Before Five in a Row: Ask Mr. Bear & A Little Grace for You Mom

wonderful mom of a toddler_edited-1

I have been trying to figure out how to blog about our adventures through Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack. We rowed it several weeks ago, and it was a pure delight. However, I have zero pictures to document our journey. Why? Because all we did was read the book!

We didn’t do a single printable I had on hand or one single craft. We didn’t go on any field trips or eat special foods. We just sat down each day, cuddled in our reading chair, and read Ask Mr. Bear together.

I confess – I felt really guilty for our lack of enrichment activities. But then I realized, one reason I chose the Before Five in a Row Curriculum is for its laid back approach.

Simply reading the book each day is enough!

You don’t have to do a bunch of add on activities each and every time. The conversations you can have with your toddler about the story, pictures, and actions of the characters are tremendous learning opportunities in and of themselves.

By reading Ask Mr. Bear each day for five straight days, my toddler learned so much! I was thoroughly shocked. By the end of the week, he knew the difference between farm animals and forest animals. During pretend play, he was trotting like a goat, along with several other gross motor skills he learned from the book (hop, skip, etc.). He memorized what each animal offered the little boy Danny for a gift. He knew that eggs come from chickens and milk comes from cows. Best of all, he learned the difference between a bear hug and a regular hug. I get lots of bear hugs now!

By spending time with my toddler, snuggled up with a good book, he learned and we bonded. In these early years, that’s really all that matters.

So mamas cut yourself some slack, accept grace, and know that simply reading a story and spending time with your child is enough. You don’t have to do a million crafts a week or plan a hundred activities. You don’t have to make special foods or go on amazing field trips for your toddler to learn. We do those things when we can, but sometimes we don’t even bother. And that’s okay. This doesn’t mean we are failing our children. We are teaching them what really matters by spending time with them, being present, and loving them.

In case you’re interested in the printables I had planned to use:

Ask Mr. Bear Printables from Homeschool Creations

Ask Mr. Bear Lapbook and Printables from Homeschool Share

Animal Activity Cards

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  1. I am so glad that some momma’s are getting the idea that children need to be children and not using every minute to learn something new in a schooling way.
    I read the book by Dr. McGuffey (author of the original McGuffey Readers) once and he said boys are better started in a school setting better if the parents wait till 7 years old. They will learn faster and more. That is not to say such times as you had with the book “Ask Mr. Bear” is wrong that is exactly what he was trying to get across. Children learn by doing at the young age. They learn by play and by imitating momma and daddy and any older brothers and sisters if they have them or cousins if they have them close enough to play with. A occasional lapbook or coloring page is great to do if it is not pressed to do them. Letting the child decide if they want to do them is the thing to catch onto.
    You and your little boy are greatly blessed. Enjoy him and love him and give him the basis for a love of learning for the rest of his life.

    Jackie S.

    1. It’s a hard balance to be sure. Following the lead of the child is essential and yet the most challenging. Most of what we do is learning through play and time spent together. most weeks my son loves lapbooks and crafts and worksheets. This was definitely a different sort of week for him. I love watching his interests develop, and I’m still grateful I took the time to have the other activities ready in case he showed interest. This curriculum is great for our boy’s personality! 🙂