Friday, September 08, 2006

Why I love homeschooling - Reason #3

I get to learn - both along with my children, and independently of them.

We've been homeschooling for a while (16 years) so we have a lot of material that we use over and over. The last curriculum fair or homeschool conference I attended was at least 7 years ago, and due to moving six times in the last five years I get no more homeschool catalogs. All that to say, while I do not NEED any new books or other material, I do LIKE to SEE what's out there, both for the children and for me.

For the first eight or nine years that we homeschooled I'd get material that I wanted to study or read when I bought books for the children. Over the years topics I studied included: herbs (growing and using them); pregnancy and childbirth; services of a doula; bread baking; care, storage, and restoration of books; history of samplers and other fancy needlework; creation science; the Lewis & Clark expedition; Theodore Roosevelt; Abigail Adams; the Norman Conquest; and so on.

Each year I would immerse myself in learning about a topic, event, a person, etc., and buy a few books and check out a lot more at the library and through interlibrary loan. It hasn't made me an expert on anything, but I have enjoyed learning and sometimes my family has experienced tangible rewards from my studies (like fresh bread from a variety of grains during the year I delved into bread-making).

It's been several years since I've gotten any new material for the children from any source, and at least as many years since I've bought anything "educational" for me. This year I ordered quite a few books from Amazon and independent booksellers, and even bought several books from Books-A-Million to use in studying literature. I also subscribed to a newsletter on-line for me (and for Jacy, Sarah, and Joan). I'm enjoying it immensely! Each morning the newsletter is in my email inbox and we see what's happened on this day in literature. Today in Literature gave me a two-week trial membership to see what it was like. At the end of my two weeks I decided that I wanted to have a premium subscription for a year, and the girls and I have been enjoying it now for about two months.

I haven't decided what I'm going to focus on for my studies this year, but it may end up being a survey of literature.



Blogger Jeannine said...

I've learned more from homeschooling than I ever did when I was in school.

So what books did you get from Amazon and Books-A-Million?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

Wow, I wasn't expecting to see my picture when I commented just now. I had asked Alyssa to change my profile picture and I can see that the mission was accomplished. :-)

(She's upstairs IMing with her friends and I'm downstairs in Vince's office.)

9:11 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hey! I like the new picture of you!

Ummm - way too many from Amazon, I'm ashamed to say. But some were the Politically Incorrect Guides. I ordered all in the series and Steve and I are reading them, too. Jacy read the Politically Incorrect Guide to History already as part of her history and really enjoyed it. I also re-bought the Ruth Beechick threesome (I have a bad habit of loaning out material, forget to whom I loaned it, then it never gets returned) and three copies of Loraine Boettner's book, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination for the girls to use as part of their Bible study this year. I also got Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer (Kim saw it and read it while she was here, then Jacy read it, and now I think I get to read it) and He Talk Like a White Boy by Joseph C. Phillips.

From B-A-M I got The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman, several Jasper Fforde books (for both Steve and me - thanks for the recommendation of those) and a couple of mysteries - both knitting: Sins and Needles by Monica Ferris and A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton.

10:10 PM  

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