I am very blessed to have a homeschool lending library in town, and I took advantage of it this year. I've gotten really gunshy at buying curriculum; I've bought too much that didn't work for us!
The library operates on donations and $1 per book rented. You check them out for one year---it's a steal! A local church donates the space in its attic for its use. How awesome is that? One of the volunteers told me that they are concerned because they have lost 500 books this year (and the shelves are still crammed full!) They finally have a good tracking system, but it still gets crazy when people are returning books and checking them out at the same time!
I checked out about 11 books last week, and then went back this week to help. I learned a lot about different viewpoints of various curriculums, found some new materials and, of course, changed some of my selections. Because I gave 3 hours, I was able to check out 3 books for free. Since I'm thinking about returning about 4 of last week's selections, it will probably work out for both sides! I'll be back to help next week again because there are some other materials I'd like to try. I'm so grateful they have this!
While I was there this week, I met Gwen from another county and learned about a program called Easy Grammar. After browsing through it after closing, I decided to bring it home. I really like it! It's just grammar, nothing else, but it looks excellent (and doable with boys. Very important.)
Another think I decided was to continue my eclectic approach to science. This year, the boys need to do physical science so everything will revolve around that. Science is easy to use for multiple ages/children unless it is textbook based!
With those changes, it looks like the only textbooks I'll be using is history and literature. Lit covers American authors and frankly, textbooks are probably the easiest way to get a survey of a good representative population of authors/poets.
Finally, I asked the kids when they wanted to start school. Their answer?
"How about this afternoon after we get back from our bike ride?"
Ummmm, too soon. I'm not ready for summer to be over!