Hi Chicklet.. sorry you are having a hard time. I have been there so I totally understand.
I have decided to go with FIAR this year with my 5 year old son. I love the classic books that have been chosen. If I hadn't ordered FIAR I would have used KONOS. I did tons of research and read countless reviews and had narrowed my choices down to these 2 programs. You can check out www.konos.com
and also join the message board there..which is wonderful! I am also ordering KONOS Africa in a Bag to do with Jack at the end of our homeschool year or possibly thru the summer. I think we will have a blast with it and I am just as anxious to give KONOS a try as I am FIAR .. It will help me to decide which one of the programs I will stick with for 1st grade.
If you aren't familiar with KONOS. It uses a unit study approach with TONS of hands-on activities that you can choose from and lots of wonderful living books that coincide with the lesson plan. Some moms say that it is too time consuming and too overwhelming.. having so many choices to make. I personally love that aspect of it! You don't do everything.. you just go through and pick out what you think your child will enjoy and what you know you have time for. Each KONOS volumn is designed to be spread out over a 2 year period. You must get the necessary books from the library or other source that go with each study. You will also have to come up with necessary craft materials etc.. The volumns alone are very reasonably priced. If you need something that is more structured, requiring less time to put together.. go with KONOS In a Box.. which has your daily lessons planned out for you (you still have the freedom to change things around or tweak it if you choose). Each package is designed to cover around 16 weeks and comes with the necessary literature as well as craft materials.. It's all there! But the price is higher of course... I choose KONOS in a Bag because I personally am facinated by Africa and believe we will have a ball learning more about it... and also because it does not contain all the language arts that the KONOS in a Box contains.. which I don't think a 5 year old really needs.
wow.. didn't mean to type so much....
I'm going to give you the link to the FIAR message board just in case you decide later to give it another try. It is less time consuming than KONOS will be but I believe it will be just as effective at being a strong, literature based, educational tool.http://www.fiveinarow.com/cgi-bin/fo...000&LastLogin=