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B4FIAR for a 3yo?


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#1 GWOB

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:21 PM

My 3yo dd is asking to "do school." Right now, we are just going over the alphabet, sounds, numbers, shapes, and lots of coloring. She knows most letters and their sounds, can recognize written numbers, can count objects fairly well, etc. She is nowhere near being ready to blend sounds and read, but she's curious.

I want something fun for us to do, something special for the two of us. She is my last one and I want to enjoy this special time. She loves being read to, so I thought something in the FIAR family would be great.

Here is my problem. My older 2 went to preschool for 2 years each, both with the intention of entering ps. That obviously didn't work. This dd will not go to ps, so I really see no point to send her to preschool. However, I am in the "Better early that late" camp. I firmly believe in the importance of early childhood education. I acknowledge my tendency to get a little nutty about my kids "being ahead" of their peers. I'm working on it. So, while I know B4FIAR would likely be tons of fun and really sweet, the crazy is rearing its ugly head and telling me to just do FIAR. Enter the Hive to beat down the crazy and tell me how appropriate and awesome it would be to do B4FIAR with dd3.

Calm me down people!

#2 swellmomma

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:28 PM

I am using B4FIAR with my dd3. SHe loves the stories and I enjoying adding as many or as few of the extra activities as I want with her. I do not care if she is ahead of her peers or not, she is herself and not someone else's kid kwim. IF you want to work on specific skills in addition to using B4FIAR with her I can see this working but I would not do FIAR with a 3 yr old. Not because of the stories but because I feel that making her do kindergarten work at 3 yrs old is asking for her to be burned out by 1st grade. Your older kids went to preschool, but I guarantee they were not doing Kindy level work while there. In preschool they would have worked on shapes, colors, letters, possibly beginning printing (my dd's pre-k uses HWOT), left vs right, positions, cutting, gluing, art, singing songs/fingerplays/poems and lots of free play. B4FIAR is a much more appropriate level for a 3 yr old than FIAR imo.

#3 Kirch

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:41 PM

I would do BFIAR, personally. The books are wonderful, you can supplement with more activities if you want, but most of all, most of the books at the FIAR level are a bit long for most 3 year olds, IMO. Plus, like the pp mentioned, the activities really are geared for older kids. You could certainly simplify them for a 3 y.o., but if that's what you're going to have to do, why not just use BFIAR, kwim? And that way you still have FIAR for when she's 4.5 or 5 (or older).

I think I'd probably do BFIAR and add in ABC's/pre-reading work and math skills (on my own or with workbooks), personally.

Also--Homeschoolshare has a lot of BFIAR lapbooks, if you're interested, that might be a way to beef it up a bit.

#4 AmyinMD

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 12:16 AM

I'm doing B4FIAR with my 3.5 year old. We only do it a couple times a week but she really enjoys it. The stories just seem more on her level than FIAR but she'll listen to those stories when we do them too but she doesn't seem to get much out of the activities.

My dd also really likes Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter of the Week. She thinks she is just playing but she already knows all her letters and a lot of the sounds from that. She also does HWT preschool book but that's mainly because my older kids are using that and she always wants her own.

#5 ALB

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:37 AM

Just another vote for B4FIAR. I've been doing FIAR with my 4.5 dd, and there is a lot in there that is over her head and that I have to simplify. But, we already did B4FIAR so we decided to move on. We do B4 with my ds, and I always notice that it seems more appropriate for the 4.5 yr old than the almost 3 yr. old (although he is still having a blast with it!). You can easily beef it up a bit by adding lapbooks or reading additional books, etc. I think it is easier to beef B4 up rather than simplify FIAR down (IMO).

#6 Negin

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:39 AM

Agreeing. BFIAR is the absolute best. I really, really miss those years, those books, and those memories.

