All Those Secrets of the World {FIAR}

via Five in a Row {FIAR}

"When four-year-old Janie's father goes off to war, the rest of the family moves to the grandparents' on the Chesapeake Bay, where Janie learns a secret of the world which helps her understand her father's long absence."

Bible/Character Trait:

Janie and her cousin, Michael, play in the bay when they were told not to, because "wading isn't swimming."

We used that to talk about discernment - knowing right from wrong.  We used the discerning Character Tune at Hubbard's Cupboard and Righteousness at Kids of Integrity, along with the memory verse "Even a child is known by his good deeds", using Raising Rockstars printouts from
her letter E unit.

We talked about how even the young know right from wrong, and can make a judgment accordingly.

We listened to 1 Timothy 4:12, by Seeds of Courage, on youTube (we own the CD as well, but my kids are very visual learners).  ("Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young")

We discussed the bible characters David vs Goliath.  (David was young)

We watched VeggieTales: Rack, Shack and Benny.

We made the "kick-off craft" from Kid's of Integrity, making a night scene with an ocean under it.  We used tissue paper and then fishy stickers.  Throughout the week when anyone was caught doing any good deeds, they'd get a shining star (foil star sticker) to put up in the night sky. It could have been a lot more tidy looking, but I'm working on letting them do their thing and of them being satisfied of their work without me being overly critical.

We read Henny Penny , who really lacked in using her discernment.  Afterward we watched Chicken Little -which is based off Henny Penny- but we talked more of the verse "don't let anyone look down on you because you are young," because Chicken Little was doing the right thing, but nobody believed him since he was young.

Social Studies/History/Geography/War:

  • We located the Chesapeake Bay on our wall map, then talked a bit about what a bay is.  I made a beach sensory bin (minus the glitter) and the kids loved it.  It was messy, yes, however it is super easy to clean up.

  • We did this row during the week of Vetran's Day.  I had downloaded some activities from the Veteran's Affair Canada site - "Take Time to Remember".  I printed the "animals in war time" cards front to back, then Connor cut them out before we disused each one.
  • He role played being an army guy, often this week, as well as played with his little green army men.  He likes to create scenes with our chairs and play boxes.  lol.

Language Arts: (in addition to our Hooked on Phonics)

  • Connor likes to talk.  A lot.  So I often encourage him to write some thoughts on paper.
  •  Always keep a look out for things in dollar stores and such.  I found cute heart stampers (pictured above H is for heart) and these cute wooden lacing cards were $1 in the Target $ bin!

  • Emma also did many worksheets with a beach theme, to go along with our row.  (units linked below).  And I do mean many.  She always begs for more.  Our basement wall is covered in her work.


  • We listened to Over There.  Very briefly.  The kids had absolutely no interest at all.  Connor asked what a tuba was and I found a couple videos trying to show him, but he couldn't hold his interest in it .... until ..... I found a guy playing the Mario Bros theme, on a tuba!  That humored him greatly.  (He is in love with all things Mario, currently).

  • We colored poppies for remembrance day.  True to herself, Emma's poppies were very rainbow hued.

  •  we talked about why the children in the book weren't too play in the bay. (because of the dirty oil).  I happened to cook chicken soup from scratch one night and when the oil formed on top I showed Connor how it floats on the surface.  Then we took the straining spoon and rinsed it off - it was still oily.  So then we washed it with soap.  This opened up some light discussion on why it's so harmful to the wildlife when there's an oil spill.
  •  We read Starfish, "Stars of the Sea" by Allan Fowler, What Lives in a Shell? , and Seashells by the Seashore and played with our Florida shells (collected when I was a child!) and played with our beach bin and sea animals.  The "Ocean Pack" from 2 Teaching Mommies had several worksheets appropriate for Connor's age.

Related Links/Resources:

Our post last year with All Those Secrets of the World (also see tags for beach and/or ocean)
Down by the Bay story props by KidzClub
Under the (girly) Sea by 1+1+1=1
Just Color! Beach by 1+1+1=1
Ocean Pack from Itsy Bitsy Learners
Beach Printable Pack by 3Dinosaurs
Cloud Dough Beach Sensory at The Imagination Tree
Ocean Pack from 2 Teaching Mommies
Hope And Glory DVD about WWII

Next up:  A New Coat for Anna


Preschool Letter H

When Connor was in preschool we were following along with Craft ABCs at Totally Tots.  When we got to H, instead of making a house we made "hat".  He was very much into hats. We read Hat by Paul Hoppe.  It was a 'perfect for Connor' book of a little boy, Henry, whom finds a hat and thinks of all that he can do with it - a sled, a boat, a mouse catcher, and on and on until it's returned to the rightful owner.

