Before Five in a Row: Home Schooling Ideas for Preschoolers



As many children start back to school, I am, as a home schooling mom, just solidifying lessons plans for the year. We don’t actually take long vacations from school so we don’t have a “summer break.” However, I won’t officially start the new school year until after Labor Day. As I am knee deep in curriculum, I wanted to share one of my preschool methods that I think is helpful for all moms who are teachers at heart. Little kids learn from doing, and I love when a topic reaches into several areas of their lives. It makes learning come to life.

I want to share one of my favorite resources to do this but just know that they didn’t ask me to share about their awesomeness.  It is Before Five in a Row. I enjoyed this so immensely with my girls that I recommend it to all families, no matter which educational route they choose. It is a wholistic approach to learning based off of classic children’s literature. Each lesson starts with a story such as Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal. It then gives several educational activities based around the story to do as you go about your day. Once the manual is purchased, many of the books can be found at a library and the supplies for activities can be found in your house. Which equals cheap. If your children are in school, it is something you can do in the summer months or on days when your child is not in preschool.  This is a faith-based book, but the general principles can be applied in other topics.


For instance, my little guy is a hands-on learner. In beginning to explore about different animals, we started with giraffes. We went out to the Zoo and fed the giraffes. I could’ve gone broke doing this repeatedly as he enjoyed it so much. We then came home and colored with giraffe colors and counted spots. We talked about their long necks and tongues. We watched Baby Einstein’s World Animals. I gave him his baby brother’s soothing sounds giraffe. I was delighted to find him later trying to feed the giraffe dog food. It was taking one event and finding as many ways to explore that topic as possible. If he were older, we might write a report on giraffes, learn about their social habits, anatomy, etc. If your little one is doing themed weeks, you could incorporate this same kind of thinking into doing things at home, too, by doing activities that reinforce that theme.


For most of us, we want the time we spend with our kids to be full of quality. We want to explore their little worlds with them and share a love of learning. Thinking wholistically about activities is one way you can enhance their learning when you are together, no matter your educational path.

What are some favorite learning activities or approaches you have with your children? Do you have a resource or curriculum that you love? 


  1. We’ve just started FIAR for Kinder. I’m enjoying it, except I gotta admit I’m having some new-homeschooling-mom issues with figuring out how to plan what we’ll do (there’s almost TOO much offered for subjects to cover per book, and how to store/sort/organize all my planning goodies!), balancing all that planning with spontaneity and child-directed interests, and my son’s own character challenges not wanting to do what I say we’re doing. Other than that, I love it! lol
    Any tips for me?


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