My Planning for Five in a Row

This has been a work in progress for nearly 2 months now!  It’s finally coming together, but still not without some reservations from my previous experience.  I think I’ve got a plan that will work for our family to give us flexibility with the structure that I need.

How am I planning to use Five in a Row?

  • I bought all the FIAR manuals.  They are the key to discussions and every lesson.  I will be using Volumes 1-4 (primarily Vol. 1 & 2 this school year), Cookbook, Holidays, Bible Supplement,  Nature resources, and laminated Storydisks.  I found a complete matching set of the softbound books (I prefer the artwork on the cover — just seems a little more old fashioned …more me!)

FIAR books

  • I bought all the books!  After 5+ years of collecting FIAR books, I now own the entire collection, including all of the OOP (out-of-print books).  We have a poor library system, and thus I have to create my own home library.  I put these books on an upper bookshelf.  They are “special” books to treasure.  Despite the cost of a few books, I am excited to finally own the collection.

FIAR map

  • I bought a child friendly Wall Map.  I love it!  It’s filled with lots of exciting information and will be fun to explore as we place each Storydisk on the map.  A map is an important resource to use with FIAR.

FIAR totes copy

  • OrganizationI made a file folder for each FIAR book title.  I bought an organizational tote(s) to hold all the folders & more.  I love it!  I also bought another one for B4FIAR, too!  I can take them with me places if I have to leave home!  I have one semester at my fingertips in the FIAR bag, and all the B4FIAR in another.


  • I joined the FIAR Blog/Message Boards and received all the Fold ‘n Learns for FREE I also had saved on my computer all the lovely lapbooking from Homeschool Share from previous years.   I printed out all the printables for each book and filed them into their appropriate folder.  I laminated animal classification cards and anything else.

{FREE download click below}

  • I made a planner form to use with each book.

  • I began taking LOTS of notes!  I visited the FIAR Archives on the Message Boards, and read every blog signed on the blogroll.  I wrote down ideas, go-along book titles, video/movie suggestions,  activities, etc.  I even noted ingredients for the recipes in the cookbook — I want to have a place to easily glance and see that we are prepared the coming week.

    I know that if I have the books/supplies/ingredients on hand,
    it will make this all so easy to implement.

FIAR book baskets

  • I became a book/video hunter again — locating all the go-along books!  (I bought many of them used to save a lot on money.)  I also placed orders for standard art supplies that are mentioned in the Manuals — paints/brushes, construction paper, oil/chalk pastels, glitter, glue, etc.
  • I brainstormed with some field trip ideas that might tie-in with our Five in a Row books.  We live kind of in the middle of nothing and the middle of everything…LOL!  If I am willing  & able to make the  drive, there is a LOT of places that will be wonderful field trips.  I researched some places and found that purchasing Family Memberships also came with reciprocating Memberships.  This savings alone will allow us to visit Children’s Museums, Science Museums, Art Museums, and more.  I paid $65 (on a special sale) for a year filled with lots of places to visit.  We just need gas prices to go down and our health to improve enough to enjoy these places.
  • I found some wonderful Character Traits {FREE} to use for our FIAR Bible time.  I printed them half size and laminated them.

FIAR Ping typed out

  • I typed out EVERY book into a weekly lesson plan grid.  Whew!!! A lot of work,  BUT IT’S ALL DONE for this upcoming school year!!!  I have a beautiful, organized layout.  My daughter is beyond thrilled to use FIAR again.  I cannot share all my files for obvious copyright reasons, but . . .

If you are considering Five in a Row, they now are offering The Story About Ping as a FREE downloadable unit  and you can view my notes by clicking HERE!

  • I wrote out a  Daily Routine with time slots.  My simple goals are to follow the scheduled lessons, BUT, only doing what we can in those time frames.  I know that I cannot do it all.

That’s all folks!   In a nutshell, I will be using my Manual and learning from others!   My plans for Five in a Row are now ready to implement on our first day of school!  I still have a little planning for  Before Five in a Row, but I am keeping it to snuggle up, read the book, and follow the simplicity of the manual.

Now I can enjoy a bit of a summer break and pray for our health to be strong.  (We have been battling virus after virus since right after my husband came home from the hospital last November.  My little one woke up this morning with, yet again, a fever of over 101°.  6+ months of someone being sick is wearing on me.    We NEED to get healthy and stay healthy.)

About Whispered Abundance

I am a happily married wife and a HeartSchooling mom. I enjoy sharing my heart while sipping tea, and capturing little moments that . . . Whisper Abundance.


  1. My goodness, you have been a busy little bee. Wow, is all I can say. Way to go with being organized. Wish you could come and get my school year prepared. =)

  2. Now that all looks just plain fun! I sold my FIAR books, and wish I would have kept them. All of them really are so wonderful :)

  3. So very proud and a bit jealous of your organization!!! Doing that will make learning SO much easier… and much more fun!

    p.s. glad to have found you again! And look forward to your rows!! : )

  4. I love your FIAR post. You have inspired me to get organized. Thanks for sharing.

    • Whispered Abundance™ says:

      Hi Bridget,

      Thank you for visiting my blog! Love your blog name, too!!

      I’ve had fun browsing your blog with so many ideas. I’m still working on next year’s plans but I am working towards organization first and foremost to make it easier. I tried to leave a comment, but I couldn’t get it to go through :(

      Happy Weekend!

  5. Gabreial W. says:


    Can you tell me which Thirty-One tote you used? I’d like to get a couple for my FIAR but not sure which size to get.


  6. YOU ARE JUST SO AMAZING MY FRIEND!!!! You know I’m not in this stage of education any more, but I do love children’s books and so admire your organization & planning. It makes me look like a lazy bum. That world map looks pretty cool, where did you find it? I already have a couple maps, but I just want to take a closer look. AND, you just have to tell me my dear… your schedule/lesson plans are beautiful! Did you do that with the fancy border or is that by FIAR???

    So glad to be in touch again! I’ll be back later. :)

    • Whispered Abundance says:

      You are too kind! I’ve been down with 4 days of migraines this week and barely functioning — I don’t feel like I am getting near enough done.

      The Wall Map is made by Eeboo: World Map Kids Geography

      The planning pages are made me. I am trying to make a full binder of forms to match and make them available for everyone. I love the simplicity but organization and couldn’t find a form that would work for keeping a record of the unit, library books, recipes, activities, etc. After all that planning, though, I felt led to go with a boxed curriculum, but I am hoping to add in some unit studies when our lives slow down (whenever that will be!).

      Thank you for your friendship!

  7. This is amazing. YOU are amazing! So amazing all that you did. To not only print, but also have all the go-along books, etc. This is a lot of planning and organization and I am excited that you will get to put all that work to good use! It almost makes me want to row regularly again! :) I love your ThirtyOne bag too – I’ve wanted one for a couple years but never took the plunge, but I am so inspired now! This is what I love about blogging so much – the inspiration! But, also to share in the journey with others. Thank you for linking up!

  8. We used FIAR and loved it. With all the snow the girls and I were remembering Katy and the Big Snow a few weeks ago. They are now 8th adn 9th graders. When we returnd from overseas, those are the books they selected as keepers. We now love buying them for the grandkids. If you don’t have Giraffes Can’t Dance i highly recommend it. I used it as a substitute for one of the books I couldn’t get.

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