Five In A Row Volume 1 – Madeline!

We love Five in a Row.  

Every time I come back after time away from ‘rowing’, I realize how much I adore this kind of learning for young ones and how deeply rooted my heart is in Five in a Row.  Oh, the memories and the joy of learning it creates!
A little note: We started this ‘new year’ (we start new in Spring) with Alex (6 years old) doing Little Hearts for His Glory from Heart of Dakota.  Within 5 weeks of doing the program, I knew it wasn’t going to really work for him.  Or for me!  I will say though, we do LOVE Heart of Dakota in the next levels and will continue with Beyond and Bigger Hearts this year with Audrey and Simon.  I plan to post about why we chose FIAR over HOD for our 6 year old in the next week or so.  I also hope to post an updated review of Five in a Row along with a post about how to organize Five in a Row studies – I better get busy!  ha!

So – on to our first row of the ‘year’!  This is the very first time I have ever rowed through a book with one child.  We have done most of Volume 1and 2 with Simon and Audrey (4 -5 years ago now!) and most of Volume 3 last year with Alex involved as well.  When we rowed Volumes 1 and 2,  Alex was so little, he does not remember the early guides.  This year we will also be rowing Volume 4 titles with all three children periodically throughout the year.
I decided to tone down the studies to a more doable level (not quite so involved as some of the rows we’ve done in the past) and work to follow the guide directly with only a few things mixed in beyond what is covered by Jane Claire Lambert in the guide. (Imagine that following a guide as-is!)
It was a HUGE success.  Very peaceful, fun, productive, and memorable!  

We spent 2 weeks ‘rowing’ Madeline.
All ready to start on the first day.  I continued using our clipboard system for Alex.  He loves to see what is coming up in the study.

Rowing Madeline – some of what we covered:

  • Geography – learning about France, finding France on a globe and a map, locating Paris, and seeing how far Paris is from where we live in Ontario.  We also used the iPad (I know… I’m getting super high-tech…!) to locate many of the famous building in Paris which are shown in the book.
  • Bible – we have the Bible and Character Supplement for Five in a Row, so we worked through most of the content for Madeline.  This included discussing understanding and thinking about what is good (“…they smiled at the good…”), compassion, and orderliness.  We also discussed how we could make someone feel better if they were sad or hurt.
  • History – here we pointed out the difference about various items and settings in the book compared to present day.  The book is set in about the 1930s.
  • Language Arts – Poetry, Rhyming Schemes, Rhyming words, Repetition, Vocabulary.
  • Art: we looked at various buildings and the architecture shown in Bemelmans’ illustrations.  We also talked about the variety of color and the yellow/black illustrations and how they create variety.
  • Culture: we discussed French culture and read a book and watched a short movie about a child who lives in Paris.
  • Math: Grouping, Adding, Comparing Size, Symmetry, Telling Time
  • Health/Science:  We talked about our bodies, our digestive system, the Appendix, and healthy habits and eating.
Let’s find Paris, France.
Isn’t there something so beautiful about curling up together and enjoying a great book – nothing beats the feeling!
Comparing sizes from the smallest to biggest using Lego.  This is related to the idea of Madeline being the smallest one!

Madeline Math.  Grouping and adding using printable “little girls”.

Using our shape blocks to demonstrate Symmetry.  I made a pattern on the left, Alex copied it on the right.  Then he did the same for me.

Making Eiffel Towers out of wafers and icing – always a hit.

We just looked at this photo and tried to copy it.

Using a Map App to locate 3D photos of the famous buildings found in Madeline!  (This was so fun!)  Here, Alex has found the Eiffel Tower.

Notre Dame – at the same angle too…  I was way more excited than Alex.
Vine Walk – “In an old house in Paris, all covered in vines…”  We walked and took photos of fences, houses, etc. that were covered in vines.

Simplified Lapbooking

I have a love/hate relationship with Lapbooking.  We have done TONS of Lapbooks… so you would think I loved them, but, in actuality, I have my struggles with them.  So much printing, cutting, organizing, pasting, and implementing!  So often, I have found myself doing the lapbooking instead of the child.

On the flip-side, I also love them for how they inspire creativity, offer variety, give visual/tactile appeal, and make such great keepsakes of our learning.

For our walk through Five in a Row Volume 1 with Alex this year, I plan to use Lapbooking in a simplified way.  We are using basic lined notebooks (the cheap ones you can get for 20 cents in August).  Each time we start a new row, we will simply put the title of the book before the new content.  Hopefully, instead of having 20 file folder lapbooks that are hard to keep and store, we will have 2-3 notebooks full of wonderful learning!  (So much easier!)
So far, it has proven to be a great way to work through much of the work and Alex loved the variety.  I didn’t use the whole lapbook that I found (linked below) but only the parts I really thought were relevant and would appeal to Alex.

 It was just enough flaps, cutting, pasting – but not too much that it got overwhelming.  Then we added copywork and the other simple elements of the FIAR study.  I would say this will be more of an Interactive Notebook than a “Lapbook” really.  It will be great!

Our Notebook for Madeline:

Telling Time flap book.

Rhyming Words mini book – Alex found the words that rhymed, I wrote them in for him.

Some copywork.

Smallest to Largest with numbering.  I love how Alex chose to draw stick men to hold up his ‘crooked’ numbers…  *smile*

Our first page of our FIAR Notebook – we marked France on a map of Europe, colored a flag of France, talked about the vocabulary words…

More copywork.

From top left: Finding France on a map, ways we can bring joy (Alex thought of these), coloring a flag of France, and scripture verse from the Bible Supplement.  Also – Alex wrote words that rhymed for copywork one day.

From top left: our notebook spread open, locating and discussing the function of body organs, numbering the little girls, and the Tour de France activity.  The Tour de France is really neat as it shows all the various famous buildings and locations that are actually illustrated in Madeline.  Always fun to find them!

Keeping FIAR simple – our little selection for our Row of Madeline.

Some Links:

Thanks for reading!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *