Great Bookshop and Possible Solution!

I couldn’t turn my mind off last night.  I kept thinking about all this school planning for the old testament and other random needs of our family and just couldn’t get back to sleep at 3 am.  So I got up and turned on the computer while I ate a snack – I might as well do something while my mind is racing.  I looked at the the books again, the free online book, the books that I gathered at the library yesterday, and the other books recommended.  After a couple of hours, I felt drowsy again, said a quick prayer and fell asleep on the couch.

The kids were all up before 8, which meant I was up too regardless of how little sleep I got.  I took care of everyones’ needs and the it occurred to me that I should ask for help.  It’s hard for me to ask for help and takes me a long time to come to the realization that I might even need it, I’m trying to learn though.  I e-mailed the “contact us” link at Bob & Nancy’s Bookshop about the books in question, asking all those various questions that I posted about the other day.

Not more than 2 hours later, I received a response from Nancy answering all my questions!  Each Jacob Streit book about the Old Testament contains 15 or more stories, is around 125 pages and meant for the teacher to read and then re-tell it to the student.  Perfect!  That means at least 45 stories to spread out over the same time frame, allowing for a three-day main lesson plan with more wiggle room for baby, festivals, holidays, and other topics of interests that I’m hoping to cover.  I immediately felt a sense of peace.  I decided to take a leap of faith and order all three books in that moment.  I rationalized that if they didn’t work out for us, then I could sell them fairly easily on one of my yahoo groups and lose only $10 or so on the whole deal.  My sanity is worth that!

Not more than 2 hours after I placed the order, I got shipping confirmation!  They mailed out my books already!  I can’t recommend Bob & Nancy’s Bookshop enough for their great customer service and quick shipping!  Wow!  So if you find yourself needing any books on Waldorf education, resources for homeschooling, books by Steiner, please check them out!

Oh, and a couple of good introductory Waldorf books, available at Bob & Nancy’s, are:

Seven Times the Sun by Shea Darian

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven by Barbara J. Patterson

Having Doubts

I’ve spent weeks planning.  I’ve taken frequent breaks in order to pray and meditate.  I’ve made list after list.  I’ve ordered some bare minimum supplies (still waiting on those to arrive) and have a wishlist for books that would make the year run smoother.  I have a library list of other books to use and several internet links to free resources.

And yet, I sit here doubting myself.  The backbone of our Old Testament block is Story of the Bible by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, available for free on mainlesson.com.  I honestly don’t know much about the OT and I’m really looking forward to learning along side Alex for this block, but I think I’ve over done it.  In my current plans, I split the OT part of the book into 4 stories per week, one for each day I plan to actively present lessons.  This means that our OT block will be taking up all of fall and most of winter to get through all 109 stories presented in the book.

Now that we’ve jumped into full fledge circle time and activities with the little ones and we’ll be adding in a full day of homeschooling co-op, I realize that 4 stories per week is too much.  Three would work out much better with our schedule, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  But then that stretches the OT over the entire year if we read all of the stories and doesn’t leave time for our other block studies.  That doesn’t work.

I also feel like I scheduled too many weeks and didn’t leave us enough time to prepare and celebrate festivals and holidays, not to mention wiggle room for when baby is born.

So do I cut out certain stories?  Which ones?  Like I said, I’m not all that familiar with the OT, so I don’t know this story from that. Do I switch to a different book?

I’m thinking of turning to one of the two resources that ALGF recommends for the third-grade curriculum. The first is a series of three books (And There Was Light, Journey To the Promised Land, and We Will Build a Temple) from Jacob Streit, $47 before shipping.  I have no idea what these books contain though.  How many stories are covered?  Are they told in a way that Alex can relate to?  I already ruled out the other resource based on the description of only having 12 stories.  I don’t think that will be deep enough for Alex, but I could be wrong here too.

And then I keep getting directed in one way or another to other people’s plans and the Live Ed website and positively drooling over the examples of the lessons and contents of each and every book in the third grade curriculum.  It goes into detail about doing the wet-on-wet painting for the creation part of the story, adding a bit more to it for each of the six days of creation.  How cool does that sound!?  I want to be able to present it like this, but I’m clueless on how to do it without very explicit directions.

Why does Live Ed have to cost so freakin much!?  Why can’t I have $1300 (the poorest district budget according to a priest that spoke at our church last week, $3000 something was the average public school budget) to spend per child per year on schooling?

I still need to buy more books and supplies, but I’m trying to prioritize and figure out what I can put off to better accommodate our budget.  It’s not a fun process!

And all this is over one part of the entire year.  I haven’t planned our math blocks in great detail, just “penciled in.”  I don’t have any of our projects or paintings planned in detail.  I haven’t even touched religious studies that pertain to our faith.  Sigh.

So I guess what it comes down to is that I need to spend more time in prayer and rework my current plans.  That is why I worked the plans in a spreadsheet format so I could easily adjust it, so I guess that’s been the plan all along.

It seems like many of us homeschooling moms go through this period of doubt and maybe that’s part of the process too?  I’m betting that even if I had a bigger budget to buy all the supplies and books that I wanted for the school year and/or bought the Live Ed curriculum, there would still be doubts and things that I felt were missing or not quite the right fit for our family.  So maybe the doubt is a good thing and keeps us striving to do better?