We use Beyond FIAR as a core unit study curriculum well into middle school. Sometimes the interest of a student takes us on our own adventures, but Beyond is always a mainstay in our homeschool.
How to Get the Most out of Beyond Five in a Row
Many long time FIAR users find it difficult to transition from the Five in a Row model to the Beyond FIAR model which is based on chapter books. Others don’t like how easy the books are for older kids. These books are stacked full of lessons to explore and the readability of the book is less of a concern.
- Enjoy the books together– Sometimes we read them separately and talked about them. Other times we read aloud to each other and made memories with good books.
- Don’t over plan– More on this below, but remember not to stack your planner full with too many activities. It’s easy to do.
- Begin transitioning your student to more independent work– Beyond offers the opportunity for kids to begin working on their own.
- Keep Moving– Try not to be bogged down in any one chapter or activity but keep moving at a reasonable pace. Sometimes we get too unfocused and we don’t finish a book well.
How to Plan Beyond Five in a Row
There is an adjustment when you begin planning Beyond Five in a Row after planning for picture book activities. Mainly each activity may take longer and the book itself paces differently than a one week study.
Beyond Five in a Row- Some Planning Advice gives details on how I plan a Beyond FIAR title.
Here are a few tips:
- Remember that each title has the potential to last for one quarter of a homeschool year. You don’t have to go with lightening speed.
- Resist the urge to do every activity for every chapter in every book- Choose the ones that are most critical at the time. You may choose to come back to a concept or visit it in another book.
- Choose one longer and one shorter assignment per day- Overload can happen easily if you cram too much in at a time.
- Have your kids join in the planning- Let them help decide some of the direction of their studies if possible.
Resources for Beyond Five in a Row
Since Beyond FIAR users are getting older, it’s important to keep resources on hand for research and enrichment of their studies.
- Atlases– Learning Geography with Atlases has a great list of all sorts of atlases for your homeschool including a discussion with Tyler Hogan, creator of WonderMaps.
- Dictionary– A good one for middle school is nice. You can choose a digital one or a book dictionary, but leafing through a dictionary is way more fun going right for the word you are looking for with technology.
- Reference Library– We like to have lots of print material for our kids to browse when looking up a topic. Building your library with used booksales is a worthwhile investment. Organizing Your Homeschool Library gives ideas on keeping your books at the ready.
- Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Studies– A fun list of our most favorite supplies and necessities for unit studies.
Other Levels of Five in a Row at Blog, She Wrote
Before Five in a Row– for preschoolers
Five in a Row– for elementary schoolers