For those who knew I was feeling down yesterday, I am feeling better today. And I didn’t even have to burn bridges or alienate people for it to happen. I have a Christ that comforts and soothes when it’s truly what’s needed. When I can’t see Him clearly, He loves me through the fog. I know that I have people who love me and people I can call should I ever really need to talk to someone other than my husband. It’s hard living in a this town and not knowing anyone well enough that I can really be myself around. I don’t want to scare off those I am just getting to know and hopefully will be my family-away-from-family. I miss my parents and my Sisters in G-ville, but thanks to modern technology a Skype visit and a text is sufficient. I love you guys. 🙂
Now onto a topic I love… my new homeschool find. We have decided to add Five in a Row into our homeschool. Yesterday I got a chance to read through some of the chapters. It got mixed reviews on homeschoolreviews.com but I am a complete curriculum junkie and this is one I have not looked through yet, so I got it. I think I like it. We have not begun to “row” the books yet, but we will the week after next. We’ll begin with Neil Armstrong for Ben and The Story About Ping for the two little birds. The older kid version and the younger kid’s version are very different and I would love nothing more than to give my review of both so far. I have done countless unit studies, KONOS, Weaver, lit. based unit studies, like Sonlight and Heart of Dakota, and next year we’ll be doing My Father’s World which I have read through and am very pleased with. I want to jump the gun and begin so badly, but I need to wait until my two younger ones are readers in order for our family to do it together. Like I said, I am super-duper familiar with unit studies, my favorite being literature based because I am a faithful follower of the Charlotte Mason philosophy.
I see Five in a Row being so much fun and really enriching for the youngers. When we read Ping, each day we’ll learn about the story in a new way. We’ll “study” (they’re only 4 and 5 so by ‘study’ I mean learn) rivers, China, buoyancy, why ducks don’t get wet- oil and water, and turn it into a dirty hands and soap lesson. We’ll read books about ducks and birds and ponds. It’ll be fun and cute. We’ll cover all topics and I use my own math and phonics/reading/language arts which is recommended by FIAR anywho.
For my oldest, the manual suggests activities which are great, but would never suffice as a complete science, social studies, and history curriculum, in my opinion. So I am keeping our current history, which I planned to because we all love it- we use Story of the World- and we do our own science, we have a language arts, spelling, and math which I am happy with. We read through the Bible as a family and don’t use a curriculum for that. So I guess Beyond Five in a Row, which we are doing for Big Bird is purely for fun, exploring literature in a unique and inspiring way, and a great literacy tool. I would even go so far as to say that it might be the most important subject we delve into because it will stimulate the mind more than math, language arts, history, and science combined. Hopefully. We’ll see.
We are beginning with this. Five in a Row volume 1 and Beyond Five in a Row volumes 1 and 3, the Five in Row Cookbook, and the Bible supplements(just because I got a really good deal on those). We own most of the books so I only needed to buy a few. I printed off the lapbook templates from Homeschool Share for free. Five in a Row sells some, and we bought Homer Price’s lapbook pages, but they were not impressive. I like the free ones much much more. And I was surprised to find that the lapbook was $35 and then I had to print it myself, which I didn’t know until after I paid for it.
I am really excited about this. We began the year with Weaver and Story of the World as our fun extra’s, and I tried to hang in there as long as I could. I hate to say it, but Weaver was just not working. I tried hard to explore and get everything I could out of it. I love to plan and I have the time to pull it together, it just wasn’t enough for us. I know that it works fabulously for some families and I would be hog tide for claiming we needed more on certain homeschool threads, but the fact is, we did. Different strokes for different folks. And it’s not trash, we still use some of the ideas. If we are reading about a topic and the kids show a spark of interest, I pull out the pages on that topic and see if there are any ideas we can use. It’s not a horrible curriculum at all, it’s just falls a little too short in our home.
As I move through Five in a Row I will be sure to let you all know if it turns out as good as, better than, or not as impressive as I thought. It is very well written, it is very specific and some lessons are even scripted to help draw out everything we can from the books. I like that. There are many, many blogs and web sites which share ideas and lapbook templates and they have been helpful. Maybe I’ll have ideas to share as well once we get going.
If you have made it to the end of my very homeschool-y blog post I hope you have enjoyed my semi-review. If you use FIAR or if you have questions about the manuals and books I own, pm me or leave a review.
Thanks for reading!