Monday, February 26, 2007

What have I gotten myself into?

I started making my plans for History next year. It all seemed so simple in my mind. Follow the Ancient History timelines in a history encyclopedia or two. Read Story of the World. Check out a few books and movies from the library. Color a few maps. Do a few craft projects. Simple, right? Wrong! There's so much stuff out there! There is no way we could do it all, even if we tried.

Now the challenge seems to be figuring out what is worth spending the time on and what is not. I'm starting with Susan Wise Bauer's recommendations in the Story of the World Activity Guide and then narrowing that down by what my library actually has. (I'm thinking I should get together with all the other WTMers in my area and make a schedule because I know we're all going to want the same books, lol! I'm actually planning on starting in July, so hopefully I can get a jump on the competition.) Then I'm looking at what my library has that "looks interesting" by the online catalog. I'll order those in a week or two ahead of time and look them over. Then I'll just go look at what our library has in stock. And here, is actually one of my major panics about my plan... do you hear how many library books that is? We generally check out about 10 to 20 library books a month now. Embarrassingly, we actually read very few of those. Sometimes the kids love to be read to but frequently they just sit there collecting dust... the books, that is, not the kids. I'm just afraid that I'm going to have all these great, painstakingly laid out plans that are just going to sit on our "library table" going to waste.

I've also been planning out the activities and crafts that I think sound like fun to coincide with our studies. Things like cave paintings and flooding the Nile. (I'm going to hold off on the mummified chicken until our second pass though!) Hopefully these will go over well, if I plan them out and remember to do them! I tend to say that the kids don't like crafts, but the truth is that I don't like the mess for the 10 minutes of occupation that they provide, lol. But for real, honest-to-goodness school, hopefully I can make myself follow through.

Netflix and TiVo'ing the History Channel are also on my list for multimedia learning opportunities. Those I *know* the kids will like, but again, will I follow through past the first week or two? I think this homeschooling adventure of ours is going to be as much as a learning and Mind-Training experience for me as it will be for them. I hope I pass.

Now on to the log portion of the blog... Sunday, Cameron did another homemade math worksheet - mixed addition and subtraction. They must've done their job because Monday he said that he wanted to go back to working in the book. He did one exercise on adding three numbers and didn't take too horribly long to do it. He also did one lesson in phonics on "ee" as the long /e/ sound. He did really fantastic on that! Finally, we finished up with Lesson 4 in Spelling Workout - more beginning sound matching. He dragged and complained a bit because it was four pages long, but it was such easy work. I told him we could skip it and move on to Lesson 5, Ending Sounds, but he didn't want to. He finished it with ease and we were done with school before noon.

It's days like today, when with just a little gentle nudge we breeze through multiple subjects with most of the day to spare, that I think that we can really pull off a real Classical Education. I hope we can. It really is the ideal education in my mind. It's a little overwhelming at times, to see all I want to accomplish at once, but I think if we just continue on as we are we'll be fine. I plan to keep moving ahead with phonics, math, spelling, and eventually grammar *most* everyday, and the occasional science lesson like we have been, and then add on history three times a week and art/music once a week. Schedule the history and art appreciation. Keep the three R's flowing at his speed. Classical and child led, right?


Meesh said...

You are far more ambitious than I. I am however very excited to see that they are in the process of putting SOTW on audio. I love audio.

How did Friday go?????

G said...

I know just how you feel - I am in the process too of trying to lay it all out, organize it, etc., and am wondering if I'm in over my head... now see, I can can blame it all on you, since you are the one that recommended WTM to me!;)
I really *do* want to follow the Classical Ed pattern, so I guess I just need to get past my doubts and figure it all out!

Pixilated Mum said...

I replied to this idea more on the iVillage board, but yes, I feel your pain. LOL

It *is* fun to plan although I do get overwhelmed sometimes with history because, uhm, I love history and there's just so much of it. LOL

And Meesh, SotW is already on CD. And it's COOL.

Vegiemama said...

I bet your library books won't be gathering dust once you get going on SOTW. It really is a fun curric...we had fun with book 1 three years was just too much when added to Sonlight.

You know you could mummify an apple this time around since you're not doing the chicken yet. Being vegetarian, we chose that as our mummification option ;-) It really does work, and helped dd to understand what happens to the process.