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A New Coat for Anna {FI♥AR}

December 19th ~ 23rd 

"Winter had come and Anna needed a new coat. The fuzzy blue coat she had worn for so many winters was no longer fuzzy and it was very small. In the aftermath of World War II in Europe, Anna's mother decides she will trade the few valuables she has left for a coat." ~ from the back of A New Coat for Anna.

We learned a little about World War II, bartering, wool production, natural dyes, and more. We don't celebrate Christmas, so I reworded some of the text in the book as I read it. (We don't believe that our Savior was born on December 25th and recognize His birth during the Biblical holiday (holy day) of God in which we believe He was born ~ the Feast of Tabernacles.)  

Social Studies: Post WWII, Pride in Our Work, Barter/Trade, Patience; Geography: Enemy/Allied Countries

Malachi worked on the lap book from Homeschool Share.

First we identified which countries were allies and which were enemies during WWII. Then we found the allied and enemy countries on our large world map and then Malachi colored them on the small map from the lap book. Then he did a mini book on army travel. 

We also watched America: The Story of US: WWII. I have to laugh because I own this series on DVD and didn't know it until the other day when I found it sitting on my shelf unopened! We've watched them all on Netflix, but I think they are a good visual of American history so I'm happy I found it. 

Malachi loves army and history, so he enjoyed learning about WWII.  

Language Arts: Memory and Comprehension

We recalled what Anna's mother traded for what using the questions from the lesson in the manual and the mini books from the lapbook (see photo below).

Science: Lingonberries and Natural Dyes

We learned from the manual p. 48.  that a lingonberry is a "small, dark, red, berry related to the cranberry." We learned where it can be found and the climate it grows in (cooler, mild climates). We were so excited to actually try some lingonberry preserves! (see photo below). They are tart like a cranberry and I've read that they are often called a wild cranberry.

So, we used cranberries to make a natural dye (since Anna and her mother dye the yarn to make her coat with lingonberries).

The manual mentions that a mordant is added to help set the color. We used vinegar and juice in one dish and plain juice in the other and they both came out the same - a light pink color and not the red I was hoping for! 

Art: Weaving, Knitting, Yarn Block Prints - Patterns

We talked about what weaving is and I reminded that kids of the place mats that we weaved last month.  I may make them a homemade loom someday.  Eliana really wants to knit, so I focused my time on staring a pattern for her with some thick and quick yarn (which is really good for beginners because it is easy to use and you can see progress quickly). Here is what I started and I still need to sit and work with her.

I was inspired by these Yarn Block Prints to make our own prints to combine the math lesson with art. The math lesson was on patterns - dress maker patterns (of which they have seen me use), but we also learned that the actual word pattern means "either an artistic or decorative design." We used the yarn block to make repeating designs. 

Math: Measuring, Patterns (as mentioned above)

We measured ourselves on our measuring board ("Look How I Have Grown" mini book) and measured our "dress size" using a retractable measuring tape.  Eliana has been measuring in her Earlybird math - hand spans, foot spans, paces, and measuring with 1cm cubes. We also got the Inchimals out to measure with.

Lap Journal:

{click to enlarge}

Recipe: Bundt Cake

We made a bundt cake like the one in the book. :)

Thanks, Tamara! 
I looked up the various ways to serve pound cake and thought that lingonberries would be good on top. :) 

I liked the lingonberries, but I don't care for pound cake - too sweet. :-/

Sensory Play:

I was inspired by a toddler friendly sewing basket to made a sewing basket for Eliana for sensory play. I actually made it for Warm as Wool, but we didn't get to it and it ties in nicely with both books. 

Sewing Basket

Sewing basket contains:
  • jar of buttons (cap is hot glued on)
  • fabric marker
  • fabric squares for patches
  • embroidery hoop, mesh, and yarn needle for "embroidering"
  • yarn
  • extra packet of needles (I hot glued the package closed)
  • spools of thread
  • big buttons for sewing
  • thimble 
  • retractable measuring tape

FI♥AR Quilt:

I've been keeping my eye out for material for each row. I liked this one for A New Coat for Anna because it has a dressmaking pattern, a measuring tape and other sewing notions and has an old fashioned feel to it.

