Sunday, May 1, 2011

Before Five in a Row: Our Main Learning Basket

Growing up in a family whose only hobby is reading, I couldn't wait to share my love of good books with my own children. Any time is cuddle-reading-time! Thus, my search for a preschool homeschool program for Little T ended when I came across Before Five in a Row (BFIAR).

A literature-based treasury of activities for two to four year olds, BFIAR offers different activities and topics for each book in its list of classic picture books (Good Night Moon, The Runaway Bunny, Corduroy, Blueberries for Sal, We're Going on a Bear Hunt to name a few). It prescribes tackling a different aspect of or detail in a book in every reading. Not really a curriculum, it is about enjoying together the best children’s books out there and making them the jumping point and inspiration for gentle learning. 

Being flexible, BFIAR allows parents and children to chew on, mull over, and live the suggested books, page by page, in true bookworm fashion. Good Night, Moon is not just about saying good night to different objects in the room, but is also about art, rhyme, and connecting stories. Corduroy, a book I was first bored with (!), became a gentle introduction to money, manners, and jobs. Weeks after “rowing” it, Little T is still going around the house in the dark, waving a flashlight like the night watchman in the story.  

Before Five in a Row is helping our family make wonderful memories together as the books become alive for us. It pleases us to hear Little T’s made-up-stories and pretend play littered with details and concepts we learned from the books, assuring us that this gentle “non-curriculum” is making an impact. Her awareness of her surroundings has heightened, as ours have. Now, every time we see flowers, we stop and look and remember how Jesse Bear’s house is full of flowers, on the wall, on the floor, and even on his mom’s apron.

Join our family as we learn together at home and develop in Little T (and Baby Boy in the future) a lifelong love of reading and exploring, one Learning Basket at a time.

Make magic!

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Chris said...

Thanks for the reply. I will check it out now! :D

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Chris! It's only officially available at Rainbow Resource for $35. (Check out ). The price is not bad at all since you can use it for several years. You can go deeper into subject matters as your child grows older. 

Chris said...

Wow! This seems really interesting!  I have a 5 year old boy and I would like to try Five in a Row. How much is it?

Venice1014 said...

hi, my son is 2yrs 4 months. I find your site very helpful. Its amazing the way you have come up with all these activities! Im interested to try this with my son. I noticed in their web site ( Rainbow Center) that they have a literature set, and a book entitled Before five in a Row (in this blog) . Does it mean that the book ( the one in this blog) should be read first by me to have an idea of all the actvites for each book?

The Learning Basket said...

Hi! Yes, Before Five in a Row has specific activities for around 15 classic children's literature that will really enrich your reading experience.  Before Five in a Row (for ages 2 to 4) and Five in a Row (for ages 4 to 8) are popular around the web. You will see many activities posted in blogs, but in my opinion, you really have to have the manuals and just get additional ideas as supplements. Let me know if you have other questions. Thanks for dropping by :)

Blessie said...

Ack! Four to eight? Too late na pala for my eight-year-old :-( But I still have three that can benefit from BFIAR and FIAR! Thanks for the info, Mariel!