Very Last First Time

Very Last First Time

A little girl embarks on a long-awaited privilege and finds it wonderful, frightening, but in the end, rewarding.  -FIAR Manual


(go-along stories/references)


(Our chapter book read-aloud…The Year of Miss Agnes)

Social Studies: Geography

We placed our story disk over Canada…specifically Ungava Bay in Northern Canada.


We started the week with this video, just to give the kids an idea of how dangerous it really is to go digging around beneath the ice layers:

They colored in the Canada page in their new world geography coloring books and we discussed various facts about Canada.


(using a few pages from the Canada lapbook at

We also talked a bit about the Inuit culture.  We used the print-out from the Canada lapbook as a guide, but instead of filling it out, we just answered the questions conversationally…

Where do the Inuits live?  Canada/Alaska

What do they eat?  Mussels

How do they travel?  Dog sleds

What are their clothes made of?  Animal skins and fur

We read about Levi (from Canada) in the book Children Like Me.


We read the pages about Canada in our Beginners Atlas.


Language Arts:  

Copy work:


Language Arts:  Story Writing- Good Titles (from the FIAR manual):

How can a first time be last?  We discussed the title extensively and I reminded the boys several times throughout the week about all of the times they were experiencing something for the very last first time (because there is only one first time and after that there will never be for that particular thing another first time).

Language Arts:  Vocabulary and Drama (from the FIAR manual):

I wrote out the suggested words from the manual onto little slips of paper and then had the boys act out each word.  Here are a few examples…








Math:  Ordinal Numbers 

We practiced ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc…).  I had the boys line up lemons in order from largest to smallest (because lemons were the closest thing nearby) and then label them with the correct ordinal number, with “first” being the largest and “eighth” the smallest.






Science:  Safety and Crisis Thinking (from the FIAR manual)

We talked about “crisis thinking” for when we might get into scary or dangerous situations.





These tools can help somebody recall significant information that can help them to safety.

Science:  Northern Lights

We watched these fascinating videos…

Art:  Northern Lights

And then did an art project, based off of this tutorial I found on-line…






Maple Syrup:

Food: Pancakes with Pure Maple Syrup





Field Trip:  Ice Skating and Lunch!

Raphael took a day off of work so that we could all go out and have some fun adventures together.  I was trying to think of something the boys could do that would be a first time experience, but also would tie into the Canada/cold weather theme.  That’s when I thought of ice skating.  I knew I’d need some help with the boys and Raphael was happy to join us.

I’m sad to say that I have no pictures of our whole family together.  We asked somebody to take a picture of us together and we gave her Raphael’s phone because his phone usually takes the better pictures out of our two phones.  Unfortunately, his phone was really acting funny and when we got home all but two of his pictures were blanks.  This also means that there are no pictures of me or Dalton from the day either, since he took all the pictures of us on his phone.  My pictures are very important to me, so I was really bummed about this.  Scrapbooking and blogging are really my only hobbies and they both revolve around pictures!  Anywho, I’ll quit whining and move on…because we really did have one of the best days ever and it was such a memorable experience!

Before we left the house that morning, we talked about dressing for weather conditions (FIAR manual).  It was a pretty warm spring day, so we wanted to wear shorts and t-shirts, but we knew we’d be cold at the rink, so we decided to dress in pants and t-shirts with our sweaters and hats/mittens over the top once we got there.

It was a 2-hour open skate and we stayed the whole time.  Even though it was spring break, there weren’t that many people there at all!  Raphael skated with the 3 bigger boys for the first hour and then I took over for the second hour while Dalton napped on Raphael.  He took one boy out at a time to start out with and got them used to the ice and taught them how to hang onto the wall.  Then he would come back and grab another boy.

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By the time we left, Logan was skating on his own.  He fell many many times, but wasn’t afraid of falling and just kept getting back up until he had it figured out.  Conner was also doing really well, but he has a more nervous personality and didn’t like falling.  So he stayed closer to the wall.  Barrett fell a lot and crawled around a lot.  🙂   I haven’t been ice skating in over 10 years, nor have I been very many times in my life, but I did roller-blade a lot as a kid, so ice skating is fairly easy for me and I picked it right back up as soon as I stepped out on the ice.  I love it!  Neither Raphael or I fell once, so I call that a success!

After we left the ice skating rink it was time for lunch, so for another first time experience, we headed to a nearby fish taco restaurant that I’d heard about.


We ordered fish tacos, clam chowder soup…and mussels!  None of us have ever eaten mussels before, but I insisted we try something new and be like the Inuit people!


At least it comes with butter and bread…right?!

I tried it first so that I could be a good example (again, no pictures of me or Dalton…sniff!).  And they were actually really good!  Raphael went next…



And then we asked each of the boys to try at least one.


Barrett loved them!


Logan thought they were pretty good.


And Conner thought they were ok…but he didn’t go back for seconds.

But it was a beautiful day and we sat outside and the food was delicious!




Every time we row a new book I think it is my new favorite, and this one was no exception.  Rich experiences and good memories.  🙂

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