View Full Version : Mr. Gumpy's Motorcar

04-22-2007, 09:18 PM
So, we have one more day of Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, and I feel like I didn't hardly scratch the surface on the topics available. We talked about Mr. Gumpy being sociable, about the anatomy of a car and played the car identification game that someone posted a few weeks ago, we did one of the activities in the archives on friction and riding cars over different kids of surfaces, (all of which my son loved doing and learning.) but.. I have one more day and well we hardly learned a thing about England yet, I want to have a British tea because my kids LOVE that sort of thing, but... we didn't talk about the weather or clouds or vocabulary. We did do the art thing and my kids really had fun with that one too. Anyone else have weeks like that? I guess I am coming off of a Madeline High where I didn't do it all either but... my kids know lots about France from that.

When we did Madeline we put so many interesting things in their notebook that they did while rowing. For Mr. Gumpy so far we have a drawing of a girl diving in the pond and a narration page on the science experiment.

What do ya'll think? Should I go a few extra days or just re-row it another week next year?? Also, I am so un-motivated to teach about England. I have been there even, and have pictures to show, I don't understand what the mental block is.

Thanks for reading and hoping for some help.


04-22-2007, 09:37 PM
I think it sounds like you had a great week!

You can't do it ALL...especially every single week...ESPECIALLY if you want to live to tell about it. :lol:

I'm thinking many other books lend themselves to studies on clouds...I would probably want to hit England (we put our storydisk there, colored a flag, had a tea-party -- tea and oatmeal biscuits), but other books also are set in England (Peter Rabbit comes to mind). However, if you aren't feeling like it, then I wouldn't do it. Kids are pretty smart about picking up our attitudes about things.

Oh, and as tempting as it is-- I wouldn't teach to the notebook. ;) It's okay if every two page spread isn't stuffed full. We only have three things in our notebook from last week (and we're happy...and moving on to the next great adventure!).

04-22-2007, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. We will color the flag tomorrow and have a tea, maybe peruse my pictures and call it a row. I think that I am just anxious to move on to the next book already. :)


04-22-2007, 10:27 PM
Some weeks are like that. I have struggled at times with some books/weeks being more flat than others. I've learned to just move along and see what's next to catch our fancy.


Angela Paige
04-22-2007, 10:30 PM
Your kids are young. There is so much time to learn about England.

You covered quite a bit. I think you had a very successful row. :)

04-23-2007, 04:34 AM
When you pull the book out, the kid's excitement will spur you on.

Kendra AU
04-23-2007, 05:02 AM
We finished Mr Gumpy today too. We had science to finish up. I opted to do the clouds rather then friction, just because we'll be rowing Storm In The Night next and it will open the weather window a bit more for us.

So I wasn't thinking we'd accomplished a whole lot either, but then we too had just come off of doing Madeline. Yet, I think the boys learned more about England this time then any of the other times we've glanced at it. They learned that their favorite characters (Peter Pan and Paddington). Then I made Shepherd's pie for dinner and we watched Garfield 2. We'd also discussed Big Ben *again* (they are infatuated), The Eye, and double decker buses.

When they watched the movie they couldn't contain themselves about what they were seeing. It was really cute to see their enthusiasm. Ironically, it's often when we feel we've taught them less that they walk away knowing more. Which I should remember from being homeschooled myself.

I remember the days when Dad would ask what we did and Mom would say, "not much I feel like we wasted the day away.." Then we'd spout off a hundred different things we'd learned.

Oddly enough I was thinking of making our family a little FIAR trivia game and so while debating what kind of questions to put in it I started to ask my boys some that I was intending to use for Mr Gumpy (which my three year old is SURE it's Mr GRumpy). Amazingly enough they thought Mom was off her rocker because she was impressed with how much they were walking away with.

All though I'm still giggling because my six year old said the man who wrote the book was "John who Burned the Ham!" Which he came up with after I didn't understand him when he said, "Burnt ham man!" lol

I'd say put it away and pull it out again next time. Somehow I bet they'll walk away knowing so much more then you'll think. My three year old pointed out Mr Gumpy's car on the news today. I thought he was seeing things, but sure enough there really was a car just like it! lol


Hollie in SC
04-23-2007, 05:24 AM
It sounds like your week was lovely!!:clap:

I believe that Becky Jane told us at the 2004 FIAR Conference that FIAR and BYFIAR Volumes were written to be re-rowed because there is too much material for one week. (Now every family does it their own way.....some spend 2 weeks in a row instead and some do not re-row.)

Re-rowing has gone very well for us. It IS hard to "skip" things....but I know that the boys will enjoy some new things next time around. This is Eli's 4th year with FIAR and this week we will finish his Vol 1-3 experience. :hcry: He has been through almost every book twice. Kyle has finished his first time through all but one book.

