View Full Version : Order of History?

06-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Hi, I posted a couple days ago with lots of questions since I am new and I have another one for y'all!

Is there an order to the books in the Volumes as far as the science and history goes? It seems like it jumps from one thing to the next without connection...for example, study of Japan in one book but Native Americans the next. Do you choose your order or stay with the guide? Hope I am making sense. Is there a scope and sequence I could pull up somewhere?

Jane Claire
06-13-2007, 03:53 PM

Though you can use the FIAR material in any way you wish, here is some philosophy behind the method.

Below is a post from another thread...I just reposted here to answer part of your question. Five in a Row does indeed take wonderful pieces of history as they appear in the stories and then use the time line to reference where they fit. For this age group 4-8 and even in Beyond Five in a Row 8-12 we have found this to be the most effective method of teaching history...for the students...they enjoy their lessons and keep coming back for more. It is wonderful to have students even up through sixth grade still on fire for the history lessons.The time line helps them have a quick visual to put things in perspective--as much as children this age can. (As always you can find quick overview books at the library on American History or World History and read them for fun, but the FIAR lessons study wonderful pieces of history and leave the significant overview years--jr. high, high school--for putting the huge scope of history before the students. It is at this time that they remember the pieces and are excited to see how they fit into the whole.

Here is the post:

I did find myself explaining the idea of a timeline more clearly at this last convention we did in Virginia. I really do think that a timeline is very important for Five in a Row units, even from the age of 4. BUT!!! Have you considered this?

Use the Five in a Row templates one at a time when you work on each story. If you have a specific event, famous person, invention, etc., included in your story selection of the week, then take a page, put the year date on it or an increment date such as 1750-1800 and find clip art, draw, or use magazine pictures to illustrate the person, event, etc. If you desire, just fill in a quadrant of the space and leave room for other things of the same time period. Put this page in a folder or box. Whenever you do another lesson that needs to be "timed" just get out another Five in a Row template page and write the date and illustrate, such as 1940-1950 for the World War II era when studying Hannah's New Coat.

Now you have 2 pages in your folder or box. Set them out on the table...one will come before the other. Let your student see this. As you continue through your Five in a Row studies your box of timed pages will grow and "fill in." Eventually you will have a long, and remarkably complete time line that you can string across a room. Everything you study can be "fit in" just by putting one page between two others. This method can continue throughout your student's education even through high school. When you have pages with the same dates they go under each other as you string the rest across. This way your student can see at a glance (by picture and date) in the stacked pages which things happened at the same time!

Hope this is some help. Enjoy!

This is so easy...not complicated or difficult and having some sort of timeline is an important part of learning the Five in a Row way, since we study history by introducing and examining "amazing pieces" rather than chronologically.

06-13-2007, 04:03 PM
It seems like it jumps from one thing to the next without connection...?

The connection is to the story. They'll look back and say oh yeah, I loved Madeline. I remember talking about the eifel tower, and oh year, we talked about the human body and about appendix in that story. Later you'll read another book (maybe Giraffe that walked to Paris) and you will say ....we read another book a while ago that happened in Paris, remember Madeline. Then you'll talk a bit more about Paris, about the River Seine. Then later you'll come back to Paris again 2 years down the road, maybe re-rowing Madeline, or maybe another book- and your kids will remember "Oh yeah, Madeline lived in an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, and La Giraffe walked to Paris and crossed the Seine River," then you'll go into more depth about Paris.

Here is a link to a HUGE chart that shows all the things covered in FIAR.


When FIAR was written- the scope and sequences of 1-3rd grades were used in selecting the books and such. So it definately covers the "necessary" stuff, but in a way that your kids will remember. :clap:

06-14-2007, 01:36 AM
First, I love FIAR. Its been really great in our home this past year. DD has blossomed into a book-lover, on the verge of reading herself. Her attention span has increased dramatically. Our one-on-one times have been so rich.

I read the first few posts in this thread a few hours ago, and have been thinking about this. With all that I love about FIAR, I hesitate to express that I too wish for chronology in teaching history. I'm guessing that chronology versus unit study is a personality preference, and an educational philosophy, as Jane so eloquently wrote about.

Its easy to check off boxes in a chronology scope and sequence, so that appeals to me. I tend to overanalyze things (in plain terms ... I spend too much time on the internet figuring out all the options!), so following a timeline in order makes the most sense, and saves time "planning."

I love FIAR and plan on using it as our literature portion next year (along with the FIAR five days schedule), but I love history so much that I'm trying to figure out what kind of history to follow. (Sidenote: My love of history is from an amazing American History professor from my freshman year at community college. She spoke for an hour, three times a week, without notes, giving the most wonderful stories based on first hand historical accounts, full of amazing details.)

For someone like me, FIAR-History edition, would be exactly what I'm looking for ... a picture book, literature-based, chronological study, where I could tie it all together in one book. Forgive me for dreaming Jane!

