Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blueberries for Sal - Before FIAR

I'm going to try to do a better job of doing more formal schooling with Eliana this year.  I'm not sure how it will end up looking for us, but I've been trying to make some plans - and still have more work to do.  I'm excited about doing Before FIAR with her though!  I've done this with all of my children and look forward to making some sweet memories with her too!  This was where I started my FIAR journey with Christopher and Rebecca in 1997.  It seems so long ago that we enjoyed those books.  Our whole family has precious memories tied to books and I'm thankful for that!

Summer just calls for picking blueberries, doesn't it?  And what better book to choose than Blueberries for Sal.  We chose a "cooler" morning to go pick berries and headed out.  I learned a couple of things that day too.  

Eliana loves to try new things - and is all about doing it for herself.
This is a great quality and one that I want to encourage.
I also learned that if you are colorblind, that the pinkish "not ready" berries look an awful lot like the blue "ready" berries.  And when 3 of my pickers are colorblind, that isn't always a good thing!  LOL  Thankfully, most of them were good.

I also figured out that I should have made our group photo at the beginning of the picking and not at the end when all were hot, tired and ready to go.
I'm blessed to be a part of a group of moms and children who are getting together to do Before FIAR once a month.  We have a simple framework that we use for our mornings.  We start with a devotion and story time.
Our devotion today was on the fruit of the Spirit.  (Get it?  Blueberry is a fruit?)
We also use this time for discussion.
The next piece of our morning is some type of hands-on activity.  Today we painted blueberry bushes using our fingers.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much all of the children really seemed to enjoy this.
We had a lot of the older siblings helping out too.
We made 4 berry bushes which we used later in our drama.
The paint was a little messy - but who cares, right?
I was surprised that it didn't completely wash off at first even though it is washable paint.
Next we acted out the story.  I found adorable little tin pails in the dollar section of Target which were perfect for this.  I put out black beans to use as our "blueberries" for this activity.
We had a mom and baby bear.
And everyone just jumped in and pretended to be picking berries or following their "Mom".
Showing off her cute little bucket.
Our group.

Then we took a break for a snack.  We ate blueberries (of course), gummy bears and watermelon.
For our last part of the morning, we had crafts.  The children made bears and blueberry bushes out of craft foam that had been precut.
Eliana is glueing some berries onto her bush.
It was a delightful  morning with friends and we are looking forward to more fun together.  We have plans to involve the older siblings at a later point, but during the summer, we were just planning for the younger group.

I highly recommend Before Five in a Row if you have a younger child.  It is a delightful way to learn and you will both enjoy it!  You can find out more at Five in a Row website