Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where I Fail....Where Leveling Books Fails

I sure don't remember feeling this overwhelmed.....not since I worked a part-time job and mothered a baby and toddler at the same time. Planning the school year has suddenly become a full-time job. I may as well write curriculum for money, as hard as this is.

I appealed to the Lord, complaining, "How will I get it all done and still love on my family...and find time to sleep at night?"

Quality of writing matters to me and I hate to put a book in front of a child with choppy sentences, weak wit, lack of imagination and detail. Poor or mediocre literature tells you the scene, while quality literature shows you the scene, with imagery, detail, and beautiful, flowing language.

Today I read a chapter from A Llama in the Family, by Johanna Hurwitz--a book I bought on Sonlight's recommendation. The quality of writing is so poor it's appalling. Notice the abundance of passive verbs in the excerpt below (weren't, is, wouldn't let, was, weren't, was, went, were, been).

Why publish this as is, instead of sending it back to the writer, asking for stronger verbs? Is it all about money?

I pedaled on down the road and stopped at the Grand Union. April and Ethan Allen weren't in the parking lot, and since there is a notice outside that says No Dogs Allowed, I knew for sure that they wouldn't let a llama inside either. Then I pedaled over to the post office. There was no sign of April or Ethan Allen there. They weren't at the barbershop or the gas station.
A police car with a flashing light and blaring siren passed me as I cycled down the road. It was headed north, toward my house. A shudder went through me. Maybe April and Ethan Allen were in big trouble. Maybe the'd been hit by a car.

The book is a 740L, putting it at fourth grade, but nothing can be gained from reading it. I'm giving it to Goodwill, in fact.

As hard as it is to compile a book list from scratch, it's worth my time investment. It will take much prayer and I'll probably end up preparing only a month ahead of my fourth grader, but I've learned that I can't choose a book from a curriculum publisher, or from a Lexile level, or from an online synopsis.

I have to pick up a book and read it to decide if it's worthy of our time. There are no short cuts.

I definitely need to take the weight of this semester off my shoulders and put it at the Lord's feet. There are fabulous books out there, waiting to fill my sons' hearts and minds with wonder. I've made a mess of this, wasting at least some of my money in the process.

Time to let Him take over.

Why do we need to learn this same lesson over and over, time after time? 

We are nothing without Him.

When life overwhelms, it's our own fault. Always. The Lord doesn't over-burden or confuse.

What do you need to put at His feet today?

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jeremiah 31:25
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."

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