Our Before Five In A Row (BFIAR) Experience

Xxm is turning five this year and yes, we are still on the BFIAR curriculum which is geared for ages 2-4.


We have been following the curriculum loosely, and not the recommended five days for each row. Sometimes, it takes me weeks to assimilate enough resources and time to execute the activities that follow after the book to complete the row. Of course, BFIAR proponents will claim that reading the books diligently five days a week is good enough. That, however is also elusive for me as there are many nights a week I returned home past the boys’ bedtime. With the subsequent arrival of Xmm, I was inclined to delay the row so that he too, can be included in the fun.

Hence, the BFIAR serves as a useful book list for me. I have come to love the BFIAR books, many of which I have never known existed prior to embarking on this journey. BFIAR is an even greater learning experience for myself than for my children. Lol. I am beginning to appreciate what good literature entails. It speaks volumes to me that the boys remember the storyline days after our read-a-loud.

Through my long journey, I have also come to realise that it really doesn’t matter if I planned many activities related to each row. Going a Google search on BFIAR activities throws up so many blog posts of well executed and fun BFIAR days that it leaves me unsatisfied if I have never done one-tenth of what these wonderful mommies have accomplished. Many times, I have hesitated to row a book simply because I do not have the time to do any meaningful and fun activities with them. When I try to plan and incorporate many home learning experiences, somehow, the experience wasn’t as sweet as dramatising the story aloud. The OCD planner in me wants to feel accomplished by checking off the task list more so than anything else. For this OCD planner, it is a major boo-hoo when plans fail. And plans fail, very often, in this household. This is also the other reason why the BFIAR series is still ongoing in this home.

Penning this down serves as a reminder for me to simply be a mum to the boys. I read that what the child needs is a mother, not a teacher. This statement really struck a chord with me. So expect more from our BFIAR series. No funtastic follow-up activities from this momma. Just simple mother to child snuggle up time.



  1. hi.
    i tend to buy all sorts of stationery or arts and craft materials but no time to do the suggested activity with my 4 yr old son.
    really not easy to juggle work and another 10 months old baby boy. 🙂 but really love to do the bfiar curriculum. bought all the books and 70% of fiar vol 1 booklist. love all their books! if only i can do the activities with my son too…
    you keep jia you too!

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