Wild Horses of Sweetbriar {FI♥AR}

This book seemed like a wonderful book to follow our row of The Finest Horse in Town. It is out of print, and not available at our local library, so I had to borrow it via ILL ~ which means I had to row it in a timely manner! I didn't get the notice when it was checked out to me, so I had one week to row it. So our row was simple and I didn't have time to add any extras. Our row was mostly discussion from the manual and a few other activities like learning what flora and fauna are and making fish chowder and blueberry bread (of which Eliana made all by herself!). 

Wild Horses of Sweetbriar, based on a true story, takes place on a small island near Nantucket. It is about a little girl and her love for the lonely island and the wild horses. It is hard watching the horses go through such a long, hard winter and suffer such extreme hunger, and we are left to wonder what happens to the horses after the little girl and her family move away. But, I love the fact that it is a remembrance of her time on the island. 

For Social Studies, we talked about islands of wild horses and living in isolation. For Language Arts, we covered first person point of view, and talked about remembrances of our own. I intended to have Elli write her own remembrance, but she is keeping up a Project Life Mini Album, so she is recording her memories. ♥ For Art, we did the lesson on Comparison and depicting memories and dreams. For Science, we learned what flora and fauna are and she glued cut outs from magazine on card stock for each one. We also talked about all of the flora and fauna on the island and found all of the ones listed in the manual in the book. We learned about herd behavior as a tie into our last row.  Math was supposed to be liquid measurements (which we did tie into our FIAR Recipe), but I had planned to make and can blueberry jam with Elli and read Blueberries for Sal with Bo, but I forgot all about that because I lost my planning sheet until today!

Animal Science: Horses and Herd Behavior

Science: Flora and Fauna

FIAR Recipe: Blueberry Bread and Fish Chowder

Wild Horses of Sweetbriar is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3. 

We only have a few books left to row in Volume 3: Paul Revere's Ride, Andy and the Lion, and Andy and the Circus (the latter which is out of print and hard to find, so we'll see on that one). 

Right now, I have a stack of Volume 4 books sitting in front of me to start planning for, plus a few Volume 1 and 2 books that I want to row again with Elli. Since I started Volume 1 exactly 4 years ago (!), she doesn't remember all of our rows.  I still find it so hard to believe that she wasn't even 4 yet ~ Boaz turns 4 this month! I was also rowing with Malachi, who was going on 6 at the time, so it has been a fun adventure rowing with them both. Now that he is older, my main focus has been on her. Even so, he still likes to participate in all the fun stuff. And now she'll get a chance to have some of the same experiences. 

I have two Before books to row with Bo this winter, several this spring, and several next summer as well. He's been asking me to read more to him, so I'm hoping to finish up Sonlight P 3/4 this winter/spring. He is begging me to start the P4/5 books already. After asking me several times, I finally pulled them off the shelf for him to look at. He's not ready for some of the longer chapter books, so I'll start by reading the longer stories from P 3/4 to him at night before bed to get him ready. It's always been the best time to read chapter books to my kiddos and I really miss our read-aloud time. 

This coming year I am going back to year round schooling. I'm really excited to start fresh this spring. Since we are finishing up Volume 3, and moving into Volume 4, it will feel like a fresh start. Elli will be ready for her new math book this spring and will be close to finishing her reading and spelling as well. We'll take the rest of the year to row Volume 4 and those I've thrown in the mix. Then by spring 2016, I'll have a new plan! 


The Finest Horse in Town {FI♥AR}

The Finest Horse in Town is an unusual story in that it is actually three smaller stories that are all about guessing who took care of "the finest horse in town" ~ a horse named Prince.

"Long before my mother was born, her aunts owned a store in a small village in Maine. They had a smart gray horse who pulled a shiny black buggy when they went out riding. Prince was the finest horse in town. But no one remembers who took care of that beautiful animal while the aunts were working in their store: perhaps it was a sneaky trader who tried to steal him, perhaps it was a one-legged harmonica player who taught him to dance; perhaps it was two children who once saved Prince's life."

I had fun with the kids by having them guess which one they think likely happened by choosing their favorite one, and we did an activity for each story.

1st Story

I was inspired by the poppies in the book. They grow all over in a small mountain town near us and I enjoyed seeing them on our drives, so we did the Poppy Study from That Artist Woman.

2nd Story

We had a Patriotic Supper inspired by the Five in a Row cookbook and the 4th of July celebration in the story.

We had BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Lemonade, and Red, White & Blue cupcakes for dessert.

3rd Story

We spent the most time during this row doing fall nature studies. We collected some wonderful nature loot to study later and enjoyed the fall colors and the warm weather we were having! We went on several nature walks over the course of a week and it was really wonderful! Now that winter is here, I'm so grateful we spent so much time outside enjoying fall.

On all of our walks and adventures, our goal was to find COLOR!

With all of the nature loot we collected, we made a nature study table and invited some animal friends to play. 

Bo enjoyed sorting all of the berries and seeds by color. Then we practiced counting. 

Exploring Creation with Botany ~ Lesson 6: Leaves

Elli's science narration:
Trees lose their leaves in the fall because they loosen up and the chlorophyll gets ready to hibernate so they have to lose them in the fall so the winter doesn't hurt the tree.

Leaves are important because they get all the sunlight and make food for the tree. It takes in what we breathe out and takes out what we breathe in - carbon dioxide and oxygen.

[What does photosynthesis require?] Sunlight, air, water, and chlorophyll.

[What happens to leaves in the fall?]

The leaves fall because the leaves get looser and looser and when the leaves blow, they just fall right off. [Why do they get looser?] The scab stops the leaves from getting water. The leaves turn color because they don't have chlorophyl. Chlorophyll is what makes the leaves green.

Horse Care

Caring for Horses (Horsing Around) & Complete Horse Care Manual were both great books for learning how to care for horses.

The first book was really easy to read and had some great horse care terminology like "mucking out" "turning out." It also recommended this video on horse care. The second book helped us understand more of the terminology and offered more specifics. We skimmed through this book reading what interested us, but also used it for our next row.

Earlier this school year, we went on a field trip to learn about horse care. (I had intended to row this book back then.) We got to see a horse get re-shoed and took home some souvenir nails.

Can you guess what we rowed next?