A New Coat for Anna is a Five in a Row Selection from Volume 2. 

Delightful Links:

Warm As Wool {FI♥AR}

December 12th ~ 16th
"Betsy Ward's three children are cold. It is 1803, and they have traveled by covered wagon to the dark woods of Ohio. After the family shivers through the icy first winter in a drafty log cabin, Betsy is determined to get wool to make warm clothing for the children. She seizes upon a chance to buy eight bedraggled sheep. But it's harder than she expected to raise sheep on the frontier. Will Betsy be able to keep her sheep alive? Scott Russell Sanders tells the dramatic story of a pioneer mother's struggle to provide for her family." ~ from the back of the book, Warm as Wool.
Social Studies: CT to OH Geography, Covered Wagons, Log Cabin Life, Perseverance, Suffering

The Ward family travel from CT to Ohio in a covered wagon.

We used the FIAR Fold&Learn for this lesson. 

We traveled across Lake Erie to get there. 

We learned what pioneers typically carried with them in their wagons, built a replica covered wagon and read the book Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails.

We did the log cabin life lesson from the manual and noticed all the aspects of cabin life in the illustrations. In one of the illustrations, the oldest son is using a yoke to carry 2 buckets of water. We noticed another type of yoke used on the oxen in Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails.

Malachi said he remembers the longest trip we have ever made - to Kentucky (he was only 3 1/2, so I'm not sure how much of it he remembers - but probably remembers the stories we've told). We put about 3,000 miles on our minivan in 10 days.  We traveled for 17 hours our first day - about 1200 miles (compare that to 12 to 15 miles a day in a covered wagon!).   Luke and I took turns sleeping and driving. It was a LONG trip for us all (with 5 kids), but we did it. We actually made the trip to look for land to homestead on.

Later that week we took a trip to Montana and compared our travels. It took us a little less than 2 hours to get there, but would have taken us 8 days just to to get there in a covered wagon. This trip really helped the little ones' perspective.

We built a log cabin and used a "deer skin hide" (a piece of leather) for the door and oiled paper for the windows (a brown bag brushed with oil). I put a light in the cabin to show the kids that the oiled paper windows let light in, but you can't see much through them.

We imaged how cold it would be in the winter with such window coverings. We currently have a broken window (from boys playing soccer in the house) that is covered with cardboard and believe me, I thought of putting oiled paper on the window. Ha ha! We put up the storm window, for now, until we can get it fixed. It is not near as drafty as the front door, though. I can relate to the shivers in the story because we have a very old house with very tall ceilings and it is drafty. We couldn't imagine having dirt floors with frost on them though.

We also watched Disney's Little House on the Prairie - a good movie reflecting life traveling in a covered wagon and cabin life. 

Our virtue from We Choose Virtues is perseverance.

Penny Jenny
"I am NOT going to give up or complain and I don't say "I can't" or "it's too hard."

Our character has a special collection of pennies and that reminded me of the sock full of coins in the story. We talked about how perseverance is a special virtue because you can only use it when things are tough. We talked about doing things that are a challenge. . . and how hard it can be.

We also covered the topic of suffering. "Suffering is part of the truth of the American frontier," according to the author. He says that he hopes "that children will shiver when they hear this story. . ." I did - I'm always cold. But, my children didn't. They do well in the cold and are always "warm as wool." It will be harder for them to understand suffering - but I did share some personal stories of times that I have suffered.

Language Arts: Descriptive Language, Remembering What You've Read, Simile

I keep forgetting to do copywork, narration and an illustration for each book. Will have to remember to do that! 

We are plugging along nicely with All About Reading - Malachi has finished 22 lessons in Level 1 and Eliana has only 2 lessons left in Pre-1. I will update soon (with lots of photos!).

