At the Fairy Ball
Michael was sorry to leave the Eyebright fairy but he was definitely curious about his parting words. What would they find as they continued on their journey? It wasn't long at all before Michael saw a darling little cottage in a clearing. Rose bushes climbed the walls of the cottage, reaching for its moss-covered roof. A merry golden light glowed from the windows and Michael could hear the lively sounds of a fiddle. It was a very, very small cottage and it looked much like the fairy houses he had made with his mother and his sisters and brothers at home. Michael remembered how he'd covered the roof of his little wooden cottage with moss and decorated it to please the fairies. Then, he waited to see if they would visit
when he was not looking. Fairy houses were such fun!
As they approached this fairy house, Michael saw a twirling flash of pink. He was pretty sure it was a fairy but she was spinning so quickly that she was all a-blur. And suddenly, she stopped. She held the skirt of her delicate pink tutu in her fingertips and she curtsied with a dimpled smile. In a voice that sounded like music, she said,
Welcome to the fairy ball!
Of course you can't go in there;
you are much too tall.
But you can listen here
and I'll tell you a tale.
I'm the Fuchsia Fairy,
the sixth on your Alphabet Trail.
Michael was too distracted to listen to her story right away. Instead, he followed her to a tiny window and peered in through the glass. There, dozens of beautiful fairies of all colors were dancing and singing and having a grand time. Michael watched, taking in every detail of color and form, amazed at the variety of flowers they carried with them. After they had been watching a very long time, the Fuchsia Fairy gave Michael a delicate red and purple flower to add to his birthday bouquet and sang her fairy song.
Then, she read to him the story of St. Francis of Assisi, the humble saint who saw so clearly the love and joy of God in all Creation. When she finished, she said, "Remember Michael, St. Francis had a mighty faith. He did God's will and built God's Church and even though he was very, very poor, he was so joyful that his joy was contagious!
"It is getting dark now, my friend. The fairies have made you a bed
there by willow tree. Mrs. Applebee will show you how to pull the
covers around you. As soon as it is really dark, the sleep fairies will
encircle your bed. They sprinkle fairy dust in your eyes, but only if
you are sleeping very well. In the morning, we will play a game of
Michael was feeling sleepy but he was concerned, too. It seemed like he'd been gone a very long time and he didn't want his family to worry. "I thought we were going to be home by the end of the end of the day..." he wondered aloud.
Mrs. Applebee could see his concern and she told him, "Michael, the fairy wood is just like Narnia beyond the wardrobe. Once you are here, time stands still for the people at home. You can have your adventure and then, when you return home, they will all be very surprised to hear about it and it will still be the very same day as when we began." Since, Michael knew the story of Narnia and Aslan very well, Mrs. Applebee's explanation made sense to him. He looked very forward to camping "overnight" with the fairies.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Francis in An Alphabet of Catholic Saints as a visual when telling this story. ( Download fairy_ball.pdf )You may want to copy it to card stock and add it to your child's main lesson or sketch book.
Use the Letter F of the St. Francis picture in An Alphabet of Catholic Saints as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the F with his or her finger. Practice the Letter F by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of Francis as well. Use the short poem in An Alphabet of Catholic Saints as copywork and place it with the picture in your child's saints notebook. The Song of the Fucshia Fairy makes fine copywork as well. Sing the song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "B" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter B. Ask her to illustrate them in her main lesson book and label the pictures. You can write the word for your child to copy if necessary. In Stephen's example shown here, he included words that are signed in the Signing Time Alphabet Song, which is the alphabet song he hears at home. The lyrics are here on page 6. If you have not yet made salt dough letters, now is the time to catch up. We are going to use those letters later along the alphab
et path. If you are just beginning, you might consider letting your child paint the consonants green and the vowels gold (or yellow) to match the stems of the flowers in the story. All the flowers for the vowels will have golden stems.
(Don't try to do it all--these are options for science and nature study)
- After the story has been told, spend some time on the Flower Fairy site. You can research the botanical information and plant indications and record them in a sketchbook or main lesson book. Or perhaps you would prefer flower storybook paper for letter writing practice and copywork. (An older child can do this independently, but a younger child can give an oral narration which you write or keyboard for him or her.)
