Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fish or Cut Bait Before It's Too Late

I have been dealing with books today. Reorganizing, moving, culling, and prioritizing.

Realization: I think we own too many books.

I have been dealing with books that we were too busy to read when they were best for the ages of my children back then. It is too late for those books now. There is no sense holding on to them any longer.

I have been dealing with books that I think we own too many of on that topic. Since we haven't read all of them, or studied certain topics yet, I don't know enough to help me discern which of them I could get rid of without having read or used them to figure out which were great, good or poor. It is time to use the ones we have, decide which are extraneous and get rid of however many we'll probably never use again.

My boys seem to be growing up fast all of a sudden. I saved books for my younger son to use but my younger son does not always like reading the same books his older brother read. You see, my older son had interests that my younger son never had and my younger son has interests that my older son never had.

I'm thinking again of how homeschooling mothers often over-buy on topics they are worried about teaching. I see that I've over-bought on some topics. I will confess I was worried about not covering those topics thoroughly enough. I didn't know enough about the topic to figure out what amount of information is "good enough" for an elementary grade student. I need to stop putting off teaching those topics and just teach them, get it over with and cull the books. Period. I think that is part of my perfectionism. Out of a fear of not studying a topic deeply enough I procrastinate and risk not teaching the topic at all.

The older my kids get the more I realize that I can't keep procrastinating on homeschooling certain topics that I thought we'd have studied by now.

I have been working to map out our plan for the 2008-2009 school year. This includes adaptations and accommodations for my older son's two newly diagnosed learning disabilities. To this end I have cut down on the number of outside classes and events my children will participate in. I am cutting back on my own personal committments including reducing the volunteer work I do. I am cutting back on helping and networking with my local homeschooling community. Something has to give to provide me with more time and energy for home educating my children and those reductions are how I will attempt to remedy the situation.

I am getting that urge to buckle down, get to work, and fill some buckets. That is not in line with 'light a fire not fill a bucket' but that is the feeling I have today and I thought I'd share it.

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2 comments:

Denise said...

Oh, I can identify! I really, really need to do this --- one more thing to add to my list. Wouldn't it be nice if having all those books on the shelf automatically transferred the information into our brains?

Of course, a big part of my problem is not the books I got for teaching the kids, but the books I got for myself, because I thought that [fill in the blank] would be fun to learn about someday...

kat said...

Having just moved and unpacked 8-9 bookcases of just kid's books I can certainly agree that we own too many books. The movers walked in the door and said, gosh lady, couldn't you just have a plasma screen TV and be done with it?"

But with several voracious readers and several more who haven't even started reading I crave still more books!

Well, I guess I should be grateful to have such troubles....