Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Countdown Continues...

I have received three out of five packages that I ordered the other day.

The first to arrive, to my great excitement, was one of two from CBD. I sliced the tape on the box and savored pulling each book out. The best part of receiving a package is pulling each item from the box, especially if there are several things.

First there was a chart of the Presidents to go with the President's March CD that was right underneath it. It was exciting to actually touch these things that I have been researching for so long. I think you understand by now that I was excited. Back to the box. Next I removed a book on Adoption (something else I am researching currently), The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, and some Narnia audiobook CDs and Adventures in Odyssey CDs that were on sale. My plan is to pull the CDs out on our trip to New Orleans in a couple months.

Later in the same day, my package from Rainbow Resource arrived. It contained mostly Handwriting Without Tears materials. I am looking forward to using this with both boys (I got the pre-writing level and the first grade printing level) because everything looks like fun and is so hands-on, which is highly appropriate for my boys who are wannabe mechanics. Who am I kidding? They are better mechanics than I am. I splurged and bought most of the accessories that could have been less-expensively reproduced, but I am happy with that because I know I would never reproduce them, and the whole point of the program would have been lost. Also, Thing 2 saw me opening the packages and begged to play with the magnetic board and slates. It helps to have things they enjoy that are only used during "school time."

Next in the RR box was The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I have taught Thing 1 to read using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but I have read so many good things about The Ordinary Parent's Guide that I wanted to try it on Thing 2. It is a scripted single book format, just like 100 Easy Lessons, but I believe it is more phonics-based. Basically, I was sold because Jessie Wise wrote it, and I love the Well Trained Mind.

Today my third box came in from Math U See. I ordered Alpha for 5-year-old Thing 1. I thought the Kindergarten Level looked too easy as he has a good grasp on simple addition and subtraction already from Montessori Pre-School and daily life. I was surprised at the confusing emotion that surfaced when I pulled out the Teacher's Manual. Was it fear? Dread? Am I really the Mom now? Is it really my responsibility to keep up with the Teacher's Manual? Or was it more like that feeling you get when you want to do something that you know will be good for you and you know you will be glad later on and you know you will have that healthy satisfaction while you are doing it, but, man, it's hard to get in there and do it every day. How's that for a run-on sentence? I remember those thick, boring Teacher's Manuals Mom used to have. It may sound paradoxical, but I think I hate manuals because I am a manual reader. I'm the one who thinks she has to read every word of the manual before she can operate the toaster. I am burdened with guilt until I have read the entire thing, cover to cover. I know I will have to face my fears soon enough (probably by letting go of my perfectionism, which is a different story for a different day), but not today. I got more excited when I opened the manipulative box. Thing 1 is going to love that part.

So far all I lack is one world map and one US map for the wall. And a new desk. And somewhere for Thing 1 to do his work. And to finish cleaning out the file cabinet, which is started. Yay! And the piles of containers I ordered to organize the room. And hopefully to paint the room. I am a Flybaby (a follower of Flylady), so I believe in baby steps. Let me repeat that to myself. I believe in baby steps. I believe in baby steps.

When I have babystepped my way to a functional school room with a pleasant atmosphere, I will post a picture. Meanwhile, the countdown to kindergarten continues.

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