So what have we found? Five in a Row is a happy curriculum and both I and the children have enjoyed the books and activities.
The story of Ping illustrated by us.
Counting activity from The story of Ping
- exposure to books, previously, unknown to us. Virginia Lee Burton's books, Katie and the big snow and Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel have been a particularly popular finds.
- being able to use the books in an order convenient for us. This meant that we could read the Bee Tree when we had a swarm of bees and Madeline and Mirette on the high wire to fit in with a trip to Paris.
- books covering issues that we might not otherwise have considered. Follow the drinking gourd looks at slavery and All those secrets of the world tackles separation and war.
- increased vocabulary
- a fresh book, each week which, generally, the children hadn't seen previously.
Seeing plane very like that in The Glorious Flight
Some books worked better than others. This was partly a feature of the age of the children. In retrospect, it might have been better to have used Before Five in a Row which is for children aged 2-4. For anyone else using Five in a Row with young children, the books that worked especially well were
- Little Nino's Pizzeria
- Make way for the ducklings
- How to make an apple pie and see the world
- A new coat for Anna
- Mirette on the high wire
- Harold and the purple crayon
- The story of Ping
- The glorious flight
I found that weeks that were less successful were when either the book didn't appeal to the children, for some reason, or where we had less time to do activities around the book. We didn't keep slavishly to the manuals and there are plenty of additional ideas on the internet. We only spent a week on each book which meant that we did nothing like all the possible activities.
Acting out Peter Rabbit
Next year, we are not planning to use Five in a Row. The main reason for this is that there are not enough books, in print, which we haven't used. I would certainly recommend Five in a Row and am very glad that we have used this.
We do plan to read a book of the week, next year. I'm looking for book suggestions-any thoughts?