I really love Before Five in a Row. It’s a curriculum meant for preschoolers. My daughter is kind of in between pre-k and kindy (she JUST turned 5), and I think it was a little too simplistic for her. BUT I will be purchasing this book and using it for my youngest son when he turns about 3 or shows more readiness for this book.
Reasons I LOVE this book:
1) It involves the “rowing” process I’ve come to love with Five in a Row (you use one book, read it daily for a week and pull your various lessons from those books). We used Corduroy to try this book out. I picked it since its one of the ones we already had (although I have to mention you can almost ALWAYS get all of the books at your library) and I love this book. We would start out each day on the couch, my 1st grader, my pre-k/kindy gal, and the toddler all on my lap/around my lap listening to the story. And we really loved talking about how we would use our manners and be polite like the little girl in the book. And we discussed saving our money like she did too. We counted the buttons in the story, the stuffed animals beside Corduroy (while holding the Corduroy we have-told you I love it.
2) It comes with a Bible verse that Five in a Row does NOT have, so that was something very neat to see (I don’t do those as often as I should). You don’t HAVE to use it, and I know several secular homeschoolers that would appreciate that flexibility. Some of the books on the list ARE religious but can be skipped if you want.
3) It's flexible. Anyone with children knows how important that is. You cannot be tied to one schedule. It just doesn’t work. When you try, one kid gets sick, another decides to fight you, and a friend needs help with something on the phone while you are trying to clean. So the flexibility of it all is invaluable to me.
4) It has an entirely separate section that helps you figure out what kind of games to play with your preschooler to get them to learning readiness. It’s filled with a bunch of great advice, some of it you will know, some you will appreciate as support for the way you’ve been thinking, some that will seem difficult to deal with (especially the suggestions for what constitutes a good toy) but all of it wise and good to hear even if you don’t follow it.
5) It’s CHEAP. I am NOT dropping 300 dollars on curriculum for my 3 year old to learn how to cut, paste, and color his ABC’s. The teacher manual is $24.95. You can use the library to get the books you need. And after that you will only need to purchase some paper, glue, scissors, and crayons for your preschooler to use. That’s fantastic! This is perfect to use to see if you want to do this whole homeschooling thing.
I am definitely going to use Before Five In A Row when my toddler gets old enough and recommend it for anyone else looking to home school their preschooler with a complete and inexpensive curriculum.