Monday, September 04, 2006

Music to my ears

This evening as we returned from the International student cookout, the boys in the back seat were discussing tomorrow morning. I heard the words, “Yeah! We’re doing school tomorrow.” I perked up. I turned around. I asked, “Who said that?” Andrew smiled, and I asked, “Did you mean that?” He said, “Yes!”

Need I say his words were music to this homeschooling mother’s ears? We started “back to school” last Wednesday, took Friday off for Matthew’s birthday, and today off for Labor Day. So we’ve only been at it for two days since our summer break ended. I hope that Andrew and the other boys will feel that same sense of anticipation throughout the year. I pray that they will be excited about and thankful for the privilege of learning together at home.

By God’s grace, I am more organized this year. I have devised new assignment spreadsheets and done a better job of scoping out our year. I am using more AmblesideOnline suggestions and trying a couple of new resources, i.e. Friendly Chemistry and The Easy French. Do you detect a theme here? Actually, I’m very impressed with both resources. Friendly Chemistry is just that, very user friendly, but also quite thorough as an introductory chemistry course. I’m using it with Joel and Matthew, 7th and 9th grades. The Easy French is new to me, too, but was recommended by Carla. After email correspondence with the creator, Marie Filion, I decided to take the plunge and order both Levels 1 and 2. Level 2 just came out in August. Actually, my French books haven’t even arrived yet so I am hoping they come sometime early this week. In the meantime, we’ll continue with the Rosetta Stone computer course.

I am also joining forces with Carla this year to do a small co-op. We were quite inspired by our friend Amber’s comments about her co-op last year and also by several speakers at the Charlotte Mason conference at Gardener Webb University back in June. Carla and I attended the conference together and came home so encouraged and energized. In our co-op we’ll be doing picture study - CM style starting with Winslow Homer; Shakespeare – Macbeth this fall; Nature Study –learning about squirrels by observing, drawing, and reading A Squirrel of One’s Own; and French – using some of our Easy French activities and hopefully learning a French folk song or two!

At home right now, we are all studying early American history. The older boys are reading Paul Johnson’s History of the American People as well as selections from Churchill’s History of the English Speaking People, Volume Three. Our breakfast read-aloud is Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography. The younger boys and I are reading H.E. Marshall’s This Country of Ours and Genevieve Foster’s George Washington’s World. We’ll continue adding to our family Book of the Centuries and read some historical fiction along the way. I love homeschool history lessons!

I haven’t mentioned Robinson Crusoe (our current “school" read-aloud), writing, vocabulary, science for the big guys, math, literature, hymn study, or composer study but if I’m going to be awake for all the reading aloud tomorrow, I’d better quit and get to bed.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

I can't imagine what it's like to plan for and organize four high school/middle school schedules.

My brain hurts!

Kelly said...

I can't imagine what it's like to plan for and organize four high school/middle school schedules.

My brain hurts!

Jen Unsell said...

Your writings bring so much excitement to me for the years ahead Beth! The CM coop sounds fantastic! :-)

Jen Unsell said...

Your writings bring so much excitement to me for the years ahead Beth! The CM coop sounds fantastic! :-)