Thursday, September 8, 2016


We FINALLY finished our row of Lentil by Robert McCloskey.  I say "FINALLY" because we had started this before the fourth of July, five days before I planned to finish it.  But summer happened and everything that comes with it.  So, we stretched it out over a couple of months and finished it around Labor Day.  It was a fun row.  We loved doing another McCloskey book (our first was Make Way for Ducklings) and again, his illustrations were fun and enjoyable.  Amazon's synopsis of this book reads, "Lentil's harmonica playing saves the day when calamity threatens the homecoming celebration for the leading citizen of Alto, Ohio."  Published in 1940, it has all the charm of that decade.
After we read the book, we colored and placed our story disk on Ohio.
Then, we read a little more about Ohio using The United States of America: A State-by-State Guide by Millie Miller & Cyndi Nelson.  (This is a great resource!)
After our reading, we completed the Ohio worksheet from the FIAR printables offered online to subscribers.
We talked about life in a small town versus life in a big town.  We used the Venn diagram worksheet at to help us illustrate the similarities and differences.
 From that same site, we also completed this "My Communities" flip book.
 How sweet is this??
To learn more about patriotism, we read America the Beautiful by Wendell Minor ...
... and The Pledge of Allegiance book by Scholastic.
We then completed the patriotism worksheets at, deciding it would be fun to make a patriotic lapbook with this study.  (I had not planned on this but Maggie thought otherwise.)
We decided it would be fun to make the firework painting we saw at, so we got our materials together (black cardstock, red, white, and blue paint, pipe cleaners, glitter, and paint brushes) and got right to work.  The first challenge was twisting the three pipe cleaners in one to give her a handle and six arms for her firework "stamp."
 Then, she painted each arm before stamping onto the paper.
 It worked great!
While it was still wet, we sprinkled it with red glitter (her favorite color) and the result was beautiful!
In the story, Lentil passes a monument to soldiers in the park.  I decided to take Maggie to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning (a true gem that we are fortunate to live near) to see some monuments to soldiers for herself.  Here she is under the soldier that guards the entrance.
The museum is free but they accept donations.  Maggie was tickled to get "stickered" after she made her donation.
 While visiting the museum, we learned that one of their films that day was Anthem of Liberty in 3D.  The description of it read:

"The film is a dramatic retelling of one of the most pivotal days (and nights) in American history, when during the War of 1812 the independence of our young nation hung in the balance.  During a ferocious battle, the sight of a gigantic American flag flying over Fort McHenry inspired a poem that became our national anthem.  Forever after, the flag and the anthem would be known by the same name -- the Star-Spangled Banner.  Both the creation of the giant flag by Mary Pickersgill and her helpers and the writing of the poem by Francis Scott Key will be featured within the epic drama of the British attack on Baltimore and the valiant resistance of its citizens and soldiers."
How perfect was that?!  We decided to stay for the show!  Here is Mags, with snacks for the film.  (We didn't realize it until later that she was wearing her popcorn shirt that day!)
After the film, we went through the museum!
My grandfather was one of the first soldiers to hit Omaha Beach.
 This case was particularly interesting because of the film we just watched.  These are actual artifacts from the battle that inspired our national anthem.
This museum is amazing.  I recommend it to everyone.
Of course, in our study of patriotism, we couldn't not make a flag cake!  Here is Maggie and her Daddy, decorating our cake with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries!
Looking good, Mags!
 TA-DAAAA!  It turned out great!  And delicious!
I love thematic plates!
In our Language Arts study of this book, we printed and completed the writing sheet and vocabulary booklet for this read from  (These were too easy for her, though.)
 For art, we noted the detail and architecture styles in the illustrations.  We also noted the medium used -- charcoal.  Maggie set out to make her own picture in charcoal pencil.  (She said she hated how the pencil squeaked.)
 Cats!  Of course!  
 And you can't row Lentil without trying your hand at the harmonica!
For math, we talked fractions and cut up a lemon to illustrate how fractions work.  How do you like my plates?  I am such a cornball!
 We also completed the "Story Problems" for this book provided at  I rewarded her work with a scratch and smell lemonade sticker!
Later, it was time to talk taste, as Lentil addresses the sourness of a lemon in the story.  We used The Usborne Science Encyclopedia (page 375) to learn more.
Time to find those sour taste buds on our tongues!
 YUCK!  We found them!
 We learned even more about taste buds in Usborne's See Inside Your Body (page 12).
She was then challenged to separate different foods into groups by taste with our My Healthy Body Super Sticker Book (page 15).  She said this was way too easy, too!
And, of course, what better way is there to experiment with taste than to make some delicious food?  We made the three recipes for this book that were suggested by The Five in a Row Cookbook (page 10): Lemonade, Lemon Chicken, and Lemon Bars!
Our lemonade!  
Working on the lemon chicken ...
Looking good!
A pucker-worthy meal, ready to eat!
With lemon squares for dessert!
Here's Mags, experimenting with sound and acoustics!
In the end, it was time to put our USA lapbook together.  (I was not planning on doing a lapbook for this study, but Maggie insisted.  She just loves them!)
 Looks great, Mags!  (It is very convenient to be a former scrap-aholic and have so many fun stickers and such for moments like these!)
It was another great row!  FIAR is the best!


  1. One of our favorite rows! It's so nice to see the copywork pages I created put to use :)

    1. I'm not sure why I never saw your comment before now! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I stumbled upon your fabulous blog recently as I was prepping my daughter's FIAR first grade year and boy am I SO thankful!! I so appreciate you sharing your journey with the rest of us who sometimes need a little extra push or encouragement, insight, ideas, etc. Truly, from one homeschool momma to another, THANK YOU!! I always look forward to seeing how you rowed each book and had such fun along the way!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I am so glad my posts are helping you in your planning! We are still rowing! I am posting a row from Volume 4 today and we still have four more books in Volume 3 to post about. Hopefully, by the end of this school year, we will have all of the books from Volumes 3 and 4 on the blog. Volumes 1 and 2 are all up. Happy rowing! This is one curriculum you will always cherish!