Choosing a homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming. There are A LOT of great materials out there. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from personal experience and inputs from other moms it’s to always go with your child’s interest. Since my son is an early reader it was an easy decision for us to go for a literature-based curriculum! 🙂 Okay, let me just put it out there that he became an early reader not by force.
As early as 1.5 years old we noticed how good Timmy was in imitating sounds. Like he would get his dad’s tone and enunciation perfectly! That’s when I realized that he’s an auditory learner (aside from visual) and phonics would be something he would enjoy. He really did! A year and a half later, we were reading! But that’s his interest. His reading readiness was early. Give him Lego or blocks and he will build letters not buildings. Hahaha! Definitely not a future engineer. All I’m saying is that you go with your child’s pace, interests, and strengths whatever that may be. 🙂
Fast forward to today (he’s 4.10) and we’re still in love with books. 🙂 I heard about “Five in a Row” (FIAR) from fellow homeschooling moms. This literature-based curriculum uses books to teach multiple subjects. It’s a match made in homeschool heaven for my little reader! We’re currently using “Before Five in a Row” (BFIAR) for ages 2-4 years old. Shifting from Letter of the Week to BFIAR was pretty easy as we were already doing unit studies for almost a year. 🙂
Unit studies use a theme (in this case the alphabet) to cover different subjects. Same principle is applied to FIAR but instead of a theme you will use books! 🙂 We started with our first book “Carrot Seed” three months ago while we were doing our “C” week. We’ve actually wrapped up our Letter of the Week and have been doing FIAR the past two months. Yup, I’m still trying to catch up with my blogging backlog! Anyway, here’s what we’ve done during our first BFIAR week! 🙂
Rowing “Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss
I first encountered “Carrot Seed” back when I was still working at a specialty bookstore. It was one of the recommended readings in one of the schools we used to conduct book fairs in. It’s actually a very simple book with equally simple illustrations. But there are a lot of things you can do with it!
Since this story involves planting, we read and learned about the Parable of the Sower. 🙂 We also watched the video below that illustrates the parable in a fun and engaging way!
Other Related Books
We also read books about planting and taking care of the environment. 🙂 “The Tree Doctor” tells you how to take care of trees like what they need to grow, how do you know if it’s still healthy, and more! We love Lois Ehlert and the book “Growing Vegetable Soup” shows how you plant and grow vegetables while “Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” talks about the changing colors of leaves during different seasons! “Chimpanzees of Happytown” is a wonderful storybook about a town that transformed from being a no-tree zone to being a town with flourishing foliage! 🙂
We planted carrot seeds! It was a fun experience for Timmy! After a week or so, we started to see carrot sprouts! 🙂 But due to uncontrollable circumstances, our carrot seeds died. I did some online research and saw that growing carrot tops is a great way to demonstrate plant growth, too! So that’s what we did next. 🙂
I chopped some carrot tops and placed them on a container with water. Timmy would change the water everyday and he was really amazed with the daily growth of the carrot tops! I think we continued this for seven days. This book will teach your child patience and responsibility just like the main character who patiently took care of his carrot seed. 🙂 Timmy would even chant, “Keep growing carrot tops!” everyday. Too cute! 🙂
Writing and Language
Homeschool Share is a gem for newbie homeschooling moms like me! They have a complete Carrot Seed lapbook with free printables! Timmy enjoyed doing these activities. 🙂 I placed the printables in a clear book and my little one used whiteboard markers so we could reuse the printables the entire week! Saves ink, too! 🙂 These activities will only take 10-15 minutes tops.
I did a carrot-themed math exercise for Timmy. It’s a counting exercise and a greater than/less than practice. 🙂 It actually took me more time to cut the foam carrots than Timmy finishing the exercise. Haha! But seeing him excited with his colorful activity is what makes DIY so fulfilling to do! He would really take time to explore the texture, drawing, or whatever craft there is on his paper. 🙂
For art, Timmy painted some carrots! He used watercolor to create his very own carrot harvest! My little man enjoys painting so we try to do it as often as we can. 🙂
There you have it! We’ve finally rowed our first book! 🙂 Watch out for our other BFIAR activities! Will blog about our remaining letters of the week, too (X, Q, and Z). Thanks for dropping by! 🙂