Category Archives: Five in a Row

Week 13

Memory Verse: Finally, Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl (studying the medieval period)

Pre-K Literature: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (studying weather and storms)

Read Aloud: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Photos from the Last Week:

He begs to be the one to do our daily reading and has no trouble navigating his way through the Bible. I’m so proud of him and his growing interest in it!


We’re working on a list of Bible verses pertaining to taking care of the needy. There’s a lot in there about it!

She practiced writing her cousins names.


After learning all about the electoral college and how a candidate wins the election, they came along to observe the voting (early voting).





We finally got to get out my “Place Value Village” that goes along with her math lessons. I found the perfect boxes at The Container Store that are just the right size, very sturdy, can be stored inside one another when put away, and have magnetic closures, which Caroline is obsessed with!

Counting Ones (pinto beans)


A new group of ten moves to the Tens House.


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Week 10

We had another great week last week and also have some exciting news! Josh and I will be traveling to London and Paris soon. An opportunity emerged that we couldn’t pass up. Though they are a little sad they aren’t coming along, the kids are excited for us and Elliot is especially thrilled that we can take lots of pictures for him to see. France and England have both been places he and I have studied together in the past so he’s pretty familiar with them. Caroline is aware of the existence of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and she also knows her aunt, uncle, and cousins lived in France for a while to learn French before heading to Africa (French-speaking country) to serve as missionaries. We’re hoping someday we can take the kids to Europe so they can see it all for themselves.

Here’s what’s going on this coming week:

Memory Verse: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan (learning about homophones)

Pre-K Literature: Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood (learning about plants, roses, and focusing on aunts in our family study)

Read Aloud: The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Set in Paris!)

A Few Photos From Last Week:

When we placed our story disk for Truman’s Aunt Farm, we were supposed to choose a location where one of his aunts live since no setting is given in the story. Elliot has four wonderful aunts to choose from and decided to stick the disk on Boston, where his Aunt Buzzy lives.


Caroline’s book also has an aunt theme. She practiced writing her aunts’ names.


Practicing Number Order


I just thought I would showcase Elliot’s beautiful cursive writing. I’ve been amazed by how quickly he’s picked it up after just nine weeks of instruction. He pretty much does all his work in cursive now and he loves practicing in his free time as well. This assignment was sentences I dictated and he wrote down that contained words with silent t’s, which he had practiced in his Explode the Code lesson./strong>


After our last eight-week long read aloud, we decided to go with something short and simple last week. We read The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes and finished it by Wednesday. We really enjoyed this sweet story and we had a great discussion about the moral lesson it teaches.

We learned lots of new words while reading The Hundred Dresses, disconsolate being one of them.


We enjoyed another great nature walk last week. Our objective was to find and observe some ant hills since we are studying ants (in addition to aunts!) but we came across so many other interesting things as well. It seemed like new things were popping out in front of us at every turn. It just goes to show how much we probably miss when we aren’t actively looking for things to learn about in the world around us.


We found a mushroom.


Elliot drew a snail shell he found in his nature journal. Caroline drew the swings at the park. We’re still working on grasping the whole natural versus man-made concept. She said, “But they’re just so beautiful!”


Grasshoppers were all over the place!


We found this little lizard on the sidewalk. We weren’t exactly sure what kind it was (gecko?), but it sure appeared to be blending in with its surroundings (the sidewalk) so much so that we almost didn’t see it. Sadly, it was not alive.


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Week 9

I’d almost forgotten that I’d scheduled in a short break this week from a few things. A lot of our subjects fill in 32 weeks of our school year, leaving me with four random blank weeks so I inserted a break every eight weeks. It works out similarly with our other subjects where the curriculum provides anywhere from 28-32 weeks of lessons. I made a pretty detailed schedule of all these things before the beginning of the year. I prefer a random break week from a subject here and there over having 4-6 weeks at the end of the year when we have practically nothing to do.

Memory Verse: (one-week break)

Hymn: (one-week break)

Artist: (one-week break)

Composer: (one-week break)

Five in a Row: Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan (learning about homophones) (10/1-10/12)

Pre-K Literature: Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood (learning about plants, roses, and focusing on aunts in our family study) (10/1-10/12)

Read Aloud: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

A Few Photos From Last Week

She’s a pattern whiz.



When went on a nature walk to look for unique pebbles and brought along our nature journals in case we came across anything else interesting.




We found the roundest pebble we could so we could paint it red to replicate the pebble in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.


And of course she needed to paint a rock pink.


This was our last picture study for Van Gogh.


We enjoyed lunch outside on a beautiful day.


I still can’t seem to get enough photos of these two in their backpacks for classes on Friday. They seem so grown up!


We finished the week at a New York-Style Pizzeria as a fun ending to our current FIAR book, Little Nino’s Pizzeria.


