Literature Based Kindergarten: Bear Snores On

Primary Literature

  • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, a sweet rhyming story of a hibernating bear who's lair fills up with other animals as he sleeps. He wakes up to find them having party and is bit distraught until a mouse invites him to join the fun. 

  • Vocabulary words to review.
    • hibernate - to spend all or part of winter in an inactive state where heartbeat and breathing slows
    • lair - den of a wild animal
    • dank - unpleasantly moist
    • scuttles - run from view
    • nibble - small bites
    • flutter - moving quickly
    • titter - a nervous laugh
    • slumbering - sleeping
    • blubbers - crying noisily
    • fret - irritated state
Complementary Literature 
  • We worked on memorizing When The Snow is on The Ground by Mother Goose
The little robin grieve
When the Snow is on the ground, 
For the trees have no leaves
And no berries can be found. 

The air is cold, the worms are hid;
For robin here what can be done?

Let's strow around some crumbs of bread, 
And then he'll live till snow is gone. 
  • Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming, the animals are beginning to notice that the weather is changing from autumn to winter and run around to warn each other that it is time to hibernate. 
  • The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader, this book is a Caldecott award winning book and the illustrations are breathtaking and realistic. The book starts with telling how woodland animals are preparing for winter by adapting, hibernating, and migrating. A big snow comes and covers all the food and the animals who did not migrate/hibernate; they are hungry until a couple sets out food for them. 
  • Don't Wake the Bear by Marjorie Dennis Murray, this story is very similar to Bear Snores On. A whole bunch of animals sneak in to a bear's warm and cozy lair except this time not for a party but to sleep. The suspense builds as the cave becomes more crowded with animals each  being warned, "not to wake up the bear!"
  • Hibernation by Margaret Hall this is a great nonfiction introduction to hibernation. Real life pictures  are accompanied by short brief descriptions explain how different animals hibernate. 
  • Other bear books by Karma Wilson, these rhyming stories follow the same animals as they have different adventures. 

History Books: Ancient Times

In December we just finished Story of the World: Ancient Times. We greatly enjoyed this curriculum. However, it was sublimating it with other great literature and resources that made history come alive for Big Buddy. The curriculum took us almost a year and a half to finish because we enjoyed digging deeper into some areas. Below is a list of some of our favorite books and other resources. A few of these are recommendations from Story of the World's Activity Book: Ancient Times. If you do decided to use Story of the World as your history curriculum I can't recommend the workbook highly enough; it's filled with additional literature suggestions, coloring pages, maps, and learning activities.

  1. Kid's Animated History with Pippo: 16 Ancient Cultures - short videos introduce children to different ancient cultures is a humorous and engaging manner. These videos can be watched for free on Hulu.
  2. DK, Ancient Civilzations - brief look at several ancient civilizations with lots of pictures of ruins and artifacts. 
  3. Battlezone, Warfare in the Ancient World  - one of Big Buddy's favorite books, it gives a comprehensive look at ancient weapons, armor, and fighting methods. 
  4. Time Warp Trio - video series about three boys who travel through time. It's a bit silly but all my kids enjoy it and they do glean some facts from it. 
  5. Warriors: All the Truth, Tactics, and Triumphs of History's Greatest Fighters - this book is packed full of informations and interesting illustrations  It does also cover a few warriors outside of ancient times. 
  6. The Kingfisher Atlas of the Ancient World   - if you kids' enjoy maps this book is a must. 
  7. Ten Kings and the World's they Ruled  - this book also covers some kings outside of ancient times. The illustrations are gorgeous. 

Safety and Love

I didn't really set any New Year goals. I do hope to keep up with working out and it would be great if I could get more reading done. What I'm really striving for though, what it feels like I've been working towards forever, is contentment or rather a sense of inner calmness/peace.

See even though I didn't set any particular New Year goals I was ready to get moving this week: there were plans to be made, tasks to be checked off, etc. Then Jeremy's work got unexpectedly busy and he had to check out sooner than I'd hoped. We had to deal with some family illnesses. Nothing got planned! Very few of the tasks got checked off. I woke up this morning feeling behind and out of balance. I don't always deal well with feeling behind - I get edgy and mean. This has lead to many past regrets so this morning I prayed for mercy and strength. I was gently reminded that my main goal is to make my husband and my children feel like they safe and that they are loved. I memorized James 1:20 a couple years back and it's served as constant reminder that doing things in anger (or out of frustration) never results in the righteousness (goodness) God desires. It doesn't matter how much I can accomplish if it's done in a destructive manner. I want my house to be a place were people are built up even it means that there are 'things' that never get done.

So today I kept repeating to myself love and safety. When I walked past Mini Man's room this morning and I saw him smile and then close his eyes like he was still sleeping I decided to go in and cuddle. To enjoy the moment and forget about the job I was about to do.  Laundry didn't' get put away, Christmas decorations are still not in the attic, and I'm still behind on where I'd like to be at school planning.  Big Buddy and I, however, spent an hour talking over his Legos. Little Lady and I danced. The kids and I sat on the couch and read countless books. Jeremy, who I know would much rather be at home, was able to focus at work because I assured him that despite the 'chaos' we would be fine. And we were. The 'have tos' were accomplished: everyone was feed, we did school (it actually went very well!), the basic household chores were completed, etc.

Today was a good day! It wasn't 'perfect' but it was peaceful and full of love which is even better.

Christmas Two, Time at Home

We are done with Christmas number two and only have one more go! The last couple days have been good ones. One of the best things about Jeremy being a professor is the extended time he gets off for the holidays. It's such a blessing that despite all the business of the holidays we also get a change to relax and recharge as a family.

christmas morning at our house

The night before our Christmas we all get a new set of  pajamas. We don't do matching sets (my MIL takes care of that), instead I try to find something that fits everyones personalities. For the last couple months Mini Man has been really into the TMNT. I was so excited when I found these footies at Target, however, when he put them on they were too small! He was so pumped about them though that he insisted they fit. We decided to let him keep them and I'll just replace them with a larger pair later. I can't believe he's outgrown an XS - I wish parenthood came with a pause button. 

For our family's Christmas we try to bring the focus back to the nativity. We bake a breakfast cake, for the last couple of years the kids have requested monkey bread, and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. 

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