We have always loved Five in a Row and were excited to see they were one of the vendors whose products we would review; thankfully we received Beyond Five in a Row, Volume 3, which we don’t already own.

Beyond FIAR is geared for ages eight-twelve and uses chapter books rather than picture books. It is a great resource for the transition between the two. There are three volumes, each of which is designed to be used for one semester; however, I’ve found them to be great when our schooling needs a pick-me-up. Grab the guide and do one book. Often I learn as much as the kids do. There is also an optional Christian Character Bible Study Supplement for Beyond Five in a Row (one volume correlating with the three Beyond volumes).

Beyond Five in a Row takes topics that are touched upon in the chapter books and expands upon them. These lessons are presented in wonderful bite-sized nuggets in the guide, and cover such topics as science, history, geography, and language arts. Special enrichment activities invite activities, project, computer activities, etc. in other areas such as drama, art, and cooking.

Here’s how it works. Select one of the chapter books in the Beyond Five in a Row guide. There are two fiction and two non-fiction books; it doesn’t matter in what order you do them. Assign your child a chapter to read (never fear – you have a Parent Summary!). Sit down together for the associated lesson activities presented in the guide. On average, you’ll cover a chapter every two days. Times will vary based on the length and content of individual chapters.

For instance, we chose to begin with The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. I read the Parent Summary and then discussed the Chapter 1 lesson activities with my daughter; we broke it up into two days because of the volume of information and the fact that I assigned her an additional writing assignment based on one of the topics covered. Here are the subjects covered for this lesson:

  • History and Geography: Adolf Hitler–An Introduction (choose what to include based on child’s age and maturity)
  • Science: Acid and Neutralization
  • Language Arts: Narration–Hearing Our Author’s Voice
  • Language Arts: Creating a Full Description
  • Language Arts: New Vocabulary Words
  • Fine Arts: Music History–Bach
  • Fine Arts: Music History–Tchaikovsky
  • Fine Arts: Pen and Ink Drawing
  • Fine Arts: Clay Art
  • Issues of Human Relationships: A Job for Each and Each Job Done Well

You choose what topics to include. For instance, we didn’t cover Fine Arts: Clay Art. I’ll admit it: I’m not really into arts and crafts and I read this section and thought “Yikes! What a mess!” so I skipped it. You’re the teacher, you decide.

Although I’m coming from the parent’s perspective, I always learn new information, and I just love that. Basically, I just love Beyond Five in a Row, and I think you will, too.

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