View Full Version : What does a week of BFIAR look like?

02-13-2007, 05:32 PM
I know it's not a curriculum like the FIAR series, so what IS it?
Can someone describe what is meant by a readiness program?
I've always just given my 3.5/4 yr olds a simple kindergarten program (phonics/math/penmanship) and FIAR.
I currently have a 4 yr old and a 2.5 year old and am wondering if I should get BFIAR. My 4 yr old is doing okay, but would always enjoy more books. My 2 yr old wants to do big kid schoolwork, but isn't ready yet.

02-13-2007, 06:24 PM
Here is what our week looks like. I've just been doing B4 for a couple months--we read very voraciously on the side as well. I tend to "row" the way it seems FIARers row. I pick 5 activities that she has listed and do one each day. My girls are on the older end of the spectrum though. However, we don't have a set time of day we do it. Sometimes during the day (if it is a hands-on activity), sometimes before bed (if it is a discussion type activity). The reason *I* like it is mainly because it is giving me practice to learn how to be creative and do FIAR lessons! LOL! I have seen the girls really begin to get "into" their books and look at things from different angles (even at this age). We talk about the author, the illustrator, the pictures, the vocabulary, the ideas in the book, do a hands on activity with the book (I guess you know because you do FIAR). It just isn't as "academic" as FIAR is. It is very short and sweet. I think Jane Claire Lambert writes that they are FIAR "mini-lessons", which I agree with. The books are great, books you don't want to miss. I don't know---it's literary analysis for preschoolers!:lol: HTH!

02-13-2007, 07:36 PM
In our house, B4FIAR is really casual and relaxed. I have a more regimented program that we are *supposed* to be doing, (Letter of the Week) but we've settled into kind of a relaxed routine w/ B4. I don't do something every day, but I try to hit at least 3 or 4 days a week. We read the book for a week or more and somedays only discuss ideas and others we do activities/crafts etc. When I first heard about B4, I figured since I taught first grade I didn't really need the book, that I could come up with the ideas myself. I'm SO GLAD I bought the book. It has been full of fun and rewarding ideas that have brought so much joy to my daughter and myself. She LOVES reading and learning, and I credit that in large part to B4FIAR.

Can you tell I'm a big fan?

02-14-2007, 09:03 AM
It depends if you are talking about my 4 yr old or my 18 month old- lol

My 4 yr old has completed most of the books- But I haven't moved him up to FIAR yet. With him I actually "row" the book. We pick a book for the week, do simple fun activities each day to go along with the book. A few weeks ago we did Jesse Bear, Each day we did something to go along with the book, play with a bear puzzle, dress the bear, Count bears, ABC bears, Talk about Rhyming, Talk about how Tidy Jesse Bear's Room is -type activities.

After reading on here, and realized last week that my 18 month old isn't really "too young" I've begun a bit of B4FIAR with him- I think this is more the way the cirriculum was intended. Each day (ok not every day- but maybe every other day, or when I feel I can) I grab a book of the b4 shelf, we read it, then we do an activity from the back of the book- toss balls into laundry baskets, build block towers.

02-14-2007, 09:34 AM
I'm very lightly doing BFIAR with my 2 year old. He is not ready for a lot of the activities in the manual and some of the books are too long for his attention span right now. A lot of the time we just read the story. Other times, I will do activities out of the back of the manual with him or some of the easier book activities. We read The Snowy Day recently and both the boys did the watercolor collage art activity. I don't have any set schedule for doing the books with him. I will just pick one out when we are going to do an activity or I read them as he brings them to me. His favorites right now are Goodnight Moon and We're Going on A Bear Hunt.

02-14-2007, 05:46 PM
I copied and posted this portion of one of my replies from another thread since it also answers your question. I do B4FIAR with my 3yo and almost 5yr old. This is the 2nd time through for my oldest so I beef it up some for him.

We try to do the same B4FIAR book 3 days a week. Two of those days we do short conversational lessons, the other day I try to incorporate something a little more involved like a craft or activity although it could be something as simple as acting out the story.

The first day we read a new book is always a short and sweet conversational lesson. For instance, today we started "The Snowy Day" and we talked about stoplights, the color red and the meaning of that color on stoplights and stop signs. Very short and sweet. Another conversational lesson I have planned for this book is to talk about maturity (but probably won't actually use that word) by pointing out that when Peter realized he was not big enough yet to throw snowballs with the big boys, he went and found something else fun to do... he didn't get sad or angry. That is a lesson I will discuss right when we get to that point in the book by saying something like, "did you notice that... ". Then we'll finish reading the book and be done for that day. Our more involved activity will be to talk about snow, what it is, when it happens, what makes it melt, and to make some snowflakes by cutting up folded coffee filters. The more involved activity/lesson doesn't have to take place in the same sitting as reading the book. We might read the book in the morning, pointing out the different shapes of snowflakes in the book. Later, I might bring out the coffee filters and scissors and while they are happily cutting and creating their snowflakes I will talk to them about snow.

I also wanted to add that I am doing Letter of the Week with my 3yo too, so I try to pick a B4 book that corresponds to the letter, color, or theme of the week if possible. My almost 5yo also does math and reading.

Ronette in CA
02-14-2007, 11:55 PM
Thanks for all the great posts, ladies. I didn't do B4 with the olders and I'm really excited to do it with Hudson!

02-16-2007, 02:58 AM
With my almost 2yos, I normally find a time in the morning when my 5yo is occupied (getting dressed or doing chores) and read them the story then. Most of the time, I'll just name objects in the pictures and ask, "Where's the _____? (moon, sun, bear, whatever)" Then we'll do a 5 minute or less activity that always concludes with blowing bubbles. :lol:

I read the story again at bedtime with my 5yo listening in. Sometimes I check out non-fiction books on that subject for her. We're reading Jesse Bear this week so she asked me if I could buy different flavors of Teddy Grahams and see which ones we liked the best.

02-16-2007, 09:17 AM
We're reading Jesse Bear this week so she asked me if I could buy different flavors of Teddy Grahams and see which ones we liked the best.

How FUN!!!! :D We've done simple math with Teddy Grahams before- count them, add them up, eat them (subtraction!! :D)