Albert finds himself out on a limb, but ends up enjoying the ride. – FIAR Manual
Social Studies: City Living
The book doesn’t specify a city, but we can tell Albert lives in a large city based upon the fact that he lives in a tall apartment building and there are lots of people walking the sidewalks outside of his building. So we talked about large cities and placed our story disk on New York City, since it is the largest city in the U.S.
Social Studies: Character Relationships- Fears That Rob Us
“Albert was afraid to go outside and for a long time he allowed his fears to control his actions. All the time that Albert stayed closed up indoors he was missing the wonderful life that was going on right outside his own sidewalk! So many times the fears we have are actually groundless and these are the fears that rob us of so much of life’s joy.”
I love the underlying message in this story about facing fears. Sometimes we change our path by purposely setting out to face our fears (I’ve heard this described as “leaning into the discomfort”). Other times, as was the case with Albert, there is something external that happens to us which causes us to alter our path. Either way, facing fears almost always leads to an improvement in the quality of one’s life! A few of my boys tend to be more naturally cautious and fearful (which can be a good thing sometimes), so we talked about finding the root of our fears and not letting them interfere with the joy in our lives.
Language Arts: The Comics
The story shows Albert reading the comics, so the boys each made their own comic strip (from the FIAR Fold-n-Learn). I was worried they would find this activity to be too difficult, but they actually enjoyed it very much and their comics (while simple) were very cute!
Conner’s strip had to do with a superhero who calls somebody on the phone and then he ends up eating chicken pot pie while watching Sunday football!
Logan incorporated his signature dragon/shark figure into his comic and the dragon ended up blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.
Most of the activities we did for this row surrounded the topic of birds.
We whistled like birds (well, some of us did…I actually can’t whistle)…
We talked about the types of foods that birds eat…like berries and bugs…
We learned about the coloration difference between male and female cardinals…
and discussed how it is common for the male animal to be more beautiful and colorful than the female animal in many different species.
We learned that 7 different states in the U.S. have the Cardinal as their state bird…
We read a cute go-along story about a bird and his migration path…
(We never actually finished the other book pictured above about John James Audubon…we fell asleep while reading it!)
We played one of our favorite games…Bird Bingo…
And they have learned more about the different names and varieties of birds from playing this game than from anything else we have done.
My kids love playing games.
(LOL, I just noticed you can see one of my boys peeing outside in the picture above…very typical around here!)
Whenever we visit the zoo, people look at us like…well…weird crazy homeschoolers when my kids run up and yell “Look, it’s a scarlet ibis!” or “Mom, there’s a greater flamingo over here!”
Especially Logan. He’s my little nature lover.
Raphael and the boys built and decorated birdhouses to hang in our front yard.
And we spent about two months observing a few bird’s nests in our front yard. There ended up being three nests total in a tree right by our front door. I really wanted to get a glimpse of some of the eggs and then see them again when they hatched.
Raphael got out his selfie stick and tried to get a picture of the inside of the nest.
We could swear we heard baby birds chirping one evening.
But every time he went up there to check (which happened on multiple occasions on multiple days), the nests would appear to be completely empty.
We saw mommy and/or daddy birds flying up to the nest multiple times daily, so they weren’t just abandoned nests. But every time we checked them with the camera…nothing! It was so weird.
Then, sadly, one day we went out front and found 3 tiny little featherless baby birds lying on our front sidewalk, dead. They must have been thrown out of the nest because they all landed near each other. The boys were horrified when we suggested that the parents threw them out…they just couldn’t understand. Anywho, we never did see any eggs or baby birds actually in the nests. We read that the incubation period is 2-3 weeks and then the time until they fledge (leave the nest) is another couple of weeks. We should have seen something…but we never did. We kept joking that there must be a trap door in the bottom of the nests that they were hiding underneath.
Anywho, this was a fun row. We didn’t actually do many of the activities suggested in the FIAR Volume 4 manual (a lot of them seemed like a stretch), but I loved the story and we had fun learning about birds for a month or two!