I’ve tried to steer clear of anything virus related on this site because I think many people are being overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world right now and need some escape. I refer to it as “the weirdness” because I’m fed up with the buzz phrases like “the new normal” and “these challenging times.” And if I hear one more person say the word “unprecedented”… I like to think that Rock Paper Spirit can be that place where we can escape. However, there is no escaping that our lifestyles have changed, especially if you’re a parent and having to teach your child as well as get on with your own job too. So, today I’d like to share some resources for those of us who are homeschooling, namely this book The Bear and the Piano and the digital activities linked to it.
Disclaimer: This blog is written by me, in my own words after liaising with Carrot Productions about their latest press release. I have been promised a goody bag for helping to promote the good work they are doing, but no money has changed hands. Therefore, this post is tagged as gifted.
At the start of our homeschooling journey, my family sought out resources that we hoped would be helpful. We’ve downloaded lots of digital items such as e-books to help with literacy, guided meditations to help maintain our son’s mental health and wellbeing, followed YouTube workouts and then there are all the apps we’ve put on our phones to facilitate learning through playing. I’ve particularly enjoyed looking through e-books with Luke. There’s one called The Bear and The Piano which I’m going to share a little bit about today, that isn’t just useful from a homeschooling point of view, but it’s also going to help the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. For each download of the motion book a £1 donation is made to help raise valuable funds to support the WHO’s crucial work.
The Bear and The Piano is a 15 minute motion book, written by David Litchfield and narrated by Joanna Lumley, who in my opinion has the most soothing voice I’ve ever heard. It premiered during Carrot Productions’ 2017 Snowman Tour and received a wonderful response from the audience. You can now watch it at home and the download link is https://www.
Speaking about her involvement, Joanna Lumley said, “In the tradition of Peter and the Wolf and The Snowman, The Bear and the Piano is an enchanting story told with glorious music and is a bewitching treat for all ages. I am 109 and read the tale aloud and felt as though I were seven again. Delicious!”
Did you hear her voice in your head as you were reading that? Because I know I did! There are also lots of other activities for home learning on the At Home page on the Carrot Productions website. There you can access art and craft activity sheets, lesson plans based on the book and film for English, maths, geography, computing, art, music history, PHSE, competitions, recipes and more. The website where you can access all that is: https://www.
Homeschooling hasn’t been easy and I don’t know how much longer we will have to do it for. As I write this, I’m hearing news about how some English schools have returned today, but I’m also hearing mixed reports that there aren’t any classes at full capacity and some parents have chosen to keep their kids at home. Thankfully as I live in Scotland, this isn’t a decision I need to make right now. We have until at least August to wait and when Luke does return, I feel confident that the staff at his school are on the same page as us as parents and will maintain strict social distancing measures. There’s even talk of kids going back part time, which means homeschooling will continue for many months to come. That’s why I think it’s important for parents to share resources such as this motion book that we can all use to help kids keep their minds occupied and help them learn during the weirdness.