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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in the Northern Hemisphere...

...but not quite back to the books yet.

We're still settling in at the new house(s). I'm supposed to picking paint colors right now as the crew will be here bright and early to begin slathering the walls of the vacant house with color. Jorge should know better. He sprang the Tile-Guy-will-be-here-in-an-hour-go-pick-some-out on me one other time with disastrous results. I need time to muse over the 800 or so chips I've collected, time to check them out under all sorts of light sources and at different times of the day. Sarabelle says I will probably end up picking a color called Mushroom or Truffle. She is probably right, though any old fungus will not do.

My brother, The Golden Boy, had another brainstorm and found another terrific, as yet untapped, money-making enterprise. He is too wrapped up in his first venture so has approached me about taking on the second, related project. I am interested. So is Sarabelle. The opportunity to travel may present itself, and as I would like to continue homeschooling, and homeschooling would best suit a potentially erratic schedule, I have been tossing a few things around:

One is to continue our loose, bordering-on-unschooling classical approach. I have found though, that I am not good at multi-tasking. I suck at it, quite frankly. If faced with the prospects of teaching my daughter and managing some sort of a business and coordinating travel, I would probably slack off on the teaching as I would have clients holding me accountable and money as a motivator. Sounds terrible, I know, but I'm being honest here. And I do truly think simply traveling is a great education, but I get antsy without some structure.

The other option involves a curriculum I used for Sarabelle and Grace during their early American studies: Tapestry of Grace. No, it's definitely not secular with it's biblically-based Christian slant, but it is classical and was easy enough to work around leaving out or modifying anything blatantly biased. I loved that the whole thing was in one binder and could be used for children in various stages. I was impressed how everything -- lesson plans for vocabulary, geography, writing, history, arts, and hands-on activities, plus comprehension questions -- was included and coordinated to the history reading. It followed a weekly schedule and kept me, a compulsive list maker and checker-offer, happy and on track. There is no math or grammar included, I think we were using Saxon and Easy Grammar at the time, and added Latin Primer, Book 1 for foreign language study.

As for Sarabelle, now that she is back, she needs to complete a few of the courses she abandoned when she left for Australia. She has more than enough credits to be graduated by Florida standards, and nearly all of them in the right places to satisfy the Bright Futures Scholarship qualifications (excepting Economics), but I want her to beef up her science, literature, math, and history. Science will consist of reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and history will be finishing up her reading of Joy Hakim's A History of US. She will continue with The Teaching Company's Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition and The Joy of Mathematics, and will have her choice of either watching their Economics course or reading Richard J. Maybury's Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? and completing the accompanying workbook.

After that? She may work on her art portfolio for a fall admission to her top choice college or might opt to do two years at the local state college and transfer to another university later on or join me in my new undertaking. We shall see.

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