Five in a Row

February 5, 2011
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Five in a Row

Content: Full Curriculum
Grade(s): PreK – 3rd
Perspective: Christian
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: No
Teacher Involvement: Essential
Cost: $$ || ?
Pages: 159
Publication Date: 1997
Updated Review: May 12, 2014

From Five in a Row’s website:

Five in a Row provides students with a unit-study approach to early education based on outstanding children’s literature. Five in a Row is comprised of 4 manuals. Volumes 1-3 contain units that are all written at about the same level based on books at about the same level, and the units can be completed in any order. The units in Volume 4 are based on more difficult literature, cover more challenging concepts and designed to be completed over a two week period of time.

Visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners will all benefit from Five in a Row’s variety of lessons and activities. Just bring home one of the 70 books used in Five in a Row from the library and then locate the corresponding lesson plan in your teacher’s guide. Read the story aloud each day during the week and use the suggestions and lesson plans to lead your children on a wonderful learning adventure.

You’ll teach a different subject each day beginning with social studies on Monday. You’ll find history lessons, geography lessons, discussions on foreign culture taken directly from the story you’ve just read. On Tuesday you’ll examine the author’s use of language, learning about punctuation, vocabulary, literary devices, creative writing and more. Wednesday you’ll discover a comprehensive art curriculum as you explore the illustrator’s techniques, style and use of materials with lots of hands-on art lessons for early learners. Thursday your children will explore applied mathematics as they learn about counting, grouping, measurements, simple geometric shapes, etc. Finally, on Friday you’ll explore science together with activities to learn more about weather, astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry and more.

The publishers recommend adding complete Math and Phonics programs to your FIAR curriculum.

About the Author:
Jane Claire Lambert made the decision to begin homeschooling her own two children in 1981. Having met only one homeschooler at the time and with almost no homeschool curriculum available for purchase, Jane began developing her own unique teaching style centering around great children’s books and a highly interactive approach to learning.

Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Five In A Row? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.



  • Abby December 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I really loved the flexibility and relaxed nature of the curriculum. I also really liked the lit-based project learning style. We’re trying something different for Kindy in the spring to compare. I have a feeling that we will continue to use FIAR lessons as supplements through whatever curriculum plan we end up using because my kid really loves the book-project links. I just don’t know that it’s enough as a stand alone program (with math and phonics). It was a really nice way to get my feet wet with homeschooling

  • Eileen August 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I loved FIAR. The books are thoughtfully chosen and just beautiful. We used it as a gentle Kindergarten curriculum. Some books are difficult to get. I tried inter-library loan to get many of them. If that didn’t work, we just skipped that book. Each week, I looked over the overwhelming list of activities and picked about 10 to implement. We didn’t always get to the 10, but the biggest thing I focused on was putting our discs on the map and the art and language activities. We didn’t always get to 5 days with a book … maybe we were busy. Maybe we didn’t like the book as much. I I think we spend 20-30 minutes a day on it and the rest of our day (about an hour and half max) was spend on math and gentle reading instruction. learned so much about children’s books from the process. After my first go-around, I was able to create a few similar activities on the fly of other cherished picture books around the house.

  • Christy May 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    We are adding FIAR books into our curriculum this year for my 10 yo. It can be a lot of work to find the books and you have to do quite a bit of work a head of time. It isn’t an open box and go type of course which is what I usually use so it had been challenging for me to use but I do like it. It has lead to lots of discussions in our house. Even at his age he is getting a lot out of it. We are adding geography heavily into it so he is learning the flags of the countries and the names of continents etc and going in depth in history more so then I would with a younger child. We are only doing one book a month for a full week and focusing only on FIAR on those weeks and then doing our regular school the rest of the month.

  • Sharon J. May 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I have used FIAR for my kids from when we started our homeschool journey 13 years ago, and have consistently used it for my kids through their second and third grade years. My kids really came to love the books, and learned so much from the lessons. Even now, when I pull out a book to read to my 6 year old, my 17 year old will come in and listen again – the books become truly beloved.

  • Betty Porter February 27, 2011 at 7:46 am

    We used this when my son was younger. My son has LD’s & had a hard time reading the same book all week. I mixed it up a little & made it work for us. We made lapbooks to go along with the books which made it fun. I really like using unit studies, and I think this was my all time favorite! If you’re looking for a unit study for your little ones, this one is worth then try!~

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