READY TO ROW:
We chose to row The Finest Horse in Town for the entire month of November. This would allow us to take our time with our Sonlight lessons as well as incorporating elements of Thanksgiving.
As with our other FIAR rows, the boys created their cover pages based on the illustrations in the book.
This simple activity gives the boys a chance to imitate art, which will hopefully hone their individual artistic skills.
I also set out a horse themed sensory bin along with The Little Pony by Anna Milbourne.
I created a Bible verse printable pack to go along with this book.
Jordan has been working on cursive this year in his Sonlight Language Arts Program 4, so he’s naturally chosen to trace the cursive Bible verse worksheet for each row.
He used the Bible verse puzzle to practice his verse until he was ready to recite it from memory.
Books of the Bible:
I created a an Old Testament Books of the Bible printable for Jordan to trace and add to his FIAR notebook.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
Jordan traced the old testament books of the Bible over a couple of days. Afterwards, we cut and pasted them into his FIAR notebook.
I also created a New Testament Books of the Bible printable for Parker last year. You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
As with the Old Testament, he traced and added his New Testament Books of the Bible into his FIAR notebook.
We read My Stuff, Your Stuff by Carolyn Larsen and talked about taking things that don’t belong to you. Though stealing is easily accepted in our home as “unthinkable”, using things without permission should also be unacceptable. This was a great reminder.
Since we were rowing this book in November, we decided to weave gratefulness and thankfulness into our everyday conversations. We also started writing things were thankful for on paper leaves and sticking them on our door frame (until I could change our Apple Tasting Tree to our Giving Thanks Tree).
This has become a tradition in our home and is something I look forward to each year. I set out a basket of construction paper leaves and a couple of Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, Black Ink, Resists Fading and Water, Blister Pack with 2 Markers (37161PP)Sharpie fine-tip pens.
Everyone added leaves to our little Giving Thanks tree. It’s always great to count our blessings. Recalling all that the Lord has done for us and given to us really helps us. He fills our hearts and minds with joy and gratitude.
We read The Best Part of The Day which was a wonderful book of poems. We read several of the poems which complimented the theme of gratitude.
We read many other wonderful books about being thankful.
We started rowing this book around Veteran’s Day. We took the holiday off, but we still took a moment to celebrate.
I made waffle sticks and fruit for the family.
I read Veteran’s Day while the kids colored a Veteran’s Day worksheet (Mel D-Suesstastic).
Memorial Day Poppies:
We read Katie Meets the Impressionists and I set out an Invitation to Create – Red Poppies.
While I read the book, everyone worked on making their red poppies with buttons, gems, play-doh and more!
I love the activities that involve all three kids. The table dynamics are priceless!
They turned out beautifully!
Twin Towers Memorial:
We were able to visit the Twin Towers Moment dedicated to all the men and women, whose lives were taken on September 11, 2001.
This historical event impacted Jordan when we read about the twin towers while rowing Mirette on the High Wire. He was so moved as he touched and saw actual beams gathered from ground zero.
My husband read the dedication and I was moved to tears as I thought about all the lives taken, all the first responders, all the courage of men and women who sacrificed everything to save others that day. We will never forget…
God Bless America:
We weren’t rowing this book in July, but I wanted to add a little patriotism into our eclectic mix of topics. We took one day to read about Maine and our country’s history.
We read the page on Maine in Our%2050 States: A Family Adventure Across AmericaOur 50 States by Lynne Cheney. This is a handy book to have on hand when looking for a snapshot of state information.
I wanted to study lemons as a separate science unit, but we just didn’t have enough time for everything. We did make some special lemonade though.
Jordan used a small paring knife to cut the lemons in half.
He juiced all the lemons by hand using the same juicer we bought for our BFIAR Yellow Ball row.
He combined the juice with water, ice, and Splenda naturals.
We served it in fancy glasses for our patriotic dinner, featuring Maine clam chowder and patriotic fruit (strawberries, bananas, and blueberries)!
We had a special toast and clinked our glasses!
