August 23, 2014

Everything Feels More Manageable Now

I've decided that for a person who usually muddles along without a "spine" for each subject I'm pretty happy to not muddle this year.  

I was really starting to feel desperate about where to start with the Renaissance (yes, I have a masters degree in history.  Would you care to know about masculinity during WWII, because I could really help you out there).  My sister, Kami, who likes history as much as I do but actually knows about the Renaissance sent me a bunch of links to help me out.  I went to each and every one and started to break down my units into logical sections and assign books to the units.  I was starting to feel better about things.

Then, I skimmed through the library books I already checked out and realized that I had unwittingly found a "spine."  A perfectly AWESOME spine.  It is called The Age of Discovery by Brian and Brenda Williams.  The book is laid out in sections by date and all the important things going on around the world during those years are broken up by geographic region.  There are timelines on the bottom of the pages to further clarify things. For example, on pages 52-53 the date box says, "1770-1789" and the sections are titled: "First fleet to Australia," "Settlement of Australia,""The Maoris of New Zealand," and "Tom Paine--Revolutionary."  

Awesome!!  At a glance I can see what the important topics are, whether or not I feel they are important enough to find an additional book about them, and how they fit together.  I can then skim over the timelines at the bottom of the pages that are in text boxes organized by continent.  It is seriously genius.  Now I don't have to worry that I'm going to leave out something critical from our studies.  It also gives me a way to fill in information without needing a whole book on the subject.  

I'm feeling much more confident!!  It is too bad Eli threw up today because now I'm pumped for school to start on Monday.  If all the kids are sick, we'll postpone.  :)  

As a small sidenote--I apologize to any and all of you who know me in person or who run into me on facebook periodically, or in any other way have to endure me during pregnancy.  This pregnancy has been harder on me emotionally than any other I can remember (the stress of the move? increasing sensitivity to hormonal changes? knowing it is my last one and just running out of grin-and-bear-it? having six other kids?) and I basically don't like anyone right now.  Grumpy is an understatement.  Please don't be offended!  I'll get over it the minute baby is born (or a week later when the hormones have settled a little).  Thank you for bearing with me!


  1. Thanks for this post! I'm new to homeschooling and now get a better idea of what you mean by "spine." Good luck with your pregnancy. I think (at least I hope!) everyone around you understands. I hope you can get a break once in a while to take a nap or just do whatever it is that helps you relax. :)

  2. Come have a girl's movie night with me. I'll provide the chocolate.

  3. Janika--thank you for your comment! I am using a spine for science this year for the first time. I'll post about it soon--I love it!

    Julie, you are sweet. Name a date.