Five in a Row
Five in a Row is a company that I have heard of many times through friends, but never spent the time to look more in depth into their products. They sent me one of their books to review (Five in a Row Volume 2) and last week the girls and I sat down to use it as part of our study of England.
A Little More about Five in a Row
Five in a Row (FIAR) was created by Jane Claire Lambert, a home-school teacher with more than 17 years experience. It provides step-by-step lesson plans for in-depth literature study on wonderful children's books (complete list here). FIAR includes plans and suggestions for studies relating to stories in the areas of math, science, social studies, language arts, and art. The plans are extremely flexible. You can pick and choose which areas relating to the story that you would like to study since there are numerous plans given for each area. Many of the books can be borrowed from your local library, which helps cut costs for homeschoolers (always a plus!).
- Before Five in a Row (ages 2-4) includes 23 mini-units of study on simple children's books
- Five in a Row (ages 4-8) has four different volumes and covers 70 different books
- Beyond Five in a Row (ages 8-12) is similar to Five in a Row but uses chapter books rather than 'picture books'
- Above & Beyond Five in a Row (ages 12 and up) is focused more on the student and teacher participation is not necessary - 6 to 8 week unit studies
The girls and I have been studying England over the last few weeks and we decided The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter would be our "go-along" book with our geography study. I was able to plan out our week of FIAR studies in under half an hour, mainly in an effort to 'grasp' the concepts/ideas in the book. During the week we read the story each day and also completed one activity in social studies, language arts, art, science and math.
We also chose to create a lapbook along with our book study, so we completed the different lapbook components to go along with the areas we studied during the week. Some of the things we learned this week: onomatopoeia, animal fantasy, naturalism, noticing the details in text/illustration, figuring and grouping, and planning a garden. The girls really enjoyed working through the study and we had a lot of fun digging "deeper" into the story each day and breaking the story up into different pieces. And I can't tell you how much fun our kids had saying the word "onomatopoeia" this week...even Zachary was trying to come up with some of his own!
Through using FIAR I discovered that I have done unit/book studies in the past, however I was the one doing all the legwork and study! This format is definitely more convenient and already completed, so it saves an incredible amount of time on my part. The lessons are extremely thorough and offer more than enough information to use in learning with your children.
I'm already planning on using Beyond Five in a Row this summer with the girls as we read Sarah Plain and Tall together. Because we're sitting down and reading together it almost seems as if you are 'sneaking' in learning and it makes it all so much fun!
Where to Purchase
Five in a Row books are available directly from the FIAR website. They offer different versions of the book, including digital format. FIAR also offers book packages that include all the books that relate to the different volumes and also FIAR volume packages.
If you would like more information on their products, their website has some great resources as well as message forums to talk to other moms about the products. You can also visit the Homeschool Crew blog site for more on some of the other products and levels.