Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I am JUMPING OFF THE SHIP!!! So to speak...

What does that mean!??! What ship are you jumping from? Where are you jumping to? How are you planning on jumping?? Well let me tell you.... I am jumping into the great deep, dark and "unknown" world, I am planning on jumping Titanic style, Spread Eagle that is!!!

No seriously folks, I have decided that for our upcoming curriculum, we are going to jump into the area of {dare I even say it??} Traditional Christian TEXTBOOKS!!!! {I can hear you all moan, and groan and say OH NO!!!!}

Yes TEXTBOOK, tends to be a "bad" word in the homeschool world. It's one of those 3-letter words, okay so it's actually an Eight-letter word. I am not sure why TEXTBOOKS have such a bad name to homeschoolers. Actually I do, it has to do with the dumbing down of America. It has to do with short tidbits of information crammed into a lesson, bits and pieces of history... never knowing the whole thing. HOWEVER, you must also admit, that there are NOW so many choices in TEXTBOOKS, there are now so many different, not boring text in the market.
The world of homeschooling has evolved and changed to meet the needs of all types of homeschoolers. It's amazing. Not that I was one of the first homeschoolers in America... or that I even knew there was such a thing as homeschool, back when I was in school. Because quite frankly I didn't and I wasn't. Though I do know a few of those homeschoolers. I have imagined what it was like trying to homeschool, when you didn't have homeschool catalogues, the size of an encyclopedia! Or have so many choices, styles, and methods to teach everything... honestly it can {now a days} be very tiresome to get everything straight and keep up on all the "latest and greatest"

So why textbooks, why now? A1 has been almost completely independent this year, with his learning. Not that I don't know what he's doing, or that he gets to do what he wants... oh no! At the beginning of the year both of us together looked through a few different textbooks we had and he choose one for Science and one for History. Along with that, we figured out a book or a few books he can read about the same subject. He has been learning in leaps and bounds. It is making his studies feel more like they belong, he loves the chronology of the history, he loves the fact that his science has structure and it follows incrementally. Not only that but A2 and A3 don't think it's fair!!! They see he knows what needs to be done, and he does it... he doesn't have to wait for Mom/teacher. It's difficult being a Mom and Teacher. How many times a day do we get interrupted by A6 and A7? How much time to I have to spend in helping A5 become a better reader, and work on his speech habits? How long does it take to teach A6 to read? YES that is all a long time... a good chunk of my day!!! So if they want Independence, and that is one of my biggest goals in homeschool.... for my children to know how to learn, to love to learn and to be able to learn independently along with in a group setting. Why would I stop, what I actually am trying to do??

So why textbooks, because for me it seems the easiest and most natural way for a child to be independent. I also was thinking to myself, what area/subject are my children the "best" at... speaking generally of course! MATH, they all have a pretty good at it. Okay so A2 isn't the best in this area, but she is coming along... and I truly say that is because I simply have her work and work at the lesson until she has mastered it. We take it slow and steady. We don't talk about grade levels and what you "should" know at her age. We simply say... Math isn't your best area of knowledge, it's okay, but you must learn your math and math facts. You can't give up, you just need to work a little harder and get a little more help. Another area we are generally good at... SPELLING. Again a subject we have used a textbook for. Handwritting, is in general good. Of course a lot of that depends on their desire to write nicely, to take the time to do it right. Their handwritting in their handwritting books is all great! Again we have simply used a textbook for this one. SO are you seeing the same pattern I saw?? Interesting!!!

Another thing that came to my mind about this, is we are a no nonsense kind of family. I like structure {which is apparent in my blog, I am sure!} I like things orderly. I also like to make things simple, I am not a frilly, silly kind of person. I don't need cutesy things. I don't like messes, I don't like extra noise. I have little ones running around, causing many "problems"
I also think it would be easier for me to implement fun activities, and learning games into our school, if I had something to "follow"

Anyways, this is so not a post to try to convince you or {more importantly} me that I am making a good decision. This is not a post to try to get approval from others. It's simply a post, for those of you who have wondered about doing this. Who have thought about JUMPING SHIP.... and need someone to help.... PUSH YOU OVER THE EDGE!!!!! {that's me, so to speak!!!}

Now for the hard part... picking and choosing! If you have already jumped ship into the deep dark world of TEXTBOOKS.... do you mind sharing some of your favorites??


  1. apologia

    institute for excellence in writing

    video text algebra

    the grammar of poetry

    Christian nature readers

    streams of civilization

  2. I find it much easier all round to use textbooks and it does encourage independent learning. We use the ACE curriculum which works well for us! Let me know if you'd like more information.

  3. interesting... A1 is currently using Streams of Civilization and Aplogia is the science I tend to lean towards. A1 is using it and the younger A's are using the elementary level!!! I will look into the others, thanks!

  4. I am simply amazed at the way God has been working in my own life to confirm a decision that dh and I made a few weeks back. We also decided to jump ship and move to textbooks. I have baby #7 due (well, actually I am up late with weird cramping so I think she's trying to make her appearance soon). I finally realize a few months ago that I am no longer comfortable trying to wing it through school. I, too, like structure as do my children. Anyway, I was blown away to find this post tonight because it's the 2nd time I found someone else who is doing the same thing that we are. I am planning to do a special blog post each week to journal about our switch and how the transition is going. Love your blog, by the way.

  5. I plan to write a few posts about what I decided to do with each of the A's along with how I have chosen to schedule and keep track. OH and the one thing I am dreading about this, is all the correcting that I have to do. So I am hoping to write about how I am handling that too!
    Glad to hear you like my ramblings!!!

  6. Thank you for this post! I am looking to do the same thing and am scouring the internet for support and encouragement!


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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6