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What’s New For Next Year

I’ve been super busy planning for next year these last few weeks. We’re keeping a lot of our favorites from this year (such as Math-U-See, Explode the Code, A Reason for Handwriting, Growing with Grammar, Pathway Readers, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, and Five in a Row) but we’re also going to be trying out a few new things as well. Here’s what’s new for next year.

We’re adding art because the kids have shown a real interest in doing more art work. This is a new curriculum written by How Great Thou Art. There are around sixty Bible stories in it with discussion questions and an art lesson for each one. I love that it’s so much more than just art!


In addition to the book, you get all of the pages for the art lessons that you can copy as needed to use with however many students you have.

I’m starting Caroline on a math curriculum next year. I wanted something gentle, fun and effective and I came across this. It’s a Charlotte Mason style curriculum, so it’s written in story-form (which is extremely unique for a math curriculum). It’s the story of a set of twins who go visit their grandparent’s farm for the summer and all of their adventures.

All the extras you need are included in the back of the book and need only to be laminated for durability.

How cute is this?!


We’ll also be adding a Worldview curriculum for the three of us to do together. This is a new series written by Apologia (well-known for their excellent science curriculum). There are four books in the entire series and we’ll be covering one per year. We’ll also be keeping a notebook together where we’ll jot down memory verses, key terms, and answers to discussion questions. I think the kids will really grow in their understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. I’m super excited!


And last, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I am doing for literature next year. Elliot and I will be continuing our beloved Five in A Row. I am going to be using titles from both volume three and four with him because I think he will be ready to move on to a more challenging literature program in third grade (I’m looking at a Total Language Plus or Progeny Press). We’ll be doing a total of eighteen FIAR books next year! For Caroline, I’ve come up with something on my own. We’re doing a family theme throughout the whole year and we’ll be reading a variety of books written about different family relationships. We’ll cover mother, father, siblings, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’ll also be using those books as a starting point for unit studies on a variety of topics like seasons, weather, money, etc.

Here are some of the books her and I will be reading together next year. She will also have eighteen total books for the year.


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Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car

Elliot has been looking forward to this book for over a year now. We’ll be learning about the automobile, clouds, the water cycle, what is means to be social and get along with others, cooperation, and we’ll be reviewing what we’ve learned about England.



Though the story doesn’t actually say it takes place in England, we are making that guess based on several clues. The license plate on the car appears to be from England, some of the phrases in the story seem a bit different and like something that might be said in England, and the author is from England. The book was also first published in England. We did our best to squish our little story disk onto England, right next to Peter Rabbit.

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Art for Harold and the Purple Crayon

Today for art we learned about perspective and how we can use this technique when drawing to reflect how things far away look smaller than things up close. We also learned about the horizon line (which also led us to discuss the difference between horizontal and vertical) and the vanishing point.

Here’s our example from the book.


We looked up some examples of pictures that exhibit a perspective view.

Elliot then set to work on his own drawing with a horizon line and a vanishing point.



We added “perspective” to our Choices Artists Can Make to Add Interest notebook page.

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Language Arts for Harold and the Purple Crayon

We had a few new vocabulary words.


We learned about humor, specifically puns. Our book has several examples of puns. We also looked up some fun puns for kids which Elliot found very amusing. We loved one about a carpenter who quit because he got bored, and another about a guy who worked in a shoe store but then they gave him the boot!


We added “humor” to our Choices Writers can Make to Add Interest page.


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Harold and the Purple Crayon

We’re finally back to school after three great weeks of break. We’re starting with Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It’s meant to be a short unit and there aren’t as many lessons for it, however we’re going to spend our typical amount of time with it and just have it be a gentle transition back into school. There’s still plenty to do and learn with it and it’s already one of Elliot’s favorites.


We’re focusing on art and creativity.

Since the setting of this book is imaginary and is progressive as Harold changes it with his crayon, we made a special place for the disk on our map.


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More Science for Owl Moon

There’s been a lot of extra science to cover for this book, so we’ve been squeezing in a few more books and projects when we can. Today we learned about the Great Horned Owl. We read some books we got from the library and found some interesting (and slightly creepy) videos about them on YouTube and Elliot did a project for his notebook. Then when it was time for Elliot to read from his nature reader, guess what we discovered he was going to read about! Owls! I didn’t plan that, nor had I even known that was coming up. We love when these kinds of coincidences happen, and they seem to happen to us all the time!




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Art for Owl Moon

For science we learned about what causes shadows and for art we took notice of all the shadows the artist included in the illustrations of this book. We also discussed how since the story takes place during the night of a full moon, it would have had to been the light of the moon causing the shadows and not the sunlight. Then Elliot made his own drawing in which he attempted to give things shadows.

Here’s an example of one of the pages with several shadows in the illustration.


Elliot thought it would be a good idea to actually show how the light of the sun was stretching all the way to the objects in his picture, creating a shadow on the other side of them.

We also added Owl Moon to our Caldecott winner list.

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