Knowledge is power they say. I agree. I have heard so many people say that they learn more about themselves while homeschooling then potentially what the kids learn. I agree with that too. I have definitely figured out after just 18 months (yes, I’m a quick learner) that there is no one way to homeschool. However, I should have known because there is usually not one right way for a lot of things in life. In the beginning, I used to see an idea, read a blog, or a book, and immediately try to implement that glorious plan into my household only to find it was a disaster for me. All was not a total loss, however, because failure is definitely part of learning and growing. It should not be feared. Do not freeze up because you do not know which way to go. Curriculum can be returned (or sold on Ebay), systems can be changed, furniture can be re arranged, chore charts can be thrown out, and craft projects can be repurposed. You never know what kind of fabulous can be created until you try.
Over the next few days I am going to be posting on what is working and what isn’t. Not just in school land but in our house in general. I have been thinking about how things are going lately. A lot has changed since last school year when God allowed us the blessing of picking our lives up, shaking them all around, and flipping them upside down. I have had plenty of failures and successes. They are both equally important.
I had an original curriculum plan. Some aspects worked some did not. Sonlight has by far the best guarantee and return options that I have seen and Ebay has helped me out too. I have taken advantage of them both. I have made changes and things are working great for us right now.
Most subjects are A beka. I decided last minute, last spring, to go ahead and try Handwriting Without Tears through Sonlight. The program personally caused me tears. Too much for my taste. I returned the $80 program through Sonlight and went back to the $15 writing through A beka. There are no tears around here from either of us now. Yay, because that is that important.
Bible~ I do not personally find the Bible through A Beka to be something that fits for us. We chose to go with POSITIVE ACTION. The worksheets at this level go with Bible stories that I easily look up in her children’s Bible and read to her. We do one a week. I did not order the teacher’s guide for this. I didn’t find it necessary.
I love everything we are doing for Kindergarten right now. The bright colorful worksheets from A Beka make us both happy. I love the content. It works for us. I did not order most of the lesson plan books. I tried one, but sold it on Ebay because I waited too long to return it. At the Kindergarten level it is fairly basic to plan this stuff out and I saved a bunch of money this way. My organizing system this year ROCKS for me…more about that another day.
Taylor and Cameron~
Spelling~ A Beka….traditional type lists and tests. One lesson a week. Inexpensive. LOVE!
Read and Thinks~ A Beka….The kids actually enjoy these. Timed stories with comprehension tests. One a week. Again Inexpensive. LOVE!
Bible~ I returned Sonlight and went with POSITIVE ACTION. Sonlight looked fine, but it was a devotional type book similar to what the kids have and do on their own before bed anyway. We love Positive Action.
Language Arts/History ~ Sonlight. I LOVE these products. I LOVE Sonlight’s customer service. I particularly the writing curriculum. There are very creative ideas that beautifully reinforce otherwise potentially boring writing concepts. I did supplement the grammar exercises with a work book that I found at Lakeshore for just $9.95. As for history, the kids have read a ton of books already this year and are completely enjoying this style of learning. The girls also completely enjoyed that the box the Sonlight products were shipped to us in because it was a craft project. A castle waiting for some crafty touches! I’m totally impressed with the little things.
Science~ I completed 6 weeks of Sonlight Science and it all went back to them last week, for a full refund of $250. While I thought it was o.k. I was not impressed. The biggest issue I had with it, is while although it was “God Based” it was by no means written in a way that ever mentioned God one time in the six weeks we used it. A Beka science is completely God integrated throughout the material and for science, in particular, that is a priority for me. Shiny new A Beka science curriculum is on its way to me as we speak. In the interim, I am doing a 7 week A Beka Health course that I never finished last year that actually is part of their science package. So, it all worked out great.
Math~ Teaching Textbooks. I absolutely could not love this more and even better my kids love it. They literally ask me to do math now. It is a complete online curriculum that even tracks the grades for you. It’s brilliant. It’s a bit pricey, but honestly worth every single penny.
Electives~ Cooking, art, park/library…we aim for one of these each, one time a week.
Extracurricular~ Currently Awana and Football. We LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Field Trips~ see our plan here.
More to come…