Renting out books

I’m trying something new this year: renting out schoolbooks. I own several Sonlight cores, and we’ve finished with Core A. We’ll be starting Core B in a few months (meanwhile we’re doing a geography program that I planned myself, which I’ve mentioned a few times previously. Jenny is 4 this year, so she’s pre-k, even though she turns 5 in October. Jenny isn’t really interested in following along with chapter books a whole lot yet. So my plan for this school year is to do P3/4, which is preschool picture books, with Jenny and Charlotte, and Core B with Emily. Jenny can listen in to any Core B books that hold her interest, but she won’t be required to listen the way that Emily is. I got enough supplies for Jenny to do the activities along with Emily, too. So she can do a bit of both cores. I’m planning to start keeping track of P3/4 for Jenny, though, and make sure that we’re getting through all of the books. Once we’ve gone through all the books, if I think she’s ready (and she probably will be), we’ll start P4/5. We probably (hopefully!) won’t get through it too fast, because I don’t want to start Core A with her until next fall.

Anyway, so, since we won’t be using Core A, my husband and I had the idea to rent it out. I found somebody who wants to do Core A, and she’s going to rent the core (plus language arts and science) for 11 months. She’ll return it at the end of July/early August next year, and I’ll have it ready for Jenny to use. She’s paying a certain amount as a rental fee, and then she paid a bit more as a security deposit, which she’ll get back when she returns the books in good shape (or minus a bit, if a book does get damaged).

I’m tentatively optimistic that this could be the new BEST IDEA EVER. It’s a great way to make a little money back on cores that I’m not using, without them taking up shelf space, etc. It was a little hilarious and yet sad when I was packing the books in a box. Emily was watching me, and would mournfully say, from time to time, “Oh! Living Long Ago! I LOVE that book!” It’s nice to know that Sonlight picked so many favorites for her, at least!

We’re still plugging along with our geography program. We worked on Turkey and Jordan today. We finish up the Middle East in the next couple of days, then head over to southeast Asia. We’re getting through it a bit faster than planned because our library system here kinda stinks, and it has very few of the books I intended to use from the library. So sometimes we do two days at once, or even skip a whole day or two. Anyway, we’re still getting a picture of what the world is like, which I’m enjoying.

I just ran into a new science program the other day. We’ve been doing Sonlight’s Science B, and I intended to do Apologia “Exploring Creation with Astronomy” next. After that I was going to continue to alternate between Sonlight Science and Apologia’s Elementary Science series. But then I ran into this new series by Jay Wile that seems really interesting. It’s called “Science in the Beginning.” It’s structured so that you study science in order of the days of creation. “Day one,” (really for a unit) you study light and energy, day/unit two you study water and air, day three you study the land, the sea, and plants, day four you study the sun, moon, and stars… you get the idea. It seems like a really cool way to study the world around us. The next books are going to start the study of how man discovered science, so they’ll teach the laws and discoveries of science by going in order of history and how they were first discovered and put into use by man. I looked at some previews of the experiments and the lessons, and… wow. I am impressed. So impressed that I sort of wish I could drop what I’m doing and switch to this science! However, I already bought the astronomy course. So my current plan is to finish Science B and then do Apologia Astronomy, as planned. Afterwards, though, I’m going to try Science in the Beginning. By then there should be lots of reviews out and I should be able to get a good idea of whether people are really liking it, etc. If I do get it and really like it, then I can decide whether I want to alternate it with Sonlight or Apologia, depending on which seemed a better fit. One of the advantages I found with alternating between those two is that Sonlight covers a lot of topics lightly, while Apologia covers a single topic in depth. So I figured we’d get the best of both worlds. The new science seems a little bit more like Apologia in that it covers a single topic in depth, so it may do better alternated with Sonlight. But we’ll see. I’ve heard that Apologia can be a bit dry and difficult, so if I find it too much so, it’s possible I might end up trying Science in the Beginning sooner.

There’s so much to work on right now, even though it’s not really the “beginning” of our school year. I’m trying to cover books with Reddi-Roll, coordinate Bible readings with history readings for Core B, plan out copywork passages for language arts, put contact paper on preschool papers for Charlotte (and print and cut out preschool papers, for that matter), etc. It’s a bit crazy right now. What are you up to? Just starting back at school for the year, or plugging along a year-round schedule?