Winding Down, Challenges for the New Year

It’s coming down to the end of our school year.  We planned on having our big long break around Speck’s birth, which is just around the corner.  I had hoped to keep school going until the last minute, but realistically, if I keep feeling like I did yesterday and so far today (which is a little worse), then I may just have an unceremonious end to our school year as of last Friday.

I’ve spent this last year getting my feet all swampy and have learned a lot about what will and will not work for our family.  One thing I’ve done this year that I would like to avoid next year is the randomness of my subject matter.  I started off with American History and Human Body, but by the end of the year, we were on Ancient World History and Zoology, never having finished the things we started with.  I’ve been pretty good at keeping the 3R’s basically consistent, but we jumped around the other subjects like crazy.  Which, to be honest, isn’t the end of the world (that’s how they do it in elementary school after all), but for my sanity, I think I’d like to stick to one and rotate.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to start with Human Body again (or pick up where we left off).  I just ordered the new Apologia Human Anatomy book for Young Explorers and SomeBody game.  Add that to the materials I already have, and we’re good to go!  The kids really love their animals, but I think they’ll get into this as well.

History is giving me a harder time.  Realistically I think that starting again with American History is a little more age appropriate and much more easily incorporated with related geography.  But I would rather learn more about world history!  Isn’t that a little selfish of me?  Yes.  Yes it is.  But if we start with World History, it will be up to 4 years (actually probably much less depending on how quickly we get through each volume) before we get to US history.  Last night, as I was lamenting this problem to Matt (what a silly problem, “Oh woe is me!  I just want to LEARN so much that I don’t know where to start!”, wish I had that problem when I was in school) I told him that I had ordered a book about Ancient History by the same person who wrote The Story of the World but this one is directed to adults rather than children.  I said that I’d teach the kids US history but that I would read about ancient history in my spare time.  He suggested a Louis L’Amour book called The Walking Drum which is an historical fiction that takes place in the 12th century and all over europe and some of asia.  So not so much Ancient as Medieval, but nevertheless sounded interesting.

BUT I foresee a problem with this as well!  I have a tendency to get really involved in what I am teaching the kids… so I give it a week before I abandon my ancient history books and pick up Matt’s old college textbook on American Heritage (which I actually have quite enjoyed in the past), or start Prelude to Glory all over again.  So do you think I can finish my handful of ancient history books before school starts again?  Don’t forget I still have a house to run after all.  My spare time isn’t as copious as some might think!  And it will be even less so once Speck is born.

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