Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Mind Unfocused

I left the house today. It was the first time since Sunday that I walked out my own door. It was such an occasion I put on my fancy pants (jeans) and a clean shirt. I even wore shoes, remembering to change out of my slippers.

I just bought Cathy Duffy's book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. I spend the last four days marching through this book, making notes of books and programs that sound promising, struggling against interruption after disruption. Today I finished the book and arranged to leave the house so that I could review my notes and re-read sections that were plowed through so quickly that I'm pretty sure I missed something important.

I came to the coffee shop tonight, sat down with Peter's laptop, my coffee, and books. I got all prepared to dig in. Then I realized that over the past four days I have lost my ability to focus. The hazing from small children gets my martial gaze fixed on the topic at hand. I wonder if I handed out gift cards if people would start screaming and throw cups of milk off of the table or need an apple cut up? Maybe then I could focus again.


Here's a question for all of you homeschooling moms. Where do you go to find curriculum choices? We have a homeschooling conference in Minnesota every April. It seems to be ok, though a lot of the vendors are more focused on selling character development tools than on academics. Personally, I have a Bible and The Andy Griffith Show--that's all the character development help I need for my kids.

I need something to teach Anna how to read. They need to know where Iraq and Saudi Arabia are on a map. I need something that uses real books and worktexts and I need something that can teach them both, to some degree, at once. I need to know where the Homeschool Curriculum Mall of America is. I need to know where to look, where to shop, and where the good stuff is. I need help knowing how to even PLAN a curriculum for a year. This year we used Sonlight and there were things I liked a lot (like not having to plan the lessons) and some things that seemed weak to me (though this could be due to using the Kindergarten level curriculum).

Can you help? I'll take any (positive) advice you would like to give! Believe me, this won't be the last time I ask.


Maeve said...

Have I told you about the Pioneer Woman? She lives in Oklahoma on a cattle ranch and has a blog that covers her daily life, cooking (amazing recipes..seriously amazing), photography AND homeschooling. She homeschools all 4 of her children. I haven't read into it too much since I don't have kids, but I know that she lists resources and gets other homeschooling parents to contribute. Might be a good resource, here's the link:

And I won't hesitate to recommend her cooking section once again ~ lasagna, crash hot potatoes, caramel apple pie...just sayin' ;)

Luke said...

Well, I'm more than a little biased, but I love Sonlight [smile]. What were the weak areas that you didn't like?

If these things were due to the K level, then I highly recommend that you purchase Core 1 and, if it isn't working for you, take advantage of the "Love to Learn Guarantee" and send it all back. But if you loved the experience overall... stick with it! [smile]

But whatever you end up using, may you have a fantastic year! I look forward to hearing about your journey in the months to come.


karen said...

The Rainbow Resource catalog is a free resource that reviews tons of products. However, my best recommendations always came from other like-minded moms. Our family has also put together a website of our very favorite homeschool picks for middle school through high school students.

Knittymama said...

Isn't Oak Meadow a big one? I see that advertised a lot. I'd check out the public school websites too. FOr example, if you go the the Minneapolis Public School site, thens students, and student online resources you'll find all sorts of cool stuff, much of it free.....

Mary said...

I would LOVE to hear what areas you did not like in Sonlight Core K?? I purchased the 3/4 and enjoyed it so much I have purchased the 4/5 for next year and am leaning toward keeping Alexis home and starting the Core 1 with her next school year. I evenb ordered the Core K science to suplement public school and we are enjoying it. Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on it.
Mary :)