Thursday, August 27, 2015

Drowning in books

Normally this would be a good thing. Right now, though, having put off my homeschool planning for the coming school year, it means feeling a little overwhelmed. From past experience, I know this is a passing feeling and as that I sit and look at them and sort and re-sort them into piles, the important ones (for us, for this year) will rise to the surface and I will begin to make sense of it all. The trouble is, I usually allow a couple of weeks for this sorting process and I really need to be done in a few days.

Part of the difficulty is that we have moved along to the Renaissance in our cyclical cycle of history. As we get closer to our own time, the breadth of things to learn about increases dramatically. It's pretty easy to take the resources for Ancient Egypt, fit them in a school calendar and have it be all nice and tidy. Not so much with the Renaissance. I could make any one aspect of the era take up an entire semester (or year!), so trying to fit the whole thing in just goes against my compulsive tendencies to learn everything I can about something before moving on. Plus there are so many really good historical fiction chapter books for this time period. How does one possibly fit all of those in as well?

But that's just half of my difficulties with planning the school year. The other part is that I realize I have a goofy combination of abilities this year. P. is in high school, so she is pretty much on her own. TM and D. are now in middle school and all the rest are in the pre-reading, focusing on phonics group. They are great listeners, so that's good, but there is a definite ability gap between the two groups. For someone who likes to combine children together this makes for a tricky dynamic. I'm still letting ideas about how to deal with this flit about in my head as well.

It all boils down to  there is a whole lot of ideas floating around inside my head, but nothing to grab onto and put down on paper. What it looks like from the outside is me picking up a book, looking at it, putting it back down. Looking up something on the computer. Writing another book idea down on my list. Picking up a book, etc. etc.

Of course, having the 12 year old being three again today (and the 6 year olds doing a mighty fine rendition of the terrible twos) doesn't help the thought processes. Plus I get to try to make the schedule flexible enough to accommodate a three week trip to China at some unknown point in time. I keep telling myself I like a challenge.

Here is what my desk area looks like at the moment.


Shonya said...

Oh wow, those piles look entirely too familiar! What happened to my summer?!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

I feel your pain. We're in the Exploration to 1850 year of MFW, and I see you've got some similar topics there. :)

The average age of my class dropped like a stone, since my former 8th grader went off to classroom high school and I added a K and a 3rd grader this year. I'm finding what worked the last few years is not going to work without significant adjustments this year.

Best wishes with your planning and finding your groove!

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