Clown of God

The Clown of God Book Cover

We don’t celebrate Halloween in our house, but our church has an annual Harvest Festival as a great alternative.  I thought a clown themed row would pair up perfectly with this sugar & spice season.


We chose to memorize Psalm 103:2 for this row.  I created a Bible Verse Printable to go along with this book.  You can purchase it from our TPT store.

Psalm 103.2 Tracer Page

There’s also a FREEbie tracer page in the Preview!

The boys continued to work on their Bible verse throughout the entire row.



We recently read all about the country of Italy while rowing How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World so we didn’t spend as much time on the geography.

We read A Visit to Italy , watched a couple of videos about Sorrento on our Clown of God playlist, and Jordan placed the story disk on our world map.

We brought out our Flag of Italy card (Homeschool Creations) and Lego Duplos and Parker built the Italian flag.

Jordan created a title page in his lapbook.  This has become a tradition for each book we row and he’s VERY good at this, because he focuses on each detail.

The boys found and colored Italy on their Clown of God world map and added it in their lapbooks.

Foreign Language:

Jordan and I briefly went over a few common Italian words and added an insert into our lapbook.

I also added a few clips to our Clown of God playlist that taught the kids Italian words.


We talked about respecting people and things.

We read Respect and Take Care of Things and I Am Respectful (I Don’t Bully)""I Am Respectful.


We also talked about respecting older people and knowing that we can learn so much from them, because they’ve gained wisdom over the years.

We talked about the kid’s Teta (Grandma) and Papa (Grandpa) who pastor our church and the wisdom they’ve gained by walking with God and serving him.  We read Mrs.%20Katz and Tush (Reading Rainbow)""Mrs. Katz and Tush, a wonderful story about a small boy, an older woman, and the friendship that made them family.


Delightful Learning had a review of If%20You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 7)""If You Were Me and Live in… Renaissance Italy and I was able to order it in time for this row.  This book was perfect for us, because Jordan retains so much better while reading from a picture book.

Once the book arrived, I put it on our book shelf and left it until we started The%20Clown of God""Clown of God.  Haley snatched it up and read it from front to back, but she’s our little book thief :).  Jordan and I took our time and read it over the course of a week.

We watched a great Crash Course History lesson on the Renaissance on our Clown of God youtube playlist.

The Spice Trade:

The book mentioned the spices used during this time period in Italy.  This was a great opportunity to merge both our FIAR and Sonlight history, because Parker was learning all bout the spice trade.


I found a homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe, printed it, and set out a spice tray activity in the kitchen.

Jordan was really good at scooping, leveling, and mixing the spices.  He worked on this activity while Parker napped.  I asked him to figure out how many tablespoons we used in all and he did it in his head….what a little math mind (Just like Daddy)!

After his nap, Parker worked on the spice tray with me.  It smelled REALLY good.

I made a pumpkin pie cobbler with our homemade pumpkin pie spice…it smelled AMAZING!

Parker was MORE than happy to be a taste-tester….he loves sweets as much as his mommy does 🙂

The Compass, Exploring, & World Travel:

It was great to have our Sonlight Core A and FIAR history lessons work together.  Parker was learning about early explorers and traveling the world.

I had Jordan color-code the world travel routes of the early explorers and add it to his lapbook.

I had both boys work on our Compass Rose Lapbook.  We’ve reviewed this before, but it’s always great to go over it again.

Jordan pulled out his compass and they both colored and labeled a compass rose to put in their lapbooks.

Orphans & Widows:

Giovanni was an orphan, a child without parents, who lived on the streets, working for his food.  We talked about orphans and how God tells us to care for orphans and widows.

Jordan watched videos about the origins of the Orphan Train & a Veggie Tale’s clip about George Mueller’s orphanage on our Clown of God playlist.


That weekend we watched Samantha%20- An American Girl Holiday""Samantha – An American Girl Holiday which was a wonderful movie that included orphans and adoption.

Operation Christmas Child:

That weekend we went shopping for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.  The kids were excited to help pick out the items that went in each shoe box.  Learning to help others is great, but actually helping others is even better!

The kids helped pick out the items and load them in the cart.

We packed our boxes and the kids put a special note for each child (they did that all on their own….SUPER sweet!).



I pulled out our Horizon ordinal number cards and cut out felt circles to match the order of the colored balls Giovanni juggled with.

I had Jordan put them in order and place the ordinal card next to each one.

Parker wanted to be a part of this COLORFUL activity too!  I put the felt circles and ordinal number cards in a basket and kept it in our Learning Lane throughout the row.

I created The Clown of God worksheet to help strengthen their story retention and ordinal number skills.  You can download this FREEbie at our TPT store.


Story Sequence & Roman Numerals:

I quickly made a story sequence worksheet with several key story illustrations on a blank piece of paper and empty squares next to each picture.


I instructed Jordan to put them in order using Roman Numerals (he LOVES Roman numerals)!

He did a great job and only needed to correct a few things.


We started our morning with tree pancakes and a reading of The Legend Of The Three Trees – Picture Book""The Legend of the Three Trees.  We talked about what legends are and how The Legend of the Three Trees is a great example of a story with elements of truth and fictional parts woven throughout.

This book led to a discussion that covered both our Art – stylized trees and language art – legend topics.  We looked thumbed through the illustrations, stopping at various trees, and talked about how Tomie DaPaola added his own “style” in the tree illustrations.

img_7941We watched the animated version of this story with Daddy a few weeks later.  It’s a great story that God’s plan for us is far better than anything we could imagine.  I added it to our Clown of God playlist.


