Normally we start our school year with FIAR and Sonlight simultaneously, but this year, we decided to delay Sonlight so we could study a couple of FIAR books together as a family.


I made cactus-shaped pancakes in honor of our desert themed row.

Colors of the Southwest:

I set out our colored pencils and we picked out the terra cotta, orange, brown, pink, purple, teal, and other colors of the southwest.

I encouraged the kids to create cover art inspired by the colors of the southwest.

The kids created their cover art while we talked and read about the southwest.


Memory Verse:

I created a Bible Verse pack for this row.

You can purchase your copy here at out TPT Store. There’s a FREEbie tracer in the Preview.

The Ten Commandments:

Just like Roxaboxen needed order, so do we. God gave us the ten commandments to help us know how to live.

We started our journey through the ten commandments by reading The Story of the Ten Commandments.

I created a Ten Commandments Bible Pack. You can purchase your copy here at out TPT Store.

We also watched God Makes a Way on our Bible For Kids app.

1 – There is ONE God:

We read God’s Fire for Elijah – Arch Books as we discussed our the Lord our God is the ONLY God.

Afterwards, we colored the first part of our Ten Commandment coloring page.

2 – Do NOT Make Idols:

We read The Fiery Furnace – Arch Books as we covered the topic of worshipping only the one true God.

The kids filled in their Ten Commandments worksheet.

3 – Respect God’s Name:

For the third commandment, I chose to read a devotion about praising God’s name. God’s name should not be used in vain, but he should be respected and praised.

4 – Keep the Sabbath:

We read I Love Church and talked about honoring God on Sundays. Haley also mentioned that the Lord rested on the seventh day as an example for us to follow.

5 – Honor Your Parents:

What better story to illustrate honoring your parents with complete obedience. As I tucked the kids into bed, I introduced our devotion as the “ultimate” example of honoring your parents and Haley immediately guessed it was Abraham and Isaac.

The following day we read Abraham’s Big Test – Arch Books.

6 – Don’t Hurt Anyone:

Rather than give an example of Cain killing Abel or another Biblical story of murder, I decided to read the story of The Good Samaritan.

I chose our Happy Day God’s Special Rule (Happy Day) to illustrate how we should treat others.

And our Sonlight Bible reading passage brought us to the story of Cain killing Abel. This is a great illustration of breaking the 6th commandment.

7 – Tell the Truth:

We read The Berenstain Bears and the Truth for our lesson on honesty.

8 – Be Faithful to Your Spouse:

Though a very sensitive subject, we found King Gorge and the Ducky in the VeggieTales Bible Storybook: to be the perfect story to cover this commandment. We read David’s Selfish Sin to cover the 8th commandment.

9 – Do Not Steal:

Then we read the story of King George and the Ducky , because it talked about stealing which directly breaks the 9th commandment.

10 – Do Not Envy:

We watch the Joseph episode of 60 Second Bible Stories on Minno Kids.

The story of Joseph is full of character lessons. We talked about how Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, but when Joseph had the opportunity to get revenge, he chose to love and forgive.



We decided to give our sensory story box a make-over.

We made ocotillo out of pipe-cleaners and tissue paper string, barrel cactus out of plastic eggs, and prickly pear out of foam.

I cleared out our sensory bin and set out our Desert Animal tube and cactus plants.

They set up the desert bin for their next stop-motion film, but everyone agreed that it was lacking something.

Parker and I created some cardboard backgrounds.

Haley added cotton clouds to our desert sky.

After a few adjustments it looked like the perfect desert landscape. They added “Bitty”, their sheep and were ready for filming.

They worked together to film the next episode of “The Bitty Show”.

The Southwest:

I created an Explore the United Stated – The Southwest pack.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

We chose to place our story disk on Arizona. We started our southwest unit by reading Arizona (Rookie Read-About Geography).

Everyone worked on their Arizona Crack-the-Code and we read our Southwest History together.

Jordan also read The Grand Canyon (Wonders of America) on his own.

My Town:

We read Being a Good Citizen and What Will I Be?. Afterwards, we talked about how the ten commandments teach us how to properly behave. We also discussed how they used to be posted everywhere.

I printed the Moving to Main St. worksheet from the Roxaboxen Story Review. I asked the kids to think about what store they would add if they moved to Roxaboxen.


