I previously got to talk online to Steve Lambert, the publisher of the Five in a Row books and husband of BFIAR and FIAR author Jane Lambert. Since the homeschool conference that we are organizing with Manila Workshops is already happening this Saturday, I thought it would be great to interview Steve about their curriculum and their family’s homeschooling experience.
So, without further ado, here are Steve’s answers to my five short questions. Enjoy!
1. How did your wife Jane choose the books included in the manuals?
Jane chose the books based on 4 criteria: great art, diverse content, great story and finally an intangible she called “heart”. What she meant was a book that changed you after reading it- a book that left you seeing the world a little differently than before.
She would often go through a stack of 100 books in a library and not find 1 single book that met her high standards. They are very, very special books indeed.
2. As a dad, how did you take part in your children’s lessons? Were you in charge of a particular subject?
I read aloud to our children. That was my contribution. Jane was the teacher but I spent hundreds of hours reading to our children. I believe it’s that reading aloud that develops children into becoming readers themselves eventually. And that is one of the two most important lessons we can teach our children from an academic point of view.
3. Using FIAR has really helped us a lot to stay out of the “school at home” type of home education. What tips can you give those who are just starting their homeschooling journey on the importance of cultivating love of learning in their children?
I mentioned reading as one of the two most important academic skills. The other (and most important) is to nurture a love of learning in your child. In fact, in many respects those are the ONLY two truly important lessons to teach. They’re vital.
If you can help a child develop a love of learning and teach them the joy of reading then they become self-feeders who can and will educate themselves for a lifetime whether you’re there or not.
Someone once said, “I don’t care whether your child learns to read at five but I am passionately interested in whether or not your child is a reader at 35!” Those who learn to love learning and learn to love reading will become lifetime learners. There’s simply nothing even remotely as important to teach your children.
4. What are you most thankful for after having “graduated” your kids the FIAR way?
Homeschooling is first and foremost about developing relationships. I’m grateful that my children did well academically. I’m grateful that they became great teachers themselves. But I’m MOST grateful that my wife and I had the privilege of getting to really “know” our children through the miracle of homeschooling.
When you wrestle through difficult questions and challenging truths each day for 18 years, you get to know your children in a way that feeding them breakfast and tucking them into bed at night will never give you. Homeschooling is the key that unlocks the door of relationships and I’ll be eternally grateful for that experience.
5. Do you get to join your grandkids’ FIAR lessons now? 🙂
Our daughters are both great homeschool teachers and teach our grandchildren. My only involvement with them is the role of cheerleader!
So there you have it! I told Steve that while I was reading his answers, my mouth was literally open in awe and anticipation. I hope you too are affirmed and encouraged by his words of wisdom.
Let me know how Five in a Row is working for your family or if you have questions about it. Here’s a list of FAQs on how we use it!
Photo credit: Posted with permission from Steve Lambert, photography by Christa Taylor Photography.