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Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? {B4FI♥AR}, Butterflies & Ants,

~Bo is 4 1/2 years old~

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? was one of my favorite rows with Malachi and Eliana, so I was so looking forward to rowing this with Bo this summer.


We started with butterflies as I ordered them at the same time as our ladybugs for our gardening unit for The Carrot Seed.

Butterfly garden seeds we picked out to plant.

We ordered caterpillars from Insect Lore. 

and then I got tired of photographing them every day, haha.  I shipped them 2nd day air so they were really tiny when they arrived this time - last time (when we rowed The Salamander Room) they were almost full grown caterpillar when they arrived). 

I ordered the Butterfly Life Cycle Stages from Amazon (I'll add the link later)...

And set up a little Butterfly Learning Corner. 

Counting down the days from caterpillar to chrysalis. 

Learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly. 

And then we went on vacation and our caterpillars had not emerged as butterflies yet, so we brought them with us. This was so fun. :) 

One emerged while traveling and the others emerged the week we were on vacation. 

And then they were gone. 

Bo released all but one on his own after we released the first one. He thought he released them all, but as I was getting ready to fold up the butterfly tent, I discovered one more so got to take pictures of him releasing the last one. :) 

Back at home, we made Butterfly Nectar from page 168 in Nature for the Very Young and drank with a straw (proboscis) with a flower pattern on top of the cup.

Rhymes - Ants in my Pants 

I forgot to take a pic of this book, but it was a super cute tie in to the rhymes in Jesse Bear. 


Lifecycle of an ant

It was fun to watch the ants tunnel the first few days, but they started dying earlier than I remember with Mali and Elli for our row of Truman's Aunt Farm. 

Printables from Homeschool Creations and Homeschool Share: Jesse Bears Healthy Lunch, What did Jesse Bear eat?, Measure Jesse Bears Lunch & Which bear comes next?


We talked about order - Jesse is organized. He puts things away like Bo does! Bo is really a great little organizer and I often find him rearranging things all over the house. With me reading the tidy book, this tied in nicely. 

Red, White & Blue

Jesse Bear has a flag colors theme so we made stamp shapes - stars to decorate our table. 

Jesse Bear's Healthy Lunch

I'll wear carrots and peas
And a little more please 

An apple to bite
And a mustache of white

& a Sandwich Bear. :) 

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
For this review for Funtastic Unit Studies, I present a neat book called Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers.

We were able to choose which unit we wanted for this review, so I chose a unit that would tie in naturally with our summer learning.

Yep! I chose the Beginning Plants unit to use with Bo for our row of The Carrot Seed.

This unit includes 8 sections. I'll share our experience with each.


We did several fun activities like giving my little one various vegetables and fruits and asking him what part of the plant they are from. Some great suggestions are given in the study - like celery for stems, broccoli for flowers, lettuce for leaves, carrots for roots, etc.

Then we made a vegetable platter to eat with dip, and I had Bo guess what vegetables are on the platter, by giving him hints that include what part of the plant it is.


We read The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carl. For our activity, we choose to go on a scavenger hunt for seeds.

We soaked a bean seed in water, learned about seed coats, and then examined the embryo inside (the baby plant).

Then we talked about seeds that people eat, and made a "seed snack" -  we made peanut butter at the health food market. Bo got to see how peanut butter is made by grinding shelled peanuts in a grinder. He loved this!


Bo learned how roots help keep a plant in place and take up water and nutrients from the soil. Then we pulled up a dandelion by its roots so he could see what roots look like.

Next, we planted a bean seed in a plastic container so that Bo could watch the roots grow.


We tied this lesson in with our study of The Runaway Bunny. I showed Bo the cross section of a tree and talked about the parts of the tree. We got to see bark, sapwood, heartwood, and pith up close in nature via trees that beavers were working on chopping down.


We collected different types of leaves to make a leaf rubbing.


We collected some flowers to dry.

Growing Plants

Our activity was to experiment to prove that plants need water to grow and we used brother and sister's bean sprouts from an experiment they were doing for Botany.

Another activity was to start a vegetable garden. We planted carrot seeds for our row of The Carrot Seed.

Another fun activity was to grow a new plant from something other than a seed. We grew a plant from a sweet potato!

We've had so much fun watching this grow!

We also regrew lettuce from the base of a romaine lettuce head (it wasn't really enough to eat, so we fed it to the rabbit, but neat to watch it grow).


For the review, I asked Bo a series of riddles to quiz him on what he learned, such as: I start with the letter "W" and plants need me to grow" (Water).

  • great information
  • awesome activities
  • worthwhile experiments
  • easy
  • fun
  • great for unit studies
  • needs more literature suggestions, but loved that I could add in my own

I also did some of the activities from the Plants II unit with Malachi and Eliana for our study of Botany.

