Week 1: fiar “Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car”

This week we began homeschool again after the half term break. A few years ago we bought all the Five in a Row books and curriculum guide 1 and 2, so it made sense to use these as a good introduction. We also signed up for IXL Maths and English as a trial to see how K got on with online lessons, given her migraine problems with too much screen time. As it turns out, maths is the biggest issue in terms of motivation so we also signed up for MathSeeds, Reading Eggs and the follow on reading programme Reading Eggspress, as they are a lot more entertaining than endless lists and questions (sorry IXL).
Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car is a lovely hand illustrated book from 1973 by English author and illustrator John Burningham. It follows the adventures of Mr G, his open top car and the animals who invite themselves along for a day out. When the rain makes the dirt road muddy, they all try to get out of helping push, until there really is no other choice and everyone has to join in and rescue the car. The day ends with a nice swim and the invitation to come again.
We followed the suggestions in the FIAR vol. 2 book on what topics to cover during the week and mostly it went very well. I would say that there are definitely days where not much sit and study is possible so on those days I would be best to have outdoor activities alternatives planned.

  • Monday: Field Trip to the Glasgow Transport Museum. Different types of engine, old and new cars. Social Studies: friendship, cooperation, sharing, excuses. IXL maths.
  • Tuesday: Language: what is onomatopoeia? examples from the book. Art: sun rays, hatching, types of line
  • Wednesday: Science: friction examples, using blocks, slides, etc. Times tables.
  • Thursday: Maths (counting animals), Science (friction: sliding on the slide at the park)
  • Friday: Science – the water cycle, cloud types. Assemble lap-book. (NOT a great day for focus).

Overall the first week went really well. We didn’t fit in any visits to Church or too many nature walks, no time for German or French, and that will have to change. Next week I let K decide which book to look at and she chose one NOT from the FiaR curriculum – the School Ship Tobermory, by Alexander McCall Smith (we are currently reading book two in the series, the Sands of Shark Island).

We did dictation for the last part: the stamina needed for writing meant she was tired out for the rest of the day.

We learned about onomatopoeia and made notes about the words in the book which we thought were onomatopoeic

Using similar techniques to the book illustrations: Sun, leaves, cross-hatching

One morning she decided to get all her old phonics books out and read through twenty of them…

A week’s lesson planning. FiaR makes it very easy to fit around other commitments and make sure you’re getting a good spread of lessons.

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