Sunday, August 7, 2011

School Time: Finally Finished Jj

This week I finally had time and motivation to work on the letter J.  Yes, we did our Jonah muffin tin on the 18th.

But we didn't really do much else lesson-wise.  We had some fun times. We had a picnic

and we had a "campfire" sing a long, with microwaved S'mores.

Steven insisted on roasting a marshmallow, or should I say putting it on fire.

And we also made some green playdough. For instructions on how to make this playdough, you can check out my post from a year and a half ago. It was the last time we made playdough. Thought it was about time to make more.

Hannah was having a great time.

Except she wouldn't stop trying to eat it. Luckily I know it is non-toxic.

And we made cookies during this time of "not doing much." As I look back, it doesn't seem like we did nothing.  Just not anything "letter" related.

The book was called Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington
Mr. Cookie Baker
It was a simple book with colorful pictures depicting the work of a baker, from setting out the ingredients, that we named one by one, to baking and decorating and selling the cookies in his store to the hungry children.  And the bonus was that there were 4 cookie recipes in the back of the book.  So, of course we made cookies. We made the oatmeal raisin cookies, and they were very good.  I need to write down the recipes before I return the book.

We had also been reading a few books about jam.  Jamberry by Bruce Degen
was not a favorite of mine at first, but I started to really enjoy it after reading it several times.  I wasn't prepared for the silly words, like shoeberry and canoeberry to name a couple.  But I love the rhythm and the rhyme.  They are traveling through Berryland gathering lots of different berries for jam.  It is fanciful and exciting.  The girls really seemed to enjoy it.

We also read Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban.
Bread and Jam for Frances (I Can Read Book 2)
(our copy isn't an "I Can Read" edition)
In this story all picky Frances wants to eat is bread and jam, because she knows what she is getting and there are no surprises and she likes it very much.  She has a reason for not liking any type of egg.  I have read two Frances stories and she puts things in a song in each one (I assume she does in all the books).  She insists on only eating bread and jam, but when her mother only gives her bread and jam for every meal, she decides a well balances meal (like her friend Albert eats) is what she wants.  

This past Monday I made the girls a muffin tin using the foods Frances ends up having for lunch at the end of the book, with a piece of bread and jam added, of course.

I even set the table with paper towels for doilies and with a vase with flowers.

Our other jam book was The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway
The Giant Jam Sandwich
This was not my favorite book, but the children seemed to enjoy it.  One summer day, in the town of Itching Down, four million wasps fly into town.  They cause quite the problem until the baker comes up with a solution.  The town is going to make a giant jam sandwich to trap the wasps in.  Definitely another fanciful story, though it was hard to read in places.  As one reviewer "Dee" mentioned at Amazon, the writer seemed to struggle with the rhymes and the rhythm was off. I also agreed with the reviewer that the pictures are way too cluttered.  I, however, did like the idea behind the story.  

That brings us to our jungle "unit."  The idea of doing jungle came to me after Tabitha talked about going on a safari because she had daddy's binoculars.  I was going to have the girls make some huge trees and put some animals out, but we ran out of time and I am low on green paper.  But I had put some jungle books on hold.
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
I loved the detailed illustrations in this book about the importance of the rain forest. Two men come into the forest to chop down a tree.  After showing the one man which tree to cut down the other man starts chopping the tree, but he falls asleep. Suddenly, one by one, animals that depend on the tree, come to the man and tell him the consequences of cutting down the tree.

After reading the above book, we read "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth by Eric Carle.  
"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth
We had already been introduced to the sloth in the first book and I thought this would be a cute little book.  I was really impressed.  The book had the trademark Eric Carle collage illustrations depicting the animals of the rain forest each asking the sloth why he was so slow.  He only answers after one of the animals calls him lazy. He goes through a whole list of words describing his sluggish lifestyle, but insists he is not lazy.

I also found a couple of different books over at another blog.  I can't find the blog right now as it was one I found following the link at the Ultimate Alphabet Craft Collection over at The Attached Mama, and for some reason her linkys aren't coming up for me on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or my cell phone browser.  I was looking for a jaguar craft and I found a really cute one. And she had also listed some more great jungle books.

