I have a rather long story about how I felt God leading me toward using Five in a Row in our homeschool this coming year and that's for another day and another time. But, in the meantime, I wanted to get my new planner up on the blog for sharing since a few people have been waiting for it. This planner is a product of different elements that I gleaned from several different planners I have seen as well as my own Charlotte Mason specific planner from last year, in order to create something completely custom for my family. A combination of Charlotte Mason, Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row. (I'm also including a version for those who only do FIAR that omits the B4FIAR specific items...this version would also work well with BYFIAR).
The first page is my favorite. A place for you to list out a brief battle plan (things you hope to see accomplished this week) and a "fighter verse" (a verse you will cling to and meditate on throughout your week), a place for planing or keeping record of Hospitality & Outreach opportunities (Includes Missions and Service Projects), a place to record a prayer focus for the week to use during your Morning/Daily Basket Prayer Time. A place to make note of memorable moments and achievements throughout the week and my most favorite, a place to record evidences of God's grace, provision, faithfulness etc.
The next page is your Pre-planing spot, a place to quickly glance at your Bible/Character focus (a general overview of Biblical examples and Character Qualities within the book you are rowing and if you wish, the memory verse of the week), Artist/Composer focus (more on that below), a place to record general notes, additional activities not listed in the FIAR manual (some families don't like adding anything extra and some families love it), a place to record Invitation to Play and Sensory Bin ideas. (So many fun ideas on Pinterest! Optional but, something I personally want to do). There is also a place to list supplies you will need, library books to place on hold (you will want to do this 1-2 weeks in advanced, especially with seasonal books), field trip ideas, the letter of the week and spelling and/or vocabulary words. In our homeschool, we use copywork (and eventually prepared dictation) for spelling and grammar so, I don't give my child lists of words to memorize and then test her on them and we don't do vocabulary memorization so, you may wonder, how do I plan to use this little box... I plan to make a list of words that I know are new to my daughter to work them into her copywork (spelling) and also work them into other readings (vocabulary through context) or any word she struggled with during a reading lesson. But, in your homeschool, you may prefer giving lists of words to memorize for spelling or vocabulary. So, it's up to you how you choose to us that box.
A Note on Artist/Composer Study: This is where some Charlotte Mason comes in because Artist/Composer study is a big part of any CM homeschool but, there is more than one approach to doing it. FIAR is Unit Study based where as Charlotte Mason is not. To do it more inline with FIAR, then take the unit study approach. Glean from the book you are rowing (geographical location, time period, music instrument or style mentioned, artistic style used in illustration etc.) to choose your artist and composer. If you are wanting to do it more inline with Charlotte Mason Methods then you may just want to focus on 3 Artists and Composers per year (1 of each per trimester) as suggested at Simply Charlotte Mason. Either way, the goal is just exposing them to the artists/composers, laying out the feast if you will. You're not looking for fact or date memorization here. Just sweet, simple exposure. This video of Sonya from Simply Charlotte Mason explaining picture study is a wonderful resource. I highly encourage you to watch it to see how simple it is. Reading picture books on the artist is optional. And here is where you can learn how simple Composer study can be.
This is how these 2 pages should open up in your planner...
Next up is the planing grid. On the first page I have included a place to track Trimester to Date (TTD) and Year to Date (YTD) attendance since that's a requirement in my state. There is a space for Daily Basket (also known as Morning Basket). Then there are the various subjects (some covered through FIAR and others are not like Reading/Phonics, Math, Foreign Language etc). I personally use the subject planning grid more as a place to record what we did as opposed to planing out every little thing I want to do. This is what works best for us since no day ever seems to go exactly as I planned. I learned from experience that I don't like erasing and re-writing my plans every. single. day. Haha! But, you may prefer planning out your entire week and checking off as you go along. The 2nd page includes a place at the top to keep track of your child's independent reading ventures as well as a place to keep track of field trips, recipes, handicrafts etc. I have also included a row for Saturday and Sunday since learning never really ends. If you do something/anything educational over the weekend, record it so it counts towards your attendance fulfillment.
A view of the pages in the planner...
I tried to set the PDF's up to make printing as easy as possible but, be sure to read through the Printing notes in the cover letter and omit the cover letter from your print job. I pray that this planner will be a blessing for every family who chooses to download it. Happy Rowing!
If you are using BOTH Before Five in a Row AND Five in a Row click HERE
If you are just using Five in a Row and/or Beyond Five in a Row click HERE