Growing up in a family whose only hobby is reading, I couldn’t wait to share my love of good books with my own children. Any time is cuddle-reading-time! Thus, my search for a preschool homeschool program for Little T ended when I came across Before Five in a Row (BFIAR).
A literature-based treasury of activities for two to four year olds, BFIAR offers different activities and topics for each book in its list of classic picture books (Good Night Moon, The Runaway Bunny, Corduroy, Blueberries for Sal, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to name a few). It prescribes tackling a different aspect of or detail in a book in every reading. Not really a curriculum, it is about enjoying together the best children’s books out there and making them the jumping point and inspiration for gentle learning.
Being flexible, BFIAR allows parents and children to chew on, mull over, and live the suggested books, page by page, in true bookworm fashion. Good Night, Moon is not just about saying good night to different objects in the room, but is also about art, rhyme, and connecting stories. Corduroy, a book I was first bored with (!), became a gentle introduction to money, manners, and jobs. Weeks after “rowing” it, Little T is still going around the house in the dark, waving a flashlight like the night watchman in the story.
Before Five in a Row is helping our family make wonderful memories together as the books become alive for us. It pleases us to hear Little T’s made-up-stories and pretend play littered with details and concepts we learned from the books, assuring us that this gentle “non-curriculum” is making an impact. Her awareness of her surroundings has heightened, as ours have. Now, every time we see flowers, we stop and look and remember how Jesse Bear’s house is full of flowers, on the wall, on the floor, and even on his mom’s apron.
Join our family as we learn together at home and develop in Little T (and Baby Boy in the future) a lifelong love of reading and exploring, one Learning Basket at a time.