Friday, May 07, 2010

Planning season has arrived!

My favorite time of year: Warm temperatures. Yellow pollen covering the cars (at least here in Georgia!). Trees blossoming and budding. The Sonlight catalog in my mailbox!

Planning season is yet again upon us! :)

I'm a compulsive planner... even when I was a little girl, I can remember making lists and planning things out months ahead of time. I come by it honestly, though. When we were planning my wedding, my mother made a spreadsheet for the guest list and to keep track of things we had to do. If I'm not mistaken, she still HAS that spreadsheet in a binder somewhere! When I was pregnant with Austin, she made another spreadsheet for all of the stuff we(SHE) had purchased for him. My dad makes spreadsheets for the fishing/camping trips he goes on with Austin and my husband. And any Disney trip is not complete without it's on spreadsheet. I enjoy the planning part nearly as much as the trip itself!!

So would it come as a surprise that I would enjoy planning for homeschooling as much as I do? ;)

I have had a love-hate relationship with homeschool planning over the years, though. It stems from a lack of confidence in my ability to know what is best for my children, and feeling like I need someone else to tell me what to do. It also stems from the "grass is greener" syndrome and my perfectionism run amok. But I'm much better at that now. One would hope so since next year will be our 9th year of homeschooling! LOL

That's not to say that I still don't second-guess myself. My last post was all about comparing myself to others... so, of course, that would relate to curriculum choices as well. But I'm trying to make a conscious effort to trust in the path that I have chosen and that ultimately I have felt God leading us to follow. On Wednesday, I spent the evening working on book lists for next year. I am still using Ambleside as our basis as it seems that our favorite books over the last couple of years have been from there. But I have had to make adjustments for our particular circumstances, so it becomes a little more involved than just copying and pasting the lists. So I spent a few hours making my selections, so I can begin figuring out which titles I already own and which I need to be looking for at sales and used book stores in the coming months.

But then yesterday morning, 12 hours or so after all this work was completed, while I was out running, I heard doubts creep into my head. "It's just a lot of reading and narrating. Shouldn't there be something more? Shouldn't there be something else? Austin's nearly in high school." I recognize this voice so well by now. I pushed it to the back of my mind.

And then I signed on to Facebook and at the top of my news feed was this link from a friend: A College Instructor's Advice to Parents of Middle and High Schoolers. In this article, she outlines the things she feels are most crucial for future success both in college and in the workplace - reading and summarizing, thinking about, and writing about what you've read (aka narration). I couldn't help but smile! :)

So the majority of next year's curriculum decisions have been made! My next step is to acquire all of these treasures. And then finally to use the information I learned in Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education from Simply Charlotte Mason to get it all organized for our school year!

But that third step will have to come in the summer... since we're still wrapping up THIS year's academics! LOL

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