Monday, August 24, 2009

More on a Course for Clara

Thank you all for your recommendations. It looks like I will definitely be adding Barbara Kingsolver's book to our list!

How will we use the books/are there lesson plans/how do I turn this into a curriculum?

My main philosophies of homeschooling are: Keep it simple. And less is more. We'll read the books, discuss them, follow up any ideas we want to with further research or reading. Clara will keep some notes with quick summaries of main ideas. I really don't see any need to fuss with the books any more than that. She reads, she understands, she recalls, she applies. If we can get to that point without any extra busy work, great!

If I could deliver one idea to homeschooling parents, it would be to relax. And have confidence! Well, that's two. Your way is probably the best way. Don't make it harder than it has to be.

33 comments:

LISA said...

Thank you,
I start school on Monday and I only have math,history and science "curriculum". My children have asked for bookclub study guides and I am so happy. It works and yet it is so simple. All language arts will just happen out of those study guides as discussion, writing, projects, etc.

I hope you have a wonderful year with your sweet girl.

Sheree said...

Just wanted to say I love your site! Visit your etsy page often too to see what creations you've whipped up.

Keep blogging and thanks for sharing!!

Sheree

Saminda said...

Thank you Anna. Your advice goes straight to my heart and I'm happy to say I am 'relaxed', even so early in this homeschooling journey. I am going to just take a day at a time, live and breathe and enjoy my sweet children - and not 'over think things'. Every post you write brings me peace and joy and inspiration, so thank you, genuinely, many times over!
Saminda in Australia xo

Nan said...

I know nothing about homeschooling, so I enjoy your sharing. I'm learning thru your post and the comments. Thanks to all!

Shannon said...

Can I also highly, highly recommend Nourishing Traditions and 1000 Years Over a Hot Stove? The first is a cookbook and highly informational nutrition book that stems from the research of Weston A. Price. Extremely informative and some yummy food to boot.

The latter is a fascinating look at women through the lens of cooking, eating and feeding the family. It tracks the history of women of the americas from the original native americans to today. Fascinating.

Lynne in NC said...

I like the Nourishing Traditions book recomendation. I thought about mentioning it, but it seems you have more than enough to engage Miss Clara.

Have a blessed school year in your all girls school. It will be lovely.
Peace.

Niki RuralWritings said...

What wonderful suggestions...I've requested several from my library :)

I would add two more, the first is "The More with Less Cookbook", very authentic international cooking particularly from non industrialized countries and to go along with that " Living More with Less" also excellent. I also would encourage you to add Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. An entirely opposing view of sound nutrition to what is currently promoted.

Have fun Clara!

Margaret in VA said...

For an interesting read but light read, see if the library has "Mindless Eating". I read it last year and it chronicled the experiments that a food lab did on unsuspecting diners...it was fun and eye-opening.

I love to school in a similar way, one of the things I had my guys do is write an opinion paper...sort of a "now that I have that information, this is what I will do with it"...of course, you can just discuss it during your colloquy.

I'm so excited now that I'm finally moving out of the purely academic phase with my only daughter, 12. Though she is coming along beautifully with her practical homemaking skills, actually using study time to hone her domestic philosophy will be great fun!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Anna,

I agree! I think this is going to be a wonderful course! Exactly what I like doing with my daughters.

...they call me mommy... said...

For a new homeschooler like me...THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Keep it simple!!!

Music to my ears!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I decided I'm going to read along with you!
We're never too old to learn.
This soumds like fun...

Barb in Nebraska

Anonymous said...

We use tradional books but we are very relaxed homeschoolers:) What other books do use? Such as Math, Science ect...

Renee

Sarah said...

Amen to all of that! Reading books is our mainstay, because busy work just makes everybody crazy. And tired. :)

Sounds like you're going to have a fun year with Clara!

Carmen said...

Anna, Just was wondering is this something that you did with the boys also when it came to their interest on photography and birds? I think it is wonderful!

Love the idea on keeping it simple. Of course, you have picked my interest and now I would love to know more about other "Homeschooling" ideas.

I homeschool little ones so I am glad to see the simple glimpse of what others do when they have olders ones.

I had only heard of one book on Clara's list so it looks like I will be taking the "curriculum" along with her! Who knew she would have class mates by one simple post! (wink)

Carmen

Karla said...

Thanks so much for this post.

As we begin our fourth year, and I add on another child (our 5 year old), I REALLY needed that encouragement. :)

I would love to hear lots more from you about homeschooling!

