I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's about that time...

to plan for next year. I am at a stand still trying to decide what do curriculum wise next year. We currently use our local online charter school. It has it's pros and cons as does most programs but it is free to us and this is a big bonus. I don't care much for the frequent testing which can take the fun out of learning sometimes. I enjoy the work sample requests that plague my email inbox about as much as a bout with chicken pox.

In trying to narrow down the options that will work for us one thing has become clear. I don't like anyone telling me what to do. When to do what lesson. How long to spend on each one. What things to keep and what things to send in. When to do this test and when to move on. We have a lot of learning activities and games at our house so our kids spend a lot of time learning and not knowing it. The new "Snap it up!" game is a good example of this. You have to find the correct factors to multiply to match the product in the draw pile. It's the newest rage here. They are learning their multiplication facts while having fun. Isn't that sneaky?

Anyway, back to my dilemma and personality. Maybe the same thing? Hmmm. My Aunt does enjoy telling the story of watching me on a family trip to Canada and me snarking "You're not my boss!" Oh how embarrasing. It's funny but such an accurate glimpse into the idiosyncrasies of my psyche. I'm such a work in progress.

Yeah, well. Moving on. I would like the freedom to stay on a subject for longer if we need to or just skip some things that my kids have a handle on. We can do that some but it's a pain. My husband would like us to use something that is more PC based to keep things focused and teach them some technical skills that are important today. I would like to find something that's a combo of those things. Does it exist? I am sure that it does. I will just need to be creative. Ok, creative. That's something I can do.

So I get to head out in June and attend a homeschool convention. My next door neighbor (and great friend) is in the same quandry as me and we are trekking out together. We are spending the night at my sister's home in a suburb of the city and will be taking in some great seminars on Friday afternoon and Saturday. I expect the company booths will be a tad overwhelming but I am such a hands on kind of person. I need to see the stuff, get my hands on it, turn the pages myself. I love researching online but I like to read the newspaper instead of online as well as magazines. I enjoy seeing things in print. I see e-books for sale and I think, "Bleh, it's not worth the paper it's printed on. Oh? No paper? See what'd I tell ya?" I'm sure they have their place, just not on my nightstand. Magazines and books look nice stacked there next to the lamp. Much nicer than a laptop.

If you are in the same convention headed boat, may the Holy Spirit be yours and my guide. I hear it's a jungle out there.

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