Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel {FIAR}

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with  Five in a Row {FIAR: vol 1}


We focused on being servant hearted using Hubbard Cupboards character trait tunes.  Our memory verse was
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."  Colossians 3:23-24
Homeschool Creations has some excellent printables to help with memorization.

Social Studies:

We read about construction vehicles with *Road Makers and Breakers by Lynn Peppas and *The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta


During the week we watched *Sid the Science Kid: Sid in Motion.  It has several episodes so we broke it up over a few days.  After each episode there was real life examples of kids putting motion to the test.  Connor quickly followed suit after each one.  In the picture below we had just learned about friction, and watched the kids in the show testing on various mats.  Connor, all on his own, gathered everything to copy what they did - dragging my entry rug and yoga mat to the living room to perform his experiment on friction.  In the show they used a hockey puck.  We used a plastic ice cream.  lol.

In one episode of Sid the Science Kid they talked of inertia.  We did some hands on learning with Sammy's *Whack'em Racers Toy.  We "strapped" in a fisher price guy to one of the cars and set him loose to see what would happen, then we did it all again, but with no rubber band belt.  Crude, I know, but it was all spontaneous experimenting.  lol.

We read *Move It!: Motion, Forces and You by Adrienne Mason.  The kids loved this book.  Afterward we gathered up Styrofoam balls and straws to practice "force".  I love how much Sammy enjoyed this too.  He chased the "big kids" all around, lips puckered, to help them blow.

Other's we got from the library:


Moving Parts Digger at Kids Craft Weekly

Language Arts:

Emma (3) participates in all our readings and activities as much or as little as she wants to.  I usually try to have a preschool tie-in theme, just for her for letter of the week.  She loves to do worksheets, otherwise she'd be fine at her age to just learn along side Connor with no extra work.  Since she begs for worksheets, we focused on the letter M, for Mike Mulligan.

She also did a few pages relating to traffic and construction in her *Brain Quest Workbook: Pre-K.

This week Emma wanted to read, so we began to officially teach to read!  We used Bob books, Hubbard Cupboard's word family booklet, and Word Family Ladders from Confessions of a Homeschooler.   

We also did M is for Mouse Paint and M is for Monster.

Mouse Paint printables at 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Monster Unit at 2 Teaching Mommies
Monster Mash Kit at HomeschoolShare

With Connor, we learned about personification.  He created his own creature using Homeschool Share's worksheet.

Extra links:

Unit Study at Homeschool Share
Construction Pack at Teachers Notebook ($2.50)

Linking up with:
FIAR Link-Up @ Delightful Learning

 Next up* When I Was Young in the Mountains Cynthia Rylant

Down Down the Mountain {FIAR}

This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive 4% if you make a purchase using these links. Affiliate links will be shown with an asterisk (*) beforehand, to clarify.

with  Five in a Row {FIAR: vol 2}
Note:  This is one that is no longer in print and can be tough to find for a reasonable price.  I recommend first checking your local library, then checking used book stores.  Also check amazon periodically.  I got lucky one day and this was offered up on Amazon (used) for just shy of $6, plus shipping, so we snagged it up quick since it's not available in our own library.
Bible Study:

We use Kids of Integrity for many of our lessons.  This week I matched up the row with their lesson on Generosity.  We also use the Character Trait Tune Charts from Hubbard's Cupboard.
Hetty and her brother Hank make their way down the mountain to sell a bag of turnips in town so that they can have enough coins to buy shoes.  On the way down they give away turnips to all they meet, asking nothing in return.  How generous!
Our memory verse:
"A generous man himself will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor."  Proverbs 22:9
Every day I read from these books, the section on being kind/generous:

Language Arts:
For Emma I used an adorable printout from One Beautiful Home Blog; Introduction to Spelling.  I printed out just the girl/boy for her to trace then build with letter blocks because of Hettie and Hank in the book.
All the talk of turnips in the book reminded me of the story The Giant Turnip.  So after some searching I found two fantastic printables:  a story book reader and story props (the great big enormous turnip).
We also sang and colored "the bear went over the mountain".
Social Studies:
We've done plenty enough talk of mountains this year with other FIAR books.  So this time I focused on the smaller Canadian part of the Appalachia.  I printed the map off Wikipedia.  I first reviewed with Connor where we live, and where Grandma lives, to show the mountains in relation to us.  Then we talked of how long the mountain region is, then the region Hettie and Hank lived, and which part is the Canadian part - and the differences of the shapes/slope of the mountains.
We checked out a book from the library:  All about Canadian geographical regions: the Appalachian Highland by Barb McDermott
I looked up info on the whippoorwill and found facts and a printable for Connor in relation to our own region, from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

We've already studied birds this year, but we didn't learn why they sing, so we read *Why Do Birds Sing? by Joan Holub.

