Five in a Row: Our Homeschool Curriculum

by | Jul 19, 2020 | Homeschool, Our Homeschool | 2 comments

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Five in a Row, Volume 1 is our main curriculum this year for both my children, ages 7 and 5.

I love how easy and gentle it is.

It just fits like a glove in our homeschool.

Jane Claire Lambert is the author of the teaching manual for Five in a Row.

On top of the manual, there is a list of book titles that you have to either purchase or lend from the library.

Five in a Row, Vol. 1 has a list of 19 books.

These books were carefully chosen out of a plethora of books out there for very specific reasons.


You can order Five in a Row straight from their website.

Or, you can order from Rainbow Resources and they have all the books available for purchase as well.

I would check your local library first since this can add up.

I tried AbeBooks and Thriftbooks, online used bookstores, but everything still came out to be over a hundred bucks.

So, I was glad that all except one of the books were available at the base library here. I just ordered the one that they didn’t have.

Five in a Row Curriculum


Five in a Row is for children ages 5-9.

It’s great for teaching multiple children at once, especially if they are in that same age range.

They also have:

I think you would have to decide for yourselves if it’s sufficient.

In my opinion, social studies, art, and science are adequate for this age range.

You can check out sample lessons and browse around their website here before committing.

I do plan to write a more thorough review on it in the future (or maybe even a video).

If so, I will update it here.

Math and Language Arts have to be supplemented and the manual will give you suggestions on that.

You can check out my Top 8 Math Curriculum here.

I do plan to do my top picks for language arts, as well as other subjects in the future.

If so, I will update here.

Cathy Duffy has a great website where she reviews homeschool curricula for all subjects. You can check it out here.


If you don’t know, I am a big advocate for delayed formal education.

I mentioned my reasons in my About Page, you can check it out here if interested.

Even though, we delay formal education, it doesn’t mean that nothing is being taught or learned.

While we are not true unschoolers, we are pretty darn close.

In the mornings, from Monday to Friday, we go through Five in a Row in the manner written below.

In the afternoons, we are less structured.

They are allowed about 2-3 hours to do things that interest them.

Lately, it’s been AlgodooAumSumPBS Kids, educational game, building marble runs, some cartoons, play pretend, jumping and running around the house, baking and cooking, and playing board games like Life, Monopoly, Chess, Othello, run errands, etc.

Pretend Play Homeschoolers
QBA Marble Maze

Then, they have chores and piano.

Here is Ellie zooming with their piano teacher this week.

Learning Piano

Before the pandemic, we would meet up with other homeschoolers, go to the beach, visit the library, swimming, gymnastics, and soccer camp in the summers.

But, not much of that is happening this year.

Although, the small beach on base opened and we took the opportunity to go, it was a beautiful day as you can see here.

Kids playing at the beach

Alright, so that was a longer introduction than I had in mind, but I had a few people who asked about this curriculum so I wanted to include that.

Pin How to Homeschool with Five in a Row


This week, we went to Russia!

We read Another Celebrated Dancing Bear together.

Five in a Row Homeschool Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

We found Russia on the globe.

We also found major cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Minsk.

They colored the Russian flag while we listened to some Russian music.

Five in a Row Russia
Five in a Row Russia

I found this 5-minute (ish) video on where a kid explains a quick history of the Russian Revolution and it was very interesting for Micah and watched it 3 times.

Here is another video on the Cold War that Micah watched a month or so ago and now we can piece it together with what we are learning now.

I don’t force him to watch these history videos (lol), he likes history, especially when it’s presented the way they are here on these channels.

Ellie didn’t really care and went to play with her Peppa house.

Then, we listed some occupations that the kids want to do when they grow up.

Ellie wants to be a chef and Micah wants to be a builder and cartoonist.

Oh! Both of them want to be YouTubers, too. LOL!

This was a suggested activity since the book talks about the two different occupations the bears have.

It was fun to list down occupations they are interested in.


We went over boiling point and freezing point today.

We connected this to the book where the samovar (Russian tea pot) was boiling.

We have a container with iced water and a jar of hot water.

They put the thermometer in both and enjoyed seeing the temperature rise and fall on the thermometer. 