This study tied in nicely with our lesson on leaves - we took our learning of stomata, light and photosynthesis, respiration, and plant adaptations to the next level. I shared the chemical equation for photosynthesis and respiration - maybe a little advanced for and 8 and 10 year old, but neat to be able to show them exactly how a plant takes carbon dioxide and water + light to make a sugar molecule and oxygen!

We also reviewed the parts of a flower made a clone of a house plant. We just this week transplanted it with the original and it is doing great.


I loved that there was a Beginner Plants (ages 4-7) and a Plants II (ages 8-13) in this book. It was really fun to be able to make learning a family event. I chose these units because they tied in nicely with our summer learning, but there are a lot of great units in this book:

Topics for ages 4-7:
  • Senses
  • The Human Body
  • Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
  • Animals
  • Insects and Their Kin
  • Fun with Magnets
  • Stars and Planets
  • Health
  • Beginning Plants
  • Animal Ecology

Topics for ages 8-13:
  • Insects
  • Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
  • Atoms and Molecules
  • Matter
  • Chemistry Fun
  • Weather
  • Force and Motion
  • Simple Machines
  • Light and Color
  • Plants II

Each lesson contains: materials needed for the unit, information on the topic, activities to do, black and white diagrams and illustrations, review questions and/or test questions, and an answer key. 

This is really a great collection of science units that are ideal for unit studies or to enrich your science curriculum with hands on activities. I'm excited to have this as a resource for our homeschool (since we love unit studies so much!).

Interested in seeing what units my Crew mates reviewed? (I am!)

Crew Disclaimer

Do you love unit studies? Check out the Beginning Plants (ages 4-7) or Atoms and Molecules (ages 8-13) free sample units to see if you might like Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers


With Lee in Virginia ~ An Heirloom Audio Review

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Heirloom Audio Productions has reignited a love for G.A. Henty books in our family. We have several in our collection, but not enough, I've decided, since listening to With Lee in Virginia, an audio drama about duty, heroic courage, and honor during the Great War between the Northern and Southern States of America - the Civil War.

I'm touched by the main character, Vincent, the son of a plantation owner in Virginia who is against slavery, but learns to make the best of it by treating the slaves on his mother's plantation with dignity, respect, and fairness.  I'm further moved by how much Dan, a slave under his care, admires and respects Vincent by promising, "Where ever you go, I will be there with you." I also have a new appreciation and respect for why the Civil War was fought.

I was very excited to review this audio drama because we are studying American History this year!

We listened as a family, in the car, purely for enjoyment for this review because we are not yet to the time period of the Civil War, but we will not only listen again, but I also received the bonuses to use including a soundtrack, printable quote and poster, e-newsletter, study guide, and the complete Henty story in a downloadable e-Book - so we will likely read the book as a read aloud as well.

I do plan to use the Study Guide, a 52 page guide designed to guide my students through the storyline and it's lessons.

The Study Guide contains three main parts:
  • Listening Well - how well did your student listen and remember? Some are easy, but some may require listening again. 
  • Thinking Further - these challenge your student to think, look up something from the story, draw conclusions, or speculate about the intentions of characters. These questions ask your child to think a bit—to look up something mentioned in the story, to draw conclusions from the characters’ actions, or to speculate about their intentions. 
  • Defining Words - these build vocabulary and dictionary skills. 

It also includes a recommended reading list to learn more about Robert E. Lee and his faith. Then, there are two short Bible studies discussing the Biblical themes of duty and loving your enemy. My kids especially liked the historic photos included in the study guide.

A note from my husband:

In this audio General Lee is depicted as a man of faith whom relies heavily upon the urgings of the Spirit to guide him in times of peace and war.  I always knew from various stories the chivalry of General Lee, but this story captures it well. The narration begins with the story of a boy, Vincent, whose family owns a plantation in Virginia.  During those days slavery was common, but was beginning to change leading up to the Civil War. The story depicts different viewpoints of slavery and how landowners used their "property." The main character despises the use of physical force to subdue a slave and thus the listener is thrust into the world of the Civil War.

The main character, Vincent, is seen as a young man whose life changes dramatically after seeing and being a part of the carnage that was left in the aftermath of the Civil War.  During it, however, he firmly holds fast to his faith and convictions which would on occasion lead him to medals and friendships along the way.

At the end of narrative I found myself admiring the morals and values of the characters, the wonderful voices, and the fantastic tales interwoven within the audio.

I agree! Storyline aside, this is a great audio production full of familiar voices, fabulous sound effects, and wonderful music to make Henty's story come alive. I highly recommend With Lee in Virginia!

To see what my Crew Mates thought please go read their reviews!

Crew Disclaimer
With Lee In Virginia (Facebook)
Heirloom Audio Productions (Facebook)
Heirloom Audio Productions (Google+)
 Heirloom Audio Productions (Twitter)

I'm sure to mention With Lee in Virginia when I come back to it this coming school year ~ hope you'll join me for another great year of homeschooling!