As July whizzes by, the month of August and all of its associated activity seems to be approaching like a slow-moving, but certain hurricane. At times I stop to think about all that needs to be done within a month and I am quickly consumed by my inabilities. Then I remember that Ephesians 3:20 and Philippians 4:6-7 and I focus on those tasks that are totally within my grasp.
One of those tasks is the planning of next year’s high school and elementary school studies. I spent several days plodding through reviews, lists, and old sets of notes in developing our son’s history/ literature reading selections for this year. As it seems to always be the case in our high school, the current dilemma is attempting to marry what I want him to read with what he’ll read for college without inundating his days with school—hard to do when I don’t know what his college class schedule will look like for the fall. Yet, I made an attempt at both a schedule and a curriculum plan. You can see the links to my pages at the top of my blog.
The youngest’s schedule will look much the same as last year’s schedule, with some tweaks to the curriculum. I have not detailed her reading list yet, but we will continue to use my history curriculum in order to flesh out American history after the Civil War up until the present. There will be other books on the list that are, in my mind, books that every child should read. As I have said before, she will be my focal point this year, and there is a lot of praying/ thinking/ quiet time that I need to spend in order to give her a different experience. The trouble is that I’ve not slowed down to do much of anything. This summer has been one of taxi-ing, transporting, and execution of others’ plans; I really need to remedy that with the few weeks I have left.
What I am most excited about is the opportunity to study world geography again, this time with our son. Here is a confession: I almost failed world geography when I took it in middle school. I realize now as an adult that I struggled with the way it was taught—more like an art project where you connected the dots, but found no true connectivity to anything else. Consequently, as an adult, I find myself staring at maps and globes from time to time such that I can just absorb places, cultures, and locations. During the oldest’s senior year, I found resources via Knowledge Quest’s Globalmania, and got really excited. Games to help with geographic locations and memorization? What could be more fun than edu-tainment, right??!! Yet, I wanted to do something more than have her learn what I learned, or rather, attempted to learn. I wanted her to know that people matter, and that in each location is a face and a history, and a culture, and a purpose that Jesus would have these people fulfill.
I felt pretty good about the plan I pulled together for her, but I realize now that I was still lacking by making it more of an art lesson than it should have been, and in that way more of a frustration than it had to be. Don’t get me wrong—I believe wholeheartedly in sharing with the kids that not every subject will be taught to their learning style and their preferences. BUT, I am occasionally reminded of a beautiful post I read earlier in our homeschooling journey entitled, “How to Kill a Flower.” In essence, the post talked about trying to force a child to do or be something that is contrary to who they are innately and uniquely designed to be. So, this time I will make a modification on some of the map drawing (not all), and use the expensive but increasingly useful Wondermaps software that I bought a few years back. With Wondermaps, the countries are already drawn, and our son can focus on the still-rigorous task of identifying and detailing the countries as we go. I also add in assignments regarding culture identification, rituals, and even missionary focus for each continent and some countries. This time I will also pull in a few resources from this Squidoo lens and I am going to offer a Squidoo lens of my own with this lesson plan—for free!! The high school economics lens has been a huge hit, and I want to continue to bless people who are looking for good, low- or no-cost curriculum. I will announce when I publish it, but be on the look-out!!
Other than that, there is a high school history curriculum to write which I have been working on for years. I believe at this point that I finally have the spiritual release to put it together for publishing as a part of A Blessed Heritage’s product offering. I am happy to have learned much, both in terms of my own education and my spiritual growth, as I have waited—and waited—to craft this product. Once the Lord said “go,” I had to take spiritual authority over what was spinning in my head. Working with my son on reading and writing the Constitution—yes, the entire Constitution—was of great help to me in knowing that the vision was doable. Watch for that as well.
What else is going on? Sewing projects, college preparations for both of the older two, and teaching my “big kids” (adult learners)—the list goes on and on. I’d better get back after it!! God bless you!!