My husband and I are embarking on a new adventure– homeschooling our two children! Beginning next year, I will be staying-at-home to teach my (soon-to-be) second grader and fourth grader. This has been the culmination of years of discussion and months of planning.
The first decision you make when deciding to homeschool is what curriculum to use. There is one curriculum that I have felt drawn to for a few years now. That wasn’t a mistype– literally years, and literally before we ever decided to homeschool. That curriculum is Sonlight. For those of you not familiar with Sonlight, it is a literature-based curriculum that teaches with “living book” instead of textbooks. That means that my children will learn by reading a ton of quality non-fiction and fiction works. I personally think learning in this way sounds WAY more interesting than reading a dry textbook, so I’m eager to see how it goes. Their “core,” which consists of History/Bible/Literature, will cover World History this year. It is Sonlight’s B+C package. We just got the core in the mail this week, and there were 63 books between the two kids! My inner book dragon screeched.
When the years of discussion ended and the months of planning began, I was surprised to find that I didn’t want to order the complete grade level package that Sonlight offers and call it a day. I loved that Sonlight allows me to teach the same History and Bible lessons to both children. Sonlight calls this a “couch subject,” which is one you can do together on the couch. Their readers are individualized to their reading level, so my daughter will be doing 4th grade readers and my son 2nd grade readers. I also purchased my math curriculum program from Sonlight, which is Horizons Math. However, I wasn’t thrilled with the Science and Language Arts offerings for their ages, so I decided to go with other programs for those two subjects. Here is what I decided to use:
- History/Bible Language: Sonlight HBL B+C: Intro to World History (Condensed into one year)
- Math: Horizons (Math 4 for my Daughter and Math 2 for my son)
- Science: Elemental Science– Earth Science for the Grammar Stage. This can be used with both children and is very hands-on.
- Language Arts: BJU Press English/Grammar (Taught separately at 4th and 2nd grade levels)
- Spelling: All About Spelling. My daughter has issues with spelling, so we started Book 1 earlier this year to try to help her out. AAS is a phonics-based program, and her problems result from her school choosing not to teach phonics when she was in first grade. The plan is to finish Book 1 over the summer and hopefully move on to Book 2 by the time school starts. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll just move quickly through Book 1. This program is meant to be start from the beginning regardless of a child’s grade level, so that’s what I’m going to do since my 4th grader again struggles in spelling.
- Handwriting: Horizons Penmanship 2 and 4.
- Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 3000 Book 2. Sonlight includes vocabulary in their lessons, so I may drop this.
- Electives: My kids will work through Abel’s Music Theory I prior to enrolling in music lessons. My daughter wants to play guitar, and we’re still negotiating with my son.
I’m sure I will be writing about all of these choices and programs more as we continue. Again, my opinions and recommendations are that of a first-year homeschooler. I am by no means an expert in homeschooling! I am willing to be honest about my opinion, though. Not every day will be sunshine and rainbows.
Due to the sheer amount of books we are reading AND my desire to read the books my daughter is supposed to read independently, my parent/child book notes are going to coincide with the Sonlight B+C Grade 4 Readers. Click on the “Parent’/Child Book Notes” tab to follow along with us this summer and fall!