Sunday, August 2, 2015

Five In A Row: A Review

The very first curriculum we ever used was Five In A Row. My boys were much younger, & smaller, way back then. We'd curl up on the couch & read the same story for 5 straight days. We read about little girls who struggled to read, bulls who didn't want to fight, people who traveled great distances to new lands, & of bears who could dance with great talent.

The stories always made us smile, & introduced my children to the knowledge that learning is fun. That with the knowledge to open a book & read, one could find the information to nearly anything they desired.

Over the years we read the stories, & we read them again. One child finished them all off & the next one was ready to be introduced. Our eldest could be heard saying, "Oh that's such a good story, let me tell you about it.." & his little brother would sit still & silent, a rare thing to be honest, as he was told all about how amazing the book for the week was going to be.

My eldest still holds a great fondness for each & every one of those beautiful picture books that were the introduction to his education, the beginning of a world of knowledge for him. He fell in love with Grandfather who's heart is always torn between two countries, & with Amber who wanted to desperately to learn to read but struggles so much. Two subjects very dear to his own sweet heart.

Our youngest would giggle each time we turned off the last light for the night & I attempted my best Ms Clavel voice as I said, "That is all there is Little Girls, there isn't anymore." It's still a saying that gets spoken around here from time to time, as do many quotes from the books we fell in love with so long ago.

When one writes a review it's easy to say what we love or hate about a programme or a book, but it can be far harder to remain unbiased & explain the deep love we have for something. Love that has no words or boundaries. These picture books now sit in a place of honour on bookshelf, & we still take time to collect them as we stumble upon them in shops. Not because we don't all ready own the set, because I know at least one of my children desperately wants his own complete collection.

Explaining that type of love & passion can be difficult without sounding mushy & crazy. After all it's just homeschool curriculum, right? They are just books with lovely pictures & stories inside. Yet to us, they are so much more. They are the books that my children will forever remember, they are the books they pull off the shelf when they need a "pick me up" & they tell the story aloud to each other, then go back through rearranging the story to make the other one laugh.

These are the books that get quoted & requoted; the quotes mixed with one another to weave every story into one long line of craziness. These are the books my children sat for hours listening to & then begged for just "one more reading please!" Our copy of Mike Mulligan was nearly read into the ground & I've forever been grateful when my parents sent us another copy complete with audio cd so my voice could take a break form reading the beloved story of Mary Anne. Never mind I could read it without the book in hand as my child sat perched upon the counter dutifully turning pages while I was washing dishes.

I'm not really sure I conveyed that deep seated love when I wrote our review, I just hope I represented in the light that it's an amazing curriculum if you want to give it a go. You can read our review here if you're interested, for the more nitty gritty on the curriculum & not just the mushy stuff.

1 comment:

Shelly L. said...

Kendra! This post speaks to my heart! It's good to see FIAR being talked about and shared in such a heart-felt manner! Those of us who have been blessed by Five in a Row know what the delight in those books and lessons is all about. Nice job!