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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Today's the Day

We are back on the east coast again. Spent the day yesterday visiting my parents and finally saw the proofs from our family photo session. My mother and father had me, my two brothers, all our spouses and children pose for one of those silly, coordinated outfit photos, down on the beach a few weeks ago while everybody was in town for the holidays. We then took individual family unit photos as well. Ours is just OK, not very professional looking, no better than a regular snapshot. A little Photoshop for shadow correction and increased sharpness and it should be about right (I promise NOT to shave off any extra flesh.) Photography is one of my hobbies, and I'm picky. I may even post it, unedited, in the WTM photo file. For some reason, the photographer selected the proofs we should see, rather than including every shot, so I'm waiting for the balance of our little family's pictures. The best shot by far, was my parents with all six of their beautiful granddaughters.

Incidentally, my youngest brother's wife is pregnant again and they are hoping for a boy to break the chain of girls. I think having all girls is so much more interesting. But don't look for me to continue this winning streak, it's all on my brother and sister-in-law now.

The computer repair guy hasn't even looked at my laptop yet. When I called to check on it yesterday, he gave me that good news. Then he promised to look at it immediately and call me back before the end of the day. Surprise, surprise, no call.

Scholastic is having a big warehouse sale beginning this Friday and my shopping list with price comparisons for the next part of our studies is on a spreadsheet on my laptop. I may have to go pick it up today, fixed or not.

We are currently following Tapestry of Grace's framework for our studies and are in Year 2, Unit 3, which covers colonial America, with plans on finishing up through Unit 4: The Age of Revolutions. I want to scout the Scholastic sale for any bargains in the Year 3 Plan (Napolean's World, The Birth of the Modern, Nations Dividing and Uniting, and The Gilded Age.)

Are you wondering how a self-professed secular home educator could use this particular curriculum? Well, we follow the plan for History and Literature, skip their Church History (in favor of a more balanced look at world religions within history), and use the Writing, which ties in nicely with the history. Their checklists of Major Themes, People, Vocabulary, Time Line Dates and Geography are very helpful and keep me from missing important points. The kids enjoy the Group Activity and Hands On Project suggestions, of which there are loads. The history and literature discussion questions and various worksheets are where the editing comes in. Providential thinking is very strong throughout TOG, but so far I've chosen to include it where it pertains to our founding fathers, if that was their particular way of thinking, and to point out to the children that believing our country is the ultimate end result of God's hand throughout history, is just a different religious viewpoint, and we use it for comparison. Teaching respect and tolerance for others' beliefs is important to us.

Like I really need more books though.

Today's the day we begin moving in the direction of Plan B, which is to bail out of our spacious dreamhome deal and make the island our primary, permanent home. Today, I start packing books. By the end of the week, I should have the books and clothes under control and the girls and I will head back over to the island, for good this time, I hope.