I really enjoyed The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell.  
The Rainforest Grew All Around
The illustrations where absolutely gorgeous, with so much detail.  This is similar to the song "The Green Grass Grew All Around," but starts with the seed of a Kapok tree, shows the different animals that live in the tree,and ends with the seed coming out of the pod of the tree.  One side of the double page spread has the words of the story/song while in the sidebar on the other side more details are given (which I didn't go into with the children yet, it was late when we read it).  We also didn't go into all the additional information at the end of the book, but I did note there is a recipe for Rainforest Cookies.

The other book I think I read about on the other lady's blog was Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae
Rumble in the Jungle
The children seemed to enjoy the bright cartoony illustrations depicting different animals in the jungle. It is not really a story, but a list of animals. The animals are described by funny rhymes showing what the each animal does and eats.

As I stated, I was looking for a letter J jaguar craft.  It's driving me nuts that I can't remember where I found it with out the link.  I know the blog, have been there before, but can't think of the name. I promise when I figure it out I will share the information.  She has a great blog and great crafts.

I drew a letter j for each of the girls. Miss Hannah has been sitting herself along side us during lesson time. She climbs up in the extra chair so she can color.  I let her color her j jaguar, though the other two only glued on the brown spots. And I had the girls draw the jaguar's nose, mouth and eyes. We made a jungle for our jaguars to live in (this was my own creation). I know the girls love to paint, so they painted green on green paper, then when that was dry they painted on some colorful flowers. We had looked on Google Images for different pictures of the jungle and jungle flowers, just so they could see how pretty it was.  
I didn't know how much Hannah loved to paint.  I had her up in her chair painting her jungle, and suddenly mommy had to run to the bathroom.  I took her down away from the paint, completely forgetting the other paint was still on the little, Hannah-reachable school table.  I came out to see her sitting at her sister's spot, painting her sister's jungle and she had paint all over her, even in her hair. Oops.

Here she is waiting. It's her first time wearing a smock.

Yay, painting

This is after the paint all over incident:

Here are the girls' creations.




The following pictures were taken at the beginning of the week.  Hannah just sat herself down in Tabitha's chair, so I put Tabitha next to me.

I think Hannah likes to color!

They were making their J collages. Our words this week were
jaguar, jelly beans, jump or jump rope, jack in the box, jar and Jesus.

Hannah even enjoys gluing, though I put the glue on and let her push the paper down.

I am linking to:

Tot School

Shibley Smiles

The Attached Mama’s Ultimate Alphabet Craft Collection

Smart Summer Challenge

Classified: Mom
Also linking to:

No Ordinary Blog Hop


  1. Hopped from Let's Get Social. Thank you for the book ideas... have been pondering upcoming birthday party gifts.

  2. I really love Rumble in the Jungle...and the kiddos do too!

    New follower!


  3. Came over from Say Hi Sunday...(HI) You have very precious children...Now following! Blessings!!

  4. Hi just calling by whilst blog hopping. Now following. What an amazing mother you are. I wish I was more organised to do this type of thing with my children. I think I was a lot more like this when I only had 2 children but with 5 it is so hectic and my health hasn't been 100%. I really admire those who can home school. You have to organised and have a great routine. Be sure to come by and say hi and join my Making Goals Monday Blog Hop Sarah

  5. Your school looks like a lot of fun. I love the campout! Thanks for sharing with the world at NOBH!

  6. What a great unit! The Great Kapok Tree is one of my personal favorites, and the book that can be read so many times in so many ages. We also love everything by Monica Wellington. Thanks for joining WMCIR!

  7. I am sorry I am late in stopping by! I love all your J activies!

    This counts as a post in the Summer Reading Challenge!

  8. great books & I love your J! For a week of not doing much - you sure had lots of fun! :)

    Thanks for linking this up to the Sunday Showcase!Hope to see you link up this weekend on the Sunday Showcase. Looking forward to seeing what you have to share.



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