For dessert, we made blueberry slump, a Maine dessert! It was a tad too sweet, but with a pinch of salt, it was enjoyed by everyone!
We focused most of our attention on life in Colonial America.
We read Colonial Williamsburg on our Epic app.
I also printed a copy of The New World Colonial map from our Epic app.
Jordan and I thumbed through Welcome to Felicity’s World, which was packed with information about colonial times.
I brought out a loom I found in the dollar section at Target. This was a little tricky to understand with just illustrated pictures, but we finally got it!
Jordan and I worked on it until it was time for his piano lesson. I took over and found it fun and relaxing. I may just finish it during the holiday break!
We came across this really cool activity in our Colonial%20Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and RecipesAmerican Kids in History Colonial Days activity book.
We made some ink using food coloring and Jordan practiced writing a letter. It was hard forming letters with a quill.
The boys were learning about rhyming words in their Sonlight Language Arts 2 & 4 programs, so I brought out Bear%20Says Thanks (The Bear Books)Bear Says Thanks.
I read aloud while the boys snuggled with a bear of their own. Afterwards, we headed to the playroom for a good old fashioned leaf hunt.
I hid the leaf word cards around the room and they had to match each with the rhyming bear word card.
We’ve done this activity before, but it’s always a fun activity. It’s a fun way to get the blood moving and the brain working together!
They paired all the cards on the sliding glass doors while their bears kept them company.
Afterwards, the boys colored a Turkey Hat Rhyming Match worksheet using their spelling words for the week.
Jordan also worked on root words and suffixes too.
We continued to work through our Grammar Ace book and themed each chapter based on what we were learning about.
Antonyms & Synonyms:
One week we covered antonyms and synonyms. I set up a falling leaves themed activity.
Bub matched the vocabulary leaves with their definitions as well as the synonym and antonym leaves on the fall tree.
The following week we covered predicates. We were learning about chickens, so I created a page with nests and eggs.
Jordan matched all the “in a nutshell” definitions with the vocabulary word eggs and nests.
Since we covered fall colors with Little%20Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing (Little Frog and the Four Seasons)Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing, I made this a Little Frog themed page.
I wrote all the “in a nutshell” definitions on the page and set out the vocabulary colored leaves for Jordan to match.
We read each definition and work through the leaf vocabulary words until he matches them correctly. This process is another great review of the lesson.
I printed the November pages of our Months of the Year calendar booklet.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.
We readAround%20the Year Around the Year by Tasha Tudor.
The boys colored their November pages, read about this month, and answered the questions that followed.
At first, the boys were shocked that the kids earned two cents a week for watching Prince, but I explained that two cents was a good amount in those days.
Parker and I read A Dollar for Penny and I created My Two Cents worksheets for the boys.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
The boys read through the questions and colored the answers.
I created new Harvest Time Multiplication packs for Parker to practice his two and three times tables.
First he practiced his two times table facts by matching the equations with the answers on the math mat.
Next, he practiced his three times tables matching the equation cards with the answers on the math mat.
Lastly, he completed the follow-up Harvest Time multiplication worksheets.
The weather was simply gorgeous and the trees were in full display when we started rowing this book.
We started our unit on fall with a read-aloud of Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing on our Epic app.
We then did a fun “colors of fall” experiment with skittles. It just so happens the candy with a rainbow of flavor came in all the colors of fall! The kids lined their skittles around the plate. Using three of each color works best.
We added hot water to the center of our plate and watched as the white space flooded with beautiful fall colors.
Everybody LOVES this experiment! So much fun!
Afterwards, we went for a nice walk to enjoy all the beauty of autumn.
We started our unit on Fall Trees by studying leaves.
We read In NovemberIn November by Cynthia Rylant. A beautifully illustrated book, perfect for any Autumn lesson.
The kids built a fun little fort and decorated it with fall materials and little wooden forest creatures.
I gave them a snack to munch on in their little hideaway.
While they ate their fruit, I read LeavesLeaves by David Ezra Stein. Any story featuring a bear and falling leaves is a favorite in our home.
Everyone chose a favorite leaf to use with their All About Leaves worksheet.
