March Making the Days Count Activity Calendar

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I don’t know about you, but March makes me think SPRING!  {Never mind that the first two-thirds of the month is still winter.}

Make the days count this month by learning more about Vincent Van Gogh, kites, butterflies, Robert Frost, and thunderstorms. Have fun with Dr. Seuss books, planting flowers, baking hot cross buns, and making up your own holiday. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Easter!

And one last thing before I go . . .

Did you know Homeschool Share is 8 years old this month?

Homeschool Share was launched on March 2, 2005.  It is so amazing to see how God has worked in the past eight years.  He has taken a few ideas that some moms had, and exploded it into an amazing site.  To HIM be the glory.

May you be blessed by all that Homeschool Share freely offers.

Where Did It Go?

Emails have been rolling in, asking where the FIAR tab is. Unfortunately, I do not have time to answer every email. In order to clarify some things, I wanted to take a minute to answer some of your questions. Here goes!

Where are the FIAR Resources? Are they going away?

Yes. And no.


In addition to our amazing blog team, there are four people who do all the behind-the-scenes stuff at Homeschool Share.

Two found HSS at inception, Wende and Celia; they have been crazy-generous with their time, talents, and wisdom.

One {and only ♥} Jason, the brains behind keeping things running when thousands of you are downloading like there is no tomorrow. 🙂

And there is me, Ami.

Our team did not wake up Wednesday morning and think to ourselves, “Hmm . . . today would be a good day to take down all the FIAR Resources from HSS. Yes, let’s upset hundreds of people and do that.” Nope. Didn’t happen. The decision has been a long time in the works.

We are all in agreement {for a variety of complex reasons} that it’s time to remove the FIAR name from our site.

Did Five in a Row make you do this?

No, absolutely not.

But we’ve never had Five in a Row’s bona fide blessing. And this has been a conflict in my being for a long, long time.

Why didn’t you make an announcement to give us time to download things?

When I’ve done this in the past, our servers usually start to smoke and catch fire. Or something like that. 🙂

Seriously, a proclamation equals a download frenzy. Our servers would complain and eventually kaput. And then no one would be able to access anything. Since 80% of our visitors to the site are not coming for FIAR resources, I thought it would be best to at least keep the majority happy.

Can’t you simply take the FIAR name off of everything? 

Again yes. And no.

We are repackaging some of the units and lapbooks. Anything referencing a specific FIAR lesson is likely to be deleted unless it is an obvious lesson for that book (i.e. for Ping lessons on China).

I had plans to row A Pair of Red Clogs, and the page is gone. What am I supposed to do?

Please don’t panic. I’m sure it will take our search button a bit of time to catch up with our remodeling, but at Homeschool Share you can find resources for any unit study you are doing. Please see the bottom of this post for some links to help you until our search engine figures out what we are doing.

Any more details you want to share? We’d really like to know more.

If you’re looking for a juicy story, you aren’t going to find it here.

The reality of bringing home three more children {from hard places} has started to settle in. I am not going to be able to pour hours into Homeschool Share. Getting the site up to speed has been on my long list for almost two years. Over the next several months, I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to make that a reality. As I think about what I want the site to look like five years from now, FIAR is not part of that vision (for our sake and for theirs).

Finding Things

If you are using Before Five in a Row, we have some lapbooks that match the book titles. You will find these book titles in our Level 1 Section. Caps for Sale is in the literature based unit section. The other books are in the labpooks section.

Five in a Row Volume I

Clown of God

Katy and the Big Snow

The Story About Ping ~ you will find what is left on the China Lapbook page
resources: Ducks Lapbook

A Pair of Red Clogs ~ you will find what is left on the Japan Lapbook page

Grandfather’s Journey ~ you will find what is left on the Japan Lapbook page
resources: General Geography Connections, Asia Connections

Night of the Moonjellies ~ reworked, repackaged — new and shiny!

Storm in the Night 
resource: Weather Words Lapbook 

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear ~ removed
resources: Russia Lapbook, Bears Lapbook, Rechenka’s Eggs Unit

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening ~ reworked, repackaged — new and shiny!