Now that Emma is in preschool, we pulled out our crafty H's (the little h was horse like at Totally Tots).  She already knows her phonetic alphabet, so we did many "H" things just for review.

She's really into Humpty Dumpty right now, and he happens to be perfect for H week.  ;)

We did a Humpty Dumpty craft from i heart crafty things.

It was a huge hit.

We read How to Hug, Too Tall Houses, and Hurry Up and Slow Down.

She stamped a "H" (from Confessions of a Homeschooler) with heart stamps, hippo stamp, and happy face stickers.

Always keep a look out for things in dollar stores and such.  I found those ↑ cute heart stampers and these ↓ cute wooden lacing cards were $1 in the Target $ bin!

We did H is for Hippo (and more links on the site's sidebar) from 1+1+1=1 and Hh Lessons from Raising Rockstars Preschool.  Emma loved cutting the hippos all by herself, then pasting them down.

We worked on hippo patterns with H is for Hippo at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Also, for math, we did Hh is for Horse pattern blocks.

Emma often begs for more and more worksheets, so we did lots of printables from various places.

Letter H from Itsy Bitsy Learners

Alphabet do-a-dots (and so much more!!) from Homeschool Creations

"My Family My Home" mini pack by 2TeachingMommies

The Napping House by Aubry Wood
Napping House story props at KidzClub

Hungry Hungry Hippo game


The Giraffe That Walked to Paris {FIAR}

via Five in a Row {FIAR}


"The Giraffe that Walked to Paris":  the true story of the first giraffe ever to live in Europe, given to the king of France as a peace offering.

We focused on the Peacemaker Character Trait at Hubbard's Cupboard as well as "Blessed are the Peacemakers" (Letter Bb at Raising Rock stars)

The first day, as we ate breakfast, I sang the Character Trait tune for Peacemaker, from Hubbard's Cupboard.  When I finished the quick little tune Emma says, "What's peace, mom!?"  Well Emma.  I'm glad you asked.  Let me grab the many books I found at the library to put it all into words for a 3 year old.  ;)

literature to tie in "peace" theme:
A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley:  this book is gorgeous.  It's a national geographic book - full of amazing photography from around the world with flowing, simple lines about peace.

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin is a beautifully illustrated book, again, simple and flowing circular type lines (in picture and in word) - ending the book where you started off.

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz.  This was probably the favorite for both Connor and Emma.  It goes around the world with teaching you how to say peace in many different languages.  "Meena lives in India.  Meena says shanti (SHAN-tee)", to which Connor and Emma would both happily repeat the foreign word.

The Peace Book by Todd Parr.  Todd Parr books are always a favorite in our house, with the bright colors and simple lines and the cute note at the end.  (this was the first one I read after Emma's question of "What's peace, mom!?") 
Peace is making new friends
Peace is giving shoes to someone who needs them
Peace is a growing garden
Peace is having enough pizza in the world for everyone

Language Arts:

This week we focused on Letter G for Giraffe.

We did all the G printables with Raising Rock stars Preschool's Letter Gg.

We also took from the B unit, the booklet "They are Playing".  I read it first, then Emma eagerly 'read' "all by herself".  Afterward she colored "they" from Carissa's sight word color by number.

About a year back I found a very nice book series at the dollar store, French/English first words.  They have long been Emma's most favorite to look at on her own.  For this week we pulled out the Zoo themed one, My First Bilingual Book - Zoo Animals.  The kids think it's hilarious hearing me try to say the French words.  With that said, my only complaint of the books is that there are no pronunciation guides to help pronounce the words.

When you subscribe to Five in a Row email you get a link to their free fold and learns.  Connor used the Giraffe Walks to Paris fold and learn this week.  I was surprised how much he enjoyed the vocabulary section.  Though, I did make it into a game where I'd read the definition and he had to find the word.  There were several big words to learn this week!

Social Studies:

Africa:  We read African Animal Alphabet by Beverly Joubert.  This is another National Geographic book.  It's nice in that you can easily read less (for instance, just "G if for Giraffe") for preschoolers, or you can read more, depending on the age of your kid.  Connor loved hearing quick facts about each animal and would ask to hear it if I tried to cheat and quicken up the story.

