I have been getting lots and lots of packages this week – it’s so exciting! Everyday, a new book arrives in the mail. I love books, especially ones that come by mail! Not all of them are new, actually most of them are used, but that makes no difference, in reality it increases the joy because I’m a tree-hugger and love to believe that I am reducing my impact on our planet. All the excitement is due to the fact that last week, I took the plunge and ordered the books I will need for school next year.
At this point, we are 36 weeks into our homeschool year. A normal public school year consists of 40 weeks, not including breaks, and we have almost hit that. Even so, we are just past the half-way point in our curriculum materials. Funnily, it’s a 30-unit curriculum composed of week-long units. We are currently using Moving Beyond The Page, and at first, I tried to follow the curriculum guide to fit a week-long unit into a week, but after receiving some intense opposition from my 4-year-old student, I made some changes and moved instead to doing about one activity a day, perhaps two. Now that she is 5 and a little more experienced in our school routine, Elizabeth is probably mature enough to be able to do a day’s worth of activities as the curriculum guide has it laid out, but after 9 or ten units when I hit one that I wasn’t terribly excited about, I began my own modifications and with them a unit still lasts about 7-10 days.
For Christmas, I requested the Global Village School kindergarten parent guide from my mom. I really like the Moving Beyond The Page activities and organization, but kept returning to the Global Village webpage and loved their emphasis on peace, diversity and eco-integrity. After reading the curriculum guide over a number of times, I ordered some of the suggested parent materials. Their guide is structured much differently from Moving Beyond The Page, it is much more flexible and does not lay out any lesson plans, but suggests a number of resources to get started with to draw up your own. Part of me really liked this, and part of me is still a little scared and anxious at the idea of doing it all on my own. I really like that Global Village doesn’t just hand you a list of things to do, but suggests the parent resources to help you to become the best teacher that you can for your child, and fills your tool box chock full of tools – way more than you will ever need if you purchase all of the books, yet they all are wonderful and have much to offer.
As I had all ready purchased some of the parent materials and love the Global Village guide, I decided that that was what I was going to go with next year. Maybe I will decide to return to Moving Beyond The Page, maybe I will stay with neither, that is ok. But then some very, very bad problems came to light between my husband and I and I wondered if we would still be together by the end of the year/summer/spring. I really love homeschooling, and wondered why it had been laid on my path if only to be taken away again so fast if I were to suddenly become divorced and have to support myself and my children, for what is the probability of being able to continue homeschooling then? I wasn’t sure if I would be able to put the proper time and energy into organizing my own lesson plans if I did try to homeschool as a single parent and went with Global Village for next year, but I believe that I could squeeze Moving Beyond The Page into our lives as it is all ready all laid out and the materials come super organized.
I remained undecided, there was really no rush to purchase yet, as well, my future was in limbo. But then, things with Chepe seemed to pan out a little and I thought that things would work. I leaned back towards Global Village School, and feeling like we were going to make it work, at least for another couple of years, I asked him if he minded that I order the rest of the books for the curriculum because I need to read them and draw up my plans. With Chepe agreed, I set to ordering books off of Amazon. I had originally considered just borrowing the children’s books from the library, but then realized that I need to read them and have them before me to make the plans, and since we got a great tax return back, I decided to just purchase them, mostly used.
So this week, everyday a new package is laid before the garage or stuffed into the mailbox. It is a lot of fun to be gathering the materials together. For a moment before and after I ordered them, I was trying to draw up some plans and just felt like I had no idea what I’m doing, even though I have been modifying the MBTP lesson plans with additional focuses such as those suggested by Global Village, like specifically on character and values, peace and diversity, and service learning and active citizenship. But now that I have the books before me, the last few times I have sat down to consider them, it seems to be coming together more easily for me, and my page is full of ideas.
I don’t know where Chepe and I are, we hit the lowest point we’ve ever had in our marriage on Tuesday. We have a lot of work to do and there are things out of the control of my hands right now that we will wait and see on. As I had all ready ordered the books to use Global Village next year, again I wondered about this path of homeschooling that had been exposed before me but that seemed to be being ripped away, yet tried to put faith in the fact that it had been laid before me. I had all ready purchased the materials, so perhaps no matter what happens, it will be meant to be; somehow I will pull it off.