Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)


Lesson 1: Two Children and Their Pets

Week: 1

The chapter introduces brother and sister, Peter and Polly. Peter is four years old, and Polly is eight years old. They live on a farm and enjoy outdoor activities such a playing in the snow, picking flowers, and wading in brooks. They have many pets including a cow, a horse, a dog named Wag-wag, and cats named Blacky and Black Baby.

Lesson 2: Playing School

Week: 2

It is September, and Polly has started learning at school. Peter is too young for school. Peter, Polly, Tim, their pets, and their dolls decide play school in their barn. They plan to use pumpkins as chairs.

Lesson 3: Polly's Pupils

Week: 3

Peter, Polly, Tim, their pets, and their dolls decide play school in their barn. The children, the dolls, and the animals sit on large, stemless pumpkins. Polly sits in front and plays teacher. Polly drills them in math, asking Collie what two plus three equals. Peter and Tim announce it is recess and roll their pumpkins down the driveway.

Lesson 4: A Bite of Apple

Week: 4

Peter and Polly help their father gather crab apples so their mother can make jelly. Polly decides to eat an apple. When Polly raises the crab apple to take a bite, a wasp on the apple stings her tongue. Polly's mother says people should 'Look before they bite.'

Lesson 5: The Maple-Leaf Chain

Week: 5

Polly shows Peter how to make chains out of red maple leaves and yellow elm leaves, using stems as pins to hold leaves together. Peter and Polly make themselves wreathes out of leaves and wear them on their heads. Peter makes a necklace out of the leaves. Polly makes a long garland for the fence. When the children check their leaf chains the following day, the bright red and yellow leaves are brown and no longer very pretty.

Lesson 6: In the Woods

Week: 6

Peter and Tim venture into the woods to hunt for beechnuts. At first, they cannot find any nuts. The squirrels have eaten them. Eventually, Peter finds some beechnuts. The nuts are small, brown, and have three corners. Tim tries to find nuts in a maple tree. Peter tells him that beechnuts only come from beech trees. The boys both fill their pockets with nuts. On the way home, Tim discovers he has lost all his nuts. They have fallen out of a hole in his pocket.

Lesson 7: A Cap of Burdock Burrs

Week: 7

Peter and Polly construct items out of Burdock burrs. Polly makes a cap out of burrs and wears it on her head. The cap becomes stuck in Polly's hair. Peter removes a few pieces of the cap, but also accidentally pulls Polly's hair. The children run home for help from their mother. Their mother offers Polly a choice. The first option is to remove the burrs by cutting Polly's hair short. This option will not hurt. The second option is to pull the burrs out. This option will be painful, but it allows Polly to keep her long hair. Polly chooses to keep her hair. Although it hurts, Polly does not complain while her mother removes the burrs.

Lesson 8: Peter's Fifth Birthday

Week: 8

Peter's birthday is on the last day of October, on Halloween. Peter will have a birthday party this year. Peter's father carves jack-o'-lanterns for the party. The children play an apple game, where they attempt to bite apples hanging from the ceiling by strings. They play tag, leapfrog, and hide and seek. They eat dinner and have birthday cake for dessert.

Lesson 9: Peter's Funny Bed

Week: 9

Peter, Polly, and Tim walk to the sandbanks and see the swallow holes up high. The swallows are not home. They have probably flown south for the winter. The children build forts and towns out of sand and sticks. Polly and Tim bury Peter in the sand. They cover Peter's face with a hat. Peter falls asleep under the sand. When Peter awakens, he is alone. He digs himself out and walks home. He is not happy with Polly and Tim.

Lesson 10: The Stone-Wall Post Office

Week: 10

Peter and Polly play post office. The mailboxes are holes in a stone wall. The mail is leaves or rocks. The children decide to fill their post office boxes with butternuts. The squirrels scold the children while they work. The next day, when Peter and Polly return to their post office, their nuts were gone. The squirrels have taken the nuts. The children fill the mailboxes back up with nuts for the squirrels.

Lesson 11: The Tree with a Stone in it

Week: 11

Peter and Polly take a walk with their father. Their father asks them to list the sights and signs of winter. The children say the ground is hard, the leaves have fallen, many birds have gone, the squirrels have taken the nuts, the flowers have dried up, the corn is cut, people cut boughs and make bonfires, and Thanksgiving is coming soon. Their father shows them a tree with a flat stone embedded in the trunk.

