A Little Library Inspiration
Ages ago, I borrowed Five in a Row (FIAR) from the library after a curriculum recommendation from a friend. I loved FIAR's concept, but I just couldn’t see purchasing a copy on our tight budget. I figured between my experience and the Internet I could very easily “row” books on my own, honing in on my kids’ personal developmental needs, while occasionally borrowing FIAR again when I needed inspiration. Since that time, I have discovered that FIAR is such a popular book that it is nearly impossible to reserve from our library system on a regular basis. But, that hasn’t stopped us from rowing in our own way.
How do we row? Merrily, merrily, merrily through the week, when I remember to, and catching the currents of life – sometimes veering off course or in one direction or another – when I don’t. Even in the snow...
The Snowy Day
This past week was a merrily-in-the-snow week. Each day, we ready Ezra Jack Keats The Snowy Day, a charming little tale we had on hand in board book form that seemed very appropriate considering the world outside our window: snow-covered and cold!
For those unfamiliar with this classic, it is the story of a boy who wakes to discover snow has fallen during the night and, then, bundles up to go enjoy the magic of a snowy day – experimenting with foot prints, knocking snow from trees, creating snow angels and trying to save a snow ball for another day, among other things. It was 1963 Caldecott Medal winner and has simple, but beautiful illustrations made from cut-outs, watercolors, and collage.
So, what are some of the things we did as we rowed along on snowy days?
Sensory Movement Monday
After reading The Snowy Day, I facilitated an adapted version of Jenny Clark Bracks’s wonderful Learn to Move, Move to Learn!: Sensorimotor Early Childhood Activity Themes (book reviewed here) Winter Snow lesson. (Sensorimotor snow lesson details here.) Since then, the kids have been enjoying their own inside-snow events, such as crib mattress sledding and building their own creative indoor "snowman" constructions!
Tuesday brought a full The Snowy Day-inspired storyhour (full details, with fingerplays and song lyrics included, here), complete with craft and snack, to our home. The keeper from that? Among other things, Stranger in the Woods. Luke has requested it as our book of the week for “not next week, Mommy, because its groundhog Day, but the week after”. (So, if you have favorite groundhog books or Stranger in the Woods activities, suggest away!)
Wednesday, since the most recent mini-blizzard began, we did not do indoor activities connected with our reading The Snowy Day. Instead, we enjoyed some weather-based Physical Education and Care of Home: shoveling, sledding and climbing of snow “mountains”.
Just Like Peter Thursday
At bedtime, Thursday, we read The Snowy Day and talked about which of the things that Peter did that we had also done. Among the kids’ favorites were climbing up a snow mountain and sliding down, hitting trees with sticks to make the snow fall down and – not that Peter did this – building snow forts!
So long as we can get out of our road today and safely drive a couple towns over, we will be joining in the fun of a new pre-k/kindergarten co-op we are involved in where doing a snowman craft is part of the plan. (That ever-important and questioned "socialization" piece of homeschooling!) The new co-op is supposed to meet only the second and fourth Friday’s of the month, but last week got rescheduled to this week because – you got it – SNOW! Sure has been a lot of it around here this winter.
We don’t mind. It is instant PE, great outdoor time, a no-brainer for Luke’s daily sensory diet and an inspiration for the kids to construct some great learning around their own ideas as well as through the sensory-friendly, motor-based plans I come up with. Plus, it's fun to see the snow on our front walkway get taller than the kids (as in the picture above!)