Why, exactly, I have to decide right now which, if any, curriculum I'm going to order in six months, I don't know. Maybe my sinus infection has gone to my brain. Maybe I'm just too tired to do anything but
But, since the shot the doctor gave me today has cleared my sniffer enough to know that I really need to clean tomorrow, I thought I might as well put my thoughts down for you all (or maybe 2 out of 100?) before I have to get back to real life again. The one that requires me to clean the bathroom, and cook real food, and close the laptop and get off my bed.
So... here's a little peek at the lovely collections of ideas and books and schedules that await the new homeschooler overwhelmed by the idea of putting it all together for herself...
Oak Meadow was one of the first curriculums that caught my eye way back when my Eldest surprised me with his request to cut back on the unschooling. I liked its thoughtful, Waldorf-styled, slow approach to academics, its emphasis on music, art and nature, and yes, its choice of fonts and illustrations for the Teacher's Guide.
Elizabeth Foss's free online curriculum at Serendipity, while a work-in-progress, took my breath away with its beauty and creativity. Her ideas are perfect for the larger family with story-loving littles, and older children who still enjoy visiting fairyland.
If you're already a Charlotte Masonite, you've probably discovered Ambleside Online -- another free curriculum, without the beautiful visuals, but with a detailed reading list for all grades and an online forum to share ideas with other users. Just grab your library card, and go for it!
I was more drawn to Simply Charlotte Mason.com than Ambleside, partly because it was so easy to navigate! Sonya Shafer also offers a free curriculum guide with book lists and schedules, a discussion forum, as well as an online planner, lots of how-to articles, inexpensive Bible study and literature guides, and even homeschooling seminars to purchase. Schafer's free e-books are AWESOME.
I began this year thinking SCM was the way I'd go. I downloaded Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education, which was very helpful. Then we jumped right into "Genesis Through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt ." (Unfortunately, when I jump into something too quickly, I usually jump right back out. I'm more likely to stay in the pool if I warm up on the steps for a while...) More about that later.
Trouble was, I was also oggling Tapestry of Grace. Again, the imagery tempted me. I wanted to buy it for the Map of Humanities alone! I love the idea of searching for the threads of Truth woven through history and recorded in literature. I also like that it's multi-level so you can coordinate your different aged kiddos. But it's a little more expensive, and requires a bit of homeschooling experience, in my opinion, and we're not there yet.
With ToG, I was bit by the Classical bug. CMers make it look so easy -- was it too easy?
And... not to leave you hanging, but because I really need some sleep, and I doubt you have time to read this in one sitting anyway, I'm going to call this Part One. And pray I actually manage to write Part Two tomorrow. Or the next day.