Lesson 12: The Boiling Springs Part I

Week: 12

Peter and Polly get an egg and salt from their mother. They visit the blacksmith, who has a boiling spring on his pasture land. The blacksmith tells Peter and Polly how to get to the spring.

Lesson 13: The Boiling Springs Part II

Week: 13

Peter and Polly walk through the blacksmith's pasture. Peter pretends a goldenrod stalk is a sword. Peter and Polly see cows and black-eyed-Susan flowers. The children find 'The Boiling Spring.' They try to cook the egg in the spring water, but the egg remains cold. Peter and Polly decide to report their findings to the blacksmith.

Lesson 14: At the Blacksmith's Shop

Week: 14

Polly and Peter visit the blacksmith, show him the uncooked egg, and tell him about seeing black-eyed-Susans and goldenrod flowers. The blacksmith says the flowers are a sign of autumn. He points out another sign of autumn. A large group of swallows clusters around the telephone wires. The blacksmith tells Polly and Peter that every autumn, the swallows join together and migrate south for the winter. The blacksmith invites the children into his shop.

Lesson 15: The Four Horseshoes

Week: 15

Polly and Peter enter the blacksmith's shop. The blacksmith shoes Peter and Polly's father's horse, Mary. The blacksmith shows the children a set of rounded, metal shoes that are too small for horses. He asks the children to guess which animal will wear the shoes. Peter and Polly guess a goat and a calf, but those animals do not have round feet. The shoes are for a pony. Polly accidentally drops the horseshoes onto her uncooked egg and breaks it. The children take a ride on Mary.

Lesson 16: The Bonfire

Week: 16

Peter and Polly gather leaves for their father for 3 cents a load. The children are good, honest workers. They make sure to pack the leaves tightly in baskets to give their father good value for his money. The children gather twenty-nine loads, which their father rounds up to thirty. This means Peter and Polly receive ten cents for their work, or five cents apiece. The family has a bonfire with the leaves. The children dance around the fire until bedtime.

Lesson 17: Tim's Football

Week: 17

Tim and Peter's mothers make them footballs by stuffing rags into cloth bags and sewing the bags shut. The boys kick the balls around and play in the fallen leaves. Peter wants to make a bonfire with the leaves, but Tim's father prefers that the leaves be gathered into piles so they can rot. Tim's father then uses the decayed leaves to help the plants in his garden grow. Peter and Tim have fun gathering the leaves into piles so they can bury each other in the leaves.

Lesson 18: The First Snowflakes

Week: 18

As Peter and Polly take a walk, Polly observes that ice covers the ruts in the road. A thin layer of ice also covers a puddle. As the children walk, they see their first snowflake of the fall season. The children are excited and ask their father to get out the sled. He tells them that this is only a flurry. Sledding must wait until there is a big snow.

Lesson 19: Jack Frost's Celebration

Week: 19

Peter and Polly and their family celebrate the coming of winter. They throw Jack Frost a party. They roast apples and make popcorn in their fireplace. They eat the popcorn with salt and melted butter. Peter and Polly kiss their parents goodnight and go up to bed.

Lesson 20: Taking Orders

Week: 20

Peter and Tim get into a wagon and make believe they are taking food orders around their town. They pretend to take orders from Peter's mother, Mrs. Howe. Mrs. Howe pretends to order many items including a pound of cheese and a dozen peaches.

Lesson 21: Peter's Haircut

Week: 21

Peter's hair has grown long. The blacksmith takes Peter to the barber in Large Village. The barber cuts Peter's hair very short. Peter's father is surprised by the short haircut. Peter's father is not sure whether Peter's mother will like the haircut.

Lesson 22: Comfort

Week: 22

Comfort is a poem. A little girl pretends her dolls are sick and making too much noise. She becomes angry and leaves her dolls in the playroom all alone. When the little girl gets a toothache, her mother is kind to her. Her mother holds her, kisses her, and sings to her. The little girl decides the next time she pretends her dolls are sick, she will comfort them, the way her mother comforted her.

Lesson 23: The Lost Pig

Week: 23

As the blacksmith drives to Large Village, his pig falls out of the wagon. Peter, Polly, and their Father are also driving to Large Village and find the pig. As the family passes people on the road, they ask people whether they own the pig. Peter, Polly, and their Father meet the blacksmith and return the pig to him.

Lesson 24: The Doll Family

Week: 24

Polly shows Peter some acorns and red oak tree leaves. Then, Peter and Polly play dolls. They have a large family of dolls, a mother doll, a father doll, and eight children dolls. The dolls drink pretend acorn tea. Peter and Polly pretend that the children dolls misbehave by throwing their cups of acorn tea. Peter and Polly pretend the doll children are ill and comfort the sick dolls.

