If you’re using Beyond Five in a Row, you’re on a wonderful adventure in education built around the concept that the single most important lesson any child can learn is to “love learning.” We strongly believe that if a child successfully learns this lesson, all the rest will follow. You know by now that Beyond Five in a Row is a literature-based unit-study built around strong, traditional and delightful children’s books.
Unlike Five in a Row, you will not be studying specific academic subjects on specific days of the week. Instead, you will be guiding your student into a variety of areas each week. Some weeks will have a heavier emphasis on science while others may have greater emphasis on the fine arts, for instance. What you study each week is a function of what chapters you happen to be studying. Overall, your student will receive a comprehensive education in five principal areas: History & Geography, Language Arts, Science, the Fine Arts and Human Relationships. There are several areas you will need to supplement including: Arithmetic, and the narrow language arts specialties of grammar, spelling and penmanship. These subjects do not lend themselves to a unit-study approach and you’ll want to be sure to include them each week.
With this type of curriculum, it is not possible to simply read one chapter every day and do the associated lesson activities. Some chapters are brief and you may very well finish the chapter and all related activities in one day. Other chapters, however, may be either lengthy, or filled with an unusually rich field of learning possibilities. These chapters may take nearly a week to explore thoroughly. Your overall goal is to complete the volume in one semester; approximately 90-100 school days. On average, you’ll find yourself covering a chapter every two days or so, but part of the joy of unit study is allowing students to follow their interests. You may find some lesson activities such as a personal journal or a leaf collection for instance, that continue for weeks as you pursue your studies. Other activities may take only 30 minutes to complete. Remember that our goal as educators is not to cram facts into children’s brains long enough to successfully complete a test on Friday.
Our goal is to help children fall in love with learning, to discover the joy of reading,
to learn how to find answers and use research tools,
to learn to think critically
and to assimilate knowledge in a way that is both relevant and memorable.
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Follow us over the next several Thursdays as we explore what Beyond Five in a Row might look like in every day life! If you’re using Beyond with your student and have a question you’d like to see answered, leave it in the comments and we’ll do the best we can to answer it!