I know you’re out there. In fact, I know several of you in real life (I’m looking at you specifically, Lisa.). You’re the ones who can’t get enough of poring over the shiny books with their beautifully illustrated covers. You can’t wait to crack that spine and examine the wonder within. The smell of freshly cut paper pages fills your nostrils as you run your finger lovingly down the table of contents.
I’m one of you. I, too, suffer from the compulsion to buy the cool curriculum books. It’s a disease, and I’m pretty sure no one has found the cure.
You’ve probably succumbed at some point to the inexorable siren call of a homeschooling conference or curriculum fair – YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE AND TOUCH ALL THE BOOKS! Browsing the Rainbow Resource Catalog or scoping out the best deals on Amazon is also satisfying. Box Day* is almost as good as a vendor hall.
The problem lies in the fact that there is a certain amount of guilt involved in purchasing and hoarding all the beautiful books. Because, let’s be honest, there’s no way in the world you’re ever going to be able to use all of these books in your homeschool. There’s just not enough time. Well, *I* would be willing to do school for 12 hours a day, but the students are not down with that plan.
Every year when I’m lesson planning, I pull out all the books I purchased for each subject and then proceed to alternate between laughter and tears. I laugh at myself for ever thinking we were going to get to use all these things, and then I cry because we’re never going to get to use all these things. Why, Universe? Why do you let so many amazing books exist and then not provide enough time to read them all?
Then I remember the whole “depth is more important than breadth” thing about classical education. So I pick the books that I think will provide the most meaning in our lessons. The rest of them get held, petted, sniffed, and then gently returned to the shelf until their fate is decided at a later date. It’s a sad process, but a necessary one.
Someday, Books, someday . . .
* Box Day is that glorious day when the UPS or FedEx guy shows up at your door with your curriculum order.
Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school. Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment. Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio. Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature. She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables. You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at www.daysofwonderhomeschool.blogspot.com.