Wednesday, January 2, 2008


The Bough Family started a new curriculum this semester and it has been a big hit with the kids. For the past two years, we have been teaching basic concepts of learning. In Stephen's case, that has involved sitting/standing in a place to accomplish a task. He has begun reading, writing and math concepts, but this is the first time that we have attempted a formal curriculum. Rhea pretty much has a good time doing what ever we are involved in, so I don't worry about her too much. The Before Five in a Row guide has been a great tool for us and has allowed us to do as much or little of any concepts listed. We are still keeping up with our Math-U-See and Bob Book lessons, but the kids are really enjoying the literature based learning that Before Five in a Row offers.

We started with Corduroy since Stephen knows the story really well already. I have still managed to throw in a few A Bekka worksheets that correlate with the characters in the story, but our main focus has been on sequencing, sorting, art, bible, cooking, games and fun with Corduroy.

Stephen was able to recall his Bible verse by the second day: Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times.

We observed the toy shelf in the department store and found some water color paintings from Dover Publications. Rhea chose a zebra and began to paint. Stephen doesn't have the same passion for art, but requested to join in once he saw Rhea working.

Most of my materials for this book came from or Our first task was "rhyme cards". Stephen was given four cards with two pages per card. The story was abbreviated within these cards, while leaving one word per page for the him to trace. Before he would trace the card, we read through all of the cards and I would leave out the rhyming word that he was supposed to trace. He already knew the story well enough that he was able to come up with most of the words without a big explanation from me about what a rhyming word was. Rhea pretty much colors during this time on her own, until her body begins to be her canvas. When the week was finished, Stephen glued the appropriate picture on each page while Rhea colored them.

Our family is all about full contact learning especially if it means throwing things. Our first activity together was affectionately named by Tom as "Chuck A Bear". It is amazing the hours of fun that you can have with laundry baskets and stuffed bears. Each child had their own version of the first game. Stephen was instructed to stand behind a line and throw the large bears in the large basket and the small bears in the small one. As you can see from the picture, he was very focused. This turned into trying to bounce the bear off the ceiling and still manage to land it into the basket. Rhea's first concept was just to stuff as many bears in one basket, but quickly caught on to sorting by size. Our last game with the bears was the big "race". Stephen and Tom were on a team and Rhea was with me. We piled all of the bears in the middle and had a race to see who could stuff the most bears in their own basket. I of course did not count the bears before we began and didn't realize that we had 14 bears. The kids each ended up with seven, so everyone was a winner. Stephen then decided that it was time for a running race, so we all played "chase" until the kids passed out for the night.

The next day, we continued with the throwing concept, but with food this time. What kid wouldn't want to throw food at their sibling? I had two bags of Teddy Grahams; one chocolate and one vanilla. I set two containers in the middle of the table with the appropriate colored construction paper underneath. The object was to throw the right colored Teddy Graham in the appropriate container. Stephen really enjoyed the game even if he didn't completely follow the rules. Rhea had other plans and decided that sorting was more fun that throwing. I only recommend this activity if you have a couple dogs to clean up the floor for you ;-)

We also added Gummy Bears to our fun as we proceeded with two worksheet activities. The first was for them to color a bear worksheet with the appropriate color given, and then add the correct colored Gummy Bear. The second was for Stephen to graph how many Gummy Bears of each color and count them. Many of you have asked where the Gummy Bear Math worksheet are located. The following website has these worksheets and more:
No bears were harmed in the execution of the activity until the worksheets were finished.

Stephen's special project was done with Daddy, and they were to make a map of the department store where Corduroy began, followed by a map of Lisa's room where he now lives.

Stephen's second special project was to make a mini book of the story A Bear Followed Me Home. He colored the appropriate number of bears in the right color and pasted them to each page after writing the correct number in the blank provided.

On Monday, 1 red bear followed me home. On Tuesday 2 blue bears followed me home. On Wednesday 3 yellow bears followed me home. On Thursday, 4 green bears followed me home. On Friday, 5 orange bears followed me home. On Saturday, 6 brown bears followed me home. On Sunday 7 black bears followed me home and Mom said "NO MORE BEARS"!

To my surprise, we had a blast with a $2 container of craft buttons. There were a few duplicates, but there were many colors and sizes for the kids to sort, dump and of course, throw. I had a button picture frame craft project with buttons planned for Rhea, but it was a complete bust since she didn't want to part with any of them. I was, however, able to do our Three Little Bears pom pom craft that she truly enjoyed. I did ask Stephen if he wanted to make some, but NOT to my surprise, he said "NO". Rhea received a puppet theatre from Grandpa Bough for Christmas and several other puppets. We attempted The Three Bears, but you can judge for yourself if we were successful or not....after we removed the dog from the set. Click on the bottom left arrow for the video and NOT the middle of the frame. You might need to click twice. Please let me know if you cannot view the videos.

The week ended with our Mystery Toy Hunt. The kids had made their own Corduroy bears out of paper bags and construction paper. After following a series of clues (like Blue's Clues), the hunted down the Mystery Toy that was, of course, their Corduroy bears that were hiding in their rooms. I always try to gauge all of our activities to their attention span and this one was not long enough. They would have at least preferred 10 or more clues since they wanted to play the game over and over again. Oh well............

Here are pictures of our lapbook. I found these great five subject folders and we used the last two sections for our worksheets from the week.

1 comment:

iluvcallalilies said...

We're getting ready to start Corduroy with BFIAR (next week). I loved reading your ideas. Thank you!