Friday, August 15, 2008

School Books on the Way....

Last night I finally ordered our school text books for our school year which starts on August 25. We've been waiting for a big check to come in from Keith's work, but the client was on vacation all this week and we simply couldn't wait any longer to order, so we had to buy on credit, something I hate to do but it was entirely necessary.

I purchased books from four vendors: Sonlight (where I've had a standing order of 34 books since mid-July for T's math tests, the boys' history, reading, and literature books, and our overall school schedule), ABeka (B and J's math workbooks and E's American History), Spectrum (E's chemistry), and Rainbow Resource (T's grammar books, vocabulary for all four kids, boys' spelling workbooks, B's phonics workbooks). Ordering them a mere ten days before school starts is more than a bit risky, but we had been hoping for money to come in for weeks now and we just had to take the plunge. One can't home school without books, after all.

Currently I am writing E's American Lit program, using mostly books I already have. I need a few novels that I'll check for at my favorite used bookstore, Maxwell's House of Books in downtown La Mesa before I look at or Barnes and Noble. We don't need them right away as I've written up a short story unit covering the first couple of weeks. I've chosen ten short stories in American Lit. for the story unit, and ten American poets to cover for the poetry unit in the second semester, coinciding with the poetry unit we'll be studying in my Advanced Writing class that she'll be taking. And we'll be studying the work of ten American novelists/playwrights in three-week increments, doubling up on Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams and two Steinbeck novellas as well, a week-and-a-half for each short work. I only have to schedule the reading assignments for the novels; the story and poetry units are already assigned and located either in books we already own or printed from online sources and placed in a special notebook. So another few hours should finish up this class for E.

The other class I have to plan in detail is the boys' science course in which they have chosen to study astronomy. I have one "spine," Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, the book we'll use most of the year that I purchased at the home school expo in May. I also have several other books on hand, among them The Nature Company's Guide to Skywatching, and a fairly good telescope that we bought a few years ago from the Roths, good friends from Lake Murray. In fact, we may need to consult with Bob, our local expert at church, as the year progresses. The boys are very much looking forward to the study of astronomy this year.

After I get the American Lit and Astronomy classes planned, I'll need to plan our days, making up schedules and lists, getting old notebooks cleaned out and filled with new materials, clearing aside old books to made room for new, getting the new SL books stickered and ready to place on our "current" bookshelf, etc. I have just over one week left to get it all together before our first day of school, a tall order indeed. I'll be working my tail off this weekend and next week for sure.

Sigh. Where did the summer go?????? Sigh again.

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