In the course of this homeschool year, I have decided to go to more of a year-round schedule of learning, so we won’t be taking an official break from school for the summer.
We are nearing the end of several parts of our curriculum from this year, though, so I thought this was a great time to sit down and review what worked and what didn’t work so well this year.
At the top there is a link that will take you to a page describing our curriculum choices for this year.
I used Sonlight for our main curriculum. I do love their rich, quality literature. The girls and I read about some thought-provoking subjects and had some excellent conversations during our read-alouds this year.
We also enjoyed the poetry that was included in the Kindergarten core from Sonlight.
I did not keep up with the reading schedule from the P3/4 core for Will as well as I would have liked. Some days he did school along with his sisters and some days he did not. I didn’t push it with him. I’m finding that I am getting a lot more relaxed with things. He is only three, after all.
My biggest disappointment this year, was with Sonlight’s language arts program. I realized that I differ from Sonlight in philosophy and approach of teaching language arts.
During the course of the year, I read Jessie Weiss’ book The Well Trained Mind and I found that the classical approach to teaching makes much more sense to me. That will be reflected in the curriculum choices I’m making for next year.
We did enjoy the bible program that was included in our Sonlight Core K and the children love learning and committing scripture to memory through their AWANA programs at church. Next year, I am looking for a more structured Bible curriculum. Right now, I am leaning towards Telling God’s Story, the new curriculum from Peace Hill Press, but I am open to other suggestions if you have them.
Saxon Math K was probably the best curriculum decision I made for homeschooling this year. I struggled between Saxon and Singapore as I was more familiar with Saxon, but heard many, many good reviews of Singapore. Saxon worked amazingly well for my girls. It provided the daily repetition and practice that they needed and built up their confidence in math. The manipulatives and activities that we did were fun and engaging. I also liked the way that the lessons were set up so that there were only twelve new lessons a month, with the other days set aside for review. I can hardly believe that we only have twelve new lessons left! We will definitely be continuing with this math program.
A Reason for Handwriting K was another winner for this year. EA and MC learned to write all twenty-six letters in upper and lower cases this year. It was fun for them and there was just enough review for them. We actually finished the K level several weeks ago and have already started book A. It worked out perfectly that there were six review lessons at the beginning of this next book. We’re using them for extra review before they move on.
With managing a three year old and an infant I decided to focus on the basics this year, so we did not complete (or really even begin) the Science curriculum from Sonlight. I’m saving it to use next year.
I know I mentioned The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading earlier as a supplement to Sonlight’s language arts, but I have to sing its praises a little more than that! I can truly say that this book is excellent for teaching reading! I started using it with my girls when they were four and we’ve slowly worked our way through. I had to adjust my expectations and realize that I had to let my twin girls work at their own pace. With MC I had to do a lot of review until she was ready to blend sounds, but once she was, her reading has really taken off! They are both reading better than I ever would have imagined them reading at the end of Kindergarten and I credit The Ordinary Parents Guide for this!