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Amber on the Mountain {FI♥AR}

The setting for Amber on the Mountain is somewhere in the mountains - we are not told which ones, but I did a search on "swiss mountain life" and this gorgeous photo of the Swiss Alps caught my eye ~ it looks just like the mountains on the cover of the book! Then this photo of a cabin the mountains. Does that not take you right into the book?! I showed the second picture to Elli and she exclaimed, "That's Amber on the Mountain!" These photos are in a post called Tour de Swiss and truly capture the essence of Amber on the Mountain.  So, we will place our story disk on the Alps in Switzerland.

For Social Studies, we covered mountain life, Swiss culture, determination, and friendship. For Science, we covered how mountains are formed. For Language Arts, we covered similes and parallelism, and Elli wrote a letter to a friend. For Art, we made our own entertainment (the kids did skits and made their own musical instruments) and listened to mountain songs. And for Math, we covered Months and I made sure Eliana had the months of the year down pat. (It's was covered in her Math book as well.)

As usual, I spread our five days over two weeks, rather than trying to get it all done in one week along with our basics, which makes for a full day themselves.

Here's some of what we covered:

Mountain Life & Climate ~ The Usborne Living World Encyclopedia

Amber lives an isolated life, so I liked that last tie in. :)

(Lapbook from Aussie Pumpkin Patch)

(We colored the Swiss flag backwards, oops!)


For our lesson on diligence, the kids chose an activity, set a goal, and then practiced daily. Elli wants to be able to jump rope 50 times without missing.

How Mountains Are Formed

Demonstrating How Folded Mountains are Formed



Lesson on Parallelism 

 FIAR Memory Making: Swiss Cooking

Traditional Swiss Mountain Dish made with potatoes, flour and butter. Simple and delightful - Maluns

Served with applesauce and sharp cheese. 

I found this imported cheese from Switzerland at Costco, would have bought it, but it is made from animal rennet and I couldn't find the animal source. If I had more time, I would research it more, but will share in case someone else is interested!

I didn't do a formal narration with Eliana. But, I overheard her give a perfect narration to her grandma over the phone while she was telling her all about what she is doing in school. I loved every little thing she said and wished I could have caught it on tape!

And I didn't get a picture of her letter, but it was very sweet to see her first attempt and imperfect spelling. She wrote to her friend, Megan, whom she met at the Feast at Steamboat Springs. She also drew pictures for several other little friends and we mailed them. I am so bad at snail mail, but I made it happen to hopefully teach her the lost art of handwriting letters.

For their own entertainment, they made up skits and played "Big."

Their dad is always getting them to participate in crazy skits and games for family time. They are really very funny and silly.

Big is using their imagination for role playing. They usually play Sister, Brother and Little Brother. But sometimes Bo is the dog. They make up creative stories for their characters. It's like they write a story each time they play. They never get bored of playing it because it's always different. They also play "Little." Little is like Big, but with toys. I love their imaginations. :)

With her lapbook pieces, we made a little bag book.

Amber on the Mountain is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3.


  1. Really loving your fiar posts. Can I ask some more questions via email? We have done bfiar and are now going thru fiar, but I use it supplementally and not as a main curriculum. Is this your main? Do you think a homeschool mom newbie could pull it off, or are you just able to since you have already put a few thru school? What us your advice? I have a million more questions ;-)


  2. I am always amazed at how much learning you manage to pack into your rows! It looks like Elli had a wonderful time and is really enjoying her learning.

  3. I love it! I just love ALL of your Five in a Row posts! God's really given you a gift to be able to make the books come alive for your children and for all of us! You're such a special lady! I hope you know that!!

    Love you!

  4. Your FIAR posts continue to inspire me! We are using volumes 1 and 2 (a mixture of titles from each) for first grade, and will continue with Volume 3 next year for second grade. I had only planned to do this for one year, but I see no reason to move on. We are learning SO MUCH, and since I love to plan hands on activities, recipes, and crafts, this rich program is a perfect fit for us! Thanks for sharing such creative ideas!

    I'd love to hear more about that brown bag book. That is super cute! Do you just fold bags in half and hole punch? Did you use any kind of special brackets on the holes or knot your rope in any special way? What a cute alternative to the traditional lap book!

    We are making a lap book binder (like you did in your "old days" and the thing is bursting after only one semester. Oops! Too many good crafts! :-) I'm going to need to branch out a little next semester I think! :-)

    Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your precious family. We are doing a modified row of Cranberry Thanksgiving this week!

  5. Brings back such fond memories! ...and E says, "thank you" for her friend letter! -- brought a really big smile despite tear-filled eyes with her high fever, but it was truly divine timing.

  6. Thank you! Our kids are having fun and learning new things . This looks like so much fun for them.

    kids Kindergarten

  7. Your girl is looking so grown up. Mine is too. Time sure flies once you have babies, sigh....

  8. Michelle, I missed out on a lot of your posts this summer and I can't believe how much your daughter has grown! She looks so "big kid"-ish!

    This is one of the FIAR books we've never read. After seeing all that you did, I'm going to have to add it to our list for sure. Thanks for the inspiration (and LOVE the brown bag book)!