Thursday, August 18, 2011

Readin', Writin', and 'Rithmetic...Another Year Ahead

(with addendum in the comments section...)

Well, it's that time of year again. Summer wanes and autumn soon descends. Must be time to dust off the books and get ready for another glorious school year. I'm excited this year as I look at my plan for the kids.

Two are off to college. Z leaves Sunday, starting his junior year at LeTourneau University pursuing his B.S. in Air Traffic Control Management. A is delaying her sophomore year one semester to earn some money, but she'll be pursuing a B.A. in Biblical Studies at Criswell College.

Meanwhile, we'll have another graduation to plan for Prez, who's now a senior in high school, and E is doing her sophomore work. G is in seventh; J is in 5th; C is in 3rd; E is in 1st. And two more little people playing and getting underfoot and giggling and fighting...Life is good.

Some things stay the same...

Explode the Code
First Language Lessons
Rod and Staff grammar
Easy Grammar Ultimates
Singapore Math
Teaching Textbooks
Science: The Search
Latin for Kids
Greek for Kids
Logic by Wilson and Nance

And some things change...

G was our first student to use Singapore, and when she finished, we were at a crossroads as to what to do next. So, we'll be using that old homeschool math favorite, Saxon. This is a change from Teaching Textbooks, but I think it may be a better match for a Singapore student.

And those who are paying attention will also note the absence of Tapestry of Grace. I love TOG. And while I'm militantly opposed to classical education in younger grades, it has been an excellent high school curriculum. Lots of dear friends disagree with me, and that's okay. But I'm all for discovery and fun and projects in the elementary years. Rigor is good; rigor is its place and in its time.

So, speaking of rigor, I'm jumping ship from TOG this year to do a different kind of rigor. David Quine, founder of Cornerstone Curriculum, wrote World Views of the Western World a number of years ago to equip high-school students to see world view in everything from art to economics and trace the path of divergence from a Biblical worldview since ancient times. We use his Starting Points when each child hits eighth grade, and now we'll be doing WVWW for high-school. I am VERY excited about this change. I want to equip my students to go out into that big, bad world, taking dominion, and taking every thought captive.

Prez will be doing Year Two: The Grandeur of Christianity and The Age of Revolutions,
and E will be doing Year One: The Bible and Ancient Thought.

If I count from the year Z was in first grade, this is my fifteenth year of homeschooling. If I count from his birth, this is my 21st. Wow. God has carried us through many learning adventures. So, even though summer went faster than I wanted it to, I look forward to another school year.

And with a lot of prayer coverage, may this be a year that makes Him smile.


  1. WOW! Love this, but I am also challenged a bit. I can't wait to talk to you because I have made a ton of changes to my year. I am PRAYING I truly heard from the Lord and chose wisely. But, this helps me. Helps me realize that elementary needs to be FUN. I need your voice in my head when I am in the midst of my "classical" world.

    I am praying you have a wonderful first day of school tomorrow!

    Love you!

  2. Amanda, don't sweat it. This isn't PREscription for other families. This is DEscription for my family. Trust God's leading in your choices. You know your kids better than anyone else. God gave your kids to YOU. Remember that that is the beauty of homeschooling, and enjoy your year!!
    Love you, too!

  3. Well, I have to add an addendum.
    First, I must clarify my view of 'classical in the younger grades.' Yes, I'm all for introducing grammar stage students to a large body of knowledge. No, I'm not into burdening them for the sake of said knowledge. Nor am I into the "teach the kids all the Greek gods" thing before they have a firm Biblical foundation.
    Two, on a more practical note, I had to change up things for G, my seventh grader, who was not getting enough rigor. So now I'm doing what I said I'd never do:TOG with jr. high. AND I'm doing a Konos approach to TOG for the grammar stage because i'll lose my mind if I don't double up wherever possible. :)