I talked to H. this morning about pivoting, like I wrote about in the last post. It does sound like it's time for us to re-imagine and re-invent our school days together, and probably the rest of the year will be spent figuring out through trial and error how we are going to manage it.
I imagine a great deal of "can you believe this?!?" laughter will ensue.
The photo below was snapped right after H. said to me: "Can you believe we now have TEN children between us?"
(Please ignore my weirdly distorted, huge baby-holding arm. I believe it is an artifact of the cell phone picture.)
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We have started to think about curriculum.
- Next year, the ninth-grade boys will be studying modern world history (History Odyssey, Level Two, Pandia Press).
- I'll still be teaching them (and maybe our friend's daughter, too) proof-based geometry, since we're doing it at half speed and have missed a bunch of weeks anyway.
- H. will surely be teaching them English composition and literature, somehow.
- The elementary school kids will all study geography for social studies next year, because none are developmentally ready to move on to the next level of the history curriculum yet. H. and I just settled on the curriculum Mapping the World with Art by Ellen Johnston McHenry. It remains to be seen how we'll adapt it to our situation.
Beyond that, I'm going to keep an open mind until we evaluate realistically what we can do together.
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In the just-our-family department, my 13yo -- who will be 14 and a freshman in high school next year -- has made up his mind which courses he wants to take.
For his science credit, he decided on evolutionary biology. This sent me on a wild goose chase to find a high school biology textbook that
(a) was not creationist and
(b) was not hostile to religion.
Never found one, so it looks like I'm going with introductory college textbooks. I decided to use two:
- The 2005 edition of Evolution by Douglas J. Futuyma -- a detailed, more advanced book meant for biology majors
- An Introduction to Biological Evolution by Kenneth V. Kardong -- an easier book meant for general undergraduate education requirements
I found used copies of the student book easily.
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And then I discovered how the college textbook publishers are making it hard to be an independent student these days:
You can't buy used instructors' editions or printed copies of the answers anymore.
Instead, institutions pay hundreds of dollars to the publisher to purchase subscription-only access to web-based content, including all the answers to the questions in the textbook.
In many cases no print version of the instructor's content even exists.
While the best is to buy used books at used-book prices, I would be fine with paying full price for a new student textbook that included, say, one year's access to the web content. Some K-12 publishers are making that option available for the homeschool market (for instance, my 8th grader is using ScienceFusion by Harcourt this year, and I'm pretty pleased with it.) But that isn't available, as far as I can see, for college textbooks at any reasonable individual price that I can find.
Which means I will have to find the answers on my own. I guess there's no free lunch, or used lunch, or whatever.
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Speaking of lunch, I had a fruit salad and a very nice wrap-type sandwich made from a whole wheat tortilla, goat cheese, and roasted vegetables (red bell pepper, portabella mushrooms, red onion, and zucchini). The packet has four ounces of goat cheese, so I roasted a quadruple batch of veggies, and I plan to eat this for lunch for the next three days. I do not think I will get tired of it.
Since I started my postpartum/nursing experiment of spreading my calories equally throughout the day, plus ice cream after dinner, I have lost about eight pounds of post-baby weight.
Also, I have not had any episodes of lightheadedness or low-blood-sugar crabbiness, except on the way home from the eleven o'clock Mass, which always happens no matter what I eat.
Since it seems to be working, I will stick with this regimen and not try to innovate until it stops working. If this rate continues, I'll be back to the old me by mid-August, which would make me deliriously relieved as then I will not need YET ANOTHER new fall wardrobe.