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I love FIAR! :) We just recently moved to Beyond after using FIAR for 5 years so I've used it with younger and older children. I think the best way to understand it is to "see" it in action through blogs.

I'm not home right now, but I can link some nice blogs for you to check out. I have a FIAR category on my blog too.

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It is a fantastic program with truly amazing choices in books. I think it is one of the best introductions to home learning out there for K to about fourth grade. I haven't used the Before FIAR books so I don't know about them. But the FIAR is simply wonderful.

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I tried a package type curriculum from SL last year for preschool. This year for kindergarten we are using FIAR and my son and I both enjoy it much more. For us, we want to put most of our attnt on learning to read and math, so this program allows us to do that. We spend as little or as much time as we want on the FIAR guide depending on how my son is doing that week. I love the books that FIAR uses and my son has as well. The basic idea is to read the same book every day that week and the guide gives ideas to do or pull out for social studies, science, art, math, etc... I will say that bc we focus so heavily on reading and math, we choose to use a seperate curr for each of those. I think it is a very nice way to tie the week's activities together through one piece of literature.

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I love FIAR! :) We just recently moved to Beyond after using FIAR for 5 years so I've used it with younger and older children. I think the best way to understand it is to "see" it in action through blogs.

I'm not home right now, but I can link some nice blogs for you to check out. I have a FIAR category on my blog too.

 

I'd really appreciate that!!

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We used it for two years and really liked it. It's also very cheap, which is always a plus!

 

Here's some stuff we did.

 

I will say that I heavily used the FIAR resources at both HomeschoolShare.com and the FIAR archive forums. I'm not sure how much I would have liked using FIAR if those additional resources hadn't existed.

 

PM me if you have any questions!

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I've had FIAR a long time. I didn't use it much with my older kids thinking they needed something more in depth. This year I'm doing it with my 6 year old twins and I don't know why I ever felt like it wasn't enough. They really seem to remember a lot of the stuff we do with FIAR. I put together simple lapbooks for most books using either Homeschool Share or I will occasionally buy the digital lapbooks from FIAR. They are $9 each so I don't do it for all of them but all the ones I've gotten have had fun activities. The story disks are one of my favorite parts of it. We have them all over our laminated world and USA maps.

 

I had actually started SOTW 1 this year and was going to do that instead of FIAR this year but decided we're just going to do FIAR. I may do SOTW next year but I'd like my kids to do most of the FIAR books and I think there are 71 in all counting the new digital units.

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I will say that I heavily used the FIAR resources at both HomeschoolShare.com and the FIAR archive forums. I'm not sure how much I would have liked using FIAR if those additional resources hadn't existed.

 

Yes, I agree. They add depth to the books.

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Another FIAR lover here. I have used both Before FIAR and FIAR for my 4 younger children. I agree with the poster about using Homeschool Share for additional ideas, templates, supplements, etc.

 

One thing I really like about FIAR is that, if your kids are really into a book, you can extend the time on the book and add additional activities. I have also used the FIAR books/program to work on large and fine motor skills and incorporate physical education and nature study into our day.

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My dd and I love FIAR. I do have to agree that the archives on the FIAR site and HHS do add some fun to what is in the manual. We don't do lap books, but we do some of the individual activities found on HHS. The archives have provided fun experiments and more.

 

We didn't like Before, but FIAR has been great! Right now we have begun re-rowing vols 1-3. Next year or the year after we will begin vol 4 (it looks fantastic!). I have Vo1 1 of Beyond and it looks great as well. I can see FIAR being in our lives for several years. We are now in year 2. :)

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i like FIAR too. imho, it can be teacher intensive (especially if you lapbook with it), but the resources are awesome. the FIAR forums are filled with archives, plus the ladies there have a wealth of information and support. i agree that homeschool share is a necessity, and i also like the homeschool mom resources: http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/schoolroom/fiar/

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I tried it for K, but found I preferred something else.

The books they choose are fantastic, absolutely no complaints there at all.

I think the unit study approach just wasn't for us.

But I also think it's a solid program. I just wanted something that built on itself and was more based on chronological history, and I wanted a more orderly approach to language arts.

 

Again, the books are wonderful. Everyone should read them.

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I tried it for K, but found I preferred something else.

The books they choose are fantastic, absolutely no complaints there at all.

I think the unit study approach just wasn't for us.

But I also think it's a solid program. I just wanted something that built on itself and was more based on chronological history, and I wanted a more orderly approach to language arts.

 

Again, the books are wonderful. Everyone should read them.

:iagree:I love the idea, the books, etc. I think I just don't so much like hopping around week after week to different topics. That just made it too intensive for me. For example, if we were learning about seeds and flowers for a chunk of the year, I would totally be into finding tons of fun go-alongs. If we are doing it for one day of one week, I'm not as motivated to go all out planning. But that's just me, and we do read the FIAR books almost daily.

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I would like to share how our week is going with Madeline:

 

We are learning about France and many of the landmarks there. Dd colored a flag of France and learns about the importance of rivers like the Seine. For fun (and to wear for the entire week of rowing Madeline) she made a Madeline hat with a Styrofoam plate and bowl and a bit of crepe paper streamer.

 

Day 2: we will discuss the steam radiator, different forms of heat and the power of steam. We will discuss the rhyme and rhythm in the poetry in the book. Discuss the repetition. Learn the importance of the appendix and where it is located. She will learn what solemn means.

 

Day 3: Define monochromatic. Discuss where *bakers dozen* came from. Play with paper and paint to learn about symmetry.

 

Day 4: Play with 12 Madeline cut outs (found at HSS) and do several math problems involving grouping. Make a Madeline craft.

 

Day 5: Discuss the healthy habits that the girls in the book had and then do a fun experiment involving vasiline and pepper to learn about how germs need to be washed away and how they can spread. Label organs.

