We started school a couple of weeks early so we could take a whole week off at Thanksgiving and I'm so glad it's here! We will be doing some school, but mostly playing catch-up. I've gotten a little behind in reading aloud to my big kids. Also, I finally broke down and bought Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese, so we're all having fun with that. And of course, there are a few organizational projects I'd like to get accomplished this week. I'm not going to tell you what they are, in case I don't get to them. If I do, you'll be hearing about it.
I've been reading, reading, reading and studying, studying, studying homeschool curricula. I'm thinking about some major changes around here. I have a love-hate relationship with change. The idea of something new is exciting, but I can't stand letting go of the old. I'm so afraid of over-planning my oldest son's schedule next year, but so want him to have a top-notch education. That's the rub we all face, isn't it? It has me re-evaluating what counts in an education. Priorities. Maybe that differs with each child. What do you think? I mean, we want all our children to learn to think for themselves and be able to recognize and articulate truth, but beyond that, there are differences. It's important to us for our sons to have marketable skills. They need to be able to provide for their families, so I'm always thinking of skills that will pay, whereas I'm happy for my girls to pursue art and other hobbies for their leisure.
All that by way of saying, my 12 yr old's "electives" (in quotes because they're mandatory, just not traditional subjects) are a pretty heavy load on their own. I want him to have computer skills, so computer science including programming languages seems important. I also want him to know a foreign language that will help him study the Bible (Greek) and also a language that could help him land a good job (Chinese). Then there's typing, which seems necessary for most anything these days, piano, which he loves and is getting so good at, and he could spend all day just on electives!! Swim team involves another 5-10 hrs per week. And we don't consider Bible an elective, but if you include our family devotional time plus his Community Bible Study homework along with his individual reading and memory work, there's another 6+ hours per week. Am I crazy? Is this reasonable? Am I expecting too much? Should I vary electives, some MWF and others TRS?
Stay tuned to see what changes we have in store. I've ordered several "trials" and if we're really encouraged by the change we may even do some switching over at the semester break.
One more musing I have to share with you. I have been absolutely blown away, in a good way, with IBLP's Character Sketches. This is not something that's just for kids. They've challenged me to look in a new way at several people/passages in Scripture. My kids love the illustrations from nature and are much better at remembering them than I am. But, I just love the biblical selections. I usually end up googling some question and often my husband and I have in depth talks that are sparked by some aspect of the character sketches. If their wisdom booklets are anything like the character sketches, I might have to take a look.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving week? Oh- we're having Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year, but our double ovens are broken! I'm going to be borrowing my mom's electric roaster and using crockpots. It's going to cost over $700 to repair our double-ovens (electronics) or over $1700 to replace them! We've gone back and forth about a million times and still haven't decided which to do. The repair only comes with a 30 day warranty on replacement parts. We'll probably go with the repair, what would you do?