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Thread: FIAR No Lapbooking, only manual aka how to walk away from pretty blogs?

  1. #1

    Default FIAR No Lapbooking, only manual aka how to walk away from pretty blogs?

    Hi Ladies,
    This past year, my 4 year old son & I rowed BFIAR & other preschool stories. This next year, he will be turning 5 in the middle of august. As you know, we are non traditional- so he will be going to private school (BUT not this year) I'm holding him back from traditional kindergarten for a year. (our school cut off is 2 weeks after his 5th birthday)
    I'm so glad we held off moving to FIAR until this year. We created many wonderful memories of cozing up on the couch with our BFIAR books. I also now own all 3 manual's & plan to row the "easier" titles.
    I really struggled parts of this year with easing off of my own preschool teacher experience. I was such an over achiever at work, creating innovative & imaginative curriculum at work. i had a hard time remembering the heart of "preschooling at home" - convey a love of learning & books.

    there are SO many resources out there- many times i was guilty of enjoying the planning more than the execution. since the execution was more detailed than i had desire to do (when it came time for school)

    here's my question- how do i drop the urge to find extra resources & just simply stick with the manual's & enjoy the richness of the material?
    Does anyone have a blog that i can physically see what following just the manual looks like?

    any hints? or things that have helped you back away from the pretty homeschool share units? LOL thanks! I have really come to value your input. You gals & Steve were so spot on about BFIAR for our family!
    Tracy
    (ps please excuse errors, still on first cup of coffee)
    Tracy
    Rowing with my DS (4) , 2nd grade DD in private school
    Getting excited for our second FIAR summer :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    So. Cal
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    http://hollyhock-hill.blogspot.com/s...20First%20Year

    Does this help? This is about our first year using Fiar. My pictures aren't great, the activities come straight from the manual for the most part, (there might be a few things that come from an easy idea that was on the board or I found elsewhere like in the Holiday manual, or even that I made up on the fly, but everything was easy and little work) and there is little detail on execution.

    I have used Fiar for 12 years. I have tried and failed miserablly at lapbooking, although the Fold n Learns are not so bad if you just hand it to the child and say have at it with a notebook or cardstock to slip into a binder. Our best times are reading and talking.

    Please excuse me for sounding blunt or offensive on this, but, it's something to think about. I once read that all of the pretty blog posts and pinterest etc. is something akin to Porn. It gives an unrealistic ideal that is not reality. It is addicting and we become discontented with what we have.

    How to drop the urge? Just do it it. In your own words, you stick to the manual and enjoy the richness of the material. Think about the Quality rather than Quantity of the activities. How it will improve the quality of your relationship with your child. Think about the Process not the Product. You have been given a gift in that extra year at home. Spend it wisely.
    Last edited by shonda in ca; 07-02-2012 at 11:13 AM.
    Learning along with Larkin (22) Corry (20) Preston (18) and McKenna Grace (15)

  3. #3
    Nancy Ann Guest

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    I think exhaustion was the only thing that really worked and prevented me from going to all the blogs and to the homeschool share website!! I just got to a point where I was burning out.

    I think the key is to give yourself a nice steady pace and don't think or plan too far ahead. Also don't go ALL or NOTHING. You don't have to choose between doing a whole bunch of lapbooks and activities or doing nothing at all. Just go with the flow. Do some lapbooking and fun activities and than when you start to feel warn out or it starts to feel too much just row some titles simply. Than when you begin to feel you want to add a bit more to your FIAR studies than do so. Just be natural about it.

    I think many of us like to have a full plan in order to move and many times it is better to just start moving and make the changes as we go along. It's the stopping and thinking to much that can really get us I think.
    Last edited by Nancy Ann; 07-02-2012 at 12:06 PM.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for posting this question. I get burned out before I start each year thinking about all the extras that I could add to the manual ideas. Truth is I am not very crafty so the extras are very limited at our house. FIAR is hands down the best way of learning for our family. We have created wonderful memories by doing the units as described in the manual with a few coloring sheets and extra books to read added in the mix.

    Enjoy this year with your little one.

    Shonda thanks for the link to your blog. I can't wait to spend some time looking around.
    Veronica~~ Experiencing His Glory Daily!! Happily rowing since 2004
    Wife to D, Mom to 6 blessings!
    (DD-14), (DS-11),(DS-8)(DD-7), (DD-5), and DS(2)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NY
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    Manual only is the best way to row and it really is very easy to do.

