Around the World with Five in a Row (FIAR)

Ribbet collagefiar

We will be using Five in a Row curriculum with my two littlest up until the end of 2015.  We don’t have enough weeks to cover every book.  As I am doing world geography with the older children along side their explorers unit I am also going to ‘travel’ around the world with my littles using FIAR as my spine.

I will be using the lessons as planned out for me in the above books, however, to make the learning more specific to the current needs of my children I will be doing extra as well.

The most pressing need is A6’s writing.  Since she has now mastered reading she has shown an interest in learning to write.  A6 is a bright girl but her concentration issues means everything is an uphill battle.  The poor thing is me to a tee at her age.  Because I understand that, I have not pushed knowing that like everything else concentration can be mastered over time.  I have brought my lovely mum in to help.  Each day A6 goes round to mum’s and reads her a book, after which mum reads her a chapter book.  She is there for an hour.  It is quiet, she has no distractions or interruptions and her concentration has improved no end.  She is now reading fairly fluently and even chooses to read quietly on her own.  Although she will still be going round to my mum’s next door (mum really enjoys having her), she will also be practising her reading before bed with Daddy.  Each night he listens to her read from her FIAR book and then reads one to her of her own choosing.  She loves this snuggly time with Daddy and it is a lovely way of getting her to read more, thus improving her fluency.

I feel it is now time to teach her writing more earnestly.  I will be using the principles of short writing lessons, requiring full concentration during that time.  She will do a mixture of copy work and simple dictation, as well as me writing down her narrations of the FIAR book we are using and her copying her own narration.  All her reading and writing will be linked in some way to the FIAR book of the week.

I have divided the number of weeks left this year by the number of regions I want to cover geographically (Arctic, Asia, Europe, Australasia, North America and South America.  We are currently doing a separate study on Antarctica which includes the older ones as well).  I will be choosing around four books from the FIAR curriculum to represent each area.  Some will have more, others will have less.  I will add some extra picture books to the mix if I feel I need to.

The following will show what I intend to include each week.  I am writing this primarily as a reference post for myself to help with planning each week.

Core Books

  • The FIAR book chosen for this week
  • The FIAR manuals and extras we will be using

Themes of  the Week

  • Focal geographical region for example: Arctic Circle theme
  • Choose one other theme which is book specific

In Our Prop Box

  • Props which allow re-enactment of book
  • Geography treasure trove including animals found in that region

On Our Book Shelf

  • Include all go-alongs
  • Read and Find Out Science
  • Similar culture based picture books
  • Books related to the geographical region
  • Chapter books related to theme

Language Arts to Cover

  • Read aloud FIAR book, and chapter book
  • A6 to read FIAR book to daddy
  • Copy work from FIAR bible and character supplement each day
  • Narration of FIAR book
  • Copy work of own narration
  • Dictation of Bible copywork


  • Books covering geographical region.  For example Arctic books
  • Map work: either paper maps to colour in region being studied, or puzzle maps
  • Children’s Atlas’ focusing on geographical region
  • We own a thick foam map which is very hardy and completely water proof.  This makes it useful for foam (use as snow) play with arctic animals, or with sand to show areas of dessert etc
  • Biscuit map – anything which is edible is a huge hit in this house and the littles love cooking.  I shall endeavour to help them make world maps and ice the area they are currently studying


  • Read and Find Out Science go along book.  I love these science books-  they are simple and interesting for my little scientists and there are enough that I should be able to find one as a go along
  • Science experiments or demonstrations to go with FIAR book
  • Science experiments or demonstrations about the geographical region.
  • Cooking a recipe to go along with the FIAR book using the FIAR cook book

Art and Needlework

  •  Art lessons from the FIAR manuals
  • Art and needlework linked to the themes of the week
  • Cultural art linked to the region we are studying

We have already done a couple of weeks and the girls have found it to be a fun way to learn about the continents, oceans and polar regions of the world.  Whilst I really do want to work alongside A6 on her reading and writing, I also want this year to be fun and relaxed.  I think FIAR fits the bill perfectly!


    1. Thank you Phyllis. I’m really trying to keep things simple this year and rein in my wayward creativity! (possibly failing…..)

  1. I will look forward to these posts. I have only one ‘little’ and I have been thinking about FIAR. Your plans look great!

  2. What a helpful post for me who is starting to plan our first year of full time homeschooling next year… I am definitely considering using FIAR as well as Beyond FIAR… Thank you for all the resources you share her!!

  3. Lovely plans. FIAR was the curriculum that we have loved the most. We are hoping to use books to study countries at a group we attend so many of the picture books come from Five in a Row.

  4. We LOVE Five in a Row. We are just about done with Beyond FIAR and will be doing Above and Beyond FIAR soon. You have a wonderful plan.

    1. I’m not too bad at doing what I plan to do, although I am very happy to give up on things if they are not working. I’ve tried to keep it simple so hopefully implementing will be easy.

  5. We have loved and still love using FIAR! We are having so much fun with all these lovely books and I pray that you find the learning adventure just as exciting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.