Real Mamacita said...

Love this concept of course study. Very helpful to analyse this aspect of our lives from such vantage points. I recommend, 'Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House' by Cheryl Mendelson. She was taught by her two grandmothers, with different perspectives on housekeeping, the "why's" of every aspect of housekeeping. I use this book as a reference regularly.

Livin' in the Sonshine said...

Beautifully said!

AmysZoo said...

Such great encouragement on this first day of our homeschooling year. I love the course you are doing with Clara. Good things to remember for the years ahead with my girls, now 4 & 6.

Pam said...

Hi Anna,
Thank you so much for your keep it simple homeschooling message.

I love when our schooling is simple, but then I get these nagging doubts and insecurities that we aren't doing enough "stuff".

I was feeling anxious today after hearing all the things the 6th graders at public school are doing...then I came to your sweet, sweet post and was able to take a deep breath.

I'm once again thanking God for giving me peace about our homeschooling journey. Also sending up a thank you for your messages of encouragement.

Blessings to You!
Pam in TN

Christine said...

If you want to read about the REALLY ancient history of eating, I would recommend Part II of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. The title of Part II is "The rise and spread of food production" and it explains how we came from being hunter-gatherers to developing into agricultural societies. It is really a fascinating explanation if she wants to look that far back!

Julie said...

Thanks for the reassurance. I often feel like a slacker with my "relaxed" take on things. Whatever you do seems to work. Good luck in your endeavors this year.

Kimmie said...

Oh Anna;

I am a bit older than your other students, but would you homeschool me too? I promise to help with the dishes.

big hug. Your homeschool year sound wonderful.

Praying for Felix...sounds like he is pretty much in heaven.

And Daisy is too sweet with her plusses.

You are blessed and what an absolute blessing you are to ME.

another BIG HUG!

Kimmie
mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Jenn in KS said...

I have to also say Nourishing Traditions is a must!! :) Coming from another laid back homeschooling mama who adores your blog.

Blessings,
Jenn

Lyn said...

I know you have loads of recommendations but check out Gladys Taber too.....anything by her. She writes about country living on all sides! Love her.

Beverly said...

I join the crowd in saying thank you for this post and many others. You're a homeschooling inspiration for me.

Trina said...

Anna, you inspire me yet again. You are so right about homeschooling. My mother's philosophy was similar, and I am so grateful for the education she gave me in our home school.

I wanted to make a book recommendation - Sandy Fallon's Nourishing Traditions is very interesting and informative. I have posted about it frequently on my blog.

SJP said...

Anna,
FYI, I could only get half way through Karen Kingsolver's book. She is well known for radical environmentalism and utter contempt for America. Although, she has some inspiring content, she is frequently condescending to Christianity and anyone who doesn't eat the way she does. It's not that I wouldn't let my tenth grader read it, but I would do some discussion after the fact. There are definitely better books out there.

Anonymous said...

You might want to pre-read Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. It has a great story to reveal, but there may be some subject matter that you might not want your daughter to read, mostly pertainging to the author's view point on how her asparagus looks as it grows. Can't stand when great stories are tossed with ill-timed sexuality.
Gladys Taber has some great stories that keep with the innoccence of young womanhood.

Leslie said...

thanks for those simple words of advice...it is easy to get carried away with homeschool ideas. i need to remember that less is more.

Rachel of Oregon said...

Hiya - I just finished a book and thought it might be a fun one for Clara's course. It is called Death by Pad Thai: And Other Unforgettable Meals. It is a collection of different writers sharing about memorable meals in their past. Definitely different from the other things listed but sometimes different is a blessing. The collection is edited by Douglas Bauer. Hope she is having fun with school these days. Thanks for the blessing of your blog - it is a light in the wilderness.

Kelley Elizabeth McDonald said...

I have read your blog for years and have always wished you would share just a bit about your homeschooling days. We homeschool as well and I find few resources that seem to match my desire to keep things simple, to focus on conversation and exploring and to integrate learning into all areas of life without being too focused on transcripts and such. I would love some encouragement.

Anna said...

Kelley, saw your comment today. Let me address your questions in a post soon--basically, you have to *leave room* in your life for these good things to happen. And they will, if you do.

Polly said...

I was just going back to look at the books in a "course for clara" (mining for my own reading material) when I looked at these comments and saw Kelly's comment/question. I too would love to read your thoughts on how to order our time to allow the good stuff to occur!

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