In Blueberries for Sal, one of the major themes that we explored together was to nurture the habit of following closely. In this story, Sal and little bear were separated from their mothers when they were overly engrossed in blueberry tasting. As in all good children’s books, it was a happily ever after ending despite an identity mix-up. This story was excellent and instrumental for me to drill the importance of keeping by my side whenever I communicated the need for it.
The boys behave very differently when we go out together. Xxm is a drifter and constantly falls behind the troop. His spatial awareness skills are relatively ill developed, which makes losing us in his sight very easy. In addition, his stress coping mechanism needs much love too. Xmm, on the other hand, tends to wander about in his usual carefree spirit. He is more often than not ahead of us, which is usually okay if what lies ahead is not a road. Though he veers from the intended course, most days he is still aware of our whereabouts. With such a troop, the team is usually scattered and subjects me to much stress. Hence it was wonderful to raise awareness of keeping pace with me, and not them, with the aid of this book.
We live in the city and it is difficult to correlate the themes in the book with our real life. Being Chinese, canning blueberries has never been a way of life for us. With the high price of blueberries at the supermarket, I am less inclined to demonstrate the process of canning blueberries. We took to making blueberry muffins instead.
Xxm’s school needed a book review so we sat down to working on Blueberries for Sal. We painted the picture based on an idea I got off Google. He likes painting and gladly does the assigned task.
Then I created sentence prompts for him to fill in the blanks.
Despite numerous attempts to explain what a book review is, Xxm could only repeat the story. After listening to it a couple of times, it then struck me to record it. Aha! Narration – a skill much advocated by Charlotte Mason followers.
I wanted very much to display the sounds made by different objects in a tin pail. I tried initially with a small metal bowl, but the effect wasn’t that good. The opportunity came when we spotted a tin pail in a relative’s home. The boys were excited to enact the whole berry picking scene. We didn’t have berries, just leftover tangerines from Chinese New Year. Thus, we played a game of hiding and seeking tangerine which delighted them all afternoon. As we dropped the tangerines into the tin pail, I highlighted to them the difference in the sound produced by different sized tangerines.
I wanted to upload a video of them having fun but I am facing difficulty uploading it to YouTube from my iPad. So, please make do with their pictures.
We also struck gold when we had the opportunity to go strawberry picking in China. The boys were trilled. Though Xxm was feeling unwell that day, he participated wholeheartedly.
Lastly, I demonstrated simple addition sums to wrap up our entire learning.
That’s all folks!