Our Homeschooling Journey

>> Friday, July 9, 2010

Update - 08-02-11  When I wrote this we were using Sonlight for our homeschooling.  I still love Sonlight and am grateful for the wonderful library we've built up, but this year  we decided it was time for a change.  We are now using My Father's World, and so far we love it!  I'll leave the rest of this post up, until I have a chance to do a full edit and give more of my reasons for switching.  But for now, I'll just leave this edit here.

When I was pregnant with our first daughter, my husband and I knew we wanted to home school. We had both gone through the public school system and turned out alright (smile), but we knew we wanted our children to have the opportunity to learn what we believed (and still do!) was most important, our faith in Jesus.

In the beginning, I knew next to nothing about homeschooling. I had a few friends who had been home schooled, and from what I could tell it seemed like a pretty simple concept. When our daughter started reading at a very early age, we decided we'd go ahead and start preschool early. When she was three I did some research, and decided it should be fairly easy to come up with my own curriculum. I know for some families this works wonderfully. However, ours wasn't one of them. :-)

I also tried a couple of curricula that utilize the library for your main resources. After a few weeks of this, I decided that wasn't going to work for us, either. I needed something simpler, something all laid out for me.

I had heard of Sonlight, but by this point I'd forgotten about it. My Mom-in-law somehow knew of Sonlight, and suggested we take a look at it, again. (Thanks Mom! :-) When our daughter was 5 we ordered the Kindergarten Core, and have not looked back. It's worked wonderfully for us!

The main thing I like about Sonlight is the fact that everything is planned out for me. And you also order all the books, so there's no running to the library only to find out the book you need is unavailable. It is a literature based program, which means lots of reading for my girls. Being as how they both love to read, this works well for us. I don't think it would work quite as well for a child who doesn't enjoy reading.

This year we're starting 4th Grade for my oldest (American History part 2), and First Grade for my youngest (World History part 1). My first grader is very excited to start school! My 4th grader wouldn't mind waiting a few more months. :-) In any case, we plan to start next month. It's not quite soon enough for my youngest daughter, and a bit too soon for my oldest. But it's just about right for me. We always seem to get behind during the school year (last year our water heater broke and flooded our bedroom, so all of our bedroom furniture was in the dining room [aka the school room] and living room for a couple of weeks; later we moved, so there were another couple of weeks without school...), so this year I'm hoping that by starting early we can prevent falling behind too badly. But we'll see how it goes. I guess that's part of the beauty of home schooling... it's so easy to make school revolve around your life, rather than life revolving around school.

One of my goals for this blog is to keep a running list of our favorite books we read in school this year. I don't know if I'll succeed at being faithful to that, but I'll try. Hopefully that can also help me to keep motivated to keep Grandparents updated in what we're studying throughout the year. It's one of my goals, anyway. Usually my goals last a few weeks (or a few days! :-), so we'll see how this one goes.

And that, in a nutshell, is our homeschooling journey! If anyone who reads this has any questions about homeschooling in general, or Sonlight in particular, feel free to ask me any questions!


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