Making seasonal memories is one of the most delightful things you can do to begin family traditions with your children, as it has been with us at Five in a Row! As the air gets cooler, days get shorter and leaves start to change, fall seems to pull us to get out into the world
And why am I excited about them?
Those two questions will be forever interwoven. I was a very poor student. If there was one comment I could count on seeing on every single report card it was this: “Steve doesn’t work up to his ability.” Why? Because school wasn’t interesting. It was boring, structured, mindless and frankly- pointless. I was bored senseless beginning in about first grade. The ONLY thing I remember finding interesting was learning to read. Beyond that school was mindless repetition.
There were only a handful of truly great learning moments- days when the light bulb of learning clicked on. Invariably those were days when I was turned loose with some basic tools and an open-ended learning objective. Suddenly the juices began to flow and I became lost in a world of creative learning, self-directed learning, spontaneous learning. I can still remember each of those days and the projects, discovery and knowledge that emerged from the fog of classroom boredom. Today I am an AVID learner, but that didn’t begin until after college. Only as an adult when I could take a subject and explore at my own pace, putting the pieces together as the story unfolded did I finally discover the joy of learning and the value of education.
Five in a Row was created to give children a less rigid approach to learning the content areas of education. (Note- Educators refer to two areas of learning; the skill areas and the content areas. Skill areas are basically the 3 R’s– reading, writing mechanics and math. Content areas are all of the other subjects such as history, science, literature, creative writing, fine arts, geography and more.) There is no substitute for drill and practice in a systematic, sequential regimen for the skill areas of learning. However, for the content areas it’s an entirely different story. Each content subject is a treasure to be
Almost all of use want to see how others homeschool. The beauty of Before Five in a Row is that it can be adapted to fit your family in many, many ways… as many ways as there are families and children using it!
Before Five in a Row is intended to be used quite simply:
1) Read a delightful book to your children – several times over a few days.
2) Notice topics -listed in your B4 manual- that lend themselves to exploration.
3) Lead your child through living learning as you explore those topics in your daily lives!
This is where the linky comes in…
Beyond a strong sense of family identity and intimacy, every child needs a foundation in learning readiness before formal schooling can begin effectively.
Learning readiness encompasses four vital specific areas: emotional, relational, physical and spiritual. A child who physically lacks the small muscle motor skills to grasp a pencil and write will find schooling very frustrating. Poor relational skills make a day’s learning taxing and difficult, while the lack of a solid spiritual foundation undermines everything else we set out to accomplish.
You can help your child grow in emotional maturity by dialoguing about fears, joys, disappointments, jealousies, pride, selfishness and the like. An enjoyable, natural way to generate these important dialogues is
For the next few posts in our Before Five in a Row series we’re going to talk about some building blocks we want to be sure we put in place during these precious preschool years. First, what do we mean when we talk about a “preschooler?” Obviously, the words literally suggest a season in our child’s life beforehe begins schooling.
But these few, precious preschool years are so much more than just a season of waiting for school to begin.
This is a special season when we have the opportunity to prepare our child for the life long adventure of learning; when we can equip him with the tools he’ll need to tackle learning successfully. We can use these years before formal schooling begins to