Science: Sheep, Wool Production

We learned basic facts about sheep and watched a video on Netflix from How It's Made on wool production (see link below). I need to look for some videos on YouTube for hand wool production for more authenticity. . . but this week got away from me!

I did bring out some raw wool for the kids to look at, smell and feel.

It has not been washed so still feels and smells like a sheep.

I had Malachi rub it in his hands and feel the oil on his skin and smell the wool. I think it smells good, but he didn't.

Art: Banjo

Lesson from the manual.

Math: Addition/Subtraction Story Problems

We did the Sheep Math from the Warm as Wool lapbook and plugged along in our Fred and Singapore Math {Malachi} and Singapore K math {Eliana}. I'd like Malachi to finish Butterflies and SM 1A by the end of this month. Eliana will finish Earlybird A for sure.

Bag Book:

The pioneer feel of this book just begged for a simple brown bag book. :-)

{click to enlarge}

Crafting and Memory Making: Finger Knitting and Knitting Basket 

I taught Eliana how to finger knit with one finger.

"Wrap it around, pull it over. . ."

"Push it down."

"Wrap it around, pull it over, push it down". . . until she got it.  

And I made her a "knitting basket" for play. 

Play knitting basket

Knitting basket contains:
  • red knitted washcloth
  • a partially knitted washcloth on a knitting needle (I hot glued a cork on the end) {It's partially knitted because I lost the other needle}
  • a partially knitted washcloth on a set of circular needles (more pretend play)
  • balls of yarn
  • wool roving

It wasn't long before we had balls of yarn unwinding around the room and tangled between two little feet as he kicked the balls. ;-)  It was just as well - since teaching her to finger knit she wanted to learn how to knit for real. 

We used the wool roving to make a wool scrub bar - she "felted" the wool around a small bar of soap. 

Felting the bar of soap. 

And I told her I would teach her to knit during our next row ~ A New Coat for Anna

Recipe: "Betsy Ward's Shepherd's Pie"

Shepherd's Pie ready for the oven. 

Now, this is comfort food to warm you up. :-) 

I didn't mash the carrots and I added peas to our pie. And I've heard it said that it would be a "Cottage Pie" if if were made with beef and a "Shepherd's Pie" if it were made with lamb or mutton. But, I've always known them both as Shepherd's Pie. 

Warm as Wool is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3.  This is one of those books that I checked out from the library and then bought because I loved it. :-) 

Delightful Links:

Preschool Corner {& 5K too!}
Warm as Wool Fold&Learn
Warm as Wool lapbook
Volume 3 Rowing an Illustration and Copywork @ All of a Kind Family
Covered Wagon Craft {Thanks for the inspiration, Valerie!}
How It's Made: Wool ~ Season 2 Episode 26 {starts about 15:40)
FIAR Archives {oiled paper windows idea}

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel {FI♥AR}

December 4th ~ 9th
A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity. ~ Amazon 

As popular as it seems, I was never read this book as a child (that I or I don't remember it). One neat thing about reading a book to a child five days in a row and doing activities around the book, is that they are sure to at least remember the book itself. I hope that my children grow up with fond memories around the books we row. 

We listened to Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel on CD while we read the book each day - having the book on CD is such a nice break for me and the kids enjoy the independence of turning the pages themselves while they listen.

Social Studies: History ~ Age of Steam Power; Character Traits ~ Diligence and Perseverance

Luke started reading Munford Meets Robert Fulton to Malachi for an introduction to the age of steam power for this row (and steamboats for our last row).

I introduced both virtues, but we focused mainly on diligence. We will focus on perseverance in our next row. 

