Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Timelines and Twaddle

School starts in less than 7 weeks.  I alternate between excitement and dread on a rotating basis.

Here are my random thoughts lately, in no particular order.


Oh, I need a timeline.  We need to be able to visually see where in time events fell.  Our history curriculum is going to cover Adam and Eve, David, Jesus, Paul, Augustine, lords, knights, castles, Marin Luther, John Calvin, Columbus, the pilgrims, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Dwight Moody, Douglas MacArthur, the Alamo, and many people and events in between.  How will this make sense without a timeline?

Should I make a hanging timeline or a notebook timeline.  Since I'm running out of wall space, maybe a notebook timeline would be better.

Ok, Google, how to make a timeline notebook.

Here's some free notebook pages.  It makes sense to include more pages for the later decades and less for the earlier centuries.  But do I really need to print out 114 pages?  Is this going to be something we are going to build on for many years to come, or will we want to do a nicer one when she gets older and just do an easy one in Kindergarten?  Will she even get what we're doing when she doesn't yet understand the difference between "day" and "week"?


Charlotte Mason (home-education extraordinaire from the early 1900s) said kids need to avoid twaddle at at all costs.  (Basically, that's diluted, dumbed-down, easy-reading, poor quality literature.)  So now I'm looking at my bookshelves.  What if some of this is twaddle?  Should I throw it away?  Or just put it in a box somewhere for a future rummage sale?  How do I know what is twaddle and what isn't twaddle?  I don't want kids who can't appreciate good literature.  What if I ruin them by letting them read Mary Maroney and the Chocolate Surprise?  I'm thinking that's most certainly twaddle.


I don't have any art appreciation or composer studies planned.  What if she wants to go to Harvard someday, and I didn't cover the basics she needs?  But those sound like the most boring things I can think of doing during a school day.

Do I have too much planned?  I had planned on Kindergarten being so simple.  Like nature walks to study leaves under a magnifying glass and reading lots and lots.  Now it's turned into memory work, Bible, reading, phonics, hand-writing, critical thinking, science, history, math, and art.  Is it too much?  Will I ruin her creative mind with all these textbooks and worksheets?  But what if I don't have enough planned, and our school days turn into a big old pile of nothingness?

Do we need to do a Nature Book where we can sketch pictures of and record the Latin names of the various plants we find?  Charlotte Mason says we do.

What about a foreign language?  Am I missing the most teachable years by not starting her on a foreign language at the tender age of 5?


Where's the secret store where homeschooling moms go to buy this?  I can barely handle breakfast with the baby screaming at me because she ran threw all her cheerios on the floor and doesn't have any more and the 2-year-old crying because she doesn't want French toast, and the 5-year-old busily talking while waving around her syrup-laden fork.

I'm supposed to do school and accomplish real learning while also running a 2-child daycare?  It seems like a lot.  And I've only got one kid to school.  How the moms with multiple kids in school and a couple not yet there do it is beyond me.  They must have found that store.

I haven't even started school yet, and there are times when I'm in the bathroom that I'm tempted to just stay in there and not come out.  For. Real.

Stuff That Doesn't Stress Me Out.

Kyla said to me today, "Hey, these flowers are hatching!"

She and Kamryn brought a downed tree branch up onto the cement and were building "beds" in it for their plastic animals.  Oh, and Mary and Joseph.  Gotta love that.

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