I have been inspired.
Before Five in a Row (B4FIAR)
After reading Michelle's post over at Delightful Learning about starting Before Five in a Row with her two younger children, I just knew that's what I wanted to do for our upcoming year. I was looking for a way to combine Treyton, who is 4 1/2, and Lexa who is 22 months and very interested in participating in school with us. I will be following a VERY similar approach to Michelle. (Thanks for the inspiration Michelle!)
For those of you who are not familiar with Five in a Rows approach - to put it simply you read a book everyday for five days. You then use a unit-study approach to dig deeper into the story. You can really use it however you would like, in which ever direction you and your child would like to go. I love the fact that it is literature based - if there is one thing my children love it's reading together, I want to build on this love. I am grateful to be using something that is a little less work for me, that has plans already there for me; BUT that still gives me the room I want to mold and form it to fit our family.
I don't want to re-post Michelle's post (which I'm kind of doing), so I will just vaguely mention what I have done so far. I have gone through the resources on homeschool share, printed, cut, laminated and organized all the printables and lapjournal pieces I thought we would use for the 19 books that I currently have (there are 23 units in B4FIAR, 4 are out of print). I am pretty much set for each weeks work.
At this point, I am not strictly planning out any of the units. All of the books that we will be reading can be taken in 100 directions and I don't want to tie us down to doing a particular direction on a given book, so I have not gone too deeply on any topic. I have prepared our units in a way that we will cover each book at a level I am happy with. I have printed out activities that I can use with both of the kids as well as activities suited for each child individually. If we decide to go deeper into a particular book or topic I will add what I need at that time. We have enough stuff to keep us busy while I put together a little bit more or if I am unable to (due to lack of time or energy) put into it any more, it's okay, we will certainly still get much from the book and resources I have prepared.
The plan is to start Before Five in a Row after the turn of our school year which will be in June.
We do plan on homeschooling throughout the summer without a significant break. I have a hard time with the "three month gap" - in my opinion stopping school all together for three months requires you to spend a large amount of your time re-learning and reviewing concepts once covered. And in addition to that, I like to be able to go at a relaxed pace, taking breaks when we need them, not when they are scheduled, and doing school all-year long with smaller breaks gives us the freedom to do that.
Lapbooking vs. Lapjournaling
We have truly enjoyed lapbooking and I plan on continuing the concept with our B4FIAR curriculum. We will be doing lapjournaling using sturdy cardstock or folders cut in half and displaying and storing them in a 3-ring binder.This allows easy access for the kids as well being able to show them off to the grandparents and family.
For Other School
The B4FIAR curriculum for Treyton is covering his language arts and science.
I plan on continuing what we have already been doing for Treyton in the other subjects:
Horizon's K for math
ETC for Phonics along with the other things I wrote about here
Bible Units I write
US Geography Pages along reinforced with our GAPS postcard swap
I am so excited to get started with BFIAR and our new school year!! I am so excited in fact you can look forward to me posting on using the B4FIAR concept before the turn of our school year with some other books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear here we come!!)
This past year has gone better than I could have ever dreamed and I look forward to what this next year will bring us. According to Wisconsin's new Kindergarten law I will officially be registering Treyton as a homeschool/private school student in the fall. At first this scared me a little bit, but now I'm much more comfortable with it.
I also look forward to incorporating Alexa in our school more, I know she will love it. And I feel completely confident in our choice of curriculum and approach to teaching both kids thus far.