Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have so much to do, I think I'll just sit here a little longer!

It seems nothing motivates me to blog more than having a veritable ton of things to do and a rapidly diminishing amount of time in which to do them.

I have to make sure the entire downstairs is company-ready (and not just any company but Boss company), plan my errands for tomorrow, grocery shop, make myself look charming and lovely and prepare a meal for nine all by 6:00 tomorrow! I think I'll blog!

Oh, yes, and I must finalize all of my curricula choices and get it all ordered!

For, lo, we are indeed home schooling. Now, is it two words: home schooling? Or is it one word: homeschooling? Very few of my spell-checkers recognize it as a single word. I was just wonderin'.

School is supposed to start in little less than two weeks (yes, we can start a day or two later because I am now in charge, but don't let me hear that) and I have yet to order anything. I've been researching!

I have been able to decide that I want to lean more toward a Classical Christian approach so we are doing Latin, Grammar, Spelling, Writing, Penmanship, History, Math, Science, Geography, Art and Music, all with a strong emphasis on Literature. That sounds like a lot but the Grammar, Spelling, Writing and Penmanship will really be kind of rolled together.

We're doing Prima Latina, Shurley English, Veritas Press History, Apologia Science, Handwriting Without Tears for Penmanship and various books for Writing, Geography and Art. I'm handling Music myself (the one area in which I feel rather confident). I'm pretty sure we'll be doing Math-U-See for Math, but I have a few people I need to consult before I decide. And I could really use something a little more structured for Spelling and Writing that isn't so darned expensive and doesn't require 10+ hours of preparation on my part (I'm looking at you, Institute for Excellence in Writing and Spell to Read and Write)! Maybe I'll check ebay...

Anyway, just when I feel I've got things pretty well under control, I think of a whole new slew of things I need to buy or prepare and I think this will never work. And just when I'm ready to throw in the towel, I see a glimmer of hope, or remember some wonderful book or method I can use that the public school would never!

Case in point, I was all set with a certain method for teaching Geography using songs. This method is wildly popular and is very highly recommended. And as the only Geography I can recall is from silly songs I learned as a child and teenager and as Man-Cub has such a great ear and knack for rhythms and memorization, I was all gung-ho on the idea of teaching him through songs.

And then I listened to some of the "songs" in the method.

And my musical background and training suddenly became a hindrance.

There is no question that these songs are a powerful memorization tool. I believe everyone who has said it worked wonders for them. But as a musician, a classically trained musician, I just could not bring myself to buy the CDs or inflict them on myself or my son.

It's true, I'm a snob.

So, bewildered and frustrated, I began to look around online for alternatives.

You'll never guess what I found and I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Don't you see? It's BRILLIANT! I know the quality of the video isn't all that great but the only good one I could find had a rude gesture as a logo in the bottom corner so I couldn't share it.

But wait, there's more:

HA! I'm going to use Animaniacs, of all things, to teach Man-Cub geography! Now, keep your hair on, I'm going to get him a few good maps and geography books, too! But I think Yakko and Wakko will be very effective tools for my nine-year-old boy.

I think I'm more excited about this than anything else...

Okay, this and The Time Chart History of The World I'm ordering. I can't WAIT to look at that thing, it's supposed to be stupendous!

Right, well, I must go mop and sweep and dust and write lists.


Kat said...

Believe it or not, my 6th grade social studies teacher (the cool one, who left and had a baby before the year was out, leaving us with a horrible woman who had no sense of fun and made me write an apology letter when she told me the wrong assignment and I got mad when she made me redo the right one...but i digress) used Animaniacs too! To this day, I still cycle through the song if I can't remember a capitol. They have great ones for the US Presidents and chemical elements as well.

Leila said...

Exciting that you are going to homeschool!
Yes, stay away from bad music disguised as a learning tool. So obnoxious. We're trying to be cultured here people.

I spell it one word.

In the back of grammar books they usually have lists of commonly misspelled words (like capitOl for capitAl ;). You could do those, b/c by middle school children usually know how to spell most words if they follow the rules. You can google something like "6th grade spelling list" and get everything you need.

Good luck!!

ps. Animaniacs -- just the best. Now, that's culture!!