Getting Ready for Homeschool, 2009

We’ve just about finished ordering everything for school this fall.

The girls are very excited.  They’ve asked if we can start early.

Elisha has no clue, and I’m cool with that.  I’ve found a pre-school workbook (50-cents) that we’ll save for him for next year when, as a 4-year-old, he’ll actually be able to do something with it.

For now I expect he’ll do preschool stuff in whatever room we’re working in or else go play/read to himself like he already does when the girls are ignoring him.

At this time we’re planning to use the Tapestry of Grace curriculum with the Well-Trained Mind as another resource for a sort of classical approach in our organizing structure.

Other than Language Arts (Melody’s still learning how to read, and I’ll be requiring more handwriting from Natasha this year) I expect the girls will be using the same teaching time as a class of two.

Jay picked out the Science and thinks he may want to teach the math, and I am wrestling again with how many “extracurriculars” to include.

And by this I do not yet mean any outside-the-home extras.  I mean non-core stuff like Spanish/French, drawing, and musical instruments.  I have resources for any and all of these, I just have to learn where they’d belong.

I have a measure of ability and enjoyment in all of these, and would like to share them with my kids (not a little because that would give me more time with them too), but I know that they could wait, too.

I have a funny little list in my homeschool notebook (apparently reading is such a *given* it didn’t even make the list):

Important to Mother

  • Writing and speaking coherently
  • Understanding, loving music

Important to Daddy

  • Math
  • Science

Important Because They’re Important

  • Study of the Word
  • Study of History

See as Beneficial (if we can fit them in)

  • Foreign language
  • Drawing
  • Musical instrument

~ ~ ~

And that’s the outline of where we’re starting from this year.

I made a little chart to compare what “year” we’d be at for each of the kids’ schooling, and how old they’d be for each pass through the material.

Tapestry of Grace, if you didn’t follow the link, follows a 4-year cycle through history, repeating three times over the 12 traditional years of school, increasing in depth as the children mature.  The progression of time is the organizing structure for the curriculum, with a focus on philosophies and personalities and how they shaped history.

After making the chart I realized I’d be 45 by the time Elisha finished high school (yes, with this system I’d expect to be teaching them through high school), and I felt like writing a letter to my 45-year-old self, begging me to remember I’m not making any of these plans out of any imagined certainty or revealed wisdom, but only doing the best I can do with the understanding I currently have.

You see, anytime I see such farsighted “certainty” (Hi, I’ve decided what I’m going to do for the next 15 years), I get uncomfortable, but at the same time I can only make decisions based on the information I have now.

So here I go.

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