    No guilt necessary...it was written that way for a reason!

    www.blogshewrote.blogspot.com I have a tab for FIAR units and I'm a manual girl.

    Typically for a book we'll:
    • do a map
    • make a flag
    • put up the story disk
    • do the art assignment
    • do the LA- I use Start Write to make handwriting paper and have them write the sentences that Jane suggests from the assignment
    • Science- we do the experiment or study the habitat or whatever is asked of us


    Now and then I have grabbed a map from Homeschool Share, but now that I have a source for maps I no longer do that. I find the printables there to be very difficult for kids with developing fine motor skills.

    I also make my own sheets to go with Jane's lessons. It's quicker and simpler.

    The other thing you will find in our lessons are the fold n learns if there is one and I purchased it.

    Another note- I usually choose 2 lessons per subject for a row. One easy and one difficult. That keeps things pretty balanced for us.
    Heather wife to Dan and embracing the independent nature of homeschooling with our fantastic four (19 ds, 17 dd, 15 ds, 12 ds).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Au
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    Not to be redundant or anything, but I wrote this on the 3R's earlier last week:

    I think it's soooooo easy for homeschoolers to compare themselves to other homeschoolers. We see that what works for Jane makes her children happy & they seem to thrive. It looks easy & fun, so we jump in. Then we are frustrated that what happens for us isn't the same thing. The best method, resources, books, programmes, curriculum, & advice is the one you actually use.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that during the age of instant gratification {blogs, facebook, twitter, & instant everything} it's so easy to see the beautiful, happy, it all worked perfectly side of people's lives. You don't often hear of the day where everything went to pot, & mom threatened to put the kids on the school bus in the morning if they had another icky day like that.

    In other words, if you find yourself caught up in the "grass is always greener" category, it might be time to stop blog hopping, researching, & planning & start creating your own fun memories while putting to use everything you know so far.
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    MO
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    Okay, the solution to this problem is really, really simple. Are you ready to hear it? Stop looking at blogs. And that includes the blogs that tell you how to do "manual-only" FIAR. (You see the irony there?)

    I'm an ex-public school teacher. I could easily get sucked into lots and lots of fun, interesting, creative, educational stuff. The only way I've managed to protect myself (and my children) from that is to not visit blogs. Oh, maybe a couple of times a year I'll go to a particular blog for a particular purpose via someone's particular link, but other than that, . Visiting blogs is very much like reading women's magazines; there's an immediate "high" , but you can get discontented and restless afterwards. You can have a head full of ideas and not enough money, time, or energy to do them. And you can have that ever-present "grass is always greener" nagging feeling all the time.

    I know this may sound harsh. And I have nothing whatsoever against homeschool moms who write blogs (I've heard that several moms here have great ones!). But I also know my limitations and I just don't tempt myself. FIAR works. I see it working every day with just the manual, some go-alongs, some maps, and maybe a couple of printouts I might have here and there. Adding to that (or changing it) over and over is just adding stress to my life and is unnecessary for my dc.

    In earlier years, I literally had to force myself off the computer, it was all so interesting. If you do that, if you stop the madness , you won't be sorry.
    "Ree-bee," Mom to United States Marine ds 21 * artist dd 19 * motion-loving ds 16 * piano-playing ds 11
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

  8. #8
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    Kendra that's why I gave up planners!

    DOING is the thing...not the planning.

    It's also why a LOT of loose leaf paper gets used in my house and not many printables.
    Heather wife to Dan and embracing the independent nature of homeschooling with our fantastic four (19 ds, 17 dd, 15 ds, 12 ds).

  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    I agree w/ Rebe! Stop looking at blogs, even the lovely blogs from your fellow posters here.

    Pick up the manual and go! That's how we roll w/ FIAR. Do I blog about it? Nope, because I don't think people are really all that interested in seeing a step by step of following a step by step manual.

    Occasionally, a picture will appear on my blog, but for the most part, nada! And if you look at my blog, you will see I haven't posted anything for a very long time!

    You will love the freedom and simplicity of picking up the manual and running with it. It doesn't matter how anyone else used it, it's all about how you spend the time w/ your special guy.
    Linda wife to Mark, Mommy to Emily, 20 Anna 18, Rebecca 16, Samuel 14, Jacob 11, and Katie 8,
    Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen.
    Steven Wright

  10. #10
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    I confess, I don't blog hop, & when I do it's a very limited amount of blogs I view, & rarely one that uses the same curriculum I do. In fact, I only visit 2 homeschool blogs regurally. The rest are either family or friends.
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

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