Story Review:

I created a Roxaboxen Story Review Pack.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

The kids completed the first two pages of the pack.

Roxaboxen Words:

I printed our Roxaboxen Make-a-Word worksheet from our Story Review.

The kids used the letter tiles to see how many different words they could make from “roxaboxen”.



I created a Months of the Year Math Pack for this row.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

First, we read Sunshine Makes the Seasons (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) after breakfast.

Next, the kids recited “Thirty Days Hath September” and color-coded their worksheets.

Afterwards, they sorted the months of the year by season.

Then they worked on their calendar math worksheet.

Black Pebble Math:

I created a My Math Box worksheet for the boys to use for our “tin box” activity.

You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.

I filled little tin boxes with small black buttons like the buried treasure the kids found in Roxaboxen.

I asked the boys to count the number of buttons in their tin.

After counting their buttons, the boys answered the questions on their worksheet. You can use this worksheet for morning math review or a thematic math center.


Simple Machines – Wheels:

We read Hauling a Pumpkin: Wheels and Axles vs. Lever together.

Jordan read Simple Machines (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by himself.

I set out a “build a simple machine tray” as specified in the book.

Jordan used the eraser as a fulcrum, the ruler as a lever, and added pennies as instructed by the book.


I set out our National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks and Minerals: books, some beautiful gem cards (Brave Grown Home Shop), and GeoCentral Gemstone Collection Box we bought for the kids.

The boys explored their gemstones for a while and read about the different birthstones.

We even tried to match each stone in their gemstone set with the beautiful reference sheet (Brave Grown Home Shop).

We pulled out our Periodic Table of Elements placemats and looked up some of the stone elements.

Parker put his gemstones in the treasure chest he made while rowing Katy No-Pocket during our BFIAR preschool days.

Desert Habitat:

We read Life in a Desert and I passed out a desert animal word search.

Everyone worked on their puzzle and we briefly read about the history of the southwest region.

We also read Let’s Visit the Desert on our Epic app.

Jordan and I also read Desert Bathes on our Epic app. We learned about the various ways desert animals bathe themselves.

We also read the first chapter in Finding Out About Solar Energy on our Epic app. We learned that there’s a huge solar farm in the Mojave Desert.

We also read Armadillo Rodeo just for fun. It was a cute story about an armadillo fromTexas, another southwestern state.

Desert Seasons:

We read Seasons of the Desert Biome on our Epic app.

I printed our Seasons of the Desert worksheet from our Story Review.


My Roxaboxen:

I thought it would be fun to make rock shops for our own garden Roxaboxen.

Haley helped me wash several large rocks for our garden city.

Everyone chose their store-front rock and I primed them with white paint.

Everyone painted their own Roxaboxen storefront.

The kids painted details to their storefronts.

I placed the stones in our sensory box. I’ve collected white stones all summer, but the kids weren’t able to make their own Roxaboxen since our yard is under construction. Hopefully soon…

Arizona Desert Watercolor:

Haley wanted to use our new set of watercolors we bought online.

She decided to paint the Arizona Desert at night. It turned out beautiful!

Oatmeal Jam Cookies:

Personally, I would open ANOTHER bakery on Main Street if I moved to Roxaboxen.

Though the manual provided a couple muffin recipes, we decided to make the recipe we found in Ree Drummond’s Charlie Goes to School (Charlie the Ranch Dog).

Of course we read the book first then Bub and I made the bars together.

After baking, we let them cool as the sweet smell of buttery oatmeal cookies filled our home. We cut them up to eat and share with our neighbor. So much fun!


Roxaboxen Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created a Roxaboxen playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other fun clips.

Roxaboxen Pinterest Board:

You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our Roxaboxen Pinterest Board.

2 thoughts on “ROXABOXEN

  1. Hello! You keep mentioning “story discs” and I was wondering where you go those from. Thank you for sharing your valuable resources! You’ve put a lot of hard work into your sons’ education.

    1. Hi Julie! You’re most welcome. I hope blogging our learning journey helps other families out there. As for the story disks, they are included with the FIAR (Five in a Row) curriculum, specifically the Teacher’s Manual. You may be able to order them separately from FIAR:

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