They also did several leaf rubbings for the picture and the back with some of the other beautiful leaves collected outside.
We read Why%20Do Leaves Change Color? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro.
I placed our fall leaves in a basket with bushels for each leaf color (red, orange, yellow, green, and purple).
Everyone helped sort through our pile of leaves.
Each person took a bushel to work on. We needed to break down the leaves, by color, and put the pieces in an empty mason jar.
Parker and Haley used scissors to break the leaves apart.
Jordan started out with scissors, but found it was easier to rip them apart. I also printed an “Explore the Colors of Fall!” experiment from Animal Jam.
We added rubbing alcohol to the leaves and pounded them with the reverse side of a wooden spoon.
We set the jars aside and let the alcohol help bring out the colors in the leaves.
We checked on the mason jars and you could really see the colors extracted from the leaves.
We placed our coffee filter strips in each mason jar and left them until later that night.
I removed the strips from the mason jars and placed them on a white piece of paper to dry. Against the white paper, you could really see all the colors of fall!
We read The Ice Horse by Candace Christiansen and talked about how people harvested ice from frozen lakes.
I created a On the Farm Little Science Pack about Horses for the boys to work on while rowing this book.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store. There’s a bonus FREEbie in the Preview!
After reading Horses!Horses by Gail Gibbons, the boys color coded the advanced Horse Anatomy worksheet.
We read The Little Pony together and Jordan put together the Horse sensory bin.
We read Chickens on our Epic app and I brought out our chicken farm cards.
We then went over the chicken family cards (The Helpful Garden).
After reviewing the chicken family, we brought out our life cycle of the chicken cards (The Pinay Homeschooler) and our Safari figures.
We read through each stage together. This activity paired nicely with Parker’s Sonlight science lessons on birds.
The boys helped place the figures on the correct parts of the life cycle.
Just for fun, we watched an animated version of Blue Chicken on our Epic app.
ARTS, CRAFTS, & MORE:
A Fine Dessert:
We read A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious TreatA Fine Dessert which was a wonderful story about a special recipe told through four generations. This was a GREAT way to reinforce our discussion on centuries and was a great addition to this row.
There’s a recipe for Blackberry Fool in the book, we bought our supplies, washed our fruit, and set out everything we needed to make this “fine dessert”.
Jordan added the fruit in the bowl and mashed the fruit with a potato masher.
After mashing up the fruit, Bub strained the it through the sieve.
Bub measured out the sugar and added it to the fruit. It was delicious, but we had more to do!
We measured out the whipping cream together.
He beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks formed.
It looked AMAZING!
I think the taste-testers would agree that it was AMAZING…
We folded in the fruit and it looked like “a (VERY) fine dessert”.
Bub made sure to lick the bowl, just like the children in the story.
I brought out our FIAR art sketchbook and Jordan worked on a couple of lessons.
He drew the basket of eggs and agreed that you couldn’t see the entire oval shape since they overlapped.
Next, he worked on the moving flag as we followed the lesson in the teacher’s guide.
We schooled the first day of Thanksgiving week and made it our Thanksgiving themed school day.
The History of Thanksgiving:
I assigned each of the kids a book to read about the history of Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade:
This activity was my take on drawing a parade. Since we were rowing this book in November, the obvious parade of choice was Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
We read one our favorites, Balloons%20over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards))Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet.
The kids used the whimsical illustrations as inspiration as they designed their own balloons that they would float in the parade.
Parker’s balloon was a big brown bear.
Jordan felt inspired to add a title in Japanese to his blue Minecraft sheep. This seemed fitting considering the parade was created as a Thanksgiving celebration for all the people, working for Macys, who immigrated from various countries around the world.
What a fun way to end our Thanksgiving school day and usher in the holiday break!
We spent Thanksgiving, cooking with our family at their new restaurant.
The kids were able to help cook the mashed potatoes and gravy in a professional restaurant kitchen. What a treat to learn about rues and other culinary techniques from their uncle and the other chefs in the kitchen.
“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done” -Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1897)