Last year we began preschool at the end of August, and seeing that the end of this August is almost here I’ve been feeling the pressure of deciding once and for all what to do for the kiddos this time around. I’ve been hemming and hawing over curriculum – there are so many great resources out there! – and finally made up my mind. I think.
Have you heard of Five In a Row (also know as FIAR)? It has caught my eye here and there; one of our librarians actually recommended it last year but since I was already in the midst of our routine I filed the thought away for future reference.
I really like the concept of this literature-based program. You read one book from their reading list for five days in a row (hence the name), touching on a different subject matter each day. For instance, on Monday you read the story and then discuss the geography or culture portrayed in the story, on Tuesday you talk about some of the literary concepts, and so forth.
Including geography and history into a homeschool outline was stumping me. I already have lots of math and phonics workbooks but I’ve been wanting to branch out. This way, I can use the workbooks as a supplement to the FIAR program.
There are four manuals in the program (plus supplementary materials and the story books themselves), and while I understand homeschool is an investment, shelling out $35 per manual just isn’t reasonable for me. I don’t know how other families pay hundreds of dollars for one curriculum – sometimes for each child! There’s a wealth of resources out there – it can be very overwhelming at times! – and while just sticking to the manuals could really simplify the process I’m going to try it on my own. I have a few of the books already and will utilize my local library for the rest; if we like the stories well enough I may consider purchasing them.
My plan is to go through each book a week or two beforehand, write down concepts for each subject category, check online to see how other people may have “rowed” the same book, then come up with a list of activities for each day.
I’m already compiling a list of ideas on a FIAR Pinterest board, in case you’re interested. Since there are so many books spread across the four volumes – I even included some during the summer months and holidays – we definitely won’t touch on all of them.
Feeling a little more prepared for this school year and hoping it all comes together well. It should be interesting to see how this all works with a newborn in the house come February!