 

Each day we will go over 6 French words and their English translations.

 

Today was day one and dd has had a great time!

 

I can't wait to start planning Cranberry Thanksgiving!

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WE LOVE FIAR! :)

 

Thanks for sharing my blog, Julie! :001_smile: I have quite a few posts on FIAR, and if you click on my "homeschooling" tab at the top, you can click on individual FIAR titles to see what we did for each.

 

HTH!

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Would someone please share the FIAR group mentioned? I have searched on yahoo groups with no success. How do you schedule these?

 

http://www.fiveinarow.com/forum/index.php

 

Scheduling FIAR is really loose and flexible. The first three volumes are all interchangeable for ages 4-8. Each volume contains lessons for 15-21 books. You study each book for a week at a time.

 

Some people work straight through each volume, but most seem to mix it up, choosing whichever book they want to do next. Some are seasonally linked (there's a Thanksgiving book, some snow books, etc.) but most are not. I like to choose books to match up to special events or field trip opportunities - like, when the local nature center had a honey harvest festival we rowed The Bee Tree.

 

For each book, the manual presents multiple lessons in social studies, language arts, art, applied math, and science. Each day of the week, you study one subject. You choose whichever of the presented lessons you want to teach. Most of the lessons are informal and conversational, although you can certainly supplement them with additional reading, lapbooks, etc.

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I tried it for K, but found I preferred something else.

The books they choose are fantastic, absolutely no complaints there at all.

I think the unit study approach just wasn't for us.

But I also think it's a solid program. I just wanted something that built on itself and was more based on chronological history, and I wanted a more orderly approach to language arts.

 

Again, the books are wonderful. Everyone should read them.

 

:iagree: I love the idea, but it didn't work for us in practice. I found planning the week fairly time intensive, too. The books are great though.

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I love FIAR! For our family it works great for the younger years. We rowed volumes 1-3 and some of 4. I really love the gentle learning and flexibility. When my son started 3rd grade it did not work as well for us. I wanted to go more indepth about subjects and found it hard to do that on my own. I had to get a lot of extra books and make up my own assignments and it was too much work. I also did not like the scattered feel of topics when my son was older. When he was younger it didn't really matter that we were learning a variety of science and history topics, it was just exposing him to lots of great stuff and it worked well. However, in 3rd grade I really wanted to have more organization to what we learned regarding history and science. I like studying history chronologically and I like spending most of the year for science on one subject like biology or astronomy.

 

It is not a complete program, you do need to add math and some language arts skills like phonics, spelling and grammar. A math program of your choice and Rod and Staff or FLL would work very well with FIAR.

 

When we were doing FIAR we did a separate language arts curriculum and math curriculum and than did FIAR as an additional subject. With FIAR you choose from the lessons. The lessons are organized by subject: langauge arts, social studies, science, applied math and art. You can choose whatever lessons you want but the general idea is to choose a subject for each day. So maybe Monday is social studies, Tuesday can be art, Wednesday language arts, Thursday science and Friday applied math. You choose whatever lessons you want to do for the subject. So on Monday your day would be language arts, math and FIAR social studies.

Edited by Nancy Ann
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I tried to join the forum almost 2 weeks ago, and I still have not been approved. I am not sure what it going on. If someones who I should contact please let me know.

 

Jan

 

Sometiimes it just takes a while cuz they are very busy. But here is the forum administrator contact form:

http://www.fiveinarow.com/forum/sendmessage.php

I am not sure that you will be able to access it without a membership, but you can try.

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I also love Fiar. I ended up stopping because I wanted to do SOTW with the activity guide. Well....our days just didn't go as well. While SOTW is nice, it just wasn't the same. We are now back to Fiar and use SOTW as a reader with color pages. This is working much better. I add in math, kiss grammar, copywork and obviously her phonics readers. The science topic is studied all week instead of 1 day. I had Elemental Science that I purchased to use for science when we switched to SOTW(and my dd loves science) so I will continue to add it in.(that only takes 15 min a day so why not?) Fiar is so easy to customize to your needs. Seriously, I have never had anything else flow as nicely. My 3 year old also loves sitting in as well.(she never did that for SOTW without being noisy or disruptive)

 

When I first looked at Fiar I thought it looked way to simple and not enough but, I was soon proven wrong. I hope you find Fiar to be as stress free as I do. I even purchased the orginal spiral bound editions of Beyond Five in a Row on ebay a while back for $7.00 each. By the looks of the material we will be very happy with it as well. I just have to figure out what I will use after that....:001_smile:

 

Thanks,

 

Penny

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I'm just getting started and really enjoying it! I'm surprised at how much ds really enjoys the books and goes back to them weeks after we've read them. Thank you sooooooo much for the extra blogs and resources. I have used the homeschoolshare.com ideas and some from the forums, but you've armed me with so much more.

 

A bit OT: Does anyone know where I can buy the books in a package? Rainbow possibly? We're using Vol 1 & 2 this year, and I'm pretty sure that we'll do 3 & 4 next year. I haven't collected many of those books or the TM, yet.

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Yes, Rainbow does sell packaged sets. FOr the oop books you will either have to use the library, search used books for deals, or skip them. Thankfully there are not very many of those.

 

When you get to the Giraffe that Walked to Paris there is a suitable substitute called Zarafa:The Giraffe that Walked to the King. It is not a perfect replacement, but it is the same story. My dd loves it!

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I used it when my oldest was in kindergarten....her younger sister tagged along with us. We loved it then! Now that she is in 2nd grade, I get stressed over the hopping around and prefer something more chronological or systematic.

 

However, what I am thinking of doing is using it in the summers. We don't function well when we take a whole 3 months off, and I think FIAR would be great summer school for us!

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