Sunday, July 17, 2011

The way you wish you'd been taught!

Curriculum shopping is probably the most exciting and difficult area to prepare for when starting to homeschool.  Like my indecisiveness to home school, I went back and forth on what curriculum to buy.  Mind you, this is only kindergarten...but by the way I researched curriculum you would think I was preparing to teach Sofia college level astrophysics!

My goals for choosing my first lot of curriculum were that:

  1. The material was planned out for me day by day.  I need order.  I do not do well with making and sticking to my own schedule. 
  2. I wanted a curriculum that I could use again with the younger girls.
  3. We are a family that loves to read so I wanted to find something that would further that love and allow us all to enjoy learning together.
With these goals in mind my decision was to use Sonlight

Sonlight is a Christian curriculum that is literature based. Their slogan is "the way you wish you'd been taught" and the more I go over this curriculum, the more I think they are right!  The books we have received for Kindergarten (Core A) look amazing.  The two older girls have already gone through lots of them and have been asking me to read from the poetry books and chapter books!  I figure this can only be a good thing ;)

There are many Catholic curriculum choices out there but, to me, they looked dry and dull.  I would love to incorporate more of the Catholic faith into our home school (and I will), but I didn't care for the curriculum that is currently available.  I can modify what I use/don't use with Sonlight to make it into a Catholic curriculum as needed.

With Sonlight we went with Core A with Level 1 readers.  Upon first glance at the books, the Level 1 readers look somewhat easy for Sofia, but I think some review will be good and since she is enjoying reading, I don't want to frustrate her.

We have also purchased their Science A program but have decided to start that after we finish Core A.

For the rest of the subjects we have chosen:
  • Math:  Horizons K
  • Phonics: Explode the Code Book 2
  • Spelling: All about Spelling
  • Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears
  • Physical Activity: Dance class and/or Gymnastics.  Hopefully we can get a membership to the Y and incorporate some swimming in the winter months!
  • Music: Homeschool music class that she has been attending for a few months already
  • Religion: Sunday School Kindergarten at church.
Written down, this sounds like a lot! Lets see how much of this I keep the same and how much  I'll change in the following months!


  1. Looks fantastic!! I think, if we hadn't found WinterPromise, we'd be using Sonlight too. Jane has suggestions for incorporating Catholic curriculum in :D
    I'm so excited that they can't wait, too!!

  2. I loved winters promise but with all the building of hideaways I knew I would get overwhelmed...perhaps when Sof is older! I like the look of the animal and their world unit...definitely something we would enjoy

  3. I am an exlectic teacher. I don't have a cirriculum. I get a little here and a little there. I think the thing I have found that I love most is a Thomas Jefferson Education. I have read some of it and been very inspired by it. The best changes in our homeschooling have come from it. It is based on reading classics, so I think you may really like it. Here is the link if you want to check it out. :)
    Best of luck...
    Corine :D

  4. Hi Nicole, It's amazing what you are doing with your kids - teaching them so much in a safe and loving environment. I don't think I would have the energy for that but I am living vicariously. I stay home one weekday per week with the kids and am always looking for new resources. You've got me intrigued about this songlight set. The only hitch is that we are not religious and we both feel it is important to have secular education for the kids when they are home (as they will be going to a small french catholic school as it is the best choice overall otherwise). I understand that there is a religion section what about the other subject material? are there religious references in those as well? Do you know of any good secular material by any chance? Thank you. Your children are very sweet and clearly much loved.

  5. Hi Conchita!
    Sonlight Is a Christian program,however, you are able to remove some books from it! It comes with a Bible reading daily which you can just omit. Occasionally there are some stories about missionaries (which we omit and swap with some Catholic material)....but the other books are AMAZING! My girls love to be read aloud to and these books are perfect for them. They literally beg me to "do Sonlight" and because the books are so good ( you won't find junk literature here) I love doing it with them.

    Another homeschool resource you may like us "Five in a Row". Good choice of books and my friends enjoy it. It was a close choice between Sonlight and FIAR!