My plan for literature this week had been to “row” The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats from Before Five in a Row, but the weather has turned so warm, I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about such a wintery book. However, as I thought about some math lessons to do with our Bible story on the 12 disciples, it occurred to me that this might be a good time to introduce “twelve little girls in two straight lines.” I had intended to start introducing some of the simpler books from Five in a Row (FIAR) after Ian turns 4 next month, so we just jumped in a little early with one of my childhood favorites: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (with lessons from Five in a Row (Vol. 1)).
We still have a few B4FIAR books to finish up, but I want to start including at least one FIAR book a month now that Ian’s getting older, though we won’t pase out of B4 completely because I’ll want to re-row them with Elijah (and then later with Arianna). I don’t think we’ll do a lot of extras yet, but I’m looking forward to rowing “conversationally.”
For math we used twelve little stones to see how many different ways we could group them. (Since we were also talking about the disciples this week I wanted to use something neutral. Otherwise I would have used the “Madeline Girls” from Homeschool Share’s Madeline resources. We also got out a measuring tape to measure how tall the boys are, just like the man measured Madeline in one of the illustrations.
For geography, we found Paris and placed our story disk (from the FIAR Vol. 1 manual) on the big world map on the wall in the boys’ room. We also looked at some pictures andsouvenirs from when Grandma visited Paris a couple years ago. It was fun seeing the Eiffel Tower ond other Paris landmarks represented in many different ways.
For science, we talked about the appendix and the parts of the digestive system. Ian’s fascinated by anything to do with the body, so I also purchased the My Body unit from Teacher Created Resources (available digitally on CurrClick or as a hard copy from Amazon). I drew life-size outlines of both boys and let them color them.
We printed out the pages on the digestive system and taped them on to the drawing of Ian. (I know we’ll get to more from the unit at some point, but that was enough for now). We also read The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body several times.
For language arts, we talked about rhyming words, which Ian is finally starting to catch onto and have fun with. One time when I read through the story, I pronounced “again” as “uh-GANE” to emphasize the rhyme with rain. Ian corrected me, saying, “It’s ‘uh-GEN.” I explained that I was trying to make it rhyme, and sometimes in poems you’ll see “again” paired with words like “rain.” From that point on, if I tried to pronounce it the way we usually do, he’d get upset.
We went to the library and checked out a few other books about Madeline. Madeline’s Rescue was my favorite (after the first one). Toward the end of the week we watched the original Madeline special and Madeline’s Rescue. (Ian loved them so much I ended up buying digital copies on Amazon so he can watch them anytime, anywhere on my Kindle Fire.)
I wasn’t sure how Ian would like a story about a bunch of little girls, but he LOVED this book. He brought it to me to read several times every day, and he would have watched the movie over and over all day if I’d let him. Even Elijah was asking for Madeline and pretending to read the book to himself by the end of the week. Our first FIAR book was a hit!