Tuesday, October 9, 2012

F is for Five in a Row {Blogging Through the Alphabet}

F is for Five in a Row

I think I've mentioned before that our favorite core curriculum are the Five in a Row products.

Although Five in a Row is suggested for ages 4-8, we began using FIAR in April or May, 2000, when Tim was nearly 9, and Jen was nearly 7.

Five in a Row uses outstanding picture books, around which to build unit study activities. Each book is meant to be read for five days; each day focuses on a different subject. For example, day one, you read the book to your child, and choose lessons which focus on Social Studies; day two, Language Art lessons; day three, Art; day four Science; and day five, Applied Math.

Some suggested activities under Social Studies would include putting the story disc on the map where the story takes place; learning about some historical fact mentioned in the book, or implied by the illustrations; some aspect of human relationships brought up by the story.

Language Arts covers various things, such as discussing the author, and the choices the author made in writing the book, such as: the use of personification; writing in first, or third, person; the use of hyperbole, alliteration, similes, etc. We even learned about the Newbery Award.

What attracted me most to Five in a Row in the first place, to use with Timothy, were the Art lessons. Timothy has always been very artistic.  I was really attracted to the art lessons Mrs. Jane Lambert developed for this curriculum. You'll learn about different mediums the illustrators use (pastel, watercolor, oil, charcoal, pen and ink), as well as a variety of techniques, like cross-hatching, motion, illustrating speed. We also learned about the Caldecott Award, art appreciation, and color palette.

We also had a lot of fun with the various Science lessons! Things like buoyancy, the five senses, simple machines, animals and animal classification, health, and weather.

Applied Math covers math activities related to the story. For example, lots of counting practice: count the flowers, or stars, or trees, or clogs throughout the book. But geometry (shapes), fractions, grouping, time, and money, are also covered. Learning the days of the week, and months of the year, are also learned. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division are covered as well. Measuring is always fun, too.

One thing I've been doing consistently with Little Bit is taking the story discs (I photocopied them from the back of each manual, volumes one through three), and placing them on a timeline. I printed off small, wallet sized photos of various members of the family (hubby and me, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins), and placed them on the timeline for the year each was born. The story discs are placed either when the historical event presented in the story took place, or on the year the book was printed.

I think our favorite aspect of Five in a Row is using the cookbook. This is a collection of recipes, representing each story in volumes 1-3 of Five in a Row, as well as all of the stories in Beyond Five in a Row. (Volume 4 of Five in a Row includes the recipes right in the manual, as well as the story discs, and the Christian Character Bible Study Supplement). Typically, we choose Friday to be our day for the FIAR meal.

We also have Before Five in a Row, as well as Beyond Five in a Row, and Above and Beyond Five in a Row, which we enjoy as well. Little Bit still loves the Before FIAR stories! And the Botanist Boy is enjoying Beyond. I'll share more about them, in later posts.

My desire is to share more about our FIAR and Beyond adventures. So far this school year, we have been taking a bit of a break, but I think I am ready to get back to our FIAR/Beyond studies. :-) So, stay tuned!

I shared about one of our books a few months back, Hanna's Cold Winter, if you care to go read it.

Be sure to join the others who are Blogging Through the Alphabet.

Delightful Learning

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  1. Fellow crew member stopping by to say hello and follow your blog. I am interested in Five in a Row and we'll check back in hopes to read more posts on this subject. I just recently bought the first book on Ebay (waiting for delivery) - we are going to try it out leisurely this year. I would love it if you stopped by A Learning Journey to say hi and follow my blog. Thanks! Have a great day!

  2. Can't wait to read more about them.

  3. Awesome. FIAR was the first thing we used when homeschooling. It was a great year! I recommend it to all new homeschool families :)


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