When you fall in love for the first time, that first love is always going to be with you. You may date around a little but you will always remember that first love.
That’s how it is with, you, Sonlight Curriculum. I loved you but I left you for a year. I’m sorry. Will you take me back? I love you. Really.
My teaching philosophy may raise some eyebrows. But I am a crazy American mom with all kinds of liberties. I have the freedom to raise my Homeschool Freak flag and be all kinds of idealistic.
I have the freedom to believe that kindergarteners should be digging holes in the garden, collecting bugs, singing loud, jaunty songs and reading wonderful books on mom’s lap.
I am a late education proponent to the grave. But with great power comes great responsibility. (Spiderman said that so it must be true.) I have power over my children’s education. Sure, I have to report what I am doing to the local school system, but I have some wriggle room. I do have occasional panic attacks when I think about the fact that I could be permanently damaging my children’s brains and their chances to become the next president. Then I breath into a bag and remember that I alone taught my two oldest sons to read. That is a pretty huge deal. When I was a newbie mom, I was terrified at the prospect of potty training my toddler. That seemed an insurmountable task. Now he can both pee in the toilet and read an 800 page novel in a week. Check. Guess I am not a complete screw up.
But I digress. What I am saying is this: I am enormously blessed to be able to teach my kids in the way that I feel is best for their development. For me, Sonlight Curriculum, which uses great books to teach in an exploratory, casual way, is the path I have chosen. I had been using Sonlight for several years before becoming pregnant with my fourth son. As I mentioned in my previous post, My Year of A Beka Curriculum: Pros and Cons, I had to use a different curriculum to get me through the time of having a baby and moving into a house. And, as I mentioned in that post, I am so glad I did it. A Beka is top notch for quality and college prep style learning. My kids gained much from it. But now that year is over and I am so happy to return to Sonlight learning. I look forward to the day our books come in the mail like Christmas day only better.
What I adore about Sonlight:
The goal of educating my children is not to teach them their being verbs or calculus. My goal is to raise strong, kind men who love Christ above all else. The academics come as they will. What if I can contribute four decent men to a society who do not value gentlemen? I love that Sonlight puts Christ at the forefront of the education they are offering.
Off the bat we were reading stories about children in cultures which we knew little about and in countries we maybe knew nothing about. The global awareness fostered by the introduction to literature about other places in this beautiful world was eye opening for me and my children. The objective here is to teach kids that this is an awfully big planet we live on. Also, thatthere is so much more to it than what we see inside of our little bubbles. The goal is to pop the bubbles and create open, aware minds with an appreciation for diversity. The books on missionaries and their families have been my favorite and we often talk about lessons we learned from them because they are so applicable to our lives.
It is no secret that I adore children’s literature. Obsessed really. To the point of some day opening a children’s book store. (Just you watch me.) I do not, however, love text books. At all. That is the first hook that lured me into using Sonlight. I began my homeschooling adventures by reading scads of books with the kids. As they got older I wanted to have more of a structure to follow so that I can make sure I am touching on all subjects and giving them a well rounded dose of information. Sonlight structures their teacher’s guide to weave a subject through several books that all hit on the same subject and amplify and compliment each other. The base of the learning is history. Through the use of a timeline to provide historical sight and the use of maps to make things real, and of course wonderful books, history comes alive. We have done world history already and for the next two years we will be doing US history. Being in New England now I am more than stoked about the field trips we will be doing for US history. History nerds unite !!!
They sell various math programs, though we have only done the Horizon Program. It is pretty straight forward and nicely formative. No complaints but I am thinking about trying out Singapore Math because of how tactile it is. I really need to make a decision soon. More on that later, I suppose.
One thing I will do differently is incorporate a more rigorous language program. I noticed that the boys were not getting enough of the grammar training they needed.
If you are interested in Sonlight for your wee little learners click the link on Sonlight Curriculum link on my homepage or in the post. If you mention me by entering my rewards number found in the links you get $5 off your purchase. I also get a rewards toward my purchase for our next school year, just saying. Wink wink. Click here, as well, for rewards!
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Bye all and God bless!