"Rowing" With Before Five in a Row

Before Five in a Row (B4FIAR) is a literature based unit study focused on books and creative play.

The program requires the Before Five in a Row manual, which is "A treasury of creative ideas to inspire learning readiness" for "ages two thru 4."

The manual is divided into two sections.

Part One is Before Five in a Row Stories and Activities - these are the familiar and beloved story books that we have come to love.

Story books such as:

{Links to our "rows"}

We've had a Teddy Bear Picnic, rolled a yellow ball in yellow paint to make "yellow ball" prints, made mock "tuna schooners" in our own blue blanket boat in the back yard, made blueberry jam, ate a bowlful of mush in a "green" room, rode the trolley and collected items in our pocketbook, chased a runaway bunny, made an ABC collection, made monkey pops and learned to count, grew our own carrots and waited, and waited, and waited for them to come up, made footprints in the snow, visited a pond and sat real quiet, went on nature walks, had pretend play, "visited" the outback and made a pavlova, went on a bear hunt, and learned the meaning of friendship!

And more! We've made a lot of wonderful memories, all while reading each book five days in a "row."

Part Two of the manual is a Parent's Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness. This section has ideas to develop large and fine motor skills, coordination, reading readiness and is an inspiration for learning through play.

The Before Five in a Row manual really is a treasury! And it is only $35 at Rainbow Resource.

You can read any book for five days in a row, and do many wonderful activities to go-along, but you cannot "row" a book without the Five in a Row manual. Furthermore, my posts are certainly not meant to replace the manual. What I share is how we use the manual.

The manual has suggested ways to make the most of Before Five in a Row.
"Above all, the time between ages two and four should be a time of sharing, hugging, reading, singing, dancing, puzzles, blocks, outdoor excursions, swinging high, playing in the sandbox and enjoying fascinating introductions to the wonderful world of life." ~ Jane Clare Lambert

I love that!

However, Before Five in a Row is a very open ended program. 

The B4 manual really is a "guide." It tells you what you "can" do. It is an inspirational tool. What I share here on my blog is either inspired by the manual, the book itself, my children, or other rowers.

For me, it's what I do with it that matters. And that is what I share here. My style is much more than reading the manual and discussing ideas. I'm very hands-on. I love to DO! And my kids love it, too.

I hope to continue to share our "rows," but with the understanding that my rows are not meant to replace the manual. :)


  1. I ordered BFIAR for my daughter. I cannot wait until this fall time to start it up with her :) I've gotten many good ideas on here and from the teacher's guide . She's quite excited. :)

  2. I am so excited to "row" BFIAR with my little two next year. I'm grateful for your review of the manual, I didn't know about the "Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness". It's on the short list of things I need for preschool for next year!!!

  3. I wish I could make this work for us smoothly. I love how it's a beautiful fit for your teaching style and wish we lived closer to join in :) I am trying to fit in some units as we go and always use your site for inspiration.

  4. I'm excited for you, Bekah! It's really a fun way to learn. Hope you have a great year!

  5. Yay! I pray you have a blessed year getting to focus on your little ones during this time. It will be a blessing, I'm sure!

  6. Me, too, believe me! :) I always look forward to your units when you are able to fit them in. You are an inspiration to me as well!

  7. It seems like the link to each row is not working :)

  8. Thank you for letting me know! All my rows can be found in the drop down menu under the FIAR tabs until I get these fixed.