#7 Rivka

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:28 AM

I'm doing FIAR with my bright 5.5yo. We are doing lessons like:

- Learning to identify similes when they appear in a text, and generating new examples of similes.
- Understanding how the different parts of a castle contributed to its defense and what weapons attackers used against castles.
- Doing experiments to understand the properties of sound waves.
- Studying how artists can use color to communicate mood.

FIAR is really not a preschool curriculum. While some of the books are delightfully appropriate for a three-year-old (Madeline, Mike Mulligan, Make Way for Ducklings), others are long and complex, or include mature themes more suited to a 6- or 7- year old (Grandfather's Journey, Warm as Wool, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere). I think even a very bright three-year-old would only be able to skim the surface of the FIAR lessons. Even at 5.5, we have lessons that we're skipping because they would be over my child's head.

You'll get so much more out of FIAR if you wait.

#8 GWOB

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:17 PM

I'm doing FIAR with my bright 5.5yo. We are doing lessons like:

- Learning to identify similes when they appear in a text, and generating new examples of similes.
- Understanding how the different parts of a castle contributed to its defense and what weapons attackers used against castles.
- Doing experiments to understand the properties of sound waves.
- Studying how artists can use color to communicate mood.

FIAR is really not a preschool curriculum. While some of the books are delightfully appropriate for a three-year-old (Madeline, Mike Mulligan, Make Way for Ducklings), others are long and complex, or include mature themes more suited to a 6- or 7- year old (Grandfather's Journey, Warm as Wool, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere). I think even a very bright three-year-old would only be able to skim the surface of the FIAR lessons. Even at 5.5, we have lessons that we're skipping because they would be over my child's head.

You'll get so much more out of FIAR if you wait.


Thanks for this post. I saw some of the books used in FIAR. Many are books we have read and enjoyed, but this puts things into perspective.

Thanks everyone else! I appreciate the info. I will just do B4FIAR with her and enjoy my baby as long as I can.

#9 kmacnchs

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:22 PM

don't forget starfall.com :)

#10 Lisa in the UP of MI

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:30 PM

B4FIAR is perfect for that age. Another thing I love is this website:
www.preschoolexpress.com
I, too, believe that all ages need to be challenged. Have fun!

#11 Irishmommy

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:42 PM

:iagree:LOVE, LOVE, LOVE B4 and FIAR! Such sweet memories with my kiddos!

#12 tracymirko

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:02 PM

I did exactly what you are contemplating. I started my little one with FIAR. We had a blast. But here's the rub. I realized half way into it that we loved it so much that we wanted to do it for another year. But I felt that if we did the same books again, it would be a let-down since expectations were much higher now. I really wish that I had started with B4FIAR so that we could have gotten 2 years out of such a wonderful curriculum. I will definitely do so with my next one.

#13 Rivka

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 10:10 PM

Thanks for this post. I saw some of the books used in FIAR. Many are books we have read and enjoyed, but this puts things into perspective.


I totally understand! I went through the same process when I was deciding whether to use FIAR. I really had to read and absorb the actual FIAR manual to understand that it wasn't just a matter of enjoying the books and understanding them on a plot level.

I hope you have a lot of fun with B4FIAR! I didn't do it with my older child, but I'm planning to use it for my little guy coming up.

#14 Terabith

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:26 PM

I love B4FIAR, but I didn't really do the activities with it. Occasionally we would talk about some of the discussion topics, but that was it. I did do some of the activities casually through life and play, as opposed to with the books. But we did read through the books every day for five days. And frequently thereafter. It's a great book list. I also used the Sonlight preschool books. We did Montessori practical life, and worked on learning phonograms/ counting/ numbers. We read a lot of nonfiction books. Letter Factory is a good resource, and starfall, of course.

However, I think there are many wonderful benefits to preschool that are completely unrelated to entering public (or private) school. It can be a fun, nurturing, and educational opportunity to do messy crafts, play outside, build social skills and fine motor skills, sing songs, and lots of other things that are sometimes harder to do in a busy house, particularly with older kids being homeschooled. I love preschool.


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