Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BOZ The Green Bear - Imagination

We decided to sample one of our curriculum choice for fall this week and it was a hit. I had received a teaser DVD of BOZ, The Green Bear Next Door from mops just after Rhea was born. My kids were too young for it at the time, but we finally bought the whole curriculum this year. The DVD's and books are for purchase (and stuffed animals, toys and other stuff you don't REALLY need), but the curriculum activities are free to download from their website.

So, I proceeded to burn through another ink cartridge after falling in love with BOZ all over again. Oh yes, I did take it for a test drive first by allowing Stephen to play some of the games and see a few samplers on the website. The only problem was when he saw all of the other "stuff". He used every manipulative begging/whining tactic before I caved and bought two of the small bears. Instead of standing in the checkout line thanking God for giving me such a wonderful curriculum, I did steam a bit about having to actually buy stuffed animals. I guess I didn't "have" to buy them, but I was not up to enduring the six months of whining while trying to enjoy this awesome way to bring God into our home. I put these cute green bears in their hands and stopped steaming about it when started to see their minds open throughout the week.

Every preschooler has an imagination, but this unit blew theirs wide open. The video has three 15 min. segments which is just about the right amount of time for them to calm down after a long day and for me to get dinner on the table. We also purchased all of the books including the two workbooks. The first one is much easier, so we do hand-over-hand with Rhea, while Stephen works out of book 2. The content is much different in both books, but it is still BOZ and we save the lesson teaching text for quiet times when we have the kids separated. The other pages in the book are written activities revolving around the text and scripture reading. Stephen listens very quietly to his lessons and then talks about them later while Rhea receives her lessons before nap time. Her favorite one was pretending with the sock puppet. We talked about how God gave us our imagination followed by creating a puppet with his own name, favorite food, color and sound effects. She has asked for her new "bear" every time I put her in bed now. She pulls my socked hand close and cuddles her pizza loving bear while he sings her our new bible songs. Actually, the songs are from when Tom and I were kids during our Joy Bible days so I guess that makes them a few years old.

The workbook pages included writing, stickers, dot-to-dots, art, sequencing and cut/paste. I was really impressed with the variety of activites. The activity below is from their website. The kids cut BOZ out along with other objects to help them pretend with this new friend.

In addition to the workbooks, a free online curriculum is offered for the other DVD's. Each unit will take us more in depth with additional hands on activities like we were doing with Five in A Row. For now, we just had fun with the topic of Imagination. By day two, both kids were working their brains extra hard to use this new imagination. Stephen told me on a bike ride that he was going to use him imagination to help him ride across the street without peddling. I knew then that we need a little work on our vocabulary since he knows that we stop and wait before crossing the street. I didn't, however, want to squelch this moment by adult thinking, so I said "alright". He came to a stop, laughed, and said "never mind".

Later in the week while we were all playing outside, I was in the sand box with Rhea while Tom was fixing an ant infestation. Stephen proceeded to move the play slide all the way across the deck to the back rail as I observed him without him noticing. He then climbed up the slide to the top, stood up, raised his arms, and commanded "HORNS UP". Now, it has been eight months since he has seen Daddy conduct, so it was humbling not only to see his imagination come to life, but that it vividly reflect what he sees. You guessed it, our back yard turned into a marching band. He kept having the need to go and talk to the flute section for reasons that we couldn't figure out since the flutes are typically at the very top of the stands behind the brass. Tom stepped in after a few minutes to play with our new backyard band until Stephen insisted that we needed to decorate for the concert. I think this part comes from the Little Einstein's series, but we all had fun putting up imaginary balloons and streamers until dinner time.

Our Library Book List:
The Paper Airplane by Fulvio
Dreamland by Kevin Hawkes
I had a Hippopotamus by Hector Viveros Lee
My freight Train by Michael Rex
I pretend by Hedi Goennel
It's Funny Where Ben's Train Takes Him by Robert Burleigh

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