Lesson 25: Clotheshorse Tents

Week: 25

Peter and Polly's mother helps them build tents out of two clotheshorses. Peter suggests that they might play soldiers or hunters. Polly suggests that they have a tent picnic, then decides they should instead sell lemonade. The children take four chairs and place boards over the chairs to make a counter. Peter and Polly's mother makes sandwiches and lemonade for them to sell.

Lesson 26: The Tent Store

Week: 26

Peter and Polly play store. They sell lemonade, sandwiches, and cookies. Peter's friend, Tim, buys a glass of lemonade for two cents. Tim buys four sandwiches for two cents. Tim's father drives by and drinks two glasses of lemonade, but insists on paying ten cents for the two glasses. He also buys four sandwiches for five cents. Peter and Polly's grandmother buys a dozen cookies for ten cents. She buys a glass of lemonade for three cents. The children decide to play circus next.

Lesson 27: The Circus

Week: 27

Peter, Polly, and Tim have a circus. They form a circus ring out of sticks. They showcase animal acts featuring Tim's goat Billy, Tim's dog Collie ('the bear'), Peter and Polly's dog Wag-wag, and Peter and Polly's cats Blacky ('the black panther') and Black Baby. The children jump and tumble like acrobats. Polly dances with Collie, the dancing bear.

Lesson 28: Starting for the Fair

Week: 28

Polly is very excited because the fair is coming. On the day of the fair, Peter and Polly's mother packs a picnic to bring to the fair. The Howe family sets out in their carriage. Their horse, Mary, pulls the carriage. The fairgrounds come into sight.

Lesson 29: A Bunch of Balloons

Week: 29

The family arrives at the fair and looks at the livestock, including sheep, cows, and horses. Peter and Polly receive money from their mother to buy balloons from a boy. The boy accidentally releases his balloons into the sky. The boy is sad and worries he will be punished for losing the balloons. A man in the crowd suggests the crowd chip in to pay for the balloons. The people in the crowd put money in the boy's hat and pay for the lost balloons. Polly tells her mother that the man in the crowd may have looked homely at first, but the kind way he acted made him handsome.

Lesson 30: The Broken Show Case

Week: 30

Peter and Polly are at the fair. They ride on a merry-go-round, and the horses spin fast. Father tells them about his time at the fair as a boy. He leaned against a glass showcase, and the glass cracked. His father paid to replace the broken showcase.

Lesson 31: Blacky's Fish

Week: 31

Peter and Polly see their cat Blacky holding a live sucker fish in her mouth. Blacky’s wet fur hints that she caught the fish herself. Peter and Polly’s mother cooks the fish for Blacky. Blacky eats the entire fish for dinner.

Lesson 32: Fisherman's Luck

Week: 32

In the poem, 'Fisherman’s Luck', a boy encounters a problem while fishing. He refuses to put a squirmy worm on his fishing hook. He asks the fish to bite his empty hook and promises them a worm if they do, but the fish refuse.

Lesson 33: How Peter Catches Fish

Week: 33

Peter’s father gives Peter a fishing pole, a line, and a hook to replace his pin. Peter’s father trusts Peter to go fishing alone, but cautions Peter to only fish in certain safe places. Peter falls asleep on a rock while fishing. When Peter awakens, there is a small sucker on the end of his line.

Lesson 34: Polly Goes to a Wedding Part I

Week: 34

Peter and Polly travel with their parents to attend a wedding. They ride in a carriage pulled by their horse, Mary. At the wedding site, Peter spots a building with sawdust nearby. He believes it is an ice house and hopes he will have some ice cream.

Lesson 35: Polly Goes to a Wedding Part II

Week: 35

Peter and Polly arrive at the site of the wedding and go off to explore. The children see something beyond a fence. Polly climbs the fence to investigate, and finds a pig. The pig chases Polly. While Polly flees, she splashes through a mud puddle and dirties her special wedding clothing.

Lesson 36: The Geography Lesson

Week: 36

Polly has a geography lesson in school. Polly and her class describe East Village, the town they live in. They talk about landforms such as valleys and mountains. They discuss the nearby Moose river. They talk about buildings such as the railroad station, the sawmill, and the post office. They discuss plant life including elm trees and maple trees. The teacher gives each student a keepsake box. The teacher tasks students to collect things related to the geography lesson in the box and to show the rest of the class a week later.