Friday, August 1, 2008

Curriculum Shopping, on My Own Shelves

I sit amongst a pile of catalogs. I get emails from curriculum providers and sellers and save them in a special folder. Amazon is tabbed atop my browser just in case I get the urge to spend. It's that time of year, as Red Cardigan points out so punctually. Mmmm. Curriculum shopping.

"Stop right there, MacB.," says an urgent and condescending little voice in my head.

I look around. In my office, I have three bookshelves full of...well...books, mostly (also, stamps, envelopes in three sizes, CDs, printer ink, file folders that need to be put away, index cards, chemistry glassware, binoculars, photos in and out of albums, a small cactus, insect repellent, an unopened pack of 1989 Mets baseball cards which I understand is worthless, a photo trimmer, dozens of specialty papers, holy cards and outdated missalettes [sp?], sheet music waiting to be culled, and, well...stuff). And these are just the book cases in my office! There are bookcases in every room in the house except the kitchen which is under construction.

Upon further reflection, I realize that I have only two students home this year. My plan is to double them up and do high school with them both, on the same grade level, with one set of plans, slightly modified for each. Surely, I have enough books already.

Let's see. A quick glance reassures me that I'm correct. A very complete curriculum is sitting here in my office! My eye immediately falls on this title: The Theory of Almost Everything. Great! That's almost everything covered! But I also have supplemental books. I also see A Short History of Nearly Everything. Oh, yes! History is covered! And then there's The Measure of All Things (geography, math), 1066 and All That (historical British humor), All the Small Poems (literature), The Complete Book of Rocks and Minerals (earth science), Everything on a Waffle (home economics), Every Living Thing (animal husbandry), and of course, All's Well that Ends Well (Shakespeare)...

Just kidding, of course.

The truth is, though, there are so many choices that I keep looking around the house and adding more books. Planning for this year is turning out to be a bit like Stone Soup. I begin by thinking I have nothing and wanting to shop, but soon realize that I can add a bit at at a time from what's already available, and end up with a delicious plan. I do have all I need right here on the shelves.

I clearly do not, ever, need to shop for curriculum again. Besides, I remind myself again...we unschool. All we need are books and stuff, and I've got it covered!

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

This is what I'm doing, too! I told myself that I'm not even cracking open another catalog until I'm finished sifting and sorting through our shelves. Currently, there are stacks of books all over the house as my sorting continues ....

Yup. Books and talking.