Language Arts: Language ~ Elements of a Good Story; Story Writing ~ Characters; Personification

Elements of a Good Story as narrated by Malachi:
  • Setting: "Popperville"
  • Conflict: "No one wanted them to do a job" (because?) "the power shovels and the gas shovels and the diesel shovels are faster."
  • Rising Action: "Mary Anne digs a little bit faster and a little bit better when someone is watching." 
  • Climax: "They dig the cellar in one day - more than a hundred men could dig in a week." (Now they know they can dig as much as a hundred men could dig in a week!)
  • 2nd Conflict: "How are they going to get out?"
  • 2nd Climax: "The little boy had an idea. He said we could build the town hall over Mary Anne" (and?) "and she could be the furnace." 
  • Denouement:  "Mike and Mary Anne both have new jobs." 
We filled out a "library card" for the book and stamped the dates that we read the book.  Malachi also designed a character for a story using characteristics from each of his family members (in lapbook below).

We just covered personification in Little Red Lighthouse, so we just talked about this again (Malachi has a pretty good understanding of it).

Science: Steam Power

Fron the lesson in the manual on page 47 (pinwheel pattern from manual).

Art: Drawing Trees, Motion

Malachi's branched tree.

Eliana's branched tree. 

From our drawing motion lesson.

Math: Construction Math ~ "Neat and Square;" Fixing Fractions

Mike and Mary Anne dig the cellar "neat and square."

Malachi drew a square, cut out something square from a magazine to glue in the book, and then wrote the definition of a square. 

Eliana made a square on the geo-board, along with a few other "shapes." She just finished the section on shapes in her Singapore K math (Book A). 

Since finding fractions is important in construction, Mali and I played "Fixing Fractions." 

We were not able to finish the game because one of the answers was missing and we didn't understand how to get the answers for the fractions. ?? He used the cones as manipulative to solve division problems, such as: 20 hard hats to share equally with 5 friends, or 16 shovels to share equally with 4 friends. 


Lapjournal Pages:

Memory Making:

We did a "digger" craft from Kid's Craft Weekly.

Something Eliana said to me had me looking through bins of photographs looking for just the right photo. . .

Malachi's Digger

Let's just say that I am easily amused because I looked hard for the perfect photo, tried several possibilities and cracked myself up when I imagined the kids seeing how funny the baby photos were. :D 

I also found some more recent photos. . .  

Eliana's Digger

My Digger

FIAR Recipe: Mike and Mary Anne's 'Neat and Square' Chocolate Cake

I'll be honest. This cake is my favorite and just might possibly be why I wanted to row this book. That and well, it is winter here in Wyoming and I had hoped to take the kids down to the basement to show them what a steam furnace looks like. It is no longer coal powered, but at one time was.

It is a vegan chocolate cake. I think it came from my old Joy of Cooking cookbook originally, but you can find the recipe easy enough online. (I use raw sugar in mine).

It's a "Neat and Square" chocolate cake, so we used square cake pans.  

The frosting is my version of a Chocolate Buttercream ~ butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and a little bit of milk to thin. (I used the refined, processed stuff for the frosting). ;-) 


Freeze the cake before cutting and frost while frozen. . . and make it as neat and square as you can. Um. . . my cake decorating days are years behind me. But, I found a red square plate for the cake.

I used mini chocolate chips for the dirt piles on top, but then we couldn't find the "steam shovel" to put in the cake.  We decorated the table and sent out scouts to find the digger. . . 

We did eventually find it, but guess where the cake went?

Right back into the fridge for 2 more days! Mali and Elli wanted to save it for company we were having over for dinner on Sunday. So sweet of them! There was a moment where I thought Eliana would cave, because she asked me the next day if they could come over this day instead (ha ha). I told her to be strong and stick to her conviction and she did. =) Oh, the boys were in agony! They kept saying, you know this means that you won't get as much cake? (LOL) She didn't care. =)

And when the day came to share. . .

She was so happy to get the last piece. =)

We still had a nice dinner that night.

"Neat and Square" Casserole baked in the square cakes pans.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is a Five in a Row selection from volume 1.

Delightful Links:

Resources at HSS
Mike and MaryAnne Lapbook

Bo had some digger fun with us too. =)

Bo playing with his digger
He loves this truck. I got a video of him this day while playing - he was making motor noises. So cute.  I can't believe he will be one year old this month.

5 years later, see our row with little Bo, who is now 5. 💙