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Intro and Questions about Sonlight


Forum: Homeschooling

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  • 1 Post By KMH
  • 1 Post By Frackel

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  #1  
July 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM
KMH KMH is offline
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Hi! I'm a lurker here and decided it is finally time to jump in. I'm Melissa, married to DH for 12 years. Our kids are Claire, who just turned 3 this past week, and George and Abigail, who are 10 months old. I have been considering homeschooling since before we had kids; we are now 99.9% sure we will homeschool.

I know kids Claire's age don't need formal schooling, but I want to try a somewhat structured education plan this Fall for her. She LOVES to learn and I'd like to encourage her as much as I can. I would also like to make sure that I am cut-out for homeschooling I don't want to wait until she is Kindergarten age to find out that I'm a failure; I'd rather hash out any issues now so we're prepared later when something formal is more critical.

That said, has anyone used the Sonlight Pre-K curriculum? Does anyone use Sonlight in general? I don't know anyone IRL who uses it, but I really like what I have seen/read so far. I'm open to any advice/criticism/suggestions you all have for me, and I look forward to getting to know you all!
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  #2  
July 9th, 2013, 10:02 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA, USA
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Hi! You're from my October PR!

I haven't used Sonlight, I looked at it for a while and decided it wasn't for us. The literature-based learning was very attractive to me, but it didn't seem like the books were as advanced as I would like to see, especially as grades went on.

Butter used Sonlight for about 4 years, I believe, and she loved it while she used it, but I believe they switched away from it because they found that while it appeared their children were learning well with it, at least one child was retaining only long enough to answer the questions, and then wasn't remembering after that. Something like that. Hopefully she will come around sometime?

Anyway, after looking at Sonlight, I found amblesideonline.org, which is a free Charlotte Mason style curriculum, which is what we are planning to use. It is literature based, and very rigorous while being very gentle. I'm working on creating a "year 0" for our family (for Rebecca) for the coming school year, because she isn't ready for year 1, but she needs more than just "play and read storybooks" as well. They have a great forum for asking questions and getting information regarding how to implement the curriculum, and I'm loving it there!

There are lots of online (free) preschool curriculums including letteroftheweek.com, hubbards cupboard, and ABCJesusLovesMe. I've used ideas from all of those to create more structure. For Rebecca this year we have been using the Horizons Preschool program. They are bringing out Horizons for Threes this year, and honestly, if it had been available back when Rebecca was tiny we probably would have got it instead of ABeka. We have loved and used our ABeka books WELL though. Elias is doing ABeka when he feels like it. My niece has done the Christian Liberty Preschool books in her three year old year, and will be doing Horizons Preschool this year. Horizons is FUN! there are lots of activities, you can do all of them or just a few, it is totally up to you! We have had a blast with it.

Hope you find the curriculum you are looking for!
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  #3  
July 10th, 2013, 09:21 AM
KMH KMH is offline
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Hi...nice to "see" you again

Thank you so much for your response...based on other reviews I was worried that Sonlight wouldn't be advanced/aggressive enough, and it sounds like you found the same thing. I am also concerned about the price...the base price is already high and then I have to add math and possibly another LA program Sounds like I should keep looking!

We have been doing some of the ABCJesusLovesMe activities this year and those have been fun! I have heard lots of good things about ABeka, so that is definitely on my list. I haven't looked much into Horizons or Ambleside, though, so I'm off to do more research.

Thanks for your help, and I might be back with more questions later. There are so many choices out there (which is a good thing I guess)...it is a strange mix of being overwhelming and empowering to be making these decisions for our family.
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  #4  
July 10th, 2013, 01:24 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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Sorry I have no experience with sonlight, or most package curriculum, we're very secular here.
But I wanted to say welcome

Also, for me, I believe the younger years are more for getting you both prepared. You're bound to find things that work, things that don't, and everything in between. I am very, very much against most structured learned for children until age 6/7(at the earliest). Part of that comes form teaching early childhood education, and part simply from observation and research(as well as my own personal experience but that actually plays a much smaller role in my opinion).

I think for most, structure at that age is more for the parent than it is the child. It's very easy to believe you may not be cut out for it, or to think you might fail. I'm pretty sure everyone goes through the "am I doing the right thing" moments too. So that's perfectly normal. But I think when people are looking for structure they often say "my child needs it", when the reality is, they need it. They think the child needs it, and it may appear so, but it's likely not true at all.

I think between the ages of 1(at the latest) through 5, learning through play is essential. Nearly all children get this too. It's the adults we have to convince, lol.
So, if you're going to go with anything even half structured, I would strongly urge you keep the actual structure and/or sit down materials to bare minimum. A child can learn so much more through natural play-which can be easily guided, than they will through forced learning. I hate to say it that way, forced makes it sound horrible, and it's not horrible. But that's really what it is. Children do learn naturally, very quickly, especially when we don't interfere, lol. We want what is best though, so we do interfere(not a bad thing). We can just easily interfere a little too much and then it no longer becomes natural learning.

Again, not saying it's a bad thing, because it's really not for most kids, they adapt so easily. It's just something that can have consequences for both parent and child and it's often what leads us to believe we're in over our heads when we're really not. We often, when trying to give our children the very best and what we believe they need and deserve, try a little too hard. Then we let our own selves down....not our children
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  #5  
July 10th, 2013, 02:15 PM
Irish_Wristwatch's Avatar Running with Scissors....
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I have nothing to add, i just wanted to say Hi and welcome! its nice to "see" you here
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  #6  
July 11th, 2013, 06:29 AM
KMH KMH is offline
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Hi, Bree! Nice to "see" you again, too

Michelle, the scheduling/structure aspect is definitely all for me, and I probably didn't explain very well what I was hoping to find. I am a planner and an organizer, so I would like to have some kind of outline of what projects to do, books to read, goals to meet, etc. to give me guidance. Since I do not have an education background, I just want to know I'm not missing anything.

I am definitely not going to park my 3 year old at the table and give her worksheets...she loves art projects, experiments, playing games, and being outside, and we will continue doing all of those things. I just want to make sure I'm capitalizing on these opportunities since she is showing an interest in learning!
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  #7  
July 11th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I think it's great to have goals and ideas in mind. You can probably look at a lot of the resources out there and get a good idea of where you want her to be, and when. Then you can plan it out, as it were, for yourself so you know you're meeting the goals you wanted to. All of that you can easily do without ever sitting her down with a worksheet too. That's one of the most awesome things about homeschooling. We can easily meet, and exceed their educational goals without it ever seeming like "school". So much easier when they're little, but still very doable at any age.

It does also help give you that sense of "ok, I'm not missing anything, I'm doing alright here". Because it really can seem so overwhelming. Anyone who has ever homeschooled and told you they've never once felt in over their head, is lying to you. In fact, anyone at all who has ever been a parent, will feel in over their head at some point....probably many points, lol.
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  #8  
July 11th, 2013, 11:25 AM
KMH KMH is offline
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Thanks, Michelle! It is nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels like I'm drowning, and I'm hoping with a little organization/planning it will seem more manageable. I really appreciate your thoughts!
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  #9  
July 22nd, 2013, 12:12 PM
2pinks&ablue's Avatar Chantelle
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I don't have anything to add, just wanted to welcome you! I'm Chantelle, homeschooling Mom of four with my oldest being five
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  #10  
July 22nd, 2013, 12:43 PM
KMH KMH is offline
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Thanks, Chantelle!
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