Ok, homeschoolers, here's a question: have you ever bought a wonderful curriculum item and been so excited to get it home and to use it, and brought it home...and had it sit on your shelf for 5 years? Now, I'm not talking about the Abeka Kindergarten Art program that I spent $200 on and brought home and was immediately repentant. No offense to Abeka curriculum users. I obviously like the looks of it, or I never would have bought it. I just couldn't use it. It wasn't "ME". What I'm talking about is that book or resource that you've looked at and researched and tested and saved for and then, finally, purchased -- just knowing that this class was going to really work with your kids. But you never did it. "English from the Roots Up" was that curriculum item for me. Who knows why? Maybe it started looking a little "teacher intensive", or maybe my kids just weren't quite ready. Or maybe I just kept having little ones, so I didn't really feel like starting something new when I was exhausted and nauseated all the time. Well, I tend to be a little perfectionistic, so I think my biggest problem was wanting to do a really good job, since the class looked so good itself. Whatever the reason, I purchased the book in 1999 and never actually did the class...until this year.
To be totally honest, I'm not actually doing the class this year either! My 15 year old daughter, Sarah, wanted to do a class on word origins. Being the cheapskate, er, uh, frugally-minded mom that I am, the lightbulb flashed over my thick skull and viola! She has her curriculum, and the 5 younger kids get a new teacher -- who actually gives homework assignments!!! gasp! Sarah's doing such a fantastic job! All I have to do is keep her supplied with notecards and colored pens and occassionally rebuke the odd brother for disrespect. I now have an hour a day when I can do grading and recording grades without interruptions. Woo-Hoo!!!
So -- now how do I feel about English from the Roots Up? I love it! The kids, ages 8 through 15 are absolutely enjoying the class -- even with homework assignments -- and we've been playing Rummy Roots a lot and the two little ones are making a Greek and Latin root word BINGO. Sarah comes up with neat ideas for assignments. She's so creative! Very cool! The kids are noticing that a lot, well, actually ALL of the Latin root words have Spanish equivalents. Go figger! Maybe the Spanish will move along faster, too? Hay que esperar y orar! One can hope and pray!!!