Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catching My Breath

It is hard to see where the last week has gone to. I realize that I haven't posted for a while, and yet apart from thinking through the details of our days - I don't know what has kept me busy. Possibly the logistics of separating out our history and bible programs, buying in new history books so that the boys can work at their own level, and investigating an alternative progym curriculum.

I also took the plunge and ordered the 2nd edition Latin - Centered Curriculum from Memoria Press, simply because I want to see a classical scope and sequence with the Latin, Greek, Progym and Logic included. Very few of my existing overviews bring these together, and so we always seem to be busier than we need to be. Hopefully this will help me see where we can or should prune.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yep that would be the issue.

As we were reading through the Da Vinci book and talking about how Da Vinci was always heading off thinking about different things my engineer summed up the struggles we have with schooling

"You know Mum he's a lot like me...."

No one ever did force Da Vinci to finish something once he was elsewhere did they....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Da Vinci

We all seemed to wake up tired this Monday morning, and so enjoying some freedom we ran the biography of Da Vinci that my "Artist" started last week. She had to read Da Vinci by Emily Hahn and then put together an essay on his life. We are still scrambling together a format for the essay, but this morning we read 80 pages of the book as a read aloud including my two boys, and she drew alongside the story.

Here's her version of a Vinci's Christ figure.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Separate paths

Over the years our home school journey has worked best with us all on the same page. If only because then I can read that page once. Now that my oldest the artist is independently reading it may be time to re-think the plan.

So my artist will be left to continue on the plan that I had for her at the start of the year. Originally I was trying to give her an overview of history before we start into a great books style approach from when she turns 13. She's currently studying the reformation based on the world of books by Genevieve Foster. I wanted her to have a world focus to here history, rather than an American focus, so I could add in our own New Zealand History easier.

My youngest, the nature lover, has been reading on the same track. I have to decide soon whether to leave him there, or let him move back to a study of Greece and Rome, using the Famous Men of ____ books that Memoria Press has reprinted with colour illustrations. If we switch it will be easier to pick up the progym with him again. Either way he will be able to continue moving forwards at a comfortable pace, which means that I don't have to be worried about his academics.

My engineer however is a different story. He's never seen the point to school is seems to get in the way of his grand plans. While we have made progress in the past, it seems to come and go. One day he will try and the next sit passively and wait until the day is over. Historically we have come to loggerheads over this which never manages to improve the situation. My first plan is to let him wait it out until he is ready to give school a real try. I suspect that will mean that he is in his room waiting for the next couple of months and am thinking of what books I should strew in there while I wait for him to get bored. He seems to think that the idea of this is enough and that he is already sorted and ready to go. I still have to think through how this will work because I don't really want him playing at school without putting his heart into it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wisdom and Eloquence

This book arrived in my letterbox on Monday, and since then I have been steadily reading my way through it. I was encouraged.

Many of his comments have been encouraging.

The call to weave our faith throughout the curriculum.

The need to work on character and discipleship along the way.

A sense of being able to merge subjects together as we work on tools and not on set texts or blocks. (Since the book itself is aimed at teachers I'm wondering if that's just what my heart is telling me is the next step and not his actual message.)

Most importantly he has challenged the thinking that keep me tied to doing this series of great books or that for the "High School" grades.

I'll end up re-reading this slowly latter. For now the overall impressions have revitalized my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Faith or Fear

As a home school mum, I've often felt the need to show a perfect image. The idea that because we were doing something different I had to prove it was right.

Tonight it is time to recognize the fear as what it is - fear.

Homeschooling is a faith journey. Just like normal school journeys sometimes our kids fly sometimes they struggle.

Proving that it is right doesn't help us home school. It only makes Mum stress over the small stuff.

My faith challenge for the week, to home school without the fear that my family and friends won't approve. They either do or don't and I can't change that.

A clean page

Autumn has come to the backyard. With the falling leaves is a restlessness, a desire for a clean page of paper. Clearing out what is old and finished. Ready and waiting for what is new. Change is in the air and the warmth of the winter fireplace beckons.