This one’s for the curriculum-junkie homeschooling mothers of 2002

September 18, 2012 @ 6:14 pm | Filed under: ,

Remember when you ordered that gorgeous set of maps to go with the Holling C. Holling books? You know, the ones on printed creamy cardstock, ready and waiting for the giant set of Prismacolor pencils you got for a steal at Timberdoodle? And your oldest child dutifully filled in about half of Paddle-to-the-Sea’s route before everyone’s interest wandered elsewhere (a new set of timeline stickers arrived, most likely), leaving the poor little canoe to spend the next decade bobbing in the middle of the lake that looks like a pickle?

Yeah, that set of maps.

Your youngest children want you to know they really appreciate the purchase. That sturdy cardboard storage tube totally lives up to its marketing copy.

If you’re looking for the maps, they’re under the old Brio train table covered in Cuisenaire rods.

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19 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. tanita says:

    As I look at this, I realize that a lot of homeschooling seems to be a.) letting the child self-direct their learning, and b.) being willing to have a lot of educational materials, and let some of them be unused until the next child.

    You’re so Zen about it, I’m not really sure I could do that – but at the same time, when I taught, I wasn’t as much of a stickler as my principal really wanted me to be – my lesson plans were rather “suggestions” rather than plans.


    Meanwhile, my older sister’s oldest boy is five, and the younger is three, and she’s launching forth on a Homeschooling odyssey of her own… they’re trying it for a year to see how it goes. I shall point her to your tidal posts.

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    I know other moms who thrive by other methods (read: organization and follow-through), but for me, for my gang, the most successful method is having shelves crammed with neat stuff so whenever anybody expresses a spark of interest in a subject, I can sprint down the hall and grab that thing I intended to use five years ago but stashed away because the kid I bought it for seemed lukewarm, or else I had a new baby. That plus an Amazon Prime account (I know, I know) so the perfect Dover coloring book is never more than 48 hours away.

    Earlier this week I was yapping on Facebook about how Beanie fell headlong into a book I have been carting around from state to state since 1991. Seriously–Virginia to North Carolina to New York back to Virginia to are-you-kidding-me-you’re-moving-it-across-the-country-to-California. In all those years, I never read it. BUT I ALWAYS MEANT TO. I reside in a permanent state of stubborn delusion in which I staunchly believe I will ONE DAY read all the books in this house, even though I keep adding them at a rate that far outstrips the number I actually read. This book, LILY POND, is a nonfiction account of four years in the life of a family of beavers. Beanie reread CALPURNIA TATE the other day and came out of it craving more natural history. Aha, I thought, LILY POND’s day in the sun has come at last. 🙂 She loved it. Wants more by the author. We’re checking the library, but until then she is stocked up with a pile of Marguerite Henry novels. When in doubt, apply wild horses.

    How lovely to hear about your sister embarking on the grand homeschooling adventure. Three and five, delicious ages. Tell her to drop by if she wants to talk homeschooling, anytime! Of course I don’t do much in the way of high tide until age six or seven, and even then it’s all stories and a sprinkling of foreign language. Today Rilla got Child’s History of the World (the cavepeople chapter), Leif the Lucky (he made it to Vinland!), and a short account of the discovery of the cave paintings at Altamira in our old set of Childcraft books. Then she spent the rest of the morning pouring water through a funnel. And building poster-tube structures. 😉

  3. Charlotte says:

    My maps are sitting on top of the tallest bookcase underneath the magnet exploration kit. My tubes are dutifully waiting for Cupcake’s attention in the craft closet (where all empty tubes go).

  4. Jeanne says:

    Just “ahhhhhh.”

    I have to tell you, with a youngest at 14, I’m feeling a little distraught when I see some of my not-likely-to-be-pulled-out-again homeschool magic on various shelves. It is not quite an empty nest feeling, but more like an attachment to thinking I’d use those pencils, that book, one more time — with the realization that I won’t. And may I just say, we had the remarkable revelation the other day that there is No Glue In This House. We used to need Gallons o’ Glue. I never ran out o’ Glue. But we hadn’t needed glue in so long that it fell off the Could Be Needed list.

    And so it goes.

  5. Lisa says:

    Ha! My maps are still in the tube, untouched! They are so beautiful…I have hopes that the littlest, or next-to-littlest might have an interest in them. Not grand hopes, just small hopes, but enough that I’m not going to list them on CathSwap just yet 😉

  6. Sarah says:

    My maps are taped together, serving as a folder for our bigger art projects!

