If you have a child ages four to eight, you might want to consider using one of the Five in a Row books as part of your curriculum. Each book provides the homeschooling parent with ideas for teaching language arts, social studies, science, applied math, and art, all centered around good literature.
There are four different volumes in the Five in a Row series. Each volume contains about twenty unit studies, each featuring a different book. For example, in Volume 1 you’ll find lessons using classic children’s picture books such as The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack, Lentil by Robert McCloskey, A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno, Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Although you can purchase the books yourself, many of them can be found in your local library.
You can select any book to begin with; you don’t have to follow them in the order in which they are presented. After reading the book to your child, you can then choose from the activities listed in the lesson. Social studies activities might cover geography or history as it relates to the story; for language arts, you might discuss different types of stories or genres, or you might include a vocabulary lesson. Science lessons can include biology and chemistry, while art activities range from lessons in color to architecture to illustration – all on an elementary level.
There is even a volume for younger children ages two to four entitled Before Five in a Row, as well as three volumes for older children ages eight to twelve entitled Beyond Five in a Row. Beyond Five in a Row utilizes chapter books rather than picture books and includes unit studies for books such as The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden.
The goal of this curriculum is stated at the beginning of the book: “To lead children to fall in love with good books and to embrace the joy of learning.” I’m convinced this easy-to-use curriculum accomplishes that goal.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Fiveinarow.com