Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And now, on the homeschooling front ...

First, the good news.

Nim's IslandThe girls and I are having a ball this week reading Nim's Island by Wendy Orr. I know it's a movie, and I haven't seen it yet, but y'all, the book is so much fun. Nim is a girl living on an island alone with her scientist dad, and she's adventurous, responsible and self-reliant enough that her dad goes off on an expedition and leaves her for three days. At least, the plan is three days. But then his trip goes awry and Nim begins corresponding via email with a reclusive famous author, all while missing her dad and having adventures with her anthropomorphic animal friends, and that's as far as we've gotten, but Eliza keeps asking me to keep reading, which is a good sign.

Warm As Wool (Aladdin Picture Books)We've also started dipping back into Five in a Row, which has been the source of some amazing picture book finds for us. It's a fountain of ideas for discussion and activity based on great books, some of which are already well-known and award-winning, and others of which deserve to be so. This is a curriculum I'm always recommending to moms of preschoolers and kindergarteners who want to do something a little bit structured with their kiddos without going off the deep end. This week we're having some fun with Warm As Wool.

And I am reading A Tale of Two Cities and liking it much more than I expected. Mr. Dickens, you're quite a wit. 

Now, the bad news.

Y'all, I am suffering from the worst case of planning paralysis I've ever experienced. Normally around this time of year, I'm so done with the "lazy days of summer" to which we are somewhat subject because of the public-schooled neighbors who like to come hang out. Visions of newly sharpened pencils and brand new books and schedules that will probably come unraveled dance in my head. I'm making a long list from the Rainbow Resource catalog and forcing myself to edit because there are so many great options.

But with seemingly everyone gearing up around me and even homeschooling websites publishing delightful ideas for the "first day of school," I just cannot seem to kick myself into gear. I feel like I'm stuck in this pessimistic funk, this crisis of motivation and decisiveness, despite the plethora of advice and ideas at my fingertips.

There's more I could say but it's hard to go into detail without violating my kids' privacy, one in particular. But if you feel inclined to pray for me, please do! Or send a Mental Battery Charger via FedEx with encoded instructions for exactly what we should do in the next few months that will rock our world.

Thanks for listening. Over and out.


Raji P. said...

Just placed a hold on Warm as Wool. Please keep the book recommendations coming.... some of us depend on them!

Molly said...

i would love to read nim's island to the kids! i'll have to put that on our list. do you ever feel like you'll run out of time to read all the wonderful books out there?

and on the subject of public schooled neighbor kids - many of ours went back to school today, but a few don't start for two more weeks and i'm about ready to pull my hair out!!! i'm so ready for us to return to our schooling (ok, playing and reading and making without friends and neighbors) and find a new rhythm for a new year. i think i'm going to have to send the mom an email that we are unavailable during school hours. i just want my kids all to myself.

Tamara said...

I loved Nim's Island! I saw the movie first and then read the book (which, of course, was waaaaayyyy better). Have you heard of the Little Britches series by Ralph Moody? They're similar to Little House on the Prairie in that that they're true, autobiographical, frontier stories, but LB is from a boy's perspective in Colorado ranching. I've only read the second because that's all I could get from the library in my six precious weeks of English library access, but it was good enough that I ordered others from Amazon and look forward to reading them. Keep the recommendations coming! And much grace to you in getting into gear for this next round of educating your precious kiddos!

Stephanie said...

I hate it when I see a movie and THEN find out there's a book. I will add it to my list. I just finished reading The Red Pony by John Steinbeck. Have you read that one?

KTG said...

My girl is two and I'm going to check out your suggestions for preschoolers.Thanks, now I'm energized.

JoAnn said...

Hannah, I am reminded of a school that your SIL used to teach in that chose a theme for the whole school for the whole year, and all the classes focused on the one theme. Since your kids are good at identifying themes, perhaps you can try that. Jenni might be able to give you some ideas that they used. [If that doesn't work, I know a therapist who is good at helping people get unstuck ;-) ]
But knowing you, this stuckness won't last long, so for now, it is a good excuse to just wait on the Lord.