TOS Sweet Critique: Before Five in a Row

PhotobucketWho:  Five in a Row {created by the Lambert family}

What:  Before Five in a Row – 24 mini-units that make use of literature for children ages 2-4, as well as an extensive “learning readiness” section

Contact:  Message Board

Cost:  $35, plus any books you choose to purchase {can easily be checked out from the library, or you might have the titles already}

Ages:  2 – 4

Before Five in a Row is designed to be used by parents of children ages two to four.  The mini-units provide instruction and activities meant to be used in conjunction with books such as Goodnight Moon and Caps for Sale.  Unlike Five in a Row, the lessons for each book are not necessarily spread out over five days.  They are meant to provide bonding time with your child and a few learning readiness exercises to prepare your child for school in a few years.

Although Babydoll is much older than the suggested age, we took a look at the book because I know what it’s like to be a parent of a child aged two to four.  I definitely would have loved to have had something like this when she was little, as I’m one of those parents that needs direction when it comes to “play.”  I’m much more suited for parenting an older child…

Caps for Sale was one of my favorite books growing up, so I took a gander at that unit.  Although this is the unit I focused on, all literature mini-unit in BFIAR are essentially the same.  You are provided with title, author, illustrator, and copyright information, followed by a story summary.  The unit is then broken up into bible, math, language, sayings, science, art, character, and parent’s note.  It’s extensive!  Each component ties into the story.

In this particular unit, the science lesson focused on health and the way children used to walk around with a book on their heads to learn and keep good posture.  I know Babydoll used to love to walk around with things on her head, trying to balance them.  The lesson suggests letting your child do this, seeing how many things he or she can balance.  Why?  Because the man in the story balanced all the hats he was selling on his head!!

Math involved things like counting the number of hats of each color or introducing a brief money lesson.  Character lessons talk about the characters in the story and what we can learn from them.

My favorite part of the book was the learning readiness section.  There are a number of activities {it’s the largest section of the book} that include bath time activities, store activities, and my favorite, activities in the kitchen!!  Some of these things are things you might already do with your child, but it’s always great to have more suggestions, especially when you’re talking about things such as a two year old in the kitchen!

I also like the fact that, although this is produced by a Christian company, it does not contain doctrinal information and it is not pervasive in the book.  It’s a small part of each lesson and can easily be left out.

I would highly recommend this book.  It’s easy to use, concise, clear, and very well put together.  Like I mentioned before, I would have loved to have had something like this for use with Babydoll.  If you’re struggling for ideas of things to do with your young children or how to prepare them for more “structured” learning, this is the book for you!

True Confessions:  As a TOS Homeschool Crew Reviewer, I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  You always get my honest opinion!