The Snowy Day {b4FIAR}

Back in mid-January we "rowed" The Snowy Day , by Ezra Jack Keats.  This is one book that, after our first reading of it back in 2012, we have continued to read each winter.  It is just such a wonderful, endearing story that kids easily can relate to.


In addition to our regular devotions we were focusing this week on being modest.  I find this topic a difficult one to address with such young kids.  I have yet to find a decent book about modesty that isn't about sexual abuse or stranger danger.  So we just stuck with a super simple printable bible verse poster from Hubbard's Cupboard.

In addition we listened to songs off the Purity CD from Seeds Family Worship.

We also discussed modesty in that Peter has a very modest (humble, quiet) demeanor. 


On the topic of modesty and dressing we focused on several fun books and activities about dressing for the weather.

For Connor's level (2nd grade) we read Too Hot? Too Cold?: Keeping Body Temperature Just Right by Caroline Arnold.  This has a lot of information.  It talks about hot vs cold blooded animals and how each adapts to weather changes.

For Emma's level (jK) we brought out all our fun snowy books from our own home library, and brought in some non-fiction from the public library.  (not all are pictured and I'm not going to list them as it don't really matter, use what you have and can find).

One of my favorite books to read along with The Snowy Day, is Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London.  This is a delightful tale of an eager frog that wants to go out to play and keeps forgetting articles of his winter attire.  My kids just love this book. 

There are some great story props for this book over at KizClub.

Emma and Sam (age 2) also loved dressing a cat for various weather.  (also found at KizClub, under "What Should I Wear").  I stuck magnets on the back of the clothing so things wouldn't slide around.

Since Emma loved the dressing aspect of these printables (the Froggy and the cat) I also found her a vintage paper doll to play with.  She adored it but thought the young girl was missing a prince so she colored and cut out a prince to go with the paper doll.


I found a really neat wintry living math book at the library called, Counting on Snow by Maxwell Newhouse .  It's starts off at the number 10 (caribou) and counts down to 1.  As the number gets smaller the snow gets thicker and the animals get harder to see.  I really liked that it showed how certain animals are camouflaged in winter, expanding the lesson beyond just a simple math book.

We worked on snowflake patterns from  I printed off various snowflakes for the kids, depending on their ability.

Language Arts

Again, with KidzClub.  We used "Winter Words" with Emma and "Winter Puzzle" for Connor.


We ended the week with sledding like Peter (but with sleds), and had a snowball fight that included the little kids.

Linking up with:
Delightful Learning   Hip Homeschool Moms Weekly Wrap-Up Love to Learn Linky

Wordless Wednesday: for the love of butterflies - or not

linking up with:

Toronto Teacher Mom
Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

West Word Kids: Favorite Canadian Authors + Giveaway

Today we are talking about our favorite Canadian authors over at The Canadian Homeschooler.

I'll be honest and say that when I think of "Canadian book" I first think of Anne Of Green Gables.  So predictable, I know.  I can't deny my love for Lucy Maud Montgomery though.

For the purpose of this post though, I want to talk more about our most treasured Canadian children's books we use in our school.

When Connor was about 4 years old he became terrified of storms.  I searched for books about Thunderstorms, at his level, and I found Franklin and the Thunderstorm, by Canadian author, Paulette Bourgeois.  We read it each time a storm came (which is fairly often here in the summer months) and Franklin's experience with a storm helped Connor to overcome his own fear. I just adore this book as a way to talk about storms in a relatable way for the little guys.  (now Emma enjoys reading about Franklin during our summer storms).


Another favorite title that we enjoy often is Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman.  Jillian Jigs is a very endearing story of a disorderly imaginative young gal, that we just adore - because it fits our own life with little children so perfectly!  Jillian's mother keeps pleading with her to clean up her mess, "Jillian Jillian Jillian Jiggs, it looks like your room has been lived in by pigs!", but the child is just much to busy creating costumes and putting on plays to stop and clean up her mess.
These are just two of several beloved Canadian authors, in our large home library.  We also enjoy weekly trips to the library, and as a result have a new favorite Canadian author, Nicholas Oldland.  We were doing a unit on bears and I just grabbed a book I seen on the shelves, Big Bear Hug .  It looked fun so I put it in the bag to take home.  When we actually read it I was so pleasantly surprised - it has a gentle eco-conscious message as well as a nod towards learning to display a self-control, but it is done with hilarious illustrations and a super funny storyline.  Connor was in stiches.

There are numerous others we love to read, but I'll leave it at that for now, with our top 3 favorite Canadian children's books.
See what the rest of The Canadian Blogging Team chose as their favorite Canadian books over at The Canadian Homeschooler.