We also enjoyed A Is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu - same as said above, it is nice to read quick for preschoolers, or to read the extra facts for older kids.
Egypt:  I was trying to focus more on Africa, but Connor has a love for Ancient Egypt and when he heard that the Giraffe was from there, he got hooked.   Plus, we had just bought him Ancient Egypt Toob at the museum gift shop where we had visited to learn of our previous row of the Underground Railroad.  He got up early one morning and tore apart our basement, building himself a "tomb" for his new toys.

We learned about zoo keeping with Z Is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet by Marie Smith,  and Who works at the zoo? by Alyse Sweeney, and we also learned about Giraffes with Amelie Von Zumbusch.

In addition we learned about habitats with our Evan Moor Literacy Science Grade 1.


There happens to be quite a few zoo themed math books out there - check your local libraries!   We own and read ZOO! by Lori C. Froeb.  It's a really cute fold out/flap type book for preschoolers.

Wibbly Pig Has 10 Balloons was a "must have" from the library, according to Emma.  She seen it and just had to have it.  We read it on the way home at least twice (obviously, I wasn't driving).  It is super super cute and is math related.  Momma's happy.  Emma's happy.

I had found a 3D puzzle of a giraffe at the dollar store.  We attempted (and failed) to build it.  Some how we ended up with one missing piece for the joint of the leg, so she ended up a 3 legged giraffe.  lol.

 We also played pet shop (Connor's idea) with play money.  He built everything with blocks and then named the price, then I would "buy" it.  He also ripped me off with my 'lunch', charging $100 for a box of pizza.  ;)

We did an active (jumping around) version of the zoo math graph (linked below).  Then thankfully a much calmer activity of building a pattern block giraffe.

Side note:  Connor was very excited to see the word "dinosaur" on the printout.  lol.

Active Play:

Hop-Skip-Jump-A-Roo Zoo by Jane Belk Moncure was a wonderful find at a thrift store one day.  The kids love acting out the animals in the zoo, as prompted in this book - plus there's counting to be had in the book!  Always a plus with a preschooler.

Babar's Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff was a great find at our library.  It is a bit long, and because we had so many books this week we just looked at the pictures and copied the movements.

Super Stretch Yoga HD is an iPad app, currently free!  The kids love this, and we've had it for maybe a year or so.  I made sure to open it for this week's zoo theme.  About a week after we did this 'row' we were visiting some family and Emma complained that her tummy was hurting.  Connor immediately piped up, "I know what to do!! You do this --" and then he got down and did the "snake" pose, just as he had learned in the app.

 Wild Anamalz has got to be my MOST favorite kids CD/music ever.  He sings in a way that's pleasing to both the kids and the grownup (so not the usual high pitch kids songs).  The rhythm and the word both match what animal he sings in each song.  So the elephant, for example, is a heavy and slow rhythmic tune like an elephant walking.  My kids have loved this cd from day one, and we all run around acting out each song until we are pooped.  Even tots love it!  Emma was about 19 months when she started joining in our fun, and she would run around until she would collapse on the floor in a heap of giggles, to worn out to stand.  So hilarious!  (and the makings of a wonderful  naptime!)

Here's the kids, pictured below, nearly 2 years ago having a blast with the CD.  I don't have current pictures, but they love it just the same.  There's also one video I could find on YouTube, to show an example of the songs.

Fun to listen to AND gets everyone moving.  Win win!

Field Trip:

We went to the zoo!!  The blue sky shown is misleading.  The kids were wearing snowsuits to insure they stayed warm, and it drizzled rain most of the day.  BUT, we had tons of fun. (I'll spare you the many pictures I took, lol).  How cool is it that a baby giraffe was just born here!?  Although, we didn't see her. just the momma.  Baby was in the giraffe house resting and staying dry.  Still though, super cool.

Dear Zoo story props at Kidz Club
Map of the Mediterranean at Teacher Vision
Bembo's Zoo interactive zoo alphabet
Giraffe Lapbook from Homeschool Share
Color by letter Giraffe at
Zoo printable pack from 2TeachingMommies
Zoo Pack from 3 Dinosaurs
Harmony from Kids of Integrity is another great place to find for character trait.
Our post last year on being a Peacemaker
Egypt Printable Pack from 3Dinosaurs
Desert Pack by 2TeachingMommies
Are We There Yet:  World Adventure - Kenya Giraffes

Linking up at:
Delightful Learning 
 The Homeschool Village
So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler
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