Papa Piccolo
resources: Cats Lapbook, Italy Lapbook, Gabriella’s Song (Venice)

Cranberry Thanksgiving ~ repackaged, hoping to add more lessons before next Thanksgiving

Who Owns the Sun
resource: African American History Connections

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World ~ you will find what is left on the Apples Connections Page
The street scene craft is included in the How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. unit study

Madeline ~ reworked, repackaged — new and shiny!

The Rag Coat ~ we never had anything for this book, but here is a freebie

The Glorious Flight ~ reworked, repackaged — new and shiny!

 Very Last First Time ~ added to Canada Lapbook

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel ~ reworked, repackaged — super shiny! 😉

Lentil ~ complete unit study with notebook and lapbook printables

We will start working on the other volumes over the next few weeks and months. Things might be missing now, but some things will return. Please be patient with us as we revamp and regroup. Thanks so much.

FIAR Volume II

Three Names
resource: Dogs Connections Page (lapbook templates at bottom of page), Little House on the Prairie Story Studies, Prairie Dog Lapbook

The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
resource: Giraffe Lapbook, France Lapbook

Wee Gillis
resource: Always Room for One More Unit Study & Printables

A New Coat for Anna Lapbook

They Were Strong and Good

Babar, To Duet or Not to Duet 
resource: Elephants Lapbook, Music Connections Page

Down Down the Mountain ~ new and shiny unit!

Make Way for Ducklings ~ new unit study lessons and printables
resource: Ducks Lapbook

The Tale of Peter Rabbit ~ revamped and revised
resource: Rabbit Lapbook, Beatrix Potter Unit (lots of notebooking pages)

Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car
resource: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing Unit & Lapbook; England Lapbook

All Those Secrets of the World
ration book added to Great Depression Connections Page

Miss Rumphius ~ revised lapbook & notebook printables!
resource: Plants Connections Page

The Little Red Lighthouse . . .

Harold and the Purple Crayon

When I Was Young in the Mountains ~ some new printables for this book were added to the Appalachian Mountains Connections Page

Gramma’s Walk ~ printables for this book have been added to the Oceans Connections Page

Mirette on the High Wire

The Story of Ferdinand ~ repackaged; added a kindergarten kit
resource: Spain Lapbook 

Follow the Drinking Gourd ~ will stay; will be working on this one

Owl Moon 
resource: Nocturnal Animals Lapbook

Volume III 

Andy and the Circus

Henry the Castaway

The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar

The Finest Horse in Town

Daniel’s Duck

The Bee Tree ~ printables are on this page: Bee Lapbook

Truman’s Aunt Farm ~ printables are on this page:  Ant Lapbook

The Salamander Room ~ new lapbook and notebook printables
resource: Animal Classification Connections

Andy and the Lion ~ what is left was added to Lion Lapbook

Climbing Kansas Mountains
most of what we had was copied (with permission) from FIAR Circle; you can still download from there

Amber on the Mountain

Little Nino’s Pizzeria

Warm as Wool ~ in process
resource: Aussie Pumpkin Patch has a lapbook 

Duchess Bakes a Cake

Volume IV

Hanna’s Cold Winter Lapbook 

Hatmaker’s Sign
resource: Benjamin Franklin Lapbook (D’Aulaire)

resources (printables are usually at the bottom of the connections pages):
Deserts Connections 
Cowboys Connections
Weather Connections
Tall Tales Connections

Higgins Bend Song and Dance
Fish Connections
Fish and Fishing Unit & Lapbook 

February Grand Giveaway

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This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Notebooking Pages; we’ve teamed up to bring you a variety of treats!

First, we have some COUPONS for you! You can use either of these coupons on anything you want in the Notebooking Pages Shop!

discount5: $5 off a $10 purchase

discount10: $10 off a $20 purchase

Second, we have a FREEBIE for all our blog readers! Notebooking Pages is offering you a set of Anatomy Notebooking Pages . . . for free! Click the image below to claim your FREE pages.

Finally, we have an amazing giveaway.  There will be FOUR winners!

Prize #1 ~ Complete History Collection: $56.75 value! Prize #2 ~ Nature Study Birds Complete Set: $23.80 value!

Prize #3 ~ 50 States Complete Set; $29.95 value!