We are bringing you another great giveaway this month!  This is for residents of Canada ages 18+.  This give away is a set of Disaster Strikes! books by Coteau Books.  This series of 8 books feature various disastrous moments in Canadian history.  For more detailed information on the books you can check out Lisa Marie's reviews of the books over at her blog, The Canadian Homeschooler.
 The giveaway will end on March 11th at 11:59EST


The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella {a book review}

Title:  The Red Bicycle:  The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle
Author:  Jude Isabella
Illustrator:  Simone Shin
ISBN:  9781771380232
Price:  19.95 (CAD)
Publisher:  Kids Can Press
Publication Date:  1 March, 2015
Ages: 8-12

The Red Bicycle, by Jude Isabella, is a new title from the book series Citizen Kid.  Like the other books from the series, this book would be an excellent source for a cultural study within a classroom, homeschool, co-op or at a library for story and activity time.

This is a story about a young boy, Leo, who responsibly saves up his hard earned money for two years in order to buy a bike he yearned for so long.  It quickly becomes a beloved companion in his young years, but eventually Leo outgrows the bike, which he has named "Big Red".

Leo, through the help of the lady who originally sold him Big Red, donates his bike to a program that sends bikes overseas to help out the underprivileged. 

You are taken on the journey, with Big Red, as it travels to West Africa where it then helps a young girl earn money for her family until she needs to pass on the bike again to another extraordinary adventure that had all began with one young boy (Leo) and his big decision to help others in need.

My Thoughts:

I very much enjoyed this book.  This is one I would recommend for a social studies literature unit study on global awareness, multiculturalism, or transportation - to name a few.  It would also be excellent for a character study on responsibility, compassion or empathy, and sharing.

I will definitely be looking to add this to our own home library.  I look forward to doing our own unit study in our homeschool, with this book in the future.

Disclosure:  I was given an advanced digital copy of this book title by the publisher Kid Can Press, via Net Galley, in exchange for honest feedback.

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields {a book review}

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers:  Finding Freedom From Hurt and Hate, is a Christian "self-help" type of book about (as the title suggests) forgiving wrongs done to us in childhood.
Author Leslie Leyland Fields recounts her personal experience in a troubling relationship with her father, and takes us on her path of self discovery and eventual forgiveness towards her father. 
Each chapter of the book is a recounting tale of Leslie's father, or a recount of some other person's story.   Each story is then followed with an afterword by clinical psychologist, Dr. Jill Hubbard.  Each chapter ends with a set of study questions to help you work your way through your own experience.
 If you yourself struggle, as a Christian, to forgive the wrongs done to you by a parent, this book is not one I would recommend on your journey of healing.  I find the stories from the author fall short of biblical truths.  Leslie often takes scripture out of context, or adds her own assumptions and twists.  Such as, she seems to pick and choose verses for her own purposes, leaving out any that might convict herself.
Once such example is Leslie's reference to Leviticus 26:40.
"'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors--their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me,"
In order to understand scripture we should reference it against itself, not our own assumptions and interpretations.  From the bible we know confessions should be done through prayer and through humility, shame and sorrow.  Not in boasting and not leaving out our own sins.  We learn that our fathers and ourselves are sinners.  Not just the fathers, but us too.  There is no gain in humiliating our brothers (or father's) in Christ.  There is no gain to your own heart by dwelling on sins done to you. 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8 (emphasis added)
Leslie takes God's word in Leviticus and changes it to her word to dwell on.  "Forgive me Father, for my father has sinned."  (chapter 2)  She justifies herself (and recommends us to do the same) in speaking of every assumed, or otherwise, sin of her father, whether big or little.  Claiming petty "sins" such as no eye contact.  Or assumed sins, such as claiming to know his inner thoughts and reasoning's of his lack of eye contact.  She draws out another person's story of a "sinful" mother that served cubed mixed vegetables daily.  She dwells on small petty personal hurts, claiming she must confess all her father's sins - but she doesn't reciprocate to confessing anything of herself, as Leviticus 26:40 says to do. 
The point of Leviticus 26:40 is that we are sinful.  People are sinful.  Humans are sinful.  We.  Not Leslie's father alone.  Not your mother, alone.  We are sinful. 
By confessing, we are to do so in prayer.  Not by writing books or calling up friends to hash out every minor detail of every perceived fault against us.  To do so is ridiculous and harmful to our hearts.
 Many of the stories are assuming.  I don't want to discredit the hurt that abuse has on us.  But to assume further petty faults is damaging and should not be done or encouraged.  For example she is very assuming in her father's body language and tones, claiming that they are "proof" of his negligence.  I'm not saying they are or are not.  But we can't know the inner workings of others.  Could it rather be a social awkwardness or an inner turmoil of his own?  A severe anxiety?  We can't place assumptions on others and take it as proof of further sin against us.  What that really is, is a daughter placing her wants above another.  The want and expectation of eye contact.  To not get that is not a sin.  Later on she goes on to declare she has diagnosed her father with schizophrenia.
Again, we should not speculate, if we are not trained doctors.  I can, myself, go onto Google and find myself afflicted with anything I set myself out to find.  That would just be absurd and unproductive.
What finally set my heart fully against this being a productive book was her continued assumptions and seemingly lack of understanding and compassion.  Her father fought in a war.  That can greatly damage a person.  And finally, when she says her father eventually wrote her, saying he read the New Testament and would like to ask her forgiveness.  Her response was "I cried bitterly for two days after that letter, because I had had no part to claim in this redemption."
While I can understand if she wasn't in the right place to accept forgiveness yet, there is no mention of that in this chapter.  No mention that her thinking was wrong. 
The following chapters carry on, droning on and on of petty faults of not just Leslie's father, but of others as well.  One story has a man, Brandon, recalling the fault of his father is that the father travelled a lot.  I don't see having a travelling job as a sin.  I find this dwelling on every perceived sin, as Leslie calls us to do, not confessing for healing, but rather to be self victimizing.

