Well I was luckily chosen as one of the reviewers for a 'currriculum' called Before Five In A Row. Children love to read and to be read to. So what Jane Claire Lambert has done in their 150 page book, is give a huge selection of of activities which correspond with specific stories. The book, created for ages two to four, has been broken down into two sections: the stories and activities and a parent's section that gives creative ideas for learning readiness. And it only costs $35. This is one awesome curriculum. Oh, and you can also purchase all the books necessary for the curriculum as a bundle or individually.
The learning readiness section of the book (Part Two) gives parents oodles of ideas and activities as suggestions on how to create the most out of your time with your littles. Most of the sub-sections in this area explain how they help prepare your young child to be able to 'formally' learn. It covers ares from nursery rhymes, poetry, singing, hand games, marching and dancing, to dribbling or bouncing a ball, blowing bubbles, threading and lacing, to activities you can perform during bath time, at the store or in the kitchen.
Now for Part One - the stories and activities or lesson plans. There are 24 specific stories each with a lesson plan that includes pertinent information about the book (author, title, copyright, illustrator, and any awards it may have won), a summary of the book, Bible (a memory verse that relates to the story), and many other areas like science, art, music, language, sequencing, pets, history, shapes, colors, etc. Not every lesson has each category. Under each category is a paragraph or more explaining how to use the book to "teach" the child about these specific 'subjects'. Before Five in A Row has a heart to allow your child to be taught and to grow in their learning through play all the while building everlasting childhood memories.
One of the first things that I did was to read through the list of books. I determined that I would start with the very first one and work my way through the book as far as I could during the review period. Some of the books my library had and others had to be requested from other libraries in the area. For the most part, I have been able to find the first eleven books (which is where we are now ... give or take.) Some of the books include Blueberries for Sal, Yellow Ball, and If Jesus Came to My House.
The first book we picked out was also the first one on the list, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom. To this day this is Seanan's FAVORITE book. We have read it sooooo much that he can basically read the book himself ~ with or without the book present. But let me go back to the beginning.
When we returned home from the library Seanan was so excited to have his own books. He couldn't wait to sit down and read them, so that is exactly what we did. We read Jesse Bear two to three times the very first day. We continued to read it daily, most days more then once, for the first week. I had decided we'd stick with one book for a while to get the hang of the 'curriculum' and their suggestions. He was enamored with the book, both with the rhyme as well as the beautiful illustrations. I also LOVE this book. It shows such love between the mama, papa, and baby Jesse that can be felt through the words.
As we continued to read the book over the next few weeks we have talked about things within the pictures and asked him to find them, games like peek-a-boo that was mentioned in the book, finding a matching pattern or items on a page that all match - like the bears. Seanan has really grown quite fond and attached to this book, so much so that we are thinking it will be a Christmas present for sure! Here is a short video of one of our latest reading times.
Although he hasn't had the same reaction with other books we have read, the simple lessons connected to the books have made it fun for him to read a story over and over while still learning new and exciting ideas. He has enjoyed his new reading books and is now very excited every time we go to the library.
I've also enjoyed the memory verses that have been picked to correspond with the books. Some of the lessons even give you ways to tie the verse in with the Scriptures helping your child see how God is in everything ... even a library book. Seanan has also seemed to have a better appreciation for books and learning now more then he had before. He is more attentive to when his sisters are learning and wants to be right there too. He has even been joining in on our Latin, history, science, and English lessons with raising his hands and repeating rules and songs.
I am so happy that I was given the blessing and opportunity to review this product. I know that my son has grown in his learning just from these short weeks and I can't wait to see what other doors are unlocked while we continue our "lessons" and learning.
I do agree wholeheartedly with the author when they said that the "few brief years of early childhood can never be reclaimed later ...." I truly believe that their book, Before Five In A Row, has the passion for teaching while keeping the necessity for children to play and be children at the forefront of their
If' you'd like to read more reviews about this product, I'd love for you to go check out my Crew members' thoughts. And as always I'd love to hear what you think about this product.
*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***