Grandfather’s Journey

The kids were excited to row Grandfather’s Journey""Grandfather’s Journey and learn more about Japan.

We started our adventure to Japan with a special sushi breakfast!

The boys created beautiful cover pages in their lapbooks!  They were ready to set sail on a new adventure.


We chose to memorize James 3:18 for this book, because it referenced being a peacemaker.

I created two versions of this Bible verse pack. You can purchase them at our TPT store.

Jordan traced the lapbook insert.

Both boys worked on the Bible Verse puzzle throughout this row.

Social Studies & History:

Jordan added our story disk on our world map.


I added a Japan and Asia continent box in our Learning Lane.

Jordan LOVED working on the Lego flag activity (flag card from Homeschool Creations).

We read Let’s%20Explore Japan (Bumba Books – Let’s Explore Countries)""Let’s Explore Japan on our Epic app.

The boys added some inserts into their lapbooks (Homeschool Share and FIAR Fold & Learn).

Grandfather’s Journey:

Since this story was all about the boy’s grandfather, we took a moment to read about grandpas.  We read That’s%20What Grandpas Are For""That’s What Grandpas Are For on our Epic app.

After reading our sweet story about grandpas, we mapped grandfather’s journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California.

We read Me and My Family Tree (Let’s Read-And-Find-Out Science)""Me and My Family Tree by Paul Showers. This was a great book for explaining family trees.

The boys completed the FIAR Fold & Learn four generations lapbook insert.

Japanese Culture:

We read I Live in Tokyo""I Live in Toyko by Mari Takabayashi. We read this while rowing A Pair of Red Clogs, but we BARELY skimmed the surface since there are SO many cool facts!

Jordan added some inserts about Japan in his lapbook (Homeschoolshare).

We read Everyone Eats on our Epic app.  This book showed foods around the world, we paid special attention to the sushi page for Japan!  We also enjoyed a special ramen night (sorry, no picture).

World War II:

We read Second%20World War (See Inside)""Usborne’s See Inside the Second World War book.  This was an excellent book, but there is a TON of information on the pages and under each flap.  We read a little bit each day.

Jordan’s aunt sent him special WWII posters when she heard he was learning about WWII.  He LOVED looking at all the ships and tanks!

Sadako’s Cranes:

I wanted to include an origami activity since Parker was learning how to fold oragami in his Sonlight Core A studies.

We read Sadako’s Cranes""Sadako’s Cranes on our Epic app.  It was a sweet and very sad story about a young girl affected by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

We came across Sadako’s story as we were reading Spotlight on Japan (Spotlight on My Country)""Spotlight on Japan during a cultural lesson.

Keeping with our crane theme, we read The Boy in the Garden""The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say.  We LOVED reading all the other Allen Say books we checked out at the library!

Paper Cranes:

I brought out our Oragami kit and we watched an Art for Kids Hub tutorial on our Grandfather’s Journey playlist.

Everyone picked out their paper and we started the video.

We had to pause, rewind, and watch certain “folds” several times since “some of us” (mainly ME) needed extra viewing to get it!

Haley and Jordan folded their origami while Parker was taking a nap.

Later that evening, Parker and I folded his paper and it was MUCH easier!

The cranes turned out adorable!


We read Yoko’s%20Paper Cranes""Yoko’s Cranes which was a sweet story and paired perfectly with our origami activity!

img_0611This was such a sweet story and we LOVED that it mentioned California AND Japan just like Grandfather’s Journey""Grandfather’s Journey!


We made our journey to Cali and Jordan LOVED working on our US Montessori puzzle.

We read Celebrating%20California: 50 States to Celebrate (Green Light Readers Level 3)""Celebrating California which contained the PERFECT amount of information for Jordan.  We read Celebrating%20Ohio: 50 States to Celebrate (Green Light Readers Level 3)""Celebrating Ohio when we rowed Lentil.


We also read the California page from our The%2050 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!""Explore the 50 States book.

I also printed a california fact sheet (from the Target dollar bin YEARS ago) and Jordan added it to his lapbook.

The boys added some of the California inserts from our Homeschool Share and FIAR Fold & Learn packs.