- With your older child, you might choose to work through Apologia's Discovering Creation with Botany. Read a section and then ask your child to narrate the information in his main lesson book. Always encourage your child to illustrate his narrations. Work on the experiments that you feel would be most beneficial for your child. Take a picture of the finished project and add it to his main lesson book. The pace at which you move through this book is not as important as the child having an opportunity to really understand the material. Go at your child's pace.
- We've had great success encouraging older children to take their flower narrations well beyond what is provided at the Flower Fairy site. These children are able to truly appreciate the vast varieties of flowers and to to see God's creativity when they consider the lilies of the field.
- For some children, a living books/picture book approach seems to resonate and be more meaningful than any other approach. Consider choosing meaty picture books to teach the same concepts. If you choose to pursue this course of study, here is a science-themed picture book study for this letter:
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the Fucshia Fairy in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the Fucshia Fairy in the Flower Fairy Alphabet Coloring Book . Perhaps on another day the child could model the fairy or flower with modeling beeswax. (Sources of excellent quality modeling beeswax can be found on the right sidebar.)
If you haven't made a fairy house, do give it a try. Simple unfinished houses at a craft store can be stained with very strong black tea and a paintbrush and decorated with treasures the children find out-of-doors. You may also want to read together Fairy Houses, a book about making homes for fairies in nature. And if your children enjoy the story, there is a film version available as well.
picture study is Roman Girl at a Fountain painted by Leon Bonnat. The detail of the painting in Museum ABC by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is only of the child's feet (hence, its selection for "F" week). It's interesting to look carefully at just one segment of the painting in the book. The children can discuss what they think the rest of the painting might look like before you show them the print. The print is provided here (Download roman_girl_at_a_fountain.PDF ) for further study (for your refrigerator) so that the art can soak in over the course of the week.
Really look at the picture. Soak in the details. Ask your child to narrate with a prompt such as, "Pretend that I am going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time and want to find this painting. What details could you give me so that I could more easily find it?" Keyboard the narration and ask your child to sketch the work of art. A younger child can copy the painting while an older child can narrate from memory and discover how much detail he remembers by attempting to sketch it from memory. Over the course of this unit, consider collecting the narrations and sketches in a single album and create your own family art history book.
(The goal of Picture Study is to train the eye toward the beautiful. Biographical information about the artist is secondary. Set the work of art as your family computer's wallpaper or screen saver or print the painting on card stock and display it on the refrigerator. After spending time with a picture and really taking the time to look at it, your child will make a connection. There is no need to explain a great deal, especially to a young child. Allow the child to make his own connection with the art. )
Faith: Read the poem about St. John the Forerunner Letters from Heaven. You might consider reading a more detailed account of John the Baptist in a Children's Bible. You can download the Lyra Pencil drawing of St. John the Forerunner here ( Download john_the_forerunner.PDF ) and use it as a visual when telling this story. You may want to print it on card stock and add it to your child's main lesson or sketch book. A coloring page is also available here (Download forerunner_coloring_page.PDF) for download. It can be added to your child's main lesson book as well.
Ideas for "F Week:"
Suggested Books for Read-Alouds and Narrations (These are to be narrated both verbally and artistically. For the younger children it is often fun to keyboard an oral narration for them and then ask the child to illustrate the printed page.)
Suggested Books for Independent Reading (These are for older children to read and narrate over consecutive weeks. Allow your older child to illustrate his or her narrations. Expressing oneself both verbally and visually is a peak of communication.)
If you would prefer not to use a writing program, simply have your
children narrate to you. Select a story from the picture books (the
Elsa Beskow ones work particularly well) and ask the children to
re-tell it as completely as possible. Alternatively, use a story from
the fairy tale anthologies. For younger children, mom keyboards as the
children tell the story. Older children are encouraged to write or
keyboard for themselves. An older child's story is a great place for
proofreading and editing practice. Younger children love to see their
stories printed. All children should illustrate their stories. Stories
written by younger children can be used for reading practice. The
written narrations are used by all the children in our families for Lively Language Lessons.
Serendipi-Tea Time (Breakfast and Dinner too!) Recipes
Fruit Salad, Finger Sandwiches and Fizzy Fruit Juice
Fun for the Little Ones
Remember to check back throughout F Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!