Dear Readers, I apologize for my absence! I’ve had three days of appointments, lab work, school fun, and then today we had another awesome co-op day with our Five In A Row group. With Five In A Row, for those of you who don’t know about it, you study a specific and usually award-winning treasure of a picture book over a period of one week, or in the case of Volume 4, sometimes two weeks, and even though Charlotte Mason might not have been a huge fan of unit study per se, I think she would have loved Five In A Row. Five In A Row is just rich in lessons about God’s hand in major events throughout time, history, nature study, art and music appreciation, and relationships.
Our co-ops are taught in teams — two moms putting their heads together and coming up with learning activities to go along with the particular book. This co-op it was my turn again! The mom I was working with this week opened our morning with prayer and then I read Hanna’s Cold Winter to the group of children.
Hanna’s Cold Winter – Let me take a moment here to point you to Purple House Press, a publishing company whose mission it is to bring back into print, wonderful, “lost” children’s books. They have brought Hanna’s Cold Winter back to lots of children!
One of the things I love about this co-op is that we get to see each other’s homes. Exciting! The kids love getting together and playing afterwards, the moms love oooohing and aaaahing over other homes’ interiors, gardens, etc. It’s a win-win situation. We were in a gorgeous home today! It was old (something I love), and full of interesting and bright art and some amazing furniture!
My co-teacher taught the children about animal groups and animal characteristics and played a fun guessing game where each child was a mystery animal and then others had to try and guess what animal they were, based on clues. They learned about biomes as well.
Here are the children asking questions and giving clues.
Next the children moved to a board game I made called Budapest Zoo. Uh, you know me and Mod Podge.
The board game is made from a piece of plywood decoupaged with thumbnail pictures of Budapest Zoo, some of its animals, and landmarks around Budapest and Hungary. You throw the dice, move, draw a card and read it; it’s either just a fact about Hungary that you’ll read, or something to do, i.e. A hippo ate your flip-flops, go back 3 spaces.
Next it was on to a painting project that my lovely co-teacher had set up based on how feelings and thoughts made their way into the arts based on what people went through during World War II. We also learned about Hungarian composer, Bartok, and the children listened to classical music while they worked on abstract art techniques.
After the class was over, there were snacks to enjoy. The snack menu was planned based on scenes in Hanna’s Cold Winter: eggs (turned into deviled eggs and sprinkled with Hungarian paprika) and cheese from the market, snowflake crackers for the cold winter, tart apples to offset the sweet cheese, a bit of candy (with mom’s permission) — also a market item, and water.
One of my favorite parts of the co-op is seeing my friend Daniel. We were both pretty impressed by the large nutcracker soldier on the hearth, so we stood guard with him for awhile, with our most serious faces. Do we look protective and like good guards?
Can anyone say zip line? This home had a zip line in the backyard and there were screams of joy when the children were turned loose to play once the co-op was done.
It was a very lovely day and I am so thankful for the friendship and opportunity this group of wonderful ladies offers.