April Blogging Challenge 2015, planning

April 9th

Tomorrow we have a birthday to celebrate. The girls are very excited, preparing a cake, wrapping presents…

We finished Kidnapped yesterday. A book that had a horrid reception, ended up being a loved and cherished book. My husband asked if there was a second part, 🙂

You see? It’s very hard to cut on some books, that’s why the clever thing it’s to be very careful before we open them and read the first pages!

All this decluttering talk, and my rambles about how tight we are, how stressed I am, etc., is making me sound at the verge of a nervous breakdown. I’m at a critical moment in regards to our lessons, yes, but I think it’s all for the best, and the prospect of planning our next year has me very excited.

After 4 years of using Ambleside Online, it maybe the case I have finally understood it is a road-map we may have to adjust to our children. I have been learning and delivering lessons at the same time, and that is why, I believe, I have tried to follow everything as it was, because I had to see the components and read the books to understand, to believe in all this. Now it’s not that I know it all. I have to keep looking ahead, but I the bit of experience I have it’s helping me to understand that I can take my own decisions, that I can leave out somethings and add others.

Having each of my daughters in a different historical year, or adding certain practices in year four for my oldest are not where the difficulty resides. What I need to address is to have a good proportion and understanding of the readings that are in each girl’s challenge area, those they can each do independently, and consider all the reading done by mom and specially there, keep it reasonable. We could have been fine with 2 Shakespeare plays and 2 Plutarch’s instead of 3. I could have even done 1 Shakespeare and keep the retellings for the other months that come up with my 2nd daughter, and even cut the retellings too since both are merging to originals, considering we always do a retelling before the original… is this making more sense? I would have also read Christiana (which we have almost finished and we started after last year’s Pilgrims Progress), in two, not one year, since both listen to it. I should have dropped one Hollings book for each, since I am now reading Hillyer for both and my youngest listened to and remembered Tree in the Trail (I could have offered that one for her as a free read…) See? I’m excited about the details and this planning thing.

This is it for today! (Thanks for caring and listening).

6 thoughts on “April 9th”

  1. If you ask my 19 yo dd who graduated from our AO/HEO homeschool last year, she will probably tell you that Kidnapped ranked up there in her top 5 MOST LOVED books! Maybe even her top 3 most loved books! Ah…. Memories….

    Early on in our AO journey I discovered the freedom of using AO as a road map, as you've mentioned. Aside from some learning challenges with my oldest who didn't read fluently until she was 10 1/2, it was also difficult for me to process and keep up with all of it. I had to sub books due to difficulty issues and let others go altogether but once I learned to identify a truly living book (thanks to CM) I was able to make substitutions that worked with relative ease.

    I also reduced Shakespeare and Plutarch to an EITHER/OR kind of thing; meaning only 1 per term instead of both. One year we read through 2 Shakespeare plays and 1 Plutarch life and the following it was 1 Shakespeare play and 2 Plutarch lives.

    It can take awhile to get in a groove that works for our individual families. And I found that even though we were doing less (as far as the AO years were written) we were still doing so so much!


  2. Happy birthday to the birthday person! What kind of cake are you all making?

    I think you described how to use AO very well…a roadmap that you adjust to work for you and your family. It sounds like you are working through this and figuring out how to adapt things to work for you all. We usually only did one or two Plutarch lives per year. This year, we only did one Plutarch's life. And for Shakespeare, I typically would only schedule one play for the year. But my oldest daughter…well…she loves Shakespeare and read many of his plays all on her own. So in all reality, it really didn't matter if I scheduled a play or not…because she read them on her own anyway! 🙂 I just bought the kindle version of “How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare” and am looking forward to reading that before I tackle any Shakespeare with my youngest. 🙂


  3. That's it, Linda. You describe where we are at to a T. I love how you say that doing less you still were doing so much… I need to pray and let go of the fears of “we are not doing as much as others thus we are failing, or I am failing”. I like your Plutarch/Shakespeare rotation. (And maybe by the time dd 2 enters y4, we could even do 3 and 3, but so far, it was a bit too much for them in combination with everything else, who otherwise loved it.
    I appreciate your comments and words so much, truly Linda, you are godsend to me.


  4. It was my husband… I will show you a pic later! It was a great bday, and I still think of my dear friend, in hospital, without a baby… breaks my heart.

    Yes Karen, I'm thinking aloud, being energized and getting so many ideas and comforting comments from all of you… and as you say, they grow and they get to do more Shakespeare. I see that in the future, I just need to relax (they are just 8 and 10 🙂 I'm trying to adjust my energy, my drive, my expectations, to their quirks, their pace, their challenging level without forgetting to leave space to breath and comfort too.
    As you said, Karen, AO is so good, it's easy to be dazzled by wanting to do it all… and we have, but now, time to decide has come. And CM said WE ought to do this, decide on the best for our children. I will listen to others with experience, like Linda, and rest in the thoughts this is SO RICH and WONDERFUL that there cannot be any way of doing it wrong once we respect them where they are and gently guide them to grow.


  5. My hubby and older daughter made some cakes in the last couple of months and I hope to post pictures of them soon.

    As you know, I have such a great appreciation for AO. AO was just not working well for my youngest (and even my oldest this year too) and I needed to look elsewhere for other resources. I feel like we've found a good fit. I totally agree that AO is such a great resource and I think you're right that because it is so well put together, you want to do it as is. Even though we aren't using it as our curriculum now, I still have aspirations of me doing some of the AO years myself! 🙂 I'm still reading Our Island Story and The Birth of Britain right now and hope to one day read through Churchill's whole series A History of the English Speaking Peoples. 🙂

    A curriculum is meant to serve us…not us serve it. If AO is what you want to stick with, then let AO serve you. Adapt it and let it be a guide to help you in the education of your girls. You're doing a great job Silvia! I have no doubt you will be able to find a good groove for you all in your school. 🙂


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