We read The%20Specific Ocean""The Specific Ocean and spent a little time talking about the Pacific Ocean.

We read Hana%20Hashimoto, Sixth Violin""Hana Hashimoto Sixth Violin which was a sweet story about a little Japanese girl who was inspired by her grandfather to play the violin.



This week I cut out songbirds out of construction paper and wrote Jordan’s spelling words on them.

I made a worksheet with word blocks and he practiced spelling them.

The second week, I made a “complete the sentence” worksheet for him.  He used his songbirds to complete each sentence.

ABC Order:

We used our Songbird spelling words to practice putting the words in alphabetical order.

Jordan did an excellent job, especially with words where the first few letters were the same.

Phonics – Make Words:

I created an ABC Spring Birdie Fun pack. You can purchase it here at our TPT store.

Parker used the birdie letters to make words. He did a great job!


We worked on a couple of time elements in addition to our Horizon Math program.

Months of the Year:

I created A House for Hermit Crab Months of the Year pack for the boys to work on.

We read A%20House for Hermit Crab""A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.

Jordan used the Months of the Year cards to put in order and matched them with the coordinating picture from the story.

Parker worked on the Months of the Year cards in order while we say the Months of the Year song.

After working on the Months of the Year cards, the boys completed the worksheets.

Days of the Week:

I created a Mother Robin’s Days of the Week pack for the boys to work on during this row.

Today is Monday:

We started our days of the week lesson by reading Today Is Monday""Today is Monday.

I put a matching activity on Learning Lane for the kids to work on.

Jordan worked on it the following day.  This was a great exercise to reinforce both story sequence and ordering of the days of the week.

Days of the Week:

I added several Days of the Week worksheets in the pack.

Jordan worked on the days of the week spelling and abbreviations worksheet.

Parker worked on the spelling the days of the week worksheet.

Counting the Days of the Week:

I added a count the days of the week worksheet so the boys could count how many days were in one week, two weeks, etc..

This was a great addition to Parker’s skip counting by 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 10s.  He did a great job!

This was a great activity for Jordan too.  Learning how many days are in one, two, three, and four weeks is a great addition to his knowledge of time.  He did excellent!



We decided to study birds since grandfather took a liking to songbirds in the book.

We started our bird unit with a brown sugar nest in a bowl of cream of wheat and birdie toast while I read Robin’s Best Nest from our Highlights High Five""High Five magazine.


After breakfast, we went to the table and read A Nest Is Noisy""A Nest is Noisy and talked about oviparous animals (animals that hatch from eggs).

I prepared a basket of eggs filled with various toy animals.  I instructed the boys to open each egg and sort the animals by oviparous or non oviparous.

They loved cracking open the eggs and seeing the different animals.  My kids LOVE surprises….who doesn’t, right?

They went through the basket with very little help from me!  Great job boys!

Lifecycle of the Bird:

I needed a cutting activity for Parker’s skill builder activity, so I found a cute lifecycle of a bird printable.

We read From%20Egg to Owl (Start to Finish, Second Series)""From Egg to Owl on our Epic app.  The start to finish books are GREAT for young learners.  This would be great for Owl%20Moon""Owl Moon.

The boys cut apart and colored their worksheets.

I read Have%20You Heard the Nesting Bird?""Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? while they colored their worksheets.

Later in the evening, Parkie and I sat on the couch and read Annie and Snowball and the Cozy Nest""Annie and Snowball and the Cozy Nest.


Children’s Day Koinobori:

We read about Children’s Day in our Spotlight On Japan book.

I printed a K is for Koinobori worksheet I found online (

The boys painted their koinobori with their watercolors and we set them aside to dry.

Once dry, we cut them apart, taped them together and hung them up with string.  They turned out really cute!

Kamishibai Man:

I rented several books by Allen Say so the kids could experience more of his literary work.

We read  Kamibashibai Man and enjoyed a candy treat just like the kids in the book!  This was a charming tale of a Japanese story teller and his view of changing times….some times the “old” is the sweetest memory we hold dear!

We had a wonderful time rowing this book and look forward to our next FIAR adventure…Madeline""Madeline!

Helpful Resources:

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Grandfather’s Journey Pinterest Board
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Grandfather’s Journey Playlist


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