“We may not ever know why some books come to exert such spellbinding power that children want to hear them again and again. Perhaps it will forever be a mystery, like love. There does however seem to be one solid, prosaic explanation: children enjoy repeating books because the experience imbues them with feelings of competence
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
One question parents consistently ask me is, “How can we help our children prepare for college?” There are many areas and subjects I could mention, but in this post I want to focus on increasing your student’s research skills.
When I am working on a unit study for one my books, I often spend over one hundred hours researching facts, figures, dates, stories, and background information. I feel blessed because I truly love doing research. It taps into my hidden dream to be Nancy Drew! I adore finding the answers to difficult questions. When I went to college I was amazed at the number of students in my classes who were unable to do their own research. Whether they were writing a paper or speech, or conducting a science experiment they were unprepared to find
My child is 9 or 10 or… can I use Five in a Row with him? This is a question I see almost every week on one of our social media pages. The short answer is: YES! Here’s the long answer: