When I Was Young in the Mountains {FIAR}

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We rowed this for 1st grade, and for preschool (age 3).

This is going to be a long post.  Connor has been begging to learn about one particular topic that comes up in this book (snakes) for a couple months now.  As a result we did so much with this one week; more than usual.  I could break it up, but I want to keep it all together for anyone else looking to row the book.  With all the other topics the FIAR manual offers, this could easily have been a 2 week or more row - but we just skipped the rest for now since we'll be coming back to it when Emma is older.
We used Seeds of Worship:  *Seeds of Praise , "Better than Life", along with these printables, for our memory verse this week.  I printed the full page verse printable and I'd use a pointer and we'd sing along each day.  By the end of the week even Emma (3) remembered most of the verse!

We focused on the character trait "Content", using Kids of Integrity's Contentedness free lessons.

Here they are working on the 'kick-off craft' from the Contentedness lesson.  The noodles "represent the things they own.  Just as it is difficult to untangle the noodles, so it is difficult to disentangle us from our possessions."

They also made good snakes.  lol.

In addition, we read *Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River by Gertrude Crampton, *Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, and *The Rusty, Trusty Tractor by Joy Cowley to further talk about being content.

Language Arts:

For Connor (2nd grade) one thing we did was this short and long A sound worksheet from Education.com.

Both kids worked on various parts of the printable unit from HomeschoolShare.

Emma (age 3) did a bunch of farm related worksheets, tying in with the mention on cows and such in When I was Young in the Mountains.
  • This Reading Momma's Farm Unit; she also has an amazing reading curriculum that we started this week.
  • 2 Teaching Mommies has many different units that could fit this row.  We chose the farm one.  Emma's favorites were the puzzle match up and the spelling.  She'd work on these everyday.
We got two books from the library to fit the farm theme.  One was *Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner.  The other was *Kiss the Cow! by Phyllis Root.
The kids absolutely LOVED Kiss the Cow.  We had to read it over and over again.  They loved it so much we'll be ordering our own copy, for sure.  It is an adorable book with a little song that the mom sings to the cow.  During the week Connor and Emma repeatedly would role play the story, and I'd sing the song.  Sometimes I'd get the words wrong and Connor was always sure to correct me.  I loved it.  It was great memorization practice, musical, and just plain fun.
We also worked on syllables and vowels, since Connor had been working on the long/short A.  We watched Preschool Prep DVD:  *Meet the Letters (at the end they teach the vowels, which is what we focused on).  Both kids love this set of DVDs, even Connor still.  After the DVD we worked on syllables and building simple words.
Emma used the farm packs, linked earlier, for patterning, graphing and so on.  She also worked on a snake pattern.
Connor and I measured lengths of snakes out on the floor (with a worksheet from HomeschoolShare), marking each one with masking tape and then comparing it to "Connor snake".  The biggest wouldn't even fit in our house and backyard combined.  yikes.
Sammy (age 1) helped with spicing up our worksheet.  lol.  School time is getting quite interesting lately since he demands to be included now. 
Social Studies:
I printed a world map, and created a legend of snake/country in color code.  I colored in where each snake was located then gave it to Connor to learn geography in a fun (for him) way.  If your kid is older then you could have them do that all on their own.
We pulled out our *Kindergarten Kit to look at the emotion cards and talk about them and act them out.
We read The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town, then matched cards, jobs people do, from KizClub.
Emma really enjoyed this.  At the end she stated, "when I grow up I do all things.  All kinds I wanted to do.  I grow up - everything I want to be!"
Obviously .... we discussed snakes this week.  Little boys dream come true, mom's nightmare.  lol.
We checked out *Amazing Snakes!, by Sarah L. Thomson, from the library.  It's an easy reader, so I had Connor read that aloud while I gathered up breakfast one morning.
I created some cards for him with snake names and photos.  I intended for him to cut them apart and write any info he could remember about them on the back, but we never got that far.
We read about nutrition with The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibons.
For Emma we did more of the farm printables talked about earlier.  The farm puzzles taught her where some of our products came from.  She also sorted plants/animals.
Connor was introduced to The Crocodile Hunter via youTube.  This boy was in heaven.  We lost him for about an hour I think, watching video after video of snakes. 
We started the week with some snake painting.  I gave them a pipe cleaner, yarn, string, and twine - so they could decide which made the best/worst snake.
homeschool art

We also did a paper snake.  Connor did not want to tape or glue it, so we put a brad on - that way the snake could still "slither".
I found a snake in last years Kumon book, *My First Book Of Cutting, that we never got to, so Connor happily cut that out.
And finally, we made snake masks!
homeschool craft

Best Day Ever:  {for Connor not for me}
Connor attended Boy Scouts (Canada).  They had reptile day this week.  I mean, are you kidding me right now!?  Just no.  So glad I didn't have to pick him up.  Daddy took this photo .... and I may have screamed a bit when he showed me. 
He was just so excited though, even though I felt like finding a corner and rocking back and forth.  He talked about it all night long, non stop.  Also, he made this very clear:  "I was not slouching because I was scared.  But because it was so heavy!!"
Linking up with:
Delightful Learning

 Next up* Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco


  1. Wow, lots of great activities! And, that is a great picture of your son with the snake! ☺

  2. What a great row! I loved the "When I was Young..." printable from Homeschool Share. Such lovely activities to make the book come alive; lots of learning going on : )


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