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We have used FIAR for the last two weeks and have read A Story About Ping and Madeline. Next week we'll do The Rag Coat.
There's not really any good, core math involved with FIAR, as far as I can tell. I think that for a good base in math concepts you'll need some sort of book (all inclusive curriculum book from Sam's or Costco) or an actual curriculum. I've heard good things about both Saxon and Abeka, and I've used Horizons, which seemed a little advanced toward the second half.
I've found that FIAR is great for social studies/history type activities. We learned about the Yangze River and junk boats and The Great Wall with Ping and we talked about compassion and the Eiffel tower with Madeline, as well as poetry. With Ping we did a little science activity where we talked about buoyancy. But as far as I can tell, it's not so inclusive that one would be able to teach their child to read or write all their letters or many other basic skills like that simply by following FIAR. I've found it to be a great supplement to the other things that we do for math, reading, and writing, but I couldn't use it exclusively as my curriculum.
There's a FIAR forum out there. I don't have the address, but I think you could find it by googling "FIAR". They may have more extensive ideas than I do!
-- Lisa --
Wife to my best friend Troy, mom to Reilly and Declan
I've used FIAR in the past. I think it is a great program! I like it for the younger grades a lot and highly recommend it. It does not have any math though so you will have to purchase something seperate for math. You will probably need something for phonics as well.
We also use FIAR, but as with all things we don't use it quite as it is set. My dd will be 5 in November and many of the ideas are over her head yet. So I pick and choose the book and activities then look online for other ideas. I put some links for Ping and madeline up in the projects section. The manual does have some maths ideas to go with the book you are reading, but it is not a maths programe. If you go to the FIAR boards you will see thay say to use a seperate reading and maths programme. http://www.fiveinarow.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi
The manual gives a sugestion for each subject of the book you are using. This can be any book, in any order. There are a few books with deep themes such as black slavery which we wont look at for some time. I know my daughter wouldn't understand it, nor is it relevent to her. The headings in the manual for "madeline" are Geography, human relationships, History, Literary devices, vocabulary, art, maths(grouping,size,symmetry) science (health)
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