For the love of Spiders

Image may contain: plant and outdoor“Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

This beloved story first captured my heart when I was Noah’s age. I came to the movie before the book, but wanted my kids to have the opposite experience. It seemed to be fate that around the same time we were reading this story we were visited by a different spider every day. Often more than one (to my husband’s dismay!).

Instead of flushing them down the toliet, I was trying to watch my children’s cues. They loved the spiders!

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They saw them as important, beautiful, purposeful. They changed the way I approach creepy crawlies.

During this unit, I created a blend of hands-on activities that would meet the needs of the various ages of my kids, 2, 5.5 and 9. I wanted to fuse together language arts, math and nature studies into one pleasant package. We visited working farms, sketched live farm animals and spiders, reviewed our math skills for the year and created several lovely art and craft pieces that went along with the reading. It was a lovely month! Now that we are gearing at least half of our lessons towards family learning, I am finding that our home is much more peaceful.

What we are focusing on for each child:

Sarah (2)

  •  Learning how to use the art supplies on paper (not the wall)
  •  Sleeping through the night
  •  Enjoying singing songs about farm life
  •  Learning how to play on her own and use her imagination

Hannah (5)

  • Encouraging her in her natural love of reading
  • Beginning to work with numbers in a playful, real life based way
  • Involving her more in cooking and baking for the family
  • Delving into her natural love of animals

Noah (9)

  • Giving him a variety of opportunities to practice his handwriting
  • Continuing in his reading skills (He has blossomed this year from a struggling reader to being able to read anything)
  • Working on vocabulary words
  • Reviewing math skills from the past year
  • Learning how to independently research information and record new ideas (nature journaling, note taking)

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spider life


favorite farm books

Our Favorite Farm Books for Young Children

Animal Sounds by Aurelius Battaglia

Baby Farm Animals by Garth Williams

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Hello Farm, How Do You Do? By Marjolein Thiebout

Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri

The Happy Man and his Dump Truck by Myriam

The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone

The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen

This is the Farmer by Nancy Tafuri



I always enjoy seeing what others have done with my Learning Guides!

Here are few photos 🙂





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Karen Wright



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4 thoughts on “For the love of Spiders

  1. I love thisso much and seeing your homeschoolin action really helps me. I just added charlottes web to our homeschool list coming up in a month and now I am set on getting your charlottes web set! I love everything you do. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I’ve been thinking of starting this story with Jonah, my 3.5 year old. He saw the live movie a year ago, though, and wept through the loss of Charlotte.
    Does the book approach it more gently? He’s such a tender heart.
    He has also had to say farewell to a cat this year and hasn’t shed tears.

  3. Hi Keri! You do need to be especially careful about this story! It is very tender. I recommend it for children 6-10. Weeping happens- we all did, but my 9 year old was in a very different place this time, than when I first tried to read it to him at age 4. My almost 6 year old, however, responded beautifully to it.

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