Ask Mr. Bear {B4FI♥AR}

~Bo is 4 years, 8 months~

Ask Mr. Bear, written in 1932, is about a little boy named Danny who is trying to find the perfect birthday present for his mother. He asks the hen who offers eggs, the goose who offers feathers, the goat who offers milk, the cow who offers milk and cream, and so on. But his mother already has those things. Then the cow suggests he go ask Mr. Bear who whispers in his ear what Danny can give his mother. Can you guess what it is?

We rowed this our first week of school and also the week of my birthday.

I wasn't really ready to start school, and didn't have anything special planned for our first day, so a fun row was in order, and I had Bo help me plan a birthday-back-to-school party for the end of the week.

Here Elli is reading the story to Bo, and he is putting the story sequence strips in order (from Homeschool Creations).

Then he did the "Where's the Egg" book and he placed the eggs correctly. 

I cut it out and stapled it just in time for him to read it to his dad at lunch. He loved this. 

"What is in the box" shape recognition. 

What's funny is I was planning to focus on Eliana and Malachi this morning, but Bo asked where his school was. Love that and I was thankful I had printed these while I was planning. 

Then we moved on to All About Reading Pre-reading. Bo started this program on the young side, but we took it slow and just worked on capital letters and the pre-reading skills in the first 26 lessons during his 1st preschool year. This year, for his 2nd preschool year, we will do lower case and maybe sounds, depending on how well he grasps those pre-reading skills. He knows all of his letters and sounds, but All About Reading is much more than that and I don't want to rush it like I did with Eliana

We did lowercase b today. (We did lowercase a with our last row, but I must not have photographed it). We couldn't find Ziggy, so Bo had a great idea to use his Lovey. 

I am still letting him work right in the book.

In our last lesson, Bo worked on finding the beginning sound of words that Ziggy left out. "Once I met a ferocious -iger." You mean tiger! What sound did Ziggy leave out? /t/ We continued this pattern for a cute short story and Bo learned to isolate the beginning sound of a word. 

Today, I read two sets of words and Bo had to tell which word is longer: box, beetle. We played this game with several words and it was a little hard for Bo, so we clapped a few of the words (learned in an earlier lesson). I really love this program. 


As I mentioned in my curriculum post, Bo is doing Sonlight P4/5 along with the last bit of Before Five in a Row for his 4K year, and he was so excited to get started on Developing the Early Learner. I pulled out Eliana's DEL books and Bo carried one around for a good week and worked in it on his own before I finally ordered them (from Rainbow Resource for a much better price, even with my Sonlight discount). 

We also completed the read-alouds from Week 1 of Sonlight P 4/5 this week - as reading before bedtime. I  this! I think reading aloud at bedtime is the perfect time, especially if I am diffusing essential oils. All three younger kids piled onto my bed to listen.  After reading Bo's books, I read a chapter to Malachi and Eliana while Bo drifted off to sleep. It's not always that easy, but if I give him a bedtime bath, brush teeth and jammy him up, which honestly is sometimes really hard by the end of the day, and then oil him up, it makes bedtime so much easier so worth the effort. 

Farm Animals

This was a perfect row for farm animal books and a field trip to a small local farm to visit friends. They had us over for a really wonderful dinner of marinated goat (my first time and it was so good), rice, roasted veggies, and fresh goats milk. So delicious and a wonderful time.

This is the same family we visited during my day in the life and my friend remembered the challah bread we brought last time, so when I asked what I could bring, the answer was my challah bread! I haven't baked it since I started Trim Healthy Mama, it was hot, and more than I could manage with a shopping trip at the beginning of the week to get the boys ready for school, so I brought three baguette loaves which were not very good (Costco bake at home), so when we row How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World, I will have to make challah and visit again.

These are all books that I found at our local library. Farm was my least favorite, all the others were great. 

Collecting eggs - an evening chore.

"Good evening Mrs. Goat," said Bo, "Can you give me something for my mother's birthday?" 

"Moo moo," said the Cow. "I can give you some milk and cream." 

Each time we walked to visit a new animal, Bo would disappear and I had to call him back. And each time he disappeared he was in with the chickens. He loves chickens! When I asked him why, he said because they are small and he can hold them.

For our community theme with Sonlight, we read:

Things People Do - The Farmer

Usborne's First Thousand Words - The Farm

Usborne's First Thousand Words - Special Days, The Party

We have some special holidays coming up - the Feast of Trumpets (which has now passed) and the Feast of Tabernacles so instead of a Feast chain like we do every year, we filled a bag with Hershey Kisses and get to eat one Kiss per day as a countdown to the Feast. 

And Bo practiced counting by 5s.

My Birthday

I asked Bo to help plan a birthday party and he thought we should have:

  • flowers
  • balloon
  • cake
  • bear hug ♥

Card from Elli. ♥

I made the best Big Chocolate Birthday Cake by the Pioneer Woman. It was 4 layers and heavenly! The frosting is not too sweet which made this cake perfect. Since starting Trim Healthy Mama, I don't indulge often in sweets, but this was fun and worth it, and I wasn't worse for the wear - at least not a week later. :)

Birthday Books

I loved all of these books and I think Bo did too. A Birthday for Bear was a about a persistent mouse who wants to bless Bear with a birthday party, but Bear does not like birthdays. Some Birthday! is by Patricia Polacco (author of Mrs. Katz and Tush). It is a fun book that kept the kids on the edge of their seat. The last book was a book of birthday poems - just fun to read. 

Of course, we talked about being a cheerful giver and when I read Ask Mr. Bear for the first time, Bo's eyes lit up and he gave me the biggest bear hug. 

Thinking Spot

We did the lesson from the manual on problem solving and I talked to Bo about how "plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisors they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22)

When Bo is upset, he is in the habit of running outside. When he does this, I'm concerned for his safety, so I made a thinking spot for him, and I'm working with him to run to his thinking spot to think about his problems. He loved this! I still need to put up a curtain and make it comfy in there (our school closet that I tidied), and he doesn't always remember yet, but as soon as I can I'd like to get him a bean bag or big comfy pillow and hang a curtain over the doorway. Right now when he runs outside, I take his little hand and walk with him to his thinking spot and sit with him for a few minutes and talk.

Ask Mr. Bear is a Before Five in a Row selection. There are a lot of Fun Things to do with B4FIAR, but the most important thing is to cultivate a love for learning. ♥

The Before FI♥AR Link-Up is currently closed,
but you are welcome to visit to see what others did with Ask Mr. Bear.
Thank you to those who have linked up over the years! 


  1. Ask Mr. Bear is one of our favorites! Such a cute story. I realize I have a lot of the BFIAR books in our family "library" at home. I also like the idea of a thinking spot. And Bo is soooo cute!!

  2. Happy belated birthday! Looks like you had a sweet day. My boys and I all have September birthdays too. That cake looks delish! Any time I want to cook something for people to really enjoy I grab a Pioneer Woman recipe. Always a winner.

    Thank you for continuing to share you school weeks and rows. I love that the world gets to see how wonderful and opportunity homeschool really is. Your kids are blessed to have such a committed mom :)

  3. Happy Birthday!!! That cakes looks amazing. I need to make that cake this weekend for my kiddos. We celebrated my husbands birthday yesterday (Sunday), Annette had a birthday on the 23 and the 29th is Caleb's day. So Sat. we are going to celebrate the kids and my dad's birthday (which is today). We have a lot of birthdays this month.

    High five to Bo with helping and I love the cards.

  4. What a wonderful way to start school! I'm glad you had a happy birthday, with lot's of family love! Your thinking spot sounds great!!