This year we crossed a threshold in school. My kids began asking questions I had to research myself in order to give them answers. It began when my youngest started asking husband why coral did this? didn’t have that?… and more. We began furiously looking through our marine biology books in order to satisfy the curiosity of a 5 year-old.
Then came the harder questions from my other children. Questions about World War I, WWII, and the Holocaust. After sharing with my kids all about 9/11 and UBL, they wanted to know more about war. And unlike the war still going on today, the older wars were very cut and dry and we had exact and specific details that I am allowed to know without special clearances. I know why the military was in Germany and Austria in 1939. I know why people lost their lives and for what purpose. After days of researching all I could about the history of wars of the world, I felt very confident in sharing this history with my children and reading books about Anne Frank and Hitler. I was prepared for any questions they threw at me.
Then it got me thinking… I wanted to know more. Not just about World and American history, but also about biology, chemistry, physics, and art & classical music. I know the basics of language arts and reading, thanks to Ruth Beechick, Charlotte Mason, A Beka, and Sonlight homeschool curriculum. And I am very confident in teaching Singapore math until third grade when the kids begin taking math classes online. But, I want to know more, not just for the kids, but for myself. I was so interested and engrossed in reading about WWII that I can honestly say that I actually like history. Until now I hated it. It scared me. I relied on curriculum we buy each year to guide me through so I don’t have to learn it myself. But that’s all going to change… I am putting myself through homeschool. One of the many advantages will be having answers to my kid’s questions without having to look it up and relearn it from scratch. I went to public school so I kinda’ know some things, but not like I do after spending a weekend studying one specific event. Husband commented that after high school and college he doesn’t even know all the facts I am learning. I got all A’s in school. I wasn’t stupid, but for the good of the masses public schools teach for testing… the curriculum we (our family) uses teaches mastery as the student (me in this case) immerses herself into a specific topic. I am allowing myself to dig deep and spend all the time I need learning, not for a test, but for maximum retention. And then when it’s time for my kids to learn, I’ll have already gone where they are going in their schooling.
The books I am using are basically homeschool high school books my kids will use someday. But unlike me, my boys like unit studies and hands-on projects. I am a read-and-take-notes learner. So some of my “school” is different from theirs.
Here’s what I use and love and highly recommend if you want brushing up on your skills or want to learn them for the first time… Notgrass American History with lesson review book, the map book, and We the People, which has every important document, letter, or song our country has preserved. Story of the World history volumes 1, 2, and 3 (don’t need 4 as Notgrass covers that book) combined with Sonlight Core 100 through Core 400 History Literature program. I am using Critical Thinking’s Science Detective and plan to move onto Apologia Physical Science all the way through Advanced Physics and Chemistry after taking my son’s Teaching Textbooks Algebra, Geometry and Pre-Cal. That’s the plan. If you want to know more about the specifics, just ask. I love, love, love passing on good homeschool book titles when I come across them.
Hope all is well with you, have a happy Monday!
p.s. I am really sick today. Really, really sick. In bed as I type this. Please excuse any spelling/grammatical errors above and beyond the usual. I am going to check my kid’s work, feed them a snack and then heading back to bed instead of editing, which takes forever. I hate editing my blog posts.