06-14-2007, 12:22 PM
thanks for that link. I think the last post summed it up for me. While I am on board with the philosophy of FIAR, I seem to long for that "in order" aspect of history. I did not have that growing up in public schools and I was lacking historical maturity as I became and adult. I had to sort of relearn things and where they fit into God's timing of creation and so on...I guess you could arrange the books in an order where they are chronological history wise but that to me seems like lots of work :unsure: ....anyway, I am still swimming in the 'research' department of curriculum and need to decide what is important and what my priorities are as far as what to teach and when. :)

Jane Claire
06-14-2007, 01:12 PM
Oh Christie, I understand, and as I said you can arrange things however you wish. I was just letting people in on the philosophy that children seem to be delighted with books and learning history pieces rather than trying to do too much with the whole at a young age. I'm hoping that you will enjoy the Five in a Row stories and lessons however you use it. :)

And, Amandajean, I want our children to be quite mature in their knowledge of history...I was just waiting for the heavier overviews of history--the chronological overviews to be learned in the junior high or senior high levels, so that there was excitement in putting the pieces together. That said, children through their own reading, even in the grade school levels, will perhaps put bits of the pieces together by themselves as their own wonderful discoveries.

I've seen burnout in students, even in the elementary grade levels, so that my desire is that children love, really love history, for the rest of their lives, however that can best be accomplished.

Jane Claire

06-14-2007, 01:17 PM
I hestiated to respond to this post, but I'm going to go ahead. I hope my words will be seasoned with grace. :)

At this age (my ds is five), I don't see the necessity in teaching history in order. :unsure: I do see the importance and necessity for him to LOVE learning. :clap: FIAR makes that part easy. He has learned so much and he absolutely loves FIAR time.

I am going to start a timeline this year, so we can cement a foundation for historical understanding. I don't really remember anything from history in elementary school, do you? I had a rigorous program, and all I remember is memorizing the Gettysburg address in 4th grade. I also remember learning tons of geography in 5th-6th grade, but my son is waay ahead of his time in geography (thanks to FIAR!). He will never have to sit and memorize any geography facts, that's for sure. :thumb:

Anyway, we plan on homeschooling until the end, so I think we have plenty of time to check for chronological understanding (13 years!). I don't have any desire to do the same thing over and over and over again for the next 13 years....then, he will get it AGAIN if he goes on to college. :p No thanks.

Just thought I'd share some random thoughts to chew on. Of course, I don't have that inner drive to do things in a classical/chronological way, so personality and philosophy definitely are factors.

I wish you the best in your curriculum search! :yes:

06-14-2007, 01:43 PM
Jane, I certainly will be using FIAR, following the manual. I think others who use it exclusively row deeply, while I'll probably row lightly, discussing the lessons, using the story disks, coloring a map, doing the art lessons (we LOVE those), reading a go-along for science. I think the in-depth rowers read many go-alongs. The people who want an "in order" approach will read lots of "go-alongs" too. Maybe everyone who loves the literature approach to learning reads similar books, but its just what order they go in? I was almost feeling too strict for liking chronology, but I think its just a difference in method. My hope is that I could teach a chronological history in a gentle and inspiring way. I don't know, since I haven't tried yet!

I love learning about philosophies of education methods! There really are so many options for tailoring education for your child in homeschooling. Chronology, unit study, whole, parts ... different approaches to math and grammar. Its all so inspiring, and I have gotten a tiny education just reading about how to begin homeschooling!

06-14-2007, 09:42 PM
There really are so many options for tailoring education for your child in homeschooling.

Yes, I agree, too many...can you tell I am overwhelmed :eek:

Thank you all for your thoughts because it will help me. I do seek to inspire my children to learn which is why I am here but still learning lots about how you all use the curriculum. I have wrestled with the history thing before and it is silly because when you think about it, they are still so young and there is so much more schooling to go and plenty of time to teach the "when" of history. You'd have to review most of what is taught anyway so I guess in the end, the order is not as much a priority.

I am still stuck on where to start with an 8yo, 7yo and soon to be 5yo. Thank you for answering my questions...I may have more soon :D

Paige P
06-15-2007, 07:58 AM
I am still stuck on where to start with an 8yo, 7yo and soon to be 5yo. Thank you for answering my questions...I may have more soon :D

Amandajean, I'm assuming from this comment that this is your first year hsing? Please forgive me if I'm going to come across as being a know-it-all -- I don't mean it that way at all. This past year was my 1st year hsing, and while I didn't want to "forget" anything so that dd was "left behind," I also didn't want to overwhelm myself, and, especially the 1st year, it's SO easy for that to happen. I'm not telling you that doing a lot isn't possible, but it's very easy to start sinking. I had all kinds of grandiose plans of "extras" that we were going to do, and partly b/c of me, b/c of circumstances, b/c of having 3 kids 5 and under......, it all didn't happen. Did my children learn? Absolutely!!!!!!!

