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buying vs. borrowing from the library (FIAR)


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Trying to decide whether I should buy the books for FIAR volume 1 or try to get them from the library. We only own two of them and our library has 3-4 more. I can get most of the rest through ILL but would still need to buy 3-4 of the newer releases (and most expensive ones of course!). Our library has a limit of 6 in-state ILLs per year per card and there's a $6 fee for anything our rather small state doesn't have in a library system somewhere, so it'd probably be worth paying $10 for each of those books on Amazon vs. $6 to borrow them.

 

I figured I could get all the books we don't own except maybe Cranberry Thanksgiving for around $80. And FIAR is designed to be used for more than one year...and I have two younger children. But this is my first attempt at HS'ing (actual afterschooling) so who knows if I will end up continuing or keeping up with FIAR.

 

Should I buy, or borrow?

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We ended up buying them all except the out-of-print ones. I heard Cranberry Thanksgiving wasn't worth it, but we found that at a thrift sale anyway.

 

0908-homeschool-room-027-400x266.jpg

 

They are all high quality picture books that we'd love to have anyway. We've read them several times and every now and then my dd (who reads her own chapter books) wants to read one again. We love our wall of FIAR, and have the rest of the FIAR books on the shelves now.

 

Here's a list of all the FIAR books in one convenient place. You can print it out.

 

Have fun with Five in a Row, we sure did.

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Do you have a homeschool community? Several times I've packed up a whole set of FIAR books in a diaper box and sent them out on loan to friends. I wonder if there is somebody around you who could let you read the books before you buy...Do you live near central AR?

We ended up buying most of the books after checking them out at the library. Initially I was getting new paperbacks but I eventually came to prefer used hardbacks, even old library discards. They are just so much more durable--which is nice since my kids like to go back to FIAR books again and again.

It's funny about people and books--I thought Cranberry Thanksgiving was dumb and then my kids just loved it. Go figure. I also didn't care for Who Owns the Sun, but my dd liked it. But NO WAY would I do "They Were Strong and Good" from Vol. 2. I was so glad I was able to find a copy to read before I purchased it blindly.

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I just bought several of them from powells.com, they have flat rate shipping of $3.99 or free for over a certain amount.

 

I even got the manual for $6.95! I was so excited.

 

I bought as many as I could, since I have more little ones coming up the line:)

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Many of them can be found on http://www.abebooks.com for about $1 each. You can get better savings if you look for large booksellers who discount shipping for each additional book in a package. Amazon may have lots of penny books, but it's $3.99 for shipping for every single book. At abebooks there are often sellers who charge $3.99 shipping for the first book but only $1.99 each after that. It adds up when you're buying a bunch.

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But NO WAY would I do "They Were Strong and Good" from Vol. 2. I was so glad I was able to find a copy to read before I purchased it blindly.

 

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who is horrified by that book. We're planning to skip it entirely.

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We ended up buying them all except the out-of-print ones. I heard Cranberry Thanksgiving wasn't worth it, but we found that at a thrift sale anyway.

 

0908-homeschool-room-027-400x266.jpg

 

They are all high quality picture books that we'd love to have anyway. We've read them several times and every now and then my dd (who reads her own chapter books) wants to read one again. We love our wall of FIAR, and have the rest of the FIAR books on the shelves now.

 

Here's a list of all the FIAR books in one convenient place. You can print it out.

 

Have fun with Five in a Row, we sure did.

 

This is an awesome photo! It makes me smile to see all those FIAR books.

I also appreciated your list on the blog. I used it to get started.

 

 

To the OP, this is our first year with FIAR and Before FIAR. I really want to actually own the books, but I wouldn't pay $60 for a used book, so I'm hoping to get lucky at library book sales. I ordered many of the books used and some we already owned. I am focussing on BEFORE FIAR books, and Volume 1 books to start.

 

I did check library availability on all the books and marked them on the list I printed out from Satori's blog. I would rather own the book so I'm not under any time restraint, but I was happy to see the library had many of the difficult to find books that I won't pay the HTF prices for.

 

I am very excited to use this curriculum.

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I would buy them used, especially if you have more than one child. Even if you don't end up doing FIAR again, the books are wonderful. Well, most of them. There are a handful that I would not purchase or even read to my kids again.