GRAND PRIZE ~ Treasury Membership! $99.95 value!

Access to over $700 of printable notebooking products AND to The Notebooking Publisher! Learn more about the Notebooking Publisher by watching the video below.

Visit to learn more about their memberships
and their new web-app, The Notebooking Publisher™

Are you ready to enter the giveaway? Leaving a comment is mandatory. If you don’t leave a comment, your entries won’t be counted.

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Homeschooling through the Flu

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This nasty flu is making its way through our homeschool. The children are miserable, school work isn’t getting done, and our normally organized days are out of control. Any advice on how to get everyone back to health quickly and into a workable routine?


Like most illnesses go, when one child comes down with it, the others are sure to follow. Same goes with the flu… especially when there’s a group of kids involved.

Now, you know how to keep from spreading the flu. You do your best to isolate the sick child from the rest of the family, you encourage coughing, sneezing, and blowing noses in tissues, everyone washes their hands frequently, and you spend extra time cleaning commonly touched and shared surfaces, but what happens once it’s already arrived in your home and everyone’s down and out with it? Life must go on, right?

 Well no worries because today I’m here to share the best thing you can do to help your family recover from the nasty flu bug as quickly as possible.

The Flu Doesn’t Have A Cure

When your kid comes down with the flu you’re pretty much stuck with it. It’s one of those things that you’re going to have to ride out. A cure… a treatment… medicines… or any other specific thing you can do to make it go away doesn’t exist. Your best bet is to treat the symptoms in order to help your child stay comfortable, and to work WITH their bodies to help them deal with it as quickly as possible.

The Flu Is A Virus

The reason there’s no quick answer to the flu is because it’s a virus, and at this time we don’t have any for-sure treatment for viruses. A virus isn’t like bacteria in that you can run to the doctor for antibiotics (or antibacterial herbs and oils in our case) and get rid of it that way. There are antiviral medications that are offered by doctors. These are not a sure thing either, and they have their own side effects on the body. They work in a variety of ways, but mainly, they either prevent the virus from infecting as much of the body as possible or they boost the immune system to destroy the virus quicker. The CDC claims that these antiviral drugs may help to shorten the duration of the flu by 1-2 days. So what’s a parent to do to help their child get over the flu and get back to normal as quickly as possible?

The Solution: Boost Your Child’s Immune System

Ideally, you will always be doing things to keep your child’s immune system healthy and in top-notch condition so their bodies can work to keep them free of sicknesses, but even with your best efforts, illnesses will come. And honestly, it’s a good thing for your child to get sick here and there. That in itself strengthens their immune system so that if there’s ever a time when they really need it to work well… it will be ready. The immune system is the #1 defender against things like viruses.

What happens is that a virus enters the body, the body senses there’s something inside that doesn’t belong, and it starts putting out all these distress signals. Those signals tell the body to start turning the temperature up in order to make the environment unsuitable for the virus, and it also signals the body to send in the troops to fight the virus. Those troops come in, assess the situation (try to figure out what kind of virus they’re dealing with), develop a plan of attack (how to stop it from spreading further), and then attack if it needs too (kill off what’s already in the body).

Do you see how important the immune system is? Do you see what it’s important to keep it healthy and in good working order? Its #1 job is to keep us from getting sick, but if something slips past it, its job then becomes to get rid of whatever entered our body.

How To Boost Your Child’s Immune System When The Flu Strikes

As soon as you notice your child coming down with the flu, there are a few things you can do to help equip and strengthen their immune system so it can deal with the flu as quickly as possible.

1 – Supplement with herbs ASAP

Two herbs come to mind when a virus hits home. Echinacea and Elderberry… right off the bat.

Echinacea is a wonderful herb! It’s known for its use in many ailments, but when it comes to the flu or a cold virus it works by increasing phagocytosis. That’s just a fancy medical term for when the immune system kicks into high gear which causes an increase in white blood cell production and blood flow. The more white blood cells there are in your blood and the faster your blood is circulating, the quicker the white blood cells meet up with the virus and deal with it. That’s phagocytosis. Having a tincture of Echinacea Root on hand to give around the clock is a fabulous way to help your body work at its best.

