Friday, March 17, 2017

Five in a Row: Warm as Wool

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When going through the Five in a Row units, admittedly, Warm as Wool is not one that I would have initially jumped at the chance to row.  However, I was looking at a master list of FIAR books by date and geographical location, and realized that a book set in the early 1800's in Ohio would tie in perfectly with a group field trip to a history museum dedicated to the founding of Ohio and early pioneers!  Our group would also be offered a special class that would tie in, and I knew I could tweak our Revolutionary War study to make the timeline work for us.  You can't get more serendipitous!

Beautiful Feet follows the Revolutionary War with a one week study of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark, before it moves into a lot of time on Abraham Lincoln, so I knew this would also be a good row to bulk up that general time period.

The book is about the Ward family - mom, dad, and three young children - who travel from Connecticut to Ohio.  Betsy Ward spends the cold, harsh winter dreaming of buying sheep so she can have warm wool to keep her children warm.

Social Studies
I always try to start with geography, so we can review it throughout the week.  We printed a US map and traced their journey as described in the Prologue.

Of course, we placed our story disk on Ohio, where the story took place.

Covered/Conestoga wagons, Pioneers, Westward Migration 
Our field trip was part of a homeschool group field trip.  The museum is dedicated to the founding of our area, which just happens be part of the northwest territory that was explored after the Revolutionary War and preserves the history of westward migration and area pioneers.  We had three classes and a self-guided tour before/afterwards.

More specifically, one of the classes that had been scheduled for our group was Transportation: how to fill a Conestoga wagon!  Considering the general time period and this class fit so well with the book, I couldn't resist!  We learned the difference in the Conestoga wagon and the Prairie Schooner.  The Conestoga was a massive, curved (she described it as a smile) wagon used primarily in the early 1800's.  The curved ends would have kept things in the wagon in the more mountainous regions.  These were not the same wagons used in the westward migration, however.  Prairie Schooners were the smaller, "box" shaped wagons, often converted farm wagons.  Conestoga's were too heavy for the prairies and would get stuck in the dirt/mud, but smaller wagons would be able to travel the longer distances.

The museum had a conestoga wagon on display, and I believe she said its as the earliest known one in the state.  They knew quite a bit of the history of the particular family that had traveled to Ohio from Pennsylvania with it.  We learned how it was made, the things that might fill the wagon when a family traveled, and the tools they used on the journey.  We learned that everyone walked, because there was no room to ride in these wagons.  Father might stand on the side on a board, and really young children would be carried, and they averaged 12-15 miles per day.  Everyone had jobs, and she did a great job of describing the jobs in relation to the girls/boys by age.  A 7 year old boy might walk behind the wagon and grease the wheels with tar, while a 10 year old boy might try to hunt rabbit for stew.

After we walked around the wagon and looked at everything the family might have taken with them and where everything was located, they were given cards for a memory game.  There was a taped off section on the floor, the size of the wagon, and each child had to go to the spot on the wagon where their item was located.

How fitting, one of the boys got a spinning wheel!  There was one on display in this room too.

Beautiful Feet doesn't really cover Westward Migration and the mid-late 1800's in-depth at this point (there is a separate course on Westward Migration) so we used this row and the covered-wagon connection to just glimpse into that time period.

You Wouldn't Want to be an American Pioneer! by Jacqueline Morley


Language Arts

We went through the book looking for similes, and tried to listen for them in other books we read.  We also completed this Simile Self Portrait.

Prologue, Author's Notes, Book Jackets
We discussed these elements throughout the week.  Emory insisted that I read the Prologue with every reading.  I think he really felt like it was part of the story.

Additional Literature
Dandelions by Eve Bunting
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
Going West by Jan Van Leeuwen

The books were relevant to the themes of traveling by wagon or "starting over" in a new place.


Imagination and Facial Expressions
After discussing the lesson, we used a cartooning book from the library and a Blank Face printout to make our own facial expressions.

We read about sheep in a non-fiction book about farm animals, watched some sheep sheering videos on YouTube and did a notebooking page.

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
This is a great living book that ties in well.  I used it as a lunchtime read-aloud for the kids.

Math - The math lesson was fairly simple, relating to the flock of sheep, basic addiction and subtraction.  We just did it orally during one of the readings.  Nothing fancy.

Overall, it was a simple, but fun and engaging row.  After this row we took a school-break, then returned to Beautiful Feet for the short unit on Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark.  From there it goes into Abraham Lincoln.  You'll see some tweaking of that as we also study the Civil War with Five in a Row.

Eleanor is starting to join in more for some of the activities, so I think she's really ready to dive into Before Five in a Row at her level, and I can't wait to start fresh with it!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Five in a Row - Paul Revere's Ride and the American Revolution

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I didn't initially plan to re-row any books when we decided to add FIAR back to our schedule, mostly because there are so many we haven't rowed.   However, Paul Revere's Ride just fit so perfectly into our history studies, and the boys didn't really connect with it the first time around; I thought they'd enjoy it more with additional context.  Plus, it would help me pace out our history schedule to make it align with an upcoming row and field trip.  So it made the most sense to row Paul Revere's Ride for two weeks and use the BFB books as go-alongs, picking and choosing which notebooking activities would be most beneficial.

