Since we have an abundance of apples in our refrigerator right now, I decided we would “row” our first ever Five in a Row selection this past week. This was the very first curriculum I ever loved and purchased, back when I first decided we would home school for sure, over two years ago. We’ve already read some of the stories, but this was the first time we tackled one of the unit studies the way it was meant to be done. And I must say, I love the program even more than I did previously!
We read the book every morning (well, at least on the mornings when we did FIAR activities). Conner and Logan used the story disk to trace the steps of the young lady in the story and move her around to different countries to pick up the ingredients for her apple pie.
I found this cute little printable and used it to introduce the boys to the concept of even and odd numbers.
Of course by now it had been approximately 60 minutes since breakfast, so all the boys were starving! I decided this would be a good time to squeeze in our apple tasting experiment.
When I was at the grocery store over the weekend, I remembered the apple chart I had at home and decided on a whim to pick up one of every variety of apple they had on the shelves. We had tons of Gala apples at home from my recent co-op order, so I skipped past those ones and found a Golden Delicious, a Braeburn, a Pink Lady, a Granny Smith and an Ambrosia. The Ambrosia wasn’t on our chart, so we called it our “mystery apple” and saved it for last.
Logan and I definitely prefer sweet things over sour, but I was surprised to discover that Conner enjoyed the tart apples! Barrett didn’t care as long as somebody kept handing him something he could eat.
We squeezed in a little bit of math with a coin counting workbook. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but Conner and Logan were jazzed up and actually requested to do it!
A new day dawned and we had more fun activities planned! I’m not a big fan of “busy work”, but I figured this Apple Parts activity was quick and would give them a little intro to the anatomy of an apple, while also allowing them to practice their cutting/pasting/writing skills.
We worked a little on our reading lesson for the week. I introduced the boys to some new word cards and we played a little game using junk food cereal as an incentive! It always comes back to food around here…
Of course, Barrett needed to refuel as well…he’s a big fan of this homeschooling thing. 😉
A story sequencing activity where they had to remember what transportation the lady took to which country, to pick up which ingredient…
We did a suggested science experiment from the FIAR manual about evaporation.
We kept forgetting to leave the dish out in the sun each day, so it took approximately five days before our “sea water” evaporated and we were left once again with the salt.
We try to do a page in our handwriting workbooks three times per week. This is one of their least favorite things to do, so I tend to sneak it in before fun projects as a way to motivate them. Conner is nearly done with his Kindergarten workbook and will be moving on to the First Grade one soon. At 3 years old, I haven’t yet pushed Logan to do any writing workbooks, but since he wants to follow along with Conner, I have some dollar store printing books that he works in. He’s doing so well that I’ll be starting him on his own Kindergarten workbook over the summer.
With this unit study, we also cracked open our Draw-Write-Now books for the first time. These books are great for teaching young children to draw simple things, but also have the added bonus of working on their penmanship as well.
Conner tends to be like me when it comes to projects. He wants to do it correctly the first time and be as efficient as possible. There is little room in his brain for abstract thinking. Therefore, he tends to get frustrated easily if things aren’t done perfectly the first time and grows bored of projects quickly.
He got a great start on his apples and tree trunk, but as soon as he realized it was going to be more difficult to create the scene than he originally thought, he sort of gave up and started scribbling all over the page.
I’m trying to think of ways to encourage him to be more patient and thorough, but it’s hard for me to do because I get it, dude…I feel the same way he does!
Our last crafty project of the week was also the one I was most excited about! I found the idea on Pinterest. There weren’t any printables or instructions to go along with it that I could find, but it was easy enough to figure out by just looking at the finished project.
I cut out the “skin” of an apple by folding construction paper in half and cutting the outline, much like you would do when making a heart. Then I attached the apple outlines to contact paper and added a stem and leaf to the top. Then I started cutting up the tissue paper into little squares when it dawned on me that this wasn’t my project, it was theirs! So I stopped and let them cut up the tissue paper. 😉
Logan’s is on the left and Conner’s is on the right. I love them! We’ll keep them hanging up all week and then I’ll laminate them and add them to the boys’ keepsake boxes.
It was the following week before we got around to making our apple pie, which is the part Conner and Logan were most looking forward to.
We were having a REALLY bad Monday, but I decided to gather them up in the afternoon and make the pie anyways. I should have just scrapped the whole thing and waited until we were all in a better mood, but since I had promised the boys we’d get to it, we went for it.
It turned out pretty well, I’d say. I am a terrible baker because I don’t follow precise directions very well. This pie was no exception because I just kind of smooshed the crust flat with my hands since I didn’t have any wax paper on hand.
We made some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it, which is something that I actually do quite often (making ice cream). Yummy!
We don’t get this much structured school work done every week. Some weeks we do little more than read books on the couch together. Overall, though, they are learning and we are making memories together.