Five in a Row Science
Five in a Row Science Experiment

I mentioned Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist who formulated the periodic table.

And thought that’d be it. But…

The periodic table sparked a huge interest in Micah.

I wasn’t ready to teach the periodic table. Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t think I would ever be ready!

Five in a Row Periodic Table

So, it was YouTube to the rescue.

There were many good ones, even for kids!

But, here are the ones that he enjoyed the most.

He enjoyed it so much that he studied it for over an hour!

Then, when dad called in the evening he went on and on about the periodic table over video chat. LOL! 

Homeschool Five in a row periodic table


Today, we read Another Celebrated Dancing Bear again.

We focused on the architecture of the buildings in the book.

We talked about how colorful and unique the buildings are.

I mentioned that they are sometimes called, onion domes.

Ellie says that they look like ice cream domes to her. LOL!

We colored the domes and drew in our own buildings.

We listened to more Russian music while we color and draw.

We also enjoyed this drone footage of St. Petersburg, there are some great shots of the architecture of the buildings there.

Five in a Row Russian Onion Dome
Five in a Row Russia Art

Also, here are a couple of pictures of Ellie doing some painting and Micah made a car out of a cardboard box.

Homeschooler painting
homeschool craft

In the afternoon, we decided to put on our version of samovar and had some Napoleon cake. It was such a nice treat.

I found a very nice Russian Tea Time Restaurant in Chicago (about 45 minutes away), they even have a samovar afternoon tea session.

It is on our list of restaurants to try after this pandemic is over. 

Five in a Row Samovar


We started homeschool by reading Another Celebrated Dancing Bear.

I am glad that they haven’t complained about reading the same story everyday yet.

I went over the calendar and clock with Ellie.

Then, she asked to do Mind Benders.

Preschool Clock Learning

I also did a little counting and addition with Ellie by playing this fun game.


Calendar and clock is too basic for Micah so he did a few lessons in CTC Math and Teaching Textbooks.

Both are online math curricula for homeschoolers that we are trialing.

Both have won awards, are in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks, and raved by many home educators on homeschool FB groups that I am on.


Here is a FREE TRIAL if you are interested.

They are offering 50% off for homeschoolers right now.

If math is not your jam and you don’t mind your child learning online, this is a great one that I might have to put on one of my top picks.

CTC Math is an online subscription math curriculum.

Founded by Pat Murray, an Australian math teacher.

There’s a lecture portion with very nice visuals and then your child can do the math questions related to the lecture presented.


Teaching Textbooks is also a subscription-based online math curriculum that starts with grade 3 and goes up to calculus.

It is very similar to CTC, except it is definitely geared towards younger children because there are little characters that will pop out and the website is creatively designed.


We started our day by reading Another Celebrated Dancing Bear.

Micah did a lesson in The Good and the Beautiful.

We went over vocabulary words like czar, glum, embraced, comical, and jealous.

I just make sure that they understand the meaning of the words.

I don’t make them memorize or anything.

We quickly finished today’s lesson so we can enjoy the afternoon at the beach.


We ended our exciting journey to Russia by making some latkes.

More of a Jewish dish, but I read somewhere that this is a traditional Jewish Russian dish.

Plus, I had most of the ingredients and wanted to stay within our grocery budget this week so potato latkes it was! 

We topped the latkes with sour cream and apple sauce.

They were delicious.

Five in a Row Food

Let me know in the comment section below if you’d like to see more posts or even videos (if I can figure out how to edit and upload!) on how we homeschool.

Also, for those of you who are homeschooling, which curricula are you using for your homeschool this year?

Please let me know in the comment section below! I’m curious!

Shirley Nozawa

Shirley Nozawa

Homeschooling mom of 2

Hi! Welcome to my blog! I am so glad you are here. I share our homeschooling journey, family routines and finances, and random motherhood ramblings.

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  1. Joyce

    This is awesome! I’m gonna check to see if our library has this series. Thanks for the useful info! Love all the pics!

    • Shirley

      Thank you for reading! Yes, check your library first, if they don’t have the books you can actually request them. 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions!



  1. Winter 2020-2021 Relaxed Homeschool Schedule - My Learn Together - […] Five in a Row (everyday, Monday-Friday) […]

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