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I would buy them used, especially if you have more than one child. Even if you don't end up doing FIAR again, the books are wonderful. Well, most of them. There are a handful that I would not purchase or even read to my kids again.

 

Which ones didn't you like?

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I used the library exclusively, but we have an excellent library (who just bought all of the FIAR Vol. I titles, by the way), and a great ILL system. I would not hesitate for a minute to buy them all, especially if there were younger children coming up. They are great books, even if you decide not use FIAR.

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If you stick with the curriculum your children will be spending a lot of time with these books. They will be a part of their history. They will probably want to grab a few of these books to bring along on a babysitting job, or might even want to review if a high school lit or art class is glossing over a term and they want to review.

 

I'd buy them if you can.

 

More and more books are being written for middle and high school students to use picture books as mentor books for writing and art. If you jump on the picture book bandwagon, you will be using these books for many years to come.

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Which ones didn't you like?

 

It's one of those things that is probably going to be different for every family. The only two that I remember I personally did not care for were Ping, and They Were Strong and Good. There were a few more that just didn't appeal to my kids.

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For us it has been well worth it to collect them. Our library is not that great, ILL is very unreliable, and the fines add up if I don't get them in on time. They can be rechecked if I don't forget and as long as no one has requested them. Plus they only a few of the books.

 

We have read these books again and again. And when my dd is past them I am saving them for my grandkids.

 

Check all over the place. Just make it a habit. Thrift stores, yard sales, and then all of hte online places mentioned.

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Guest Mommy2tot

BetterWorldBooks.com has many books available (used and new for cheap), plus FREE shipping. In addition, they fund literacy programs and do a book-for-book charity. We love them.

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Which ones didn't you like?

 

Daniel's Duck - it's an I-Can-Read book, so the language is really stilted, and I didn't think the story was done well.

They Were Strong and Good - I'm not willing to read a book to my 6yo that takes a neutral-to-positive view of slavery.

Babar: To Duet or Not to Duet - not an original Babar, but a novelization from the old TV cartoon. And it reads that way.

 

Every other book in the curriculum has been fantastic, even the ones I didn't expect to go over well. But we've decided not to do the three I listed above.

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It's one of those things that is probably going to be different for every family. The only two that I remember I personally did not care for were Ping, and They Were Strong and Good. There were a few more that just didn't appeal to my kids.

 

Daniel's Duck - it's an I-Can-Read book, so the language is really stilted, and I didn't think the story was done well.

They Were Strong and Good - I'm not willing to read a book to my 6yo that takes a neutral-to-positive view of slavery.

Babar: To Duet or Not to Duet - not an original Babar, but a novelization from the old TV cartoon. And it reads that way.

 

Every other book in the curriculum has been fantastic, even the ones I didn't expect to go over well. But we've decided not to do the three I listed above.

 

Thank you for these opinions. It is very helpful to have an idea of some of the books we should probably preview at the library before buying them.

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Yes, do preview cuz it will be different for everyone. I like all of the books mentioned here except Babar, but I have never read it, so I don't have an opinion.

 

I really liked They Were Strong. I liked that it showed how as each generation passed things changed. I like how it shows that we are the great melting pot. I found what tiny bit that is mentioned about slavery is fine. There are about a hundred million books that show those that beat their slaves, but very few that show the many slave owners that actually treated their slaves with affection. This is not to make light of owning another human as I don't support that at all, but to show that not all slave owners were the same raving beast that you read about is most books.

 

There are 2 other books in the FIAR collection that show slavery was not a good thing. Who Owns the Sun and Follow the Drinking Gourd. I think the story line in the first is good, but the repetition gets to be a bit much by the middle of the book.

 

Do preview. What I like you may not. What I dislike you may enjoy. :)

 

But mainly have a great time with FIAR and your kiddos. It is a fine curriculum that will create lots of wonderful memories! :D

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I also liked They Were Strong and Good for many of the reasons that the PP mentioned. I also think it is important to face our past. This gave me a chance to introduce to my dc at 4yo the concept of slavery and its wrongness without having to face some of the real horrors of it.

 

The one that I had a problem with was Clown of God. It bothered me that the main character dies at the end. I didn't pre-read it, so it hit me when I was reading to dd.

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