12 September 2012

A Week of Five in a Row: Day One

When you hang around homeschooling forums, one curriculum you tend to see a lot of questions about is Five in a Row.  A literature-based curriculum used primarily for Kindergarteners, FIAR is extremely popular among newer homeschoolers because it's flexible, easy to implement, and with four volumes to draw from, gives you a lot of options if you don't have the most well-stocked library around. 

To give a little more guidance to homeschoolers who haven't been reading up on the whole institution since their child was in utero (What can I say?  I'm a planner)  I thought I'd show you guys what a week of FIAR looks like at our house.  Yes, I know it's Wednesday, but we don't follow any kind of strict M-F schedule, and this week we happen to be starting on a Wednesday.  We're going back and starting at the beginning for Syd's K4 year, and our current selection is Lentil, by Robert McCloskey.

Today, we selected two of the Social Studies options to do.  Aside from my copy of FIAR, which I keep in a binder because it's just so much easier:

...we also used the Usborne World Atlas and a copy of Lentil from the library:

First, of course, we read the story.  I didn't take any pictures of this because, well, I imagine you all know how this part works.  Then, Syd and I looked at a map of the US in the atlas to find Ohio.  I explained what a border is, and we figured out which direction we'd have to go to get from Minnesota to Ohio.

The really fun part, of course, was using Syd's wooden blocks and train set to build a 3D map of Alto, Ohio.  Syd has a thing for maps, so she really enjoyed this part.  I did a lot of building and explaning, but once she got the idea, there was no stopping her.

You can see the train station in the back where Col. Carter arrived, and the rest of the town laid out in front of it.  The blue owl box next to her is where we keep her collection of wooden building toys.  Cute, no?  It's a diaper box completely covered with fabric, but you'd never know from looking at it. ;)  You can also see the place on my once-nice recliner which my cats have designated as their personal spot for massive destruction.  Next time, we're sticking with hermit crabs.

Syd pretty much took over the whole operation at that point, so I sat back with a book and let her expand Alto.

Fun, huh?  In just one quick lesson Syd listened to a story, learned about maps and the US, developed her fine motor skills and spatial awareness, and had a heck of a lot of fun to boot.

Tomorrow is Literature, during which we'll learn about creating the setting of a story, and if I can find some lemons that don't cost more than the average college education, we'll make lemonade, too.

If you want to check out FIAR for yourself, they have a great website.
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