One of the homeschooling essentials in our home school has been the Five in a Row products, from nearly the beginning of our journey. Five in a Row uses outstanding children’s literature, around which to build unit study activities.
There are actually four levels of Five in a Row products, covering preschool through junior high: Before Five in a Row, Five in a Row, Beyond Five in a Row, and Above and Beyond Five in a Row.
Before Five in a Row is designed for young children (around ages 2-4). The use of beloved picture books and creative play help lay a solid foundation for a more formal education to come.
Five in a Row teaches children (around ages 4-8), through the use of picture books, the joy of learning while exposing them to the wide world of information which is important in building an educational foundation necessary for a life of learning.
Beyond Five in a Row moves children (around ages 8-12) on to simple, quality chapter books, continuing to build on the foundation of loving learning and the joy of discovery begun in the previous levels, while maintaining academic excellence. Beyond Five in a Row will also encourage critical thinking and develop character growth in interpersonal relationships.
Finally is Above and Beyond Five in a Row, which is a more advanced level of Beyond Five in a Row, and can be done more independently by the grade 7-8 student. Throughout the course of Above and Beyond, your student will be led step-by-step in writing a research paper, and will also be encouraged to participate in a meaningful service project. (I must admit, I haven’t had one of my kids work through Above and Beyond yet. Maybe my youngest will be the first!)
One thing I find handy, at the back of each volume is a list of topics covered, which is great for making a scope and sequence, or for record keeping purposes for those states in which this is required.
Other resources available are Christian/Bible Supplement, Cookbook, Five in a Row Holiday Through the Season, as well as Planners, Notebook Builder, Nature Studies, and Fold N Learns.
I think our favorite resource is the cookbook. It includes recipes to enhance your study of each Five in a Row story, as well as Beyond Five in a Row. The recipes are inspired by topics which are covered in the book, whether it be location, or food items which may be mentioned in the story.
For example, right now, my youngest is working through The Boxcar Children (Beyond FIAR, volume 1). In one of the chapters, the children picked blueberries. In the manual, a simple recipe was included for fixing blueberries, using a bit of sour cream and brown sugar. We prepared a bowl of blueberries for our own supper that evening. Yum!
I have shared some about our homeschooling journey using Five in a Row over on my blog, Life at Rossmont. There is also a Five in a Row blog roll, so you can find more bloggers who share about their journeys, as well. I also have boards on Pinterest.
I hope this has sparked a little interest, and even answered a question or two that you may have.
Wendy is a blessed wife, and mom of four: ages 23, 21, 15, and 12. Besides homeschooling and blogging, she enjoys photography, reading, and writing, and above all, spending time with her family. This is her 18th year home educating her children, and is in her 5th term on the Crew. She blogs at Life at Rossmont.