"Mrs. Applebee?" asked Michael.
"Yes, my dear?"
"Do you have an umbrella?"
"No, but..." and before she could finish, she was interrupted by the next fairy on the path.
"I do!" he said with a grin. This fairy was reddish-orange like a fire and he called out a cheery, "Hello Mother!" as he was handing our umbrella leaves to all of the fairies who asked for them. Mrs. Applebee answered "Nasturtium!" as he handed her and Michael each one of his large umbrella-like leaves.
"Thank you!" said Michael with a grateful, damp smile.
"You're welcome! You must be Michael!" the Nasturtium fairy answered.
"How did you know? Michael asked blushing a bit at the idea that the fairies already knew him.
"Everyone has been talking about a visitor named Michael and they said that you've seen all of the fairies though M." said Nasturtium with an jolly laugh.
"I have and I've learned all their songs. Will you sing your song for me, too?" Michael asked expectantly.
"Certainly," the fiery fairy replied, bursting into song.
"That's a beautiful song!"Michael cried, clapping delightedly as he finished.
"I have an treat for you," said Nasturtium, handing Michael and Mrs. Applebee each a bowl with the most beautiful salads in them. "It is fresh salad sprnled with my pretty petals," said Nasturtium. As Michael and Mrs. Applebee enjoyed their salads, Nasturtium read from the red book. He told Michael all about St. Nicholas, the patron of children. Michael already knew a thing or two about St. Nicholas and they had a grand time chatting. Just as Michael prepared to leave, the rain stopped and the sky cleared. Nasturtium handed Michael a blossom for his mother's bouquet and sent him and Mrs. Applebee on their merry way.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Nicholas in the book (and pictured in a child's example) 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. It can be added to your child's main lesson book as well.
Language: Use the Letter N in the St. Nicholas picture as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the M with his or her finger. Practice the Letter N by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of of St. Nicholas well and use the song of the Nasturtium Fairy fairy as copywork. Sing the song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "J" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter J. 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 alphabet 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, you can research the botanical information 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:
N is for Nature Notebooks and is for Microscope and we'll focus on those this week:
Do consider making nasturtium vinegar and also be sure to sprinkle blossoms on your salad this week!
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the The Nasturtium Fairy in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the The Nasturtium 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.)
For this week's picture study, Museum ABC focuses on nose for the "N" page. 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.
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. Nicholas in Letters from Heaven.
Make a Wee Felt Saint of St. Nicholas. Use your imagination to come up with symbols that tell the story of his life. If several children are making saints, consider adding saints from the liturgical calendar to your collection, as well.
Remember there is so much to read and do about all things related to St. Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center.
Nicholas Postgate in More Once Upon a Time Saints
Read about these saints in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints:
St. John Neumann
Read about these heroes in the Loyola Kids Book of Heroes:
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Ideas for "N 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.)
M is for Mother Goose (and the next letter is "N" for Nursery Rhymes, so hang on to those library books:-):
My Very First Mother Goose
Here Comes Mother Goose
The Real Mother Goose
Tomie de Paola's Mother Goose
Movable Mother Goose
These are the books from last week. Here are some new favorites:
Older children can research the story behind the rhymes. They can make a notebook page with the rhyme carefully copied and illustrated and then a brief description of the history of the rhyme.
N is for Numbers:
Maria recommends Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose. This is a darling book of 24 counting rhymes. The possibility for math main lesson books pages is endless. Illustrate the stories, making number pictures as you go. Lots and lots of opportunities for counting here!
More stories with "N":
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.)
For the next few weeks, children can dictate or write the stories told in the Mother Goose rhymes. That is, instead of reciting the rhyme, they can tell what happened in prose.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
Remember to check back throughout N Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!