Saturday, July 14, 2007

Books in Boxes, Books on Shelves

I've been feeling slightly book crazy these past couple of days. Yesterday, two of the three orders I'd placed for homeschooling books and supplies arrived. I tried very hard to order only the things that I felt sure we'd use, things we might want to keep, and those things that I thought would be difficult for us to find via the library, but that still ended up being a number of books. I kept pretty close to our budget, though I'm still hoping I might win the epinions sweepstake this month, which would cover it all!

S. was excited and curious as we opened the box, but once she realized packing peanuts were available to be played with, her enthusiasm switched gears. She headed off to create a styrofoam snowstorm for her dolls, leaving her Mom to revel in the actual books and notebooks.

One of the things I decided we could not afford to do this year was to buy the "recommended read-alouds" from Sonlight (the company whose curriculum we are primarily using, though I'm mixing and matching and doing some of my own supplementing...not following their science curriculum at all, for instance). One reason I love Sonlight's approach, especially for these early years, is because they believe so many things can be learned just through reading good books aloud. I love perusing their catalog and I've made myself a list of all their "recommended reads" for the kindergarten year. I plan to use a lot of them. A few we already have, but I figure I will get many of them from our library. That can get a bit tricky, especially if we end up having to wait patiently for inter-library loans, but hey, waiting is all part of the learning process.

We spent most of the day shopping for a pirate costume for D. (he's coordinating our church's VBS, which has a pirate theme) which meant we got to spend some time in the city. And it also meant we got to swing by my favorite used bookstore, HalfPrice Books. I am still wondering how on earth I used to find books without this store. We've gotten spoiled in the past decade, living near two of them. I took my recommended Sonlight list with me into the store (yes, I'm a book geek!). And I am thrilled to say that, as I quickly scanned the shelves, I managed to find THREE books from the list, each of them costing $1.98 or less. (The Boxcar Children; Wizard of Oz; Family Under the Bridge). I also found some incredible bargains in the 50 cent and $1 bins, including some lovely picture books.

So now I'm on a bit of a quest to see what else I can find used. I'm still looking for The Apple and the Arrow (Buff) --though I know our library has that one; The Light at Tern Rock (Sauer); Johnny Appleseed (Holland); In Grandma's Attic (Richardson); A Grain of Rice (Pittman); Five True Dog Stories (Davidson)...and several others. It's going to be fun looking. It's going to be even more fun reading!

Edited to add: I needed to re-read this post today (Sunday) to remind myself to have patience and to not want more than we can reasonably afford or than we actually need. It turns out that I forgot something in my original order (I ordered a time-line book, very cool, but forgot to order the figures for it). The figures are only a few dollars, but when I went back to order them, I realized I would have to pay more in shipping than I would for the actual figures. So I kept adding things to my cart, seeing what else I could get that would get me up to "free shipping." This was dangerous because I'd spent part of the afternoon looking through the instructor's guide I'd ordered with some of our books. I ended up getting all excited about a few other books that I had cut out of my original list (a Bible storybook and some other things). Then I looked at the total in my cart (over $50!) gulped, looked at our situation realistically, double-gulped, remembered the spending figure we'd set, and thought long and hard about my original enthusiasm for keeping kindergarten year as simple and focused on the "basics" as possible.

Then I clicked out of the website without ordering anything. I'm not saying that in a bragging way. At least I hope not. Actually I felt really frustrated and disappointed as I did it, not at all patient and flexible and all those other traits I keep trying to teach my daughter. I can't shake the feeling that not placing this order is the right thing. You know, I can teach Bible the way I've been doing. And I can hold off on using the timeline for a while, or create my own figures for it. Mostly right now I'm feeling thankful not to have been mesmerized by the seeming ease of online shopping, and praying for strength of resolve not to give in on this.


Erin said...

Sounds like you found some great books! And oh, the dangers of online shopping; I've often thought I might be better off without a debit card...

I love the term "styrofoam snowstorm", and the picture that comes into my head with that paragraph!

Yay for pirates and for VBS! I was in Columbus the last time our church did it, though oddly enough we spent the first week of seminary camp helping out at a local VBS that was using the same exact program my own church was using. I think they got it from Augsburg Fortress. Anyway, I miss doing that. It was always a staple of summer...

And speaking of pirates, VeggieTales' Pirates Who Don't Do Anything movie is hitting theaters in a few months! I'm so pumped... :D

Beth said...

Ah, pirates! We've been watching pirate movies (and sea-faring movies in general) for the past week or so. I don't mind helping Dana enjoy his latest craze, as he's been so gracious about listening to mine lately! :-) I think I may end up turning in a couple of pirate-y reviews at Epinions yet...

I'll have to tell him about the new Veggie Tales!