Welcome to Blog, She Wrote’s FIAR page! If you are a long time reader, then you know Five in a Row at all its levels has been the curriculum foundation of our homeschool. In fact, we generally use FIAR through middle school with Beyond FIAR.
Getting the Most out of Five in a Row
There is a lot of chatter out there about how difficult and planning heavy Five in a Row is to use. This makes me sad because it really was not meant to be that way. Read below a few of my best FIAR tips for getting the most out of the curriculum the way it was designed.
- Read the Manual– If you don’t have a manual, then you are missing out on the best of FIAR. The simple, thorough, and well thought out lessons are all in one small volume.
- Read the Introduction & Front Matter– The author, Jane Lambert, includes information on how to implement her lessons and tells readers how to do everything from materials needed to notes about the books and instructional information on each subject area. There is a wealth of wisdom in these pages folks- do not miss it!
- Resist the Urge to Teach FIAR Books in Large Themes– Oh it is so tempting! It makes so much sense in our brains to teach all the seasonal books at once or to follow a travel itinerary. However, it diminishes the value of variety with which the curriculum was written. You’ll have more than one summer season to enjoy FIAR, don’t use all the books up at once! This approach allows you to lay down one layer of knowledge at at time getting deeper as you go.
- Use a 3 Prong Folder for Each Book Title– If you aren’t going to keep a binder with them all inside. I often printed the book cover for the front of the folder and we could use the pockets for bigger items and the prongs for the papers. Very simple.
Planning Five in a Row
Below is a link to the full post on How to Plan Five in a Row, but here are a few brief insights:
- Plan with Your Week in Mind– If you know not much will fit, then plan accordingly. Chances are it won’t happen if you over plan. Doing this a lot and feeling like it is happening, brings you down.
- Make Simple Sheets for the Lessons– Copywork can be made from the books. If the lesson suggests writing similes, grab a sheet of paper and write, “Similes” at the top. Write an example, discuss, and let your student try some. It takes hardly any time and gets the lesson in without you spending tons of time looking for just the right printable.
- Worry Less about How Lovely the Work Looks & More about the Work Itself– Printables are pretty and in our conventionally schooled minds we think that the more schoolish it looks, the more official it is. I often use plain lined paper and made as much as we could on it- data charts for science labs, sentences to be written, math to be tried, drawings to be done, and social studies to research. It doesn’t have to be a worksheet to be valuable.
How to Plan Five in a Row– An encouraging post originally written in 2009 and made up to date. Learn to plan the simple way!
Using Ordinary Notebook Paper– Page on how we use plain paper at all ages in our homeschool.
Other Levels of Five in a Row at Blog, She Wrote
Before Five in a Row– for preschoolers
Beyond Five in a Row– for late elementary and middle schoolers