The Day You Begin


Kick-off Breakfast:

I set out a special back to school breakfast spread and The Kissing Hand, a family tradition.

Cover Art:

Parker did a beautiful job illustrating his cover page to reflect the colorful choices made by Rafael Lopez.

Story Disk:

Parker colored his story disk and placed it on San Diego, a family favorite!

Reading Shelf:

I updated our reading shelf with a variety of books for rowing The Day You Begin.


Memory Verse:

I created a memory verse printable for The Day You Begin.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

Parker wrote and memorized Ephesians 4:32 for this row.


Our Differences and Similarities:

We read When God Made You as a reminder that we’re all unique, created by God for a special purpose. we look, act and feel different, because God made us one-of-a-kind.


We read The Name Jar and Lila and the Crow, culturally diverse stories about children who started school, feeling different and sometimes treated unfairly.

The Masterpiece subtly introduced Autism awareness and acceptance of behavioral differences in children.

Though the manual suggested reading Wonder – a fantastic book about empathy, kindness, compassion and more – I decided to read-aloud Dumpling Days. We read Grace Lin’s Year of the Rat and Year of the Dog and we really wanted to read the third in the series. It was a perfect companion to our cultural diversity lesson.

Compassion & Empathy:

As we learn about the struggles people face, we should feel empathy and develop hearts of compassion. Compassion alone isn’t enough. We need to put those feelings into action. As followers of Christ, we are called to be salt and light.

This unit quickly expanded into Bible lessons and science units.

Eyes That See:

We read The Can Man and In each story, we watch the characters see beyond themselves. They open their eyes, see a need and make a change that positively affects someone else.

Ears That Listen:

We started this unit reading The Lord Calls Samuel. If we can learn to listen to God’s voice, then we are headed in the right direction.

Afterwards, we read Ears are for Hearing.

Parker completed the Parts of the Human Ear worksheet.

Heart That Connects:

We read Understanding You Understanding Empathy on our Epic app.

We also read several books about people thinking outside of themselves and helping others.

While on the subject of the heart, we added a science unit. We read Hear Your Heart together.

Following the activity at the end of the book, we took turns listening to each other’s heart beat.


Point of View:

Using the poster on the FIAR mini board, I sketched a worksheet in Parker’s FIAR notebook.

As we reviewed the literary concept, he completed information about each point of view.

First Person:

We read When I Was Young in the Mountains to cover first person point of view.

Second Person:

The manual suggested many books for second person point of view, but The Monster at the End of this Book is a family favorite!

I remember reading the animated version of thus book when Bub was a toddler. He especially loved that it was read by grover himself. Just hearing the title fills my heart with do many wonderful memories. Honestly, I can’t count all the times we’ve read it!

Third Person:

As recommended by the manual, we read Chrysanthemum as an example of writing in the third person point of view.


Object Lesson & Character Portrait:

First, we talked about how eggs may look different on the outside, but they are all the same on the inside.

Whether we scramble brown, blue or white eggs, they all are the same on the inside.

Next, we read All the Colors of the Earth while sitting on the couch.

I brought out our Crayola Colors of the World crayons. I thought it would be fun to make a diverse group of egg people.

We started sketching faces, hair, arms and feet and used our crayons to choose various skin shades. It was a diverse clutch of Egglins.



We read about measurement in our Usborne Science Encyclopedia.

Then we compared our old world measuring devices, strides and thumbs, and quickly realized how inaccurate they were. We’re thankful for standardized measuring tools.



We read excerpts from Mirages and Other Marvels of Light and Air. Later that week, we were watching a cooking show and Parker saw the wavy lines and reminded me of this science lesson. I love those lightbulb moments.


Our last science lesson was about skin pigment. We read a brief excerpt from our Usborne Human Body book that explained how melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation.


Pinterest Board:

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

Youtube Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created The Day You Begin playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

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