Grandfather's Journey {FIAR}

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Grandfather's Journey
with  Five in a Row {FIAR} 
(Emma does do these rows with us, but I felt I should be clear that it's mostly just as a tag along.  Like maybe, getting related subject preschool books - things like that.  Or subject related preschool worksheets.  Most days, she has little to no interest to listen to the FIAR books, as they are a bit lengthy for 3 yr olds.)

Bible Focus/Character Trait:  {Kindness}
"He met many people along the way.  He shook hands with black men and white men, with yellow men and red men."  - pg.12 from Grandfather's Journey

Grandfather was very kind, no matter where he went on his travels.  We focused on kindness this week with Kid's of Integrity using the story, craft, and kick-off craft ideas.  The kids loved their "kindness flags".  Connor insisted that Sammy needed one too.  Each time one of them was caught being kind, I'd draw a little heart on their flag.  It was a great visual reminder and motivator.  Not only for the kids, but me as well - to verbally praise my kids and to thank them when doing good.

We also used the "M" unit from Raising Rockstars Preschool, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18, for our verse of the week board, along with the character trait tunes from Hubbard's Cupboard; (kind).

It was neat to watch Emma do the "sharing toys" activity from the Raising Rockstars pack - reminding me of when Connor did it a short 3 years ago.

Books we read, throughout the week, on kindness:

*Let's Be Kind by P.K. Hallinan - an adorable book!  Short, sweet and to the point.
*How Kind! by Mary Murphy - a short, "pay it forward" type book of kindness.
*A Little Girl After God's Own Heart - Kind - sweet poems of different traits girls should have
*A Little Boy After God's Own Heart - Kind - same as above, but boy themed.  lol
*Big Thoughts for Little People , letter K is Kind - One of Emma's favorites to flip thru on her own.  ABCs of values
*My ABC Bible/My ABC Prayers , letter K - sweet little poems, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers

We read of Boaz and Ruth, each day, in our *My First Hands-On Bible.  Connor loves this bible so much, because of the role playing.  (he brought it to me one day and requested I read it, for that very reason)

Connor had the idea to watch *Veggie Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler, which fit in quite nicely.

Social Studies: {Japan; Landforms; California}

We already did a Japan study, so after reading this book for the first time I asked Connor what, from the book, he wanted to learn about.  He said, "California!".  Of course, that is the only subject I forgot to pick up at the library!  I had chosen a book, but missed it on my list.  Of course.

So Japan it was. Luckily, Connor is in love with learning about Japan, lately.  We located Japan on our wall map, painted a Japanese flag, then built our floor map puzzle to "sail Grandpa" across the ocean with an origami boat, made from a magazine ad.


We studied landforms using a library find, *Introducing Landforms by Bobbie Kalman.  To try to engage Connor better, we then applied what we read with this super cool worksheet, Dinosaur Landforms!

Extra books we read:
*A Day in Japan Daniel Moreton - a social studies emergent reader book. 
*I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi - this book talks of customs and such, month by month.                                    

Language Arts: (in addition to hooked on phonics, *Learn to Read First Grade Complete)

It has been quite hard to get Connor to sit and practice writing.  That is .... until I suggested he write Kanji (found in our library book, I live in Tokyo).  He excitedly did seven pages of practice.  ha!

Emma focused on letter of the week:  K is for Kind, Kimono, Kings, and Kittens.

Math:  {early multiplication}

We did FIAR's fold n' learn (free when you sign up for the newsletter), focusing on # of days in a week.

Also, we did a calendar review with "Reading a Calendar" worksheet from

Science:  {birds; pollution}

During our last row Connor randomly asked when we could learn about Woodpeckers.  I told him we could as soon as we made our next library trip - and perfectly enough, it fit in with learning about birds with this row.  (Grandfather kept birds).

Library Book Basket:
*Woodpeckers, *About Birds: A Guide for Children, *My First Bird, and *Beaks!

Borrowing School Time Snippet's idea of Bird Beak science, having found detailed info over at Livin' Lovin' Learnin'.  What a wonderful good idea!!  The link to the beak clip art printout didn't work, but I just typed in the basic address and worked my way forward to the bird beaks.  It works!  (just remember to print on landscape and "fit to screen".

After reading *Beaks!, by Sneed B., III Collard, we then explored different types of beaks with tweezers, scissors, a spoon, and a clothespin "eating" gummy worms, mini marshmallows, cashews, sunflower seeds and gummy mice.

We also read about pollution (pointing out the factories in Grandfather's Journey), with *Power Up to Fight Pollution by  Lisa Bullard.

Emma's tie-ins:
Bird preschool pack
Bird Pack from 3 Dinosaurs

Art:  {orgami}

Connor, at random, flipped over his math work sheet and colored a very crude picture of Grandfather travelling on the ocean.  Very scribbley, but I try not to judge his way of art.  lol.

Connor remembered our bird whistle and practiced his "song"

While at a Family Dollar in MI, I found an "Origami Birds:  Fun Origami".  How fitting!  Once home Connor seen it and grabbed it, rushing over to me excitedly, "mom!!  Can we do this right now!?", which we did.

He was then curious on what the "song" of the love bird was, so we looked it up on YouTube.  He said they sound like they are kissing.  =)

Field Trip:  {making memories with relatives}

This week fell on the U.S. Thanksgiving and we made our own "weekend journey to Grandfather's house", leaving before the sun even rose - and we found winter on the way.  ;)

We had a fantastic time visiting and bonding with extended family, made new friends, and even squeezed in a winter nap at "Grandfather's" house.

There were several factories to point out on the trip to and from Grandfather's house, where Connor would unenthusiastically say, "oh wow."   Hey.  I tried.  lol.

Related Links/Resources:
School Time Snippets - great blog/resource
Kind Kate letter K printables at Me and Marie Learning
balancing bird from
Tree Template at Gift of Curiosity (for Japanese cherry blossom)
*How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids   by Tom Rath

Extra Reading for older rowers:  (we didn't get these, but I think they would be excellent additions to this row, for older rowers)
*Tea with Milk Allen Say
*Drawing From Memory by Allen Say

Linking up with:

Delightful Learning 
 The Homeschool Village

Next up:  *The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola


  1. Hello from School Time Snippets! So thoughtful of you to include our blog as a resource at the end!! Thanks! Love your row; this was a book that we had a lot of fun with and I really enjoyed, surprisingly! The bird whistles were a fun edition; a great way to practice bird calls : )

  2. Love your study on kindness and those kindness flags! So sweet! A wonderful row! Thanks for linking it up! :)


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