As I tried to swim this year, I was constantly reminded of my 1st year of teaching (I used to teach high school English) -- you are completely overwhelmed with trying to manage time, make lesson plans, discipline, meet with parents, etc., etc., etc. I think the first year of any job (including parenting with baby #1 :D ) is often overwhelming until you get a true grasp on it, figure out your schedule, etc.

Maybe I'm completely alone in this, but that's the way that I've felt this year. If this is your first year (and forgive me if I'm wrong), I suggest that you do the requirements (math, phonics, writing, reading) and ENJOY FIAR -- it really does cover "everything else" that needs to be taught. You'll be completely surprised by how much your children learn and retain. Next year (or even mid-semester if you feel you have a grasp of everything), add in some kind of chronological history curriculum if you really want to. I know a lot of people on the boards use Story of the World or Mystery of History (and they both have CDs that the kids can listen to the information -- the 3 Rs board has several discussions on these two). Often as people use this, they only do it 2-3 days a week, which makes it more manageable.

Again, if I've come across in a negative manner, I apologize. I honestly don't mean that at all. Sometimes in writing, it's SO difficult to get the correct tone :unsure: I MEAN to be encouraging.

06-15-2007, 10:49 AM
Paige, yes, you encouraged me ... and this will be my first year too! Juggling all the new responsibilities will be a huge learning curve for me. Good idea to start slow and even keep it to a couple of times per week.

I told my DS about keeping a Century Book, and he was thrilled with the idea. He also loved the idea of keeping the same book for all of elementary school!

06-15-2007, 05:38 PM
I was one of the ones that had the priviledge to meet Jane and have her explain the timeline to me more in-depth at the convention in VA this past weekend. I am still earning cool mom points from the kids for introuducing them to the authour of the book that they love so much:yes:. I love the idea of the piecing it together. I have a small apartment and can't post a big timeline, so this idea works great for us. My kids have learned so much with FIAR and we look forward to learning even more in the years to come:) Thanks Jane!

06-16-2007, 03:42 PM
Thank you Paige, your post was fine! No, this year would actually be my 3rd year homeschooling....(with a semester break in the middle) long story...

...I have homeschooled my oldest starting when he was 5.5...and added his brother a year later when he was getting eager to learn more...when we moved this last Nov. my dh wanted to enroll the kids in ps (a block away) to give me a break and also see if my oldest could get help for his reading (we had his eyes tested because he was having problems but turns out it is mostly attention related. I think he's fine now after seeing how he did at school the later part of the year. He is a reluctant reader and very distractable)

...we did the ps thing and have been reminded of why we started hsing in the first place. They wanted my oldest screened at the dr. for adhd and we said NO.
The boys did fine but we dislike the ps...there was some good, it wasn't all bad, academically it is a highly regarded district but we don't want them there each day all day.

...so in a nutshell, I am starting over and trying to set goals of what is important to us. I have seen so many curriculums and just need to figure out how I want to do things. I have done Sonlight K, Rod/Staff, Abeka, Weaver, Sing Spell Read/Write, etc...I have Story of the World on CD and they used to listen to that during lunch each day then would draw a picture of the story...I have Considering God's Creation and was eager to start that but never did...LOL so much stuff! I have heard great things about MFW but I do better with more freedom rather than having everything planned out for me.

Anyway, that is my long story minus all the gory details :clap:

Lori D
06-16-2007, 10:58 PM
Hi and welcome!! I read just a few of your responses- I loved Janes explaination of the timeline. That is not the format we use now, but I think we will start.

As for the books coming together in a logical way- I don't know how- but they do. As we read the books, my boys are starting to make connections and process the information in a way that connects the stories that we read. I also can't believe how many times that we are reading a FIAR book and all of a sudden everything around us starts to work with that book- I can only say, in the words of a friend of mine, that it is a "God thing". Somehow everything works.

I would be more concerned about following a sequence, but at this age I don't know if it matters. I am constantly astonished that even though we studied things in the 'literature approach', my older dc don't remember too much about what we studied- something came up recently with my oldest dd- I was able to recite exactly what we studied- she said "oh, I sort of remember that"! I think at this young age(before high school) it really is about exposure and love of learning. My older dds and I had a great time together and they learned to take responsibilty for their education- that translates into a love of learning and a good work ethic- enough to make them college students who are at the top of their classes- or graduated at the top of their classes- in spite of all the shortcomings in their education. So, I would say to go for it and see how it works- you will be amazed. My best memories with my younger children are created when we are doing our FIAR studies- something I need to remind myself when I start perusing homeschool catalogs each year.

I hope you have a wonderful year homeschooling you dc!!

06-17-2007, 06:29 AM
In the past, I have used FIAR with a hit or miss schedule. I am going to be doig it more this fall, along with SotW. We will be starting vol 2 this year. They have loved the stories and activites, but I have done nothing to show them that there is 'an order' to it all. This first time through (4 years) is all about exposure and enjoyment. WHen they get older and we go through the 4 year cycle again, we will start putting it all together and in order. At that time - we will be able to add in the other stuff that is not from SotW (like the history from the FIAR or other books we are reading).