Choosing Sonlight

3/09/2012
Sonlight made me fall in love with the idea of homeschooling. I read my first Sonlight catalog from cover to cover when I first considered homeschooling my boys 8 years ago. I was in my last year of Dental Hygiene school (and pregnant with Malachi), but I was inspired. I got out of school early 2 days a week, picked my youngest, Dylan, up from preschool/daycare and taught him the letter sounds using the Explode the Code Primers, had alphabet picnics and read lots of books.


I was only planning on homeschooling Dylan for K (he had been in childcare since he was one and I wanted to be home with him for a year before I sent him to school), but Father had other plans.   I graduated in May, purchased my first Core in June and started homeschooling in July ~ Dylan - K, Nathan - 1st, and Jordan - 4th. We sold our house (after our first year) to pay off all of our debt (including school loans), I stayed home, and I've never looked back.

Sonlight was a wonderful start to our homeschool journey. It gave me a good idea of what a literature based homeschool should look like and how full our days should be. Teaching two Cores was hard, though (I did Core 1 - now Core B - with Nathan and Dylan and Core 1+2 - now B&C - with Jordan), so the next year I combined the boys and we did Core 3+4 (D&E). When we got to Core 5 (F), I didn't think I could continue teaching all the boys with one Core, so I left Sonlight. We did MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures, but with my own schedule. We had a lot of fun, but with our rabbit trail through U.S. Geography, it took us 2 years to get through it. (I started blogging near the end of this adventure.) After that we did 2 years of Creation to the Greeks. Clearly, I can plan and pull together great books (from Sonlight and My Father's World mostly), but I am not nearly scheduled enough to complete the material in a timely manner! I loved the flexibility of being able to linger in Biblical History, but I needed a curriculum that is planned out for me and scheduled in this season of life (with twice as many kids!). 

So, I chose My Father's World, but as I mentioned in my status update, it was only a stepping stone to get me back into a boxed curriculum and I am excited to be coming back to Sonlight.

Here is my tentative plan (since many are asking behind the scenes). . .

I mentioned already that Core H picks up where we will leave off with History for Nathan and Dylan; however, I decided to squeeze Core F in before I do H.

My plan for Dylan and Nathan:
  • Core F - 7th Dylan(for grades 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th)
  • Core G 8th Dylan
  • Core H - 8th Nathan and 9th Dylan (for grades 7th, 8th and 9th)
  • Core 100 - 9th Nathan and 10th Dylan (for grades 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th)
  • Core 300 - 10th Nathan and 11th Dylan (for grades 10th, 11th and 12th)
  • Core 400 - 11th Nathan
  • Core 530 - 12th Nathan & Dylan (for grades 11th and 12th)
My plan for Jordan:
  • Core 100 + Govt. from Core 400 - 11th 
  • Core 300 - 12th 
My boys fit in the recommended grade range for all of my choices. Sonlight is an accelerated program, so I don't mind being in the middle or end of the grade range for my choices.

I am planning to order in April when the new catalog comes out. I'm really excited about the new IG changes. Some of the other changes are not new to me - such as Bible and LA being incorporated in with a Core, because that is how SL was when we left,  but I am excited that all of the study guide supplements will be found with each week now (no flipping to the back!). 

My plan for Mali and Elli is coming up next, along with some learning moments from our first week with Sonlight. 

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