Homeschooling with Five In a Row: To Duet or not to Duet


Prior to reading this story, I knew Babar was an elephant.  I didn't know who Babar was or what he did; I don't recall reading Babar growing up.  Much to my surprise there are several individual stories about Babar.  My Five In A Row manual noted that "To Duet or Not to Duet"  by Elaine Waisglass is not an original de Brunhoff story and nor is it written like original Babar stories, which follow the present tense verb form. 

This book would be a great tool for older students who are capable and ready to learn different styles of writing.  "To Duet or Not to Duet" is a "story within a story."  It begins with Babar's young son, Pom, who is supposed to present a science project, in bed with a mysterious sickness.  Babar uses the situation as a "teachable moment" and tells Pom his own story of how he allowed other's to believe something that was not true and how he fixed it; it was a great example of how a one lie can grow out of control.  One lie, though it  seems so "harmless" can turn into a giant snowball.... very quick! 

This story touches on many things we try to teach our children: telling the truth, listening to advice, discipline, and respect.  As I was talking to T about all these things, I just kept getting the "head-nod."  It's like "I am listening.... but not really."  Or it could mean, "I wish you would stop talking."  Do you get those?! 

Social Studies:
  • Manners:  
    I asked T about table manners and how we should/should not act:
    "Should not whine [about your food]."
    "Should not cry."
    [What if you want something?] "Ask." [How?] "Please I have some goldfish, mommy?"
    [How should you sit] "Like this. Not on your knees."
    [Do we take food from others?] "No." [Why not?] "We eat our own food."
    [How do we talk?] "Nice."
    "Okay, I'm done."
Language Arts:
  • Vocabulary Words:  T learned several new words-- audience, limitations, mysterious, broadcast, genius, applauded.  I told T what each word meant and he had to match clipart to that word.

  • Days of the week and Months of the Year:  T knows the Days of the Week, but we reviewed anyways and also checked out some songs on YouTube for Months of the Year-- we are working on those still.
  • Geometric Shapes: Using printables found at Teachers Pay Teachers, we sorted objects by their shape.

  • Elephants: I loved the book we used to learn about elephants.  The pictures were amazing and it was just enough information for my son.  Will definitely keep this series in mind when learning about other animals.  As I read the book, T completed another anticipation guide : )  Check out Ms. Barbara's Blog for more great preschool elephant ideas!
  • Human Body-Ear & Sounds: Looked at some pictures of the ear.   Talked about the Outer, Middle, and Inner Ear.  Felt our vocal cords when talking and when we were not to feel the vibrations.
  • Guess that Sound:  I found several sound cards online and had T guess what he thought the sound was-- they were tricky!
During this row I completely forgot we had a Music/ Instrument type store nearby, so the following week (while we rowed the Salamander Room), we stopped in and got to see the instruments we had talked about.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, but T seemed to enjoy getting to see them first-hand.  He thought the Tuba-- that was about the same size as him-- was pretty cool!

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