Language Arts
I read the book a few times through before this lesson.  I expanded on the manual's lesson, and talked about how this particular poem is called a Narrative Poem, because it tells a story.  We talked about other books we've read that are narrative poems.  (Madeline is a great FIAR example.)  Then we read another poem by Wadsworth, There was a Little Girl, and talked about how vastly different they were.  I wanted to show them how poets can write in different styles.

Poetic/Creative License
It's a well-known fact that Longfellow took some liberty with the facts.  We discussed this, but also watched this video, 11 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere.

We talked about how fog is a type of cloud, discussed when we see fog around the river, and read about different types of clouds.  I printed the types of clouds for descriptions, and we made our own examples.  They used a bit of black watercolor paint to darken their clouds.

We also looked for different types of clouds outside.

I know Eleanor was paying attention to this lesson, because the next day she colored a picture in a coloring book, with black clouds.  They were storm clouds!

I typed up a quick "worksheet" with the riddle from the manual and a couple more related problems on it.  Emory isn't quite to the point of borrowing needed for the math suggestion in the manual, but Elliott worked the problems on the dry erase board and talked through them for Emory, so it was a good introduction.

Social Studies
We talked about the use of signals, per the manual, as well as the art lesson on light.  Since the poem describes the use of lights as signals, we made Tin Can Lanterns for fun.  Sorry, no pictures right now (I'll try to update), but they're easy to find online.  The boys had fun hammering nail holes, that's for sure!

Geography - Boston, Thirteen Colonies
We reviewed the geography for this book.

Paul Revere
I read Paul Revere, Son of Liberty to the boys while they made a Paul Revere from Famous Figure of the American Revolution.   They made several others with the history portion of this study below too.  I was surprised at how much they liked them.  Sometimes they were neat, detailed and accurate in their coloring, and sometimes not, but they enjoyed them.

Additional:  Paul Revere Coloring Page ~ Crayola

History: Revolutionary War, George Washington, Famous Historical Documents, etc.  
This was all tied into the Beautiful Feet Books: Colonial Studies and American Revolution study.  I used those books over two weeks as the go-along books, and we did some of the notebooking exercises, but you can see the full book list and in-depth historical study on that post.

Emory also read those George Washington: Our First President and Sam the Minuteman readers.  Elliott is working on a separate writing program right now, so we ended up not finishing The Arrow over the Door, but I skimmed it and thought it looked very interesting for giving an authentic Native American perspective.


We ended this time period in history here, and transitioned into the early 1800's.  We had a field trip opportunity that would line up the book Warm As Wool, so I decided to row that and then go back to Beautiful Feet Book for the Lewis and Clark study, which all took place about the same time.  I'll be sharing all of that soon!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Peek into Our Homeschool: February 2017

I can't believe the month is already over!  I guess it's not too hard to believe, considering I didn't post my January wrap-up until well into February, and February is a short month anyway.  This is going to be a short post, because we've got a lot going on with preparing to go back to the farm, but I still wanted to look back over what we did.

I am back with the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so don't be shocked when some reviews start popping up.  Long story short, I believe God has a reason for everything!

Math is math.

Language Arts - I'm trying out Writing Strands with Elliott.  I saw a local homeschooler post about it, looked into it, was intrigued, and ordered it.  (I like the idea of teaching spelling/grammar through writing.)  We've started it, but I think I ordered the wrong level, as it's too easy.  I need to order up for him, but at least I can try this one with the younger kiddos.

Since Emory's about finished with his comprehensive language arts, I'll probably have him do some inexpensive workbooks or work on ESA for awhile until I decide what program I want to use.  I'm so undecided.

Everything Else -  We rowed Paul Revere's Ride (post coming soon) and combined with The Revolutionary War portion of Beautiful Feet Books.

It was a lot of fun, but I was excited to move on to the row of Warm as Wool!  (More detailed post of this row coming soon too.)  I scheduled this one after Paul Revere's Ride/American Revolution, because the book takes place in Ohio in the early 1800's.  Since we were going to a history museum that focused on this general time period and the early settlers of the state, and one of the classes was a Conestoga wagon class (and one of the FIAR lessons was on covered wagons), it just seemed to fit well overall.  It also helped us cover a big gap in in BFB, but I'll discuss that more eventually.

Our classes were:
Archeology - We learned about anthropology and archaeology; examining arrowheads, artifacts and replicas.
Conestoga Wagon - learned the difference between the Conestoga and the standard covered wagon/prairie schooner, what went into the wagon, and what it was like to make the journey (walking, jobs the kids their age would have, food they'd eat, etc.)
Wildlife - Learned about how local wildlife changed throughout the years, extinction and then protection and reintroduction of species, examined furs and skulls of local animals, and made animal prints

After our classes we had a picnic lunch outdoors with friends.  Then we went back in for a self-guided tour.  We were able to look around a little, but Eloise was exhausted so we cut out early.  Hopefully we can get back soon to just enjoy the exhibits.

We've been enjoying the unusually warm weather too!

There's nothing like throwing on the play clothes and hitting the park!

One last thing . . . the giveaway for Word Up! is still open!  Be sure to read my review and enter for a chance to win your own!

Word Up

Homeschool Coffee Break

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.