Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Curriculum Suggestions...

As our boys near graduation
they are seeing the light at
the end of the tunnel and can,
at times, be just as happy to
pass on the daily schoolwork that
has been such a part of our lives
for years.

It is a struggle for all of us
to focus. That is just a fact.

We are in between our co-op semesters
and I have been leaning on the
classes they take there and expanding
them for Literature and Science...
so that has taken us out of a couple of
subjects over the past few weeks.

We have focused on Government, Music,
Writing and French (for Chelsea) as we await
the beginning of the new semester.
There has been a lot of baking, cooking
and gift making going on around here.
Mostly by Chelsea.

However, the other evening I got
a new infusion of enthusiasm as
I found two new pieces to fit into
the rest of our year.

One is Dr. Ben Carson's book called
"Think Big". Dr. Carson is very
special to our family because he
trained the neurosurgeon that performed
the tricky surgery on Warren's Dad, Gene.

Our surgeon referenced Dr. Carson with
the utmost of respect and awe each time
we would visit Johns Hopkins with Gene.

Then we watched a video biography about
Dr. Carson in a Sunday School Class.

So...this was a great find.
I do so want the boys to think big.
To get excited about the possibilities
that lie before them.

The second piece that I am adding to
our curriculum is a dramatized version
of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.
Focus on the Family has produced it.

At about my kids age I discovered this
incredible work and listened to it as
my parents played it in small group studies.
What an impact it made in my life.
I am hopeful that some of it sticks in
our children.

We are implementing a budgeting class
that is helping the kids to see what it
costs to live today. I had thought that
they were pretty savvy about these things
but it is obvious that they have a lot to
learn. They were pretty interested and got
quite animated in their discussions.

I first had them estimate the cost of an
apartment. Alone or with roomates.
Then all of the costs that go along with
setting up and maintaining a household.

They were stunned.
They said it was depressing.
However, I think that in combination
with Dr. Carson's book it will come
together for them.
At least, that is my prayer.
I know they have a tendency to
think that they are not smart enough
or good enough to do anything special.
But, with God's help and a lot of
hard work the possibilities are
endless. Time will show them these
things...I can't wait to see it
come to pass.

In the end, it all seems like such
little time we have with our children.

But, it is good.
They are such a driving
force in all that we do!

Enjoy your homeschool day!


Beth said...

What a good post! I am so happy to hear some of what goes on in other homes in their home schooling. It is kind of hard right now at our house, being the first year we have had a high schooler. We aren't very organized and I know she is frustrated with her progress. We have also been pretty sick with weeks and weeks of colds and flu. I'm hoping that things will make a turn for the better soon!
My husband is also interested in the Screwtape letters that you spoke of. He wants to buy it for himself but use it with the kids!
I hope you have a lovely day!

Karen said...

I was delighted to hear of others who were familiar with Dr. Carson. We read Gifted Hands as a family read-aloud. It really inspired my under-achieving 11 year old twins! The movie is great also.

Carol Topp, CPA said...

Thanks for the glimpse inside your homeschool and your co-op.
I like the way you "fused" your co-op subjects and homeschool subjects together so well. When co-op takes a break, you weave in new subjects! Neat!

I've taught a budgeting/personal finance class as my homeschool co-op three times and, yes, the students really get a wake up call! It is such an important life skill to learn how to manage money.

Carol Topp, CPA
Author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out