The Boxcar Children (Ch 1)

Jordan officially started junior high! We’re excited to begin our first FIAR chapter book study with The Boxcar Children. I read this book to the kids when Jordan was in preschool. We continue to read through The Boxcar Children series in our free time; however, the first book is still our family’s favorite!

At first, I thought of having one post for the entire book; however, I realized that may be too long. As a result, I decided to post each chapter separately. I’ll continue to update our blog every time we finish a chapter.

Chapter 1:

Our goal this year is to work towards a more independent study approach. Since we’re just starting out, we read the first chapter together and most of the manual as well. We’ll slowly transition to having Jordan read all material on his own.

What a great opener! Where DID those four children come from? We discussed writing with an element of mystery and Jordan wrote his own mysterious introduction in his notebook.


Our Daily Bread:

I assigned the first chapter Bible lesson from the Beyond FIAR Christian Character and Bible Supplement Guide. Jordan read this material alone.

Afterwards, I asked Jordan to summarize what he read. This is a necessary life skill as well as a great way to ensure we’re comprehending the assigned material. Discussing it together gives us a chance to talk about the spiritual content, a wonderful “fire-side chat”, so to speak.

Bible Verse:

This year, we planned to memorize a verse from our church’s Scripture Memory Class each week; however, this week Jordan chose to memorize John 6:35 from our FIAR character lesson.

He wrote the verse down in his Bible Notebook so he could study it all week. Later, I added it in his FIAR notebook.

Making Bread:

As we read about the children enjoying delicious loaves of bread, Jordan headed to the kitchen to create his own loaf of bread.

He measured and poured all the ingredients in the pan and loaded it in the bread maker. Applied math at its finest! I love how this kid loves cooking.

The bread maker is such a time saver, because it allows us to multi-task.

Jordan helped me prepare the vegetables for our chicken noodle soup. We served his bread alongside the soup for dinner and everyone loved it!

Language Arts:


I created a vocabulary worksheet for this chapter.

Jordan and I discussed the list together. Later, we added it to his FIAR notebook.

Life Skills:

Learning to Listen:

We talked about the importance of Violet listening to Jessie as she told her to get up. Jordan and I talked about real-life examples where listening could mean the difference between life and death.

Afterwards, we did the “trust walk” as suggested by the manual. Bub laughed nervously the entire time, because he’s a bit of a control-freak. I was just like him as a kid. A trust fall? Are you kidding?In the end, he followed my instructions, reach the destination without falling, and had so much fun!


Cleanliness & Hygiene:

Jordan independently read about hygiene in the FIAR manual.

Afterwards, we used a buttered dish to illustrate soap’s hydrophobic ability to hold onto the fat. We saw how it helped break apart the fat. You could actually see it floating in the dish. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words!

After reading through the teacher’s manual on his own, Jordan read about the history of soap in An Uncommon History of Common Things.

Later, we went on a soap scavenger hunt to see how many different types of soap we use around the house. We use liquid, foam, powder, and bars!

We wrapped up this slippery unit with a sudsy prize. I gave Jordan several specialty soaps that I purchased from The Napa Valley Soap Company. Bub has always been a soap connoisseur.


We read a couple of chapters about eating healthy and making good food choices.

Jordan added a food pyramid and cereal nutrition comparison in his food journal notebook.

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