Elderberry is also traditionally used at the start of a cold or the flu. Especially in syrup form. It, like Echinacea, helps the immune system to “get going” and act quicker and more efficiently to stop the virus and rid it from your body. The great thing about Elderberry and Echinacea is that you can give many small doses over the course of the day to kids of all ages with no worries, and it’s sooooo good for them!

2 – Supplement with nutrition

Once you act quickly and get your kids started on the above herbal supplements, it’s also a good idea to make sure they’re getting some extra nutrition in order to strengthen their bodies and build up the immune system at the same time.

Here’s the deal though. When your child is sick, especially with the flu, and they have a fever… they’re not going to feel like eating. It’s natural. Their body is working hard and focusing on getting them better, not on breaking food down for nutrition. Homemade broth is the BEST thing for your child at this point. Not only is it packed full of nutrients, but it’s easy to take and your child can sip on it all day long, here and there, drinking as much as they’d like. Plus, it helps to combat the issue of dehydration that can so easily happen in sick children.

You can also give them added vitamin c to help their immune systems as well. Many times you can find tasty chewables that your child will enjoy taking… even when they’re sick.

As your child starts to feel better you can gradually increase and add to their diet. Their bodies know what it needs.

3 – Rest

When your kid is sick, they’re not going to feel like running around and playing, but they may not want to lie in bed and sleep all day. Thankfully they don’t have to, but you do want them to stay calm and let their body use its energy to work at getting them better. Books, movies, calm board games, coloring, and other activities that don’t require a lot of action are great to do while your little on is in bed or on the couch recovering.

It Just Takes Time

No matter what you do to help your child recover from the flu as quickly as possible, the fact of the matter is that it just takes time. Our bodies were designed to repair and heal itself. Our job is to work with it… not against it. The first step in doing that is to understand how the body works when sick and how the illness works. The next step is to know what you can do to assist the body at getting its job done.

Taking a break from school could be a good thing for everyone… even you mom. Take some time to enjoy your children, care for them, and get organized or ready for what needs to happen when everyone is well enough to get out of bed and back to their normal routine.

 Special thanks to

guest blogger Meagan Visser, owner of Growing Up Herbal, where she offers natural skincare and herbal supplements for children. She’s a Registered Nurse, wife, home-schooling mother to 3 small boys, and editor of the Bulk Herb Store blog. She lives in the southern Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. You can connect with her at, her Etsy shop, or on Facebook.

George Washington’s Teeth

President’s Day is on its way and if you’ve looked at your local library lately, there are so many children’s books on the different presidents that it’s hard to know what’s worth your time. Our library has 172 books for children on George Washington alone!

One of my favorite books on our first president is George Washington’s Teeth, written by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora and illustrated by Brock Cole. We’ve all heard different stories about George Washington and his terrible teeth, but this book gives us all the details in a humorous way and teaches us about some of the famous events in Washington’s life, too.

You might think a story about a president’s teeth would be boring, but the story of Washington’s dental difficulties is really enjoyable to read! The rhyming text makes it flow easily and there is a great deal of humor that kids will love, such as when Washington sees the results of a portrait painting session and cries, “It looks like Martha’s granny!” Cole’s pictures are fun and colorful and match the text well.

Tooth troubles aren’t the only thing to learn about here, though. Many important historical events are included in the story, such as the crossing of the Delaware and Washington’s first inauguration. Chandra and Comora also share information about the history of dentures and dentistry. After reading this book your children might not think their trips to the dentist are quite so bad!

In the back of the book there is a great deal of historical information to go along with the story. There is a timeline of George Washington’s life that includes his own words from his letters and diaries. Here you can see how major events in his life line up with his dental problems and you can read about how these problems affected his health, too. Ultimately, scientists think that Washington’s death may have been caused by a “chronic, untreated infection from the old root fragments in his gums.” Also sure to be interesting to your children: a picture of Washington’s last set of dentures, made from hippopotamus ivory.

George Washington’s Teeth is a quick and fun read that manages to pack in quite a bit of history. I love this book because it is enjoyable and informative for kids (and adults!) of all ages.  It would also be a great fit in February for the Teeth Unit and Lapbook or the President’s Day Lapbook, both available for free at Homeschool Share!

Happy reading!