving instead of spending immediately.

Fridays are also our field trip days.  I had every intention of taking the girls on a field trip to the mall where we could ride — what else — the escalators.  But they both fell asleep on the ride there and I, savoring the silence, let them snooze away while I swung through the Starbucks drive-through, took a ride on back country roads and listened to non-kid music for an hour.  It’s the little things, folks.

We also started our first piano lesson this week; lots of fun songs involving the black notes in groups of 2’s.  Peanut surprised me with her attentiveness, and then later when practicing on her own and for Daddy, attention to detail.  I am so glad we did eurhythmics the past few years, as she can now easily identify and play eighth, quarter and half notes.  It’s exciting to pass on my knowledge and passion to my own child, after all these years of giving it to so many other kids.  And from what I can tell, just like she has with every other aspect of schooling, she is going to take it and run with it.

Next up…Little Nino’s Pizzeria!  I’ll try to post about that row tomorrow – hoping to get caught up in the next few days.




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