    Lovely post. It made me smile to see others who also try these things and surrender in the end. I never could make much sense of the maps myself. And I loved your comment about the accumulation of books in your home. It sounds so much like mine. I often think that if I were ever to get a tattoo, mine would say “Born to Curate”. Or accumulate. As you will. 🙂

  7. sarah says:

    Holling C Holling! And timelines! Sigh, happy memories …

    My problem was always that I bought all the beautiful things but only had one child. So after a while I stopped buying things, because she played mostly with toilet rolls and sellotape anyway (you haven’t homeschooled until you’ve had a toilet roll T-rex scale model as your dining table centrepiece for a month). I still have my … I mean her … oversized pencils and favourite picture books and Jim Weiss CDs and fairyland game sitting in my cupboard. Maybe her children will get to enjoy them!

    I wonder how many homeschool mums actually homeschool just because they love educational supplies!

  8. Leslie in VA says:

    Bah ha! This is hysterical because those tubes JUST arrived!! I offered to do the little Geography class with one of my daughters and two neighbor girls. Sitting down at the computer to check my reader and have coffee before hunting down the HCH books. They are gorgeous maps arent they? Oh, I do hope that we will finish them. Does anyone finish them?

    Noticed that you are reading Leif the Lucky as well. That is one of the books that we have always used for “school”. Opening that up with the 5th child in a row brings me back to 2000!

  9. Lori B says:

    I’m impressed that you have half of the map filled in! My youngest will be reading Paddle this year and I know she’ll enjoy the map, so I’m glad I didn’t pass them on ten years ago 🙂

  10. Amy Caroline says:

    Mine are still sitting unused right here next to me on my homeschool shelf in that same lovely tube. I have had them probably as long as you have, and only eer pulled them out once, lol. I keep thinking I will use them with my son… maybe next year….

  11. Penny says:

    May I suggest Rascal by Sterling North? It would be a terrific read aloud too – it’s really wonderful.

    As for the maps – hmm… I should really look mine up… that tube could come in handy! 🙂

  12. sarah says:

    I love this post! Although, initially I was a bit confused by the title, as you are one so far from a curriculum-junkie that I can’t really use that title and your name in the same sentence. Even in 2002 when you were showing me the ropes, I remember thinking, “How does she pull this off?…” Yet, you do, so deliciously and masterfully.
    With my first, I no doubt would have reprimanded her for not caring for the map tube properly. I mean, it had to hold all of those maps for a homeschool eternity, right? My fourth–I would be in awe of her creative spirit and run to get the camera. And yet, while the second way sure sounds like more fun, I think there is wisdom in both ways.

    Ultimately, we did finish two complete maps. The others have been sitting in that tube, untouched, for at least five years.

  13. Melissa Wiley says:

    Ah, Sarah, junkie for *collecting* homeschooling curricula, not necessarily using them. Definitely never using them as prescribed. But I couldn’t resist checking them out…It got to be a bit embarrassing at one point. I remember going to a meeting of my local hs moms group & the topic was curriculum. People would say, “Have you heard of X? Sounds interesting…” and I’d go “I have that at home—wanna borrow it? I’ve never used it.” 🙂 But I did READ all of it & it all goes into the mental hopper. So I guess in a way I was using it to educate myself?

    I swore off catalogs when we moved into this (much smaller) house. We’re bursting at the seams as it is. 🙂

    P.S. Now I’m totally pining for Crozet days!!! Poring over books with you while the girls hunt bugs!

  14. Jude says:

    Ha! This made my day. I have the HCH books, but not the maps. But our big laminated world map is rolled up so tight it can not lay flat. And it is most often used as a weapon of some sort. My oldest is 15, and I was remembering how in my first year of homeschooling, I went with the Calvert boxed curriculum. I guess it taught her phonics and numbers, but I did not want to save a single bit of it. And since baby number seven is only at the rolling back to tummy stage, all these books and maps and manipulatives and books and books and books are going to be with me for quite a long time. (After #4 I figured out that clear contact paper is a must for softcover books that need to make it through more than one boy’s reading.) And the toddler just removed his own poopy diaper….

  15. Alice Gunther says:

    Love this so much! Hilarious.

  16. Theresa says:

    LOL! This seriously cracked me up because I *just* broke down and got those maps after all these years! We started Tree in the Trail and coloring the 1st map this week! So far so good. I am, however, not so delusional that I don’t expect they will fall by the wayside long before the set is complete.

  17. Nancy says:

    I have fondled those very maps (more than once) at our local homeschool store. is this — this testament to letting them happily languish — the thing that’s going to push me to purchase them? I so love Paddle to the Sea, maybe I’ll just get those maps and color them myself.

  18. kimberlee says:

    I love this so much! Two of our maps were completed beautifully by my firstborn (who will turn 22 next week, yikes!). I have absolutely no idea what happened to the other two and their lovely tube. They must be (very thoroughly) crammed somewhere here with all the other neat stuff. And perhaps Beanie would like the Sam Campbell books?

  19. Ellie says:

    **bemused** We’ve got them too — I have loved the books since I was growing up — and my two *really* like their maps! And the books. And geography. And history. All-in-one is just about perfect for them!