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Hi everyone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"><br><br>
I'm in the process of evaluating some possible resources while I have two kids who still like to nap!!! I wanted to check out the Five In A Row books (particularly Before Five In A Row) before buying anything but our local libraries don't have any of them. Any one used any of them ?? Any opinions are welcome <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
THANKS !
 

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I have BFIAR and have not found it very helpful. A lot of the activities are rather bizarre and over my kids' heads, even though they are the target age for BFIAR (2 1/2 and 3 1/2). The books it recommends are ones my kids have really liked, but they look at me kind-of strangely when I try to discuss a lot of the things that BFIAR recommends. My kids are generally uninterested in the recommended activities.<br><br>
I have heard that FIAR is much better!<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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we used five in a row and while my children liked the books the activities were either boring or over thier heads or just too tangent. i remember one talking about humor and why is that funny . . . besides her not caring why something is funny, she didn't think that prticular scenario was funny at all. what did make sense and wasn't boring I easily could have come up with by myself. I think the whole program is higly overrated.
 

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Can you get it on Inter Library Loan? For something like that, I really think it's important to look at it yourself, especially if $ is an issue. No matter how much someone else loves or hates it, if it works or doesn't work for you, that's all that matters. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My daughter and I are doing FIAR this year (Vol 1). We did not do Before FIAR. DD has enjoyed it very much. We modify the activities suggested, kind of at will, or as I think is fitting her interest/learning style. She has enjoyed acting out the stories, mapping the stories' locales on our world map, doing many of the activities in the book, and cooking recipies inspired by the stories. I think it's great, although we don't do every single activity suggested in the curriculum.
 

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I have one of the "original" spiral-bound FIAR volumes (got on the TP here!) and I'm glad I have it but don't feel the need to get more of them now that I've seen what the deal is. Once you get a feel for the basic idea, it's no problem at all to find books on your own and design activities/units around them.<br><br>
My son hated the idea of reading the same book every day, so when we "row" books - now doing a bunch of ancient Chinese folktales and myths - we'll read them once or twice a week over a period of weeks. To prepare, I came here, hit the internet, a craft store and a few other places (my cookbook shelf, too) to put together the "unit". This variation works well for us.<br><br>
So, yeah, I don't regret the purchase at all. I think it's worth buying but I can't imagine getting all the volumes - I think once someone gets a feel for what the FIAR crowd is trying to accomplish she/he can easily create a customized program on the same order.<br><br>
Let us know what you decide!
 

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We used FIAR for a long time and my kids loved it. They looked forward to their FIAR time very much, were always excited about getting the books out of the library, and learned a great deal. We read so many wonderful books that we never would have found without the program, but the thing that impressed me the most was the kind of questions that my kids asked after we started using it. My then four year loved doing the map, and wanted to know if other books were set in real places we could find on the map, or in pretend places that the author invented. FIAR was a great fit for my kids, who love snuggling up on the couch together with a book.<br><br>
We never used BFIAR.<br><br>
Since your oldest child is nearly 2, you really don't need a curriculum at all. Here is a link to a site with tons of ideas. We really enjoyed the craft recipe section when the kids were small.<br><br><a href="http://www.theideabox.com/" target="_blank">http://www.theideabox.com/</a>
 

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I'm another one who really didn't care for BFIAR. When I used it, my kids were 2.5 and 4. The activities suggested were a little over the head of my 2.5 yo, but too basic for my 4yo. So my guess is that it would be perfect for a 3yo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
We've also done a little bit of FIAR vol 1. Although my kids enjoyed it, I'm not a planner. I had a tough time planning all of the activities and gathering the supplies that were needed ahead of time. But that's just my personal failing. We may try it again at another time. I'm especially considering trying BFIAR again with my younger children.<br><br>
If you look on the TP here, the vegsource swap board or ebay, you should be able to find a copy of the books for around $10-15. I bought both BFIAR and FIAR vol. 1 used, and we checked out the story books from the library. I thought that it was worth it to buy the books for that amount.
 

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I love the idea of the FIAR programs. In fact I bought Before FAIR for my little guy, and Beyond FIAR for my older ones. Neither has worked well. The beyond FAIR was not challenging enough for my older son who was at the high end of the age recommendation for the program at the time ( 7th grade ). And by 3YO likes Before FIAR, but not all the activities.... it has turned out to be an expensive reading list for us.<br><br>
If I had a child who was the perfect age, and less active, I think these programs would work better for us. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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I give FIAR a thumbs up. I used both B4IFAR and FIAR when my oldest was Kindergarten age and his sister was 4 (his brother was along for the ride in a sling).<br><br>
It was a great year. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the input....some good things to think about. As I have time on my side at this point (as someone said - my eldest is still young enough that exploring our house and yard offers all of the educational opportunities needed!) I'm going to try and see if I can seek out an interlibrary loan SOMEWHERE <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I have only used FIAR in a group setting. I am part of two small groups where each mom takes a turn presenting one of the books. We look at it as a way of getting our kids together. For some, it's so that the young child has something to do while their older sibling(s) are doing something else. It has worked pretty well, but we aren't doing it the way the book recommends since we only meet about two times/month.
 

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I use BFIAR loosely with my now 3.5 yo and it's a perfect fit. Although he's an incredibly spirited kid with more energy than I can usually handle, he loves to be read to and discuss stories, ideas, etc. It adds a litte structure and quiet time to our usually chaotic days. I don't yet know if we'll use FIAR when the time comes but it's defenitely on the short-list. If you haven't already, check out the <a href="http://www.fiveinarow.com/" target="_blank">FIAR website</a> It has the reading lists and such a complete discussion group that you could practically go w/out buying the curriculum text. There are also yahoo groups devoted to BFIAR, FIAR, etc.<br><br>
As far as unit studies in general, I completely agree that anyone could develop a literature based unit study if they set their mind to it. But for me, there are so many great ideas already out there why not take advantage of all the work that's already been done. Another good FIAR/Literature based unit study website is <a href="http://www.homeschoolshare.com/" target="_blank">Homeschool Share.</a><br><br>
Best wishes on your journey <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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