I've had a few moments of self-doubt in the 8 days since I wrote my last post on planning for the next school year. OK, who am I trying to kid? I've had TONS of self-doubt. I wouldn't be Niffercoo without the self-doubt, right? ;)
Anyway, through the doubt I've managed to come back to my original plans time and again, which is comforting. And unlike previous years, I've also managed not to "save" any of the crazy changing that I've done to my book lists! LOL So what I have been able to accomplish this last week is to pull together all the books that I need that I already own, and create a wish list on amazon for the ones I will need to purchase. My next step will be to make a handy-dandy spreadsheet organized by title and by last name to take with me to the various book sales and to the used book store this spring and summer, to see if I can get any of these books at a discount!
I'll be back to running three histories again next year, which will be challenging but I'll manage. I ran two programs this year, one with the big kids and one with Reece, and I survived. More and more this year, Austin does not like having to wait for Riley to get to listen to his history lesson, so I'll go ahead and separate them. I was going to separate them in 2011 anyway, since that will be Austin's first year of high school, so we'll just start that early.
Austin will be doing Modern history. Riley will be doing Modern history, too... but at a slower pace (finishing first term next year). Reece will be starting back over with history (more like middle ages), as both my husband and I agree with Susan Wise Bauer (author of the Story of the World series the big kids are wrapping up) that it's best to skip the modern age with one so young as Reece. Their programs follow Ambleside, with modifications thrown in as I see fit. I find it easier for me to start with the framework of Ambleside and replace individual components than to start from scratch. And besides, if I start looking at too many lists - trying to mesh them - I just end up overwhelmed and frustrated. We have thoroughly enjoyed Ambleside's selections, even though they can be quite challenging. When I come across one that I do not believe will work for one of the kids, I just replace it with something else. I know, I know... it sounds simple. But you wouldn't believe how long it took me to come to terms with that one! LOL
Right now, the only subject I have not decided upon is Logic. Riley will be finished with the MindBenders puzzles soon, and she wants to start on Logic Liftoff that Austin has been using this year. There are 2 more books in the series, but I'm not sure I want to keep going with them since they are just workbooks. I like the looks of Fallacy Detective and Thinking Toolbox, but Ambleside lists those for Year 10 and 11 respectively, so I am assuming it requires a more mature thinker. I'll have to keep thinking on that one.
I'm really getting excited about next year. It's too bad we can't just call this year good and start over fresh in August! LOL