I love daydreaming about who my children will grow up to be. As a homeschooler, that takes on an especially personal twist as I get to embark on the educational journey that will lead them into adulthood right alongside them. I think that's why I find myself thinking through my options each January, just like clockwork.
This current "school year" (2007-2008) will most likely be the last in which I combine all three children in the same SL Core. Try as I might, I just can't see how Logan is going to wade in the waters of Core 5 without major, major modification. While he's a far more avid fan of history than your average 5 year-old, I just can't see the use in spoon feeding him some of the topics I know we'll cover in Eastern Hemispheres--not when there's plenty he's glided right past way back in, oh, the general kindergarten arena.
Atticus could most likely keep lock-step with his sister and study Core 5 in his 3rd grade year. I don't doubt that one for a minute. But the question again is should he? At this rate, the kid will be ready for college at 13. Personally, I'd like to loop him back around and group him with his brother.
I have pondered and plotted and planned until I am blue in the face. Finally, I have come up with three potentially workable options for this fall:
- Jo studies SL Core 5, Atticus and Logan study WinterPromise Children Around the World.
- Jo studies SL Core 5, Atticus and Logan study SL Core C.
- Jo studies SL Core 5, Atticus and Logan study a cultural program that I make up on my own.
All three of these presuppose that Jo will be moving into Core 5 (a given) and that the following year, we will all meet back up for a combined SL Core 6 and Core 1 to study the first part of World History.
Of all of my ideas, I was most interested in option number 1. I have used several WP programs (Animals and Their Worlds, American Story 1 and Chess), though not always as scheduled. The AS1, for example, I pulled from as a way of making SL Core 3 workable for my family last year. Overall, I have been impressed with WP--especially their customer service. As a new company, though, I've seen that there are quite a few bugs that need to be worked out--not the least of which is a perpetual backorder on items and what I feel is a somewhat off-kilter rating scale for "grading" their programs and activities. Don't get me wrong, I like their stuff. In a few more years, I think they will be a great homeschooling curriculum supplier. Right now, they are still in the throes of growing pains.
Which brings me to the feedback I've been given on numerous homeschooling forums. Everyone says that Children Around the World is in need of some serious overhaul. As it's written, I'm told, the prep time is staggering, and the resources are not quite as self-explanatory as one might think in a pre-written curriculum. This sends the warning bells in my head clanging; this fall I will be teaching an 11 year-old with one program, my boys (who will be 8 and 6) with another and perhaps even juggling a toddler or two, God willing. Prep time? Huh-uh.
Option number 2 is to return to SL Core C. I have the old Core K, which I can upgrade at half price. I didn't buy the books way back when as we didn't have a pot to ... oh, you get the idea! :-) I used the library, and purchased only those items that I couldn't beg or borrow. It would be really nice to have those books and to go back over them with boys who haven't heard them. BUT ... Core C with Atticus, who was last tested at a 10th grade reading level? Even if I pull readers for Atticus from the library, would Logan even be interested in Core C? After all, this kid cut his teeth on Napoleon Bonaparte and Genghis Khan. Is he going to be satisfied with Living Long Ago?
All of which points to my third and final option ... the dreaded "do-it-yourself." Knowing me, what I would do is take the topics in Core 5 and water them down for my boys rather than take on the full-scale "Around the Globe" cultures program I was dreaming of for the year. I'm just an easy way out kind of gal, and that's the easiest way out, as I see it. :-) IF I start planning now and IF I plan out the whole year, then I could conceivably have a wonderful curriculum, geared specifically to my boys, on hand when we get to the end of SL Core 4. That's a lot of "ifs," isn't it?
So ... I don't know what to do. Keep looking and planning, I guess. Surely I'll figure something