Next year Eli is moving to Volume 4 (what an exciting book!!) and Kyle and I will journey back through Vol 1-3 together. :D

DD in IL
04-23-2007, 07:13 AM
It sounds like it went pretty well to me. If you really want to get to all the activities then take as long as you need to. It doesn't mean you have to read it every day for an extended time but you can certainly cover the activities the way you would like. From what you say, the kids enjoyed doing what was done and learned......isn't that the point?

Alice R
04-23-2007, 08:34 AM
Sometimes I will take an extra day if needed...like the "project" is just big and I need more time. A tea party would fall into that category or a field trip.

Most times, I do what I can and move on. Sometimes overdoing it is not the way to go. ;)

04-23-2007, 01:22 PM
It sounds like it went okay! Don't worry- there will be other books that you can study England more in depth. Touch on it now, and when you row one of the other books you can say "remember Mr Gumpy.... he lived in England too...."

04-23-2007, 01:24 PM
Thank you all for your encouragement. We will have an afternoon tea at 3pm. I'll read the story during tea time.


Julie in AZ
04-23-2007, 02:21 PM
I agree that it sounds like a fine week. Enjoy the tea party and get ready for the next book! :)

04-23-2007, 03:08 PM
Well Mr. Gumpy is over and it went better than I thought. I guess I like to look over the notebook and see what we have learned this week. DS colored the flag of London and the UK this afternoon and I put them in the notebook along with is drawing and narration page. Its not as much as Madeline but... if I ask him questions about the week he is eager to tell me all about it. He learned alot. I guess it takes the full five days to see how well the week went.

We had a fun tea party outside, and ds wanted to play English games, LOL... we played some soccer. :) So, he learned a little about what the Brits enjoy, tea and "foot-ball". Later when we do another book from England we can cover their government and landmarks and so forth.

Thanks again for the encouragement. Onto the next book. There's a debate over HTMAAPASTW and Little Nino's Pizzeria. We'll know before they sleep tonight.

Thanks all

Lori D
04-23-2007, 09:01 PM
I wouldn't worry too much. It sounds like a great week. :clap:

We were just adding pages to our notebooks today and we noticed that Grandfather's Journey only has a title page- nothing else! And we don't have any pages for Another Celebrated Dancing Bear. Oh, well.

The other thing that happens to us is, as we row, topics from other stories dove tail into stories that we already did. I find that we are always 'adding' on to what we learn even after our official 'row' is over. When we did Lentil I had wanted to go visit a veteren's memorial- it did not happen, but several weeks later we happened to be within blocks of one and we were able to visit and take pictures.

Jennifer Unsell
04-25-2007, 02:13 PM
We just finished up Mr Gumpy too. We did dive deeper this time but it was our 2nd rowing with my oldest two. Their is a book by Roxie Munro called The inside outside book of London that we used along with another on Great Britain. We enjoyed both of the books alot. It sounds like you had a great week though.

Can you share the parts of the car site please? I missed that when it was posted a couple of weeks ago.

Vicki in MS
04-25-2007, 04:34 PM
This is a little too late, but I thought somebody might enjoy it.

When we rowed "Mr. Gumpy" (one of our favorites, BTW), we got an empty egg carton and drew picture of all the animals (inc. Mr. Gumpy). We cut them out and put each one in their own place in the egg carton. This soon was decorated to become his "motorcar". We had such fun with this, and it's still talked about today!

04-25-2007, 05:31 PM
It wasn't a site, someone posted that they played a game with their child to run around the car and find the part called off as fast as they can. DS loved this. I taught him, the hood, fender, winshield, hub caps, tire, gas tank, liscense plate etc.... DH also showed him the motor and how to check for oil under the hood. IT was fun. He loved doing that.

I love that idea of cramming all of those characters into the egg carton. I will definitely re-row this book next year and we can do more stuff with it.

Thanks ya'll


Jennifer Unsell
04-25-2007, 11:14 PM
Thanks AB, for clearing that up. We actually did what you mentioned during our first row a few years back and I agree- it was loads of fun! I probably should have done it again this time for the younger kiddos but forgot. :(

I did go searching though after I saw your post because I was thinking it was a game on a site that you guys were talking about and I found this. I don't know if anyone else would be interested in this or not or if you would want to file it for your re-row?


My dc really had fun playing this matching game and learned the names of some parts from it. :D

04-27-2007, 01:04 PM
AB, This is late but reading the posts it occured to me that it seems like you were looking for tangible (sp?) things to put in the notebook and sometimes (frustratingly!) those things aren't always there.

Well, I thought that for your activites, like the tea party, you could take pictures and print them even in black and white on your regular computer paper. That would be a simple, visual way to look back on the things for those books that don't have as many "finished" projects.

Debbie W
04-28-2007, 10:31 PM
I think some books just click and are easier to row than others. I know my dd has some she remembers months later and others it's as if she doesn't even remember doing them at all.