In conclusion, I think this book, while well meaning, is not a productive way to go about seeking forgiveness.  It is not solid in biblical truths, and in fact seems to hold a low view of scripture and a low view of God.  I felt like I was reading a public shaming of a sinful father.  Not a helpful counsel in overcoming hurt.
A better reading would maybe be Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ by Elyse Fitzpatrick, or better, find a biblical counselor.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers:  Finding Freedom From Hurt and Hate
Leslie Leyland Fields & Dr. Jill Hubbard
U.S.A:   W Publishing Group (an imprint of Thomas Nelson), 2014
213 pages, $15.99

Prayer for a Child {b4FIAR}

via FIAR
There are some titles from the Before Five in a Row curriculum that just don't interest my (now) 8 year old, and that is perfectly understandable since they are written for 2-4 year olds.  I just let him wander off to "bigger boy" type things and we read related books in his age group.

There are a select few books that, when I begin to read to Emma (4), Connor will come running over to listen too.  This book, is such a book.  I'm not sure what it is about this book, since out of all the titles selected for the curriculum, this book I'd say is the most simple and maybe the most "baby-ish".  Yet, Connor came each time I read.  So sweet.


For this week we took the obvious route in our character study and focused on "Prayerful".

We focused on verse Philippians 4:6-7 using the Seeds of Courage, Verse 2 and printables from Bible Verse Printables.

With Sammy (2) we read from our The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers, about Daniel.  Connor (8) learned the Lord's Prayer with a File Folder Game from, while Emma (4) colored pages from the Prayer Coloring Page.

For a broader list of books about prayer, for children, I made a list on amazon.

"Through the darkness, through the night, let no danger come to fright." 

We discussed fear, and how to overcome fear (through prayer).
We read Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson.

"Bless other children far and near, and keep them safe and free from fear."
We talked of children around the world.  We found humongous books from the library, so I just had the kids choose a page a day to read.

We read
"Bless this milk and bless this bread"
We had a cow themed week.
Sammy and Emma learned the basics with our fisher price farm and some silly books.
They also enjoyed an app called ABC Farm - Peapod Labs LLC.  We love this whole series!  Every so often they are offered for free in the app store.

Connor and Emma read with me from Milk : from cow to carton by Aliki.  Connor declared milk "so disgusting!" after learning how it is made.  (he still drinks it though, lol).

Math/Language Arts:

Emma enjoyed many of the printables offered at Homeschool Share and Homeschool Creations.

The praying hands was really neat for me to revisit.  Back when Connor "rowed" this book, he had included our immediate family, Pastor, and his cousins.  With Emma she just included her Aunt and her daughters, Jesus, Grandma "and that is ALL!"

Unrelated to the "row", Emma worked on her phonics with This Reading Mama and while Connor (among other things) worked on opposite words with a fun iPad app, The Opposites - Mindshapes Limited.


We have our own "little painted chair", that we out for this week.   (usually it's kept upstairs with the bedtime reading books).

Connor worked on his mediating skills.  ;D


Linking up with:
Delightful Learning   Hip Homeschool Moms Weekly Wrap-Up Love to Learn Linky

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...