I also chose to talk about coyotes (some live in mountainous regions) because Connor likes to read about some things he is scared of.  He is afraid of dogs, wolves and coyotes.  We checked out one book on *Coyotes and one on mammals (*What Is a Mammal? ) and talked of similarities/differences between dogs, coyotes, wolves and foxes.

After reading about mountains and coyotes Connor put on shorts and a watch, grabbed a bag and role played mountain climbing.  Love his imagination!


We don't have a lot of lincoln log type toys, but we do have one small set that was perfect, a cabin.  We matched that up with our playmobil horse and carriage set, leaving out the carriage.
We revisited part of the museum we went to in the fall that had historic cabins, and we found a building structure model.  It wasn't of logs, but it was still neat to see the frame work.  The kids then wanted to play with their citiblocs.
Connor got really creative and made a horse out of the lincoln logs.  While Sammy played on a *Horse Hopper.
Looking for more?
Family/Home printables from 2 Teaching Mommies
Planting Turnips worksheet at Education.com
Linking up with:
FIAR Link-Up @ Delightful Learning

 Next up:  *Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

K5 Learning Review

I received 6 weeks of access to K5 Learning as compensation in exchange of an honest review.  The links provided, for K5, are referral links.  Content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

We were asked to review K5 Learning website.  It's a learning based website, for reading/phonics, math, math facts and spelling.

What I like about the site is that, while it is fun and engaging for the kids, it is not a game based learning site.  There are no ads or distractions from the focus on learning.  The kids can't click to choose only their favorite topics, it's all chosen for them, progressing them as they learn;  this is something I particularly love, because in the past with educational gaming sites we've had issues for the kids to stay on the task I had set out for them to do.

I think it is very important to not allow kids to have too much screen time, even if gaming at "educational" sites.  With 5K, you aren't sending your kid off to game in the name of education, you are giving them a quality lesson.  Each lesson (in it's entirety) might be anywhere from 12 mins to 2 hrs or so to complete.  However, the lessons are nicely broken up into short 5-10 min segments and the child can choose if they want to go on or take a break.  When she comes back at a different time, it will pick up right were she left off.  The kids didn't feel overwhelmed, and also didn't spend too long on the computer.

The site is geared for Kinders to grade 5, or age 4+.  However, Emma (age 3) does pretty well with school and loves to learn, so I allowed her to take an assessment and participate as much, or as little, as she wanted.  She loved it!

Connor came to me one day, after having done an assignment by himself.  "Mom, I didn't get any right on my math.  I got 0."  I asked him what it was he was working on and he said money.  I already knew he struggled with understanding money value or even the names of the coins - but I didn't know it was so bad he'd completely fail at a 1st grade lesson.

The K5 team works hard to make things as user friendly as possible.  It was easy to sign in under my parent dashboard and then assign him some lessons at a lower level, backing him up a grade to focus more on names and values of coins - all without his knowledge so he wasn't embarrassed he was doing "kindergarten work".

He was then able to master his knowledge of that particular math topic before returning to his regular lessons.

Connor's (age 7) favorites about the site:

He loved that there were cartoon people that talked him through his lessons.  This particular one was his favorite because she had the same name and appearance as our good friend.

Connor:  "I like the race car one and the 'math facts'.  I like the robot talking to me.  I liked making my own character; I made myself a ninja!!"

K5 Learning site is pretty thorough in showing you what they are about, before you spend any money.  You can see a whole variety of samples of their lessons on this page here, as well as an intro video, an 'explore K5' video, and in addition you can also sign up for a 14 free week trial to get a real feel for the site, at no cost.

The K5 team makes it completely easy on us parents, whether you are a teacher, a homeschooler, or a public school parent.  Once you sign up (either by free trial or paid) you create your child(ren)'s profile, then you can set up an assessment for them, to place them at exactly their own level, with no guess work for us.

Each child has their own separate log-ins with passwords, so that no one can accidentally get in to a siblings lessons and mess up their learning level.

Once your child has a several lessons complete you are able to view their detailed progress reports and from there you have the option to print the report, if you wish.  I liked being able to see exactly which specific topic my kids had problems with and assign lessons for them to work on, from my parent dashboard.

With K5, the past 6 weeks, I've felt really in tune with my kids' problem areas and where they excelled. 
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