In addition to our Horizon math program, we added a few math activities too.


I set out our Apple Picking Game (Teach Others) and gave each child a blank tree with a cup of US Toy – Miniature 3/4" Apple Erasers, Ages 3 Years & Up (1-Pack of 144)""apple erasers and a dice.


I had each child roll and add apples to their trees.

Once their tree was full of apples, they rolled and “picked apples” from their tree until it was bare.  This was a fun and festive fall activity that helped Parker with adding and subtracting while giving the older kids an activity break.

Grouping & Pre-Mulitiplication:

Jordan’s Horizon Math 2 program had him skip counting to get him ready for multiplication tables.  I started making skip counting strips by cutting out strips of blank paper, drawing rainbow boxes from top to bottom, and writing the skip counting number on top.


Jordan completed several skip counting strips each day.  By shear repetition, he started memorizing his times tables.

I made a Clown of God juggling worksheet with multiplication problems in each juggling ball.  He worked on his worksheet and saw that all of his skip counting prepared him for multiplication!


Mixtures – Cooking:

Just like our IG suggested, the best way to teach about mixtures is with soup.  I decided to make our version of Signora Baptista’s Soup for this science lesson.  I prepped the vegetables the night before so it would be easy to make our soup the next day.

img_7934First, Jordan watched a great video about mixtures and solutions on our Clown of God playlist and I headed to the kitchen to gather our supplies.

Jordan watched the video on his own and I cooked the lean ground meat.  He joined me in the kitchen to add the vegetables and stock.

He stirred the soup and we left it to simmer until dinner time.  We really enjoyed this pot of Signora Baptista’s soup!



I brought out our Roman Arch Cards (Montessori for Everyone) and a few architecture themed books.


Jordan and I reviewed the various parts of the Roman arch.

He built his own version of the Roman arch using his wood blocks.

We read Block%20City""Block City and Windows""Windows, talking briefly about architectural details.  Afterwards, he built a Mario & Luigi city with his little brother.

Spice Painting Fall Tree:

This was a FIAR and Sonlight Core A art activity that worked for both our subject of trees and spices.

I used a fall palette (red, brown, yellow, orange, and green) of tempura paints.  In each color, I mixed a different spice (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pumpkin pie, and nutmeg).  They smelled AMAZING…

If you look closely, you can see the tiny flecks of cinnamon in the red tempura paint.

The kids traced their hand and fore-arm on brown construction paper, cut it out, and glued it to a light blue construction paper.

I cut out leaf shapes from red, yellow, orange, and green tissue paper.  They added glue dots and tissue leaves on their trees.

They painted their fall trees with the scented tempura paints and added “Autumn” in foam letters on top.


They turned out beautiful and they left a spicy aroma in the air….the scent of Autumn!

Clown of God Bracelets:

I set out three containers, pipe cleaners, and beads to represent the colored balls Giovanni juggled with.  I set them out on a tray with a “Make a Clown of God Bracelet” card.

This was a special activity, without instruction, so the kids could make their own bracelet…a memento to always remember Clown of God.

The kids made their bracelets at different times and in different ways, but I missed snapping a picture of Jordan….the boy is just too quick!

Circus Day:

I wanted the day of our Harvest Festival to be extra special so I decided to make it our circus day.

img_6385I prepped a candy math packet for each kid and brought out their clown hats (from our BFIAR The%20Runaway Bunny""The Runaway Bunny row…another post for another day).


I made a special Clown of God inspired breakfast with colorful pancakes, bananas, and strawberry hearts!  The kids ate through our reading of Clown of God.

After breakfast the kids worked on answering their candy word problems.

They counted and graphed the candies in their basket.

Parker worked on sorting his candy MANY different ways throughout the week.

I added our Janod Story Box Circus""Janod Story Box Circus set to Learning Lane and we read Emma’s%20Circus""Emma’s Circus and Last%20Night I Dreamed a Circus""Last Night I Dreamed a Circus.

Harvest Festival:

It was a short school day, but we had that in mind since it was our Harvest Festival.  Later that afternoon, the kids got dressed in their costumes…

img_6429Haley was a kitten.

img_6423Jordan was Cornelius.

img_6427Parker was a soldier for Christ in the FULL ARMOR OF GOD (Sonlight Core A BIBLE, letter P)!

Stylized Trees:

We don’t always get through everything even though we row each book at least two weeks.  Sometimes there are activities that pair nicely with another row.  This happened with our art activity.

Near Christmas, we read Tomie dePaola’s Merry%20Christmas, Strega Nona""Merry Christmas Strega Nona and Jingle%20the Christmas Clown""Jingle The Christmas Clown and we noticed his stylized trees!  The boys sketched a few of Tomie’s trees and made a stylized tree of their own.

Fall on the Farm & Italian Food:


We took a trip to a local nursery for a special Fall on the Farm event.

They had all kinds of neat things to look at and do.

They even had a koi pond which was fun to see after rowing A Pair of Red Clogs!

The kids picked their own pumpkins, even a few cool varieties you don’t see often.


They had a whole bunch of apple varieties to choose from.  We grabbed a couple of each to try and put on our Apple Tasting Tree!

They had farm animals too!

After a fun filled activity, we were ready to eat.  We took the kids to Italian food….we had to right?

The kids enjoyed salad and pasta…

And gelato for dessert!  This was a sweet way to wrap up our row of Clown of God!  Looking forward to Cranberry%20Thanksgiving (Cranberryport)""Cranberry Thanksgiving.

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