If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Thursday, May 16, 2013


You might remember that we hatched butterflies earlier this spring. We think they are still hanging around...

Isn't s/he pretty? M found her hanging out on the passion fruit vines. We keep finding little mantises all over the yard too!

So, yesterday, I was reading a discussion on unschooling on a classical homeschooling message board, and someone said something about "required" types of library books, and CLICK! A light bulb totally went off and I remembered the following passage from The Well Trained Mind:

On each library visit, I had them check out the following books: one science book, one history book, one art or music appreciation book, one practical book (a craft, hobby, or "how-to"), a biography or autobiography, a classic novel (or adaptation suited to age), an imaginative storybook, a book of poetry. They were allowed to choose the titles, but I asked them to follow this pattern. And they were also allowed to check out other books on any topic they pleased.

Now, she was having her kids do this weekly. I think I would start maybe bi-weekly, until they got used to it, and maybe any good fiction rather than just classics. I think I would require a certain number of documentaries as well, covering science, history/social studies, and/or people, cultures, etc.

I've been trying for the longest time to figure out a balance to required schooling and child-led. I think I like this idea very much! And, The Boy and The Girl like it too! The Girl asked "So if I want to learn about Amelia Earhart, or Pocahontas, that would be okay? And I could check out books about animals, and that would count?" The Boy asked, "Well, what if I get a BIG book about science? Do I have to read it in just a week?" I told The Girl yes, and The Boy that we could adjust time periods accordingly.

Hmmmm... lots to ponder! While I am pondering, I'm also printing up book lists the kids can work from, mainly from Valerie's Living Books. I adore her book lists!

Hope you're all having a good week!


  1. Oh my god!!! Mantises!!! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!

    I have been petrified of mantises since I was a little girl, after seeing a menacing picture of one in a storybook. I'm sure we don't have them here up north, but I did see one once when I was visiting in Missouri.

    Off to look at Valerie's book list.

  2. That is a pretty neat little idea for the library!

    Oh -- and don't you just love mantid? We are finding ours all over the yard, too!


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