Warm As Wool {FI♥AR}

12/23/2011
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}

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