I had to laugh when I approved Vicki’s comment this morning.   Looking forward to a homeschooling post… Yipes!  The pressure!  Oh Vicki, I feel like a kid who just got their hand caught in the cookie jar.

It is incredibly tempting to look through my pictures of past homeschooling projects, post a few, and say, “Wheee!  Look what we’re doing.”  But, alas,  I’m not very good at faking it.

I did the most insane thing.  Ever.   It makes no sense, really it doesn’t.  Temporary insanity?  Maybe.

I sold my TOG.   (GASP!)

I did, really.

So last night we had this wonderful little get together.  I think I’ve mentioned we picked up our entire household, eight kids, and moved across the country to Oregon for what will essentially be an extended vacation in the great Pacific Northwest?  Um, yes, did that… February.   And I have to say I’m glad we did,  it’s been a beautiful experience & Oregon people are easy to love.

That said, it’s taking effort.  We have NO friends here, no family, no extended family.  We are an island unto ourselves.  So we need to make effort to make friends, establish support.  I’m back to going to storytime, venturing out in public, things of this nature.  When you live in a small Iowa town, and you’re related to most of said town, you don’t really make a lot of effort to get to know people…  You already know them.  It’s effortless.
Last night we were  invited to a sweet mama’s house along with two other couples.  Wow! Eight adults outnumbered by twenty children and I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever met such agreeable adults… I usually get along with the kids 🙂 but even the grown-ups were great!

All of that to say we had those “get to know you” conversations and inevitably the question comes up, “What do you use?”  And I humbly admit I’m floundering.  And then I go one further to say, “We *USED* Tapestry of Grace.”  (Notice the past tense.) And honestly?  I felt like banging my head against the cupboard and screaming, “And I don’t know WHAT I was thinking getting rid of it.”

Okay.  That’s not entirely fair, nor is it entirely true.  I know what I was thinking.

My sorry little self was discontent.  I had gotten out of the very good habit of making lesson plans from Tapestry.  And my fence sitting self decided that “open & go” was acceptable.  BTW, I do not recommend an “open & go” method to Tapestry. 😛  So, I’d flip through deciding, on the day we were doing, what we’d do that day.

Now, I’ve heard many compare Tapestry to a banquet.  It’s all laid out on the table for you.  You leisurely stroll through the meal, choosing what you like and tossing it on your plate.  It’s a great comparison!  Here’s the problem… When you decide to open & go, you’re choosing to flip through all your options that day.  And you haven’t prepped yourself with the talk.  *THE* talk goes something like this, “Kelly, we don’t have to do EVERYTHING.  We can pick & choose to do a few things & this does not make you a bad homeschooling mom.”   So how do I liken my situation?  I’m the woman who goes to the banquet and fills up her plate to the brim and then stands, plate full, looking at the rest of the food.  “Hmmm…. Wish I could have chocolate cake.  I really like cake……  Wish I could have some brownies.  We used to have time for brownies.  (Insert pathetic sigh.)  Wow.  Broccoli.  Broccoli is SO good for you.  We haven’t had broccoli in a long time.”

So, with the “open and go” method, I was breezing past all of these incredible projects and great ideas and every day I was looking at what I WASN’T doing.

The SANE course of action here would have been to start making lesson plans.  It would have made good sense.

I’m not really a good one for sense.  I tend to be a little more “fun.”  This is code for: fly by the seat of my pants.  I’m not sure exactly why I abuse myself in this way, but I suspect I like the “challenge.”  It’s the same reason people run with bulls & call it fun.

So, I spent the last seven days making Excel spreadsheets.  Truth be told, I so enjoy making spreadsheets.  The fine lines, the bold lines, the color coding by child… It excites me just thinking about it.  It’s another one of those “theory vs. practice” exercises.  Love the theory,  but the practice?  Eh, not so much.

Had the genius plan of enrolling oldest daughter in Mother of Divine Grace this year.   I looked at their literature program and found it to be strong.  This translates to: I looked at their literature program and was fairly certain I could talk oldest DD into the program.  No such luck.

Everything that I am, my daughter is NOT.  She is incredibly self controlled, amazingly organized, and very purposeful.  Needless to say I admire her very much.  She’s got some of her Daddy in her, great kid, that one.  She has laid out a literature program for herself.  She’s pulled suggestions from Tapestry, Ambleside, Sonlight.  She’s matched up the literature selections with the history selections based on time periods.  She intends on doing outlines, writing assignments, and written narrations along with her reading selections & she has begged to me to allow her to plan this on her own.  I saw her plans.  They’re better than mine.  I’m a little jealous.  I’m a little relieved to see she’s going to walk away from the all out, everything in, obsessive study of Rome.   That pretty much overtook her summer and I’m not losing this child a year early to foreign exchange.

So, I understand your enthusiasm towards another homeschooling post.  I’m looking forward to having something purposeful to say too!  I’m just not sure where I’m going with it yet.  She gave me a literature based study for combining the 1st & 3rd grader yesterday… We’re going over it today and once I add in some bits & pieces, it should work.

I honestly believe that I’ll give this six months and be back into Tapestry.  But, truth be told?  I can’t hardly look at the amount of work she’s poured into designing her own curriculum and say, “Hey, let’s go with this one.”  She deserves the opportunity to do this.  I actually think I’m going to get her Laura Berquist’s book, “Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum” and let her go wild.

Ana

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