Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your path.
Where does the time go? I’ve been able to get out and be blessed by others’ posts and somehow managed to neglect writing my own words!
I have been thinking a lot about high school plans for the oldest. Sometimes when some combination of fear and frustration begin to surface, I think that I must be crazy for putting so much effort into the high school years given the oldest’s current 8th grade struggles. However, I am continuing in prayer and the Lord is being faithful to reveal some recognizable areas where I can help move my daughter to a different place. One of those places is in speaking to her perfectionist tendency—a plight all too familiar to me, although it doesn’t manifest itself in the same way. As one example, the oldest is artistic and has an eye for details. Her science notebook has beautiful illustrations, but they take a loooooooonnnnnnngggggggg time to complete. I left her to copy a picture of the heterosphere, troposphere, etc. Almost three hours later, she was trying to find the right combination of colors for the perfect twilight sky. YIKES! So this week’s heart-to-heart was about how to summarize, how to shorten, how to skim, with some success, I might add. I do hope that this particular pendulum doesn’t swing too far the other way (smile).
I was looking for more of the same, which I believe, by faith, is working for us. Actually, I shouldn’t write as if all is lost around the house; in truth, this is a new routine for both of us, and I do see fruit as I embrace patience. We’re studying Hebrews as the author writes to prove to his Christian audience that God is greater than the high priests, and begins a comparison of the blood power of the Old Testament with the power of Jesus’ blood in the New Testament. This struck several chords with the oldest from another book we’re reading together, Know What You Believe by Paul Little. As she noticed the similarities, I thanked God for what I was witnessing. He is and will continue to do a work, if I will get out of the way. Then again, I’ve always had the patience of Job as long as I got what I wanted in an instant.
So, as I stated before, I was looking for more of the same:
1) Books that build her faith in Jesus and her confidence in sharing Him with the world
2) Living books that inspire as they educate
3) Opportunities to bond and learn as Mom and daughter over books
Because of the other needs of our homeschool, our family, and my schedule when I’m not homeschooling, I needed something that was fairly well planned out, though a plan that is too prescriptive would never work for me. After a good deal of research, I finally settled on a great books study using www.thegreatbooks.com. We will not use all of the resources, and we will not read the Koran or other documents of non-Christian major religions; I think it is sufficient to understand the basics of other religions so that your witness to those who worship other gods is not steeped in ignorance. I have completed some additional searches to see what online lesson plans exist in working through books like The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as what films are available as another means of taking in some of the great philosophers. All in all, I have to say that I’m pretty excited about my second trip through high school. We will flesh out the rest of our plans with tried and true staples that have worked for us through the years—Apologia Science and Rod and Staff English (until it runs out after 10th grade). I am in somewhat of a quandary regarding Geometry on next year. Cornerstone Curriculum has a new geometry text, but the ratings are mixed on his newer products. Cathy Duffy lists great options in her 100 Top Picks…, and I believe that Jacobs is the popular choice among homeschoolers. We’ll see.
One aspect of high school that both challenges and intrigues me is the whole idea of electives. It began to occur to me a couple of months ago all the implications of the oldest’s interest in fashion design and merchandising. I’d been following the pattern under which I was educated—heavier on math and science (hence the engineer), with solid grounding in language arts for purposes of articulation. Then, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized, hey, she’s going to need home economics! She’ll have to learn to sew (something I haven’t done since I gave birth to her 13 years ago)! Her interests are completely different than what I’m planning! You’d think, being the planner that I am, that I’d have something firm in place for this, but I sat dazed for a day or two, then had to back up and punt. My saving grace was a brief discussion in the Homeschool Lounge. I so love what technology is doing in the homeschooling community; such wisdom is being disseminated at accelerated speeds, and it’s great to be a part of it all. I found what could be used as a “core text,” but it certainly wouldn’t qualify as a living book. So I thought about studying Cleopatra and posed a question to the Charlotte Mason group about a living book. I only got one response, but it was all I needed—study Esther instead! I am so pumped about the role of costume and fashion as she prepared herself for one night, and then a lifetime, with a king. I found a living book that I think will be perfect, along with great online studies. I’m diving into a History of Fashion unit, both elbows deep—I’ll keep you posted!