Five in a Row - Night of the Moonjellies

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hello there! I know we've been neglecting the blog lately. There are just too many sunny days to stay inside. We took a full 6 weeks before I started thinking it might be time to do a little summer school. I don't know about you, but I have been a little lax on screen time restrictions. It was time to sharpen up the ol' summer mush brain syndrome.

 My first homeschool book ever was purchased for my by my dear friend Laura. I was waffling about whether or not to homeschool, and one day I opened up a box from Rainbow Resource and in it was Five in a Row. I started scouring the web for how to use the book. We had a great time with it for Pre-K, but back then I really didn't know what I was doing. We rowed about 6 books, and then when Kindergarten came I decided that I needed a little more structure. How I wish I had just stuck with it for a few more sweet years! While I love HOD, Five in a Row truly is the homeschool version rainbows and sunshine. Back when I used it for the first time Pinterest wasn't yet around. Now there are so many ideas, and explanations on how to schedule it. I didn't have the confidence then that I do now.

Instead of doing something formal I decided to row a few books for summer school. We are also doing daily math for 6 weeks, and then will break again. The first book I decided to row was Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Sasha. I wondered if Aedan would think some of the activites were too young, but you know what, he had soooo much fun! There is actually so much to learn even as an adult! I can tell you I had no idea what the life cycle of a jellyfish was, but now I can. Aedan really is young at heart. FIAR really is just a sweet time of summer memory building. I may row a few more this summer while I still can.

 Night of the Moonjellies is about a young boy named Mark. He helps out 2 days a week at his grandma's seaside restaurant each day. He makes a discovery on the beach that he brings to his grandma. They work all day at the restaurant, and then the grandma takes Mark for a surprise ride on a boat. The kids never got bored with me reading this each day. Five in a Row has the name because we read the same book 5 days in a row and pull out as many lessons as we can. It's amazing how much you can learn from a picture book if you just take the time.

The discovery mark made was a moon jellyfish. We found these books at the library and learned more about the life of jellyfish.

Night of the Moonjellies is illustrated with pastels. We learned about chalk pastels.....

....and oil pastels.

Aedan chose the chalk pastels, and illustrated a moon jellyfish.

Silas (my sensory defensive kid) didn't want to get his hands all chalky, so he chose the oil pastels to make an ocean scene.

We also painted bowls, and made jellyfish with yarn tentacles.

The big surprise at the end of the book is that Mark finds out what he discovered on the beach. Grandma takes him on a boat ride, and they release their jellyfish into the sea that is shimmering with droves of moonjellies. I gave the kids a jellyfish in a bag filled with water just like Mark had in the story.

The kids didn't know I had prepared an ocean of moonjellies in their bathtub. "OOOohhhhh! Hoooowww coooooollll!" So fun :)

We released our moonjelly back into the ocean :)

Silas insisted on taking a bath with his jellyfish.

I had seen the jellyfish activity on Pinterest. People had used bags, but I couldn't find any. Instead I used plastic wrap that I twisted. The floated perfectly, and worked just fine. I bought the glow sticks for a buck at the dollar store.

We learned about Contrast in Language Arts. The image on the left is full of sound and movement. The picture of the ocean scene is quiet and serene.

We read the story of Ruth. We learned about helpfulness. Mark was so helpful, and always cheerfully did his work.

The story takes place in New England. Silas and Aedan filled out this lapbook element from Homeschool Share.

We used these resources to locate the New England States.

In math we learned about money and how to count it.

This is where being a homeschool math manipulative hoarder comes in handy!

I gave the boys various amounts, and they counted the money back to me.

The Homeschool Share file had word problems. Each boy did one sheet. I was amazed at how many math problems they were able to pick out of this story.

There was also a game in the same file. The boys had fun recalling the details of the story.

Mar-Gra's Restaurant was an outdoor diner. We celebrated our last day of our row at a burger place. I ordered the boys a limeade. They thought this was amazing. We never have things like this at home, so it was a special treat.

In the story Mark helps grandma make hamburger patties and onion rings. We normally don't eat all brown food btw!

Each boy totaled their order.

We read all of these books to go along with our journey.

In language arts we were asked to make a list of all the foods we could remember from the story. Silas spelled lobster rolls "lapster rolls" because I read the story in a thick Northeast accent. Uncle Al says "Cheese!" and for some reason the way I read it each day just tickled their little funny bones. That's why he's there on both of their pages.

We learned about running a small business, and each of the boys made their own menus. It's always funny to see the favorites that make these lists. Many of these things aren't allowed in our house. I guess that's what grandmas are for!

I used to always make lapbooks out of binders, but I love how Delightful Learning makes a Lap Journal in a binder. It's much easier to store these in this way. I never really knew how to store those folders!  I wish I had known this before. The boys filled out these elements each day.

I always felt FIAR lacked structure until I saw that you could easily structure your day just by filling out something simple like Whispered Abundance's weekly lesson plan grid. Hope you enjoyed our break from the norm. I'm hoping to row Miss Rumphius next week if I can get my act together. I hope you all are enjoying the lazy days of summer. There are many more to come :)


  1. Love it, Tara! It looks like you and the boys had a fun filled week with lots of rainbows and sunshine. :)

  2. This was one of our favorite "rows" and it looks like you made some really special memories with your boys, too!

  3. I can't tell you how much I loved seeing this! That limeade looks amazing! I want to row this again just for the onion rings and burgers! :) Love that you went out to a burger place - the pic of the boys is perfect. Love the memories you made with this row!

    Please consider adding your row to the Link-Up for Volume 1!

  4. Forgot to say that I love how you read the book in a thick NE accent, LOL! And so glad you like the lap journal idea! :)

  5. Thanks Michelle :) I had meant to do one more row of Miss Rumphius, but family and life got too busy. Sigh. I sure wish I had the confidence to make FIAR row when Silas was little. It really is such a lovely program. I'll add my link to your link up. Thanks for telling me about it!

  6. I sent people your lap journal link all the time (blush.) I wish I had seen that 4 years ago! And yes, we do ham it up around here. I was so surprised my big kid had so much fun listening to that book 5 times ha!


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