Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coming out of the Closet: Box Day

I'm just going to come out and say it:

I have purchased some homeschool curriculum. 

There, now I'm out of the closet. 

I know this might surprise some of you. 
I don't have long hair or denim jumpers, but I think other homeschool moms who do will be totally understanding of the fact that my hair gets really stringy and gross when I try to grow it out. 
And we all know that denim just doesn't suit me. 

Some of you might recall that I've hemmed and hawed over this decision before. 
And then after hemming and hawing, I did some more hemming and hawing. 
Then I sent my daughter off to public school kindergarten.

And it's been great. She's loved it. 

But then I started hemming and hawing again.

As I may have mentioned a time or ten, my dearly beloved will not be home for most of the next school year.  Apparently his mad war-fighting capabilities are more useful elsewhere.

This leaves me and my little lovelies alone in small-town America, chained to the school schedule. 

Or does it??
There is an alternative... 

And so I began my research.
(In the interest of full disclosure, there is nothing that I research quite as in depth as our Disney vacations.)

I looked around at all of the websites for curriculum. My criteria was that it be a Christian-based program and that Alex's schooling not consist of a bunch of worksheets.

Well, I found what I was looking for in Sonlight curriculum.

To be honest, I was hoping I wouldn't like Sonlight. I'd heard that they were more expensive than some other programs. And you guys know I have a tendency to be...cheap.

But I couldn't help it.
I loved their concept of learning through great literature.
And there is a complete instructor's guide that has the entire school year scheduled out, along with everything I need to teach her. I don't have to plan anything. I don't have to come up with comprehension questions, I don't have to look for the answers. It's all right there, in a huge binder, ready to start each day.
Since I'm trying this as a temporarily-single parent, that alone is worth the extra cost.

Yesterday our box arrived.

Book after book was pulled out and exclaimed over.

We'll be studying world history with these bright and colorful books that are full of pictures.

There are lots of readers for Alex to make her way through.

And then there are oodles of read-alouds-- books that I will read to her. I think a little girl who is missing her daddy might enjoy a lot of time cuddling on the couch reading with mommy.

Or maybe I'm wrong and all she'll want to do is play the Wii.
The verdict's still out.

My plan is to get started with the basic "core" during the summer. That way, if I I feel like it's just not for us, I can still put Alex in school in the fall.
And Sonlight has an awesome return policy.

(Pat the Bunny, are you doing okay? I waited to break the news until you had a new grandchild to hold. That way if you're scared that I'm ruining one, you'll have another as backup.)

If we like it, then I'll add math and maybe science for the fall.
And I'll pull this out of the closet.

Happy Wednesday, interpeeps.


Grandma said...

Pat the Bunny sees no problem with this if a few procedures are followed: first and foremost, the majority of the time in which Josh is gone will be spent in the state of Michigan in Mimi and Pepaw's area and at my house. The rest of which I will speak with you about later. And don't even think that she won't read thru those books in about 3 days. She is a genius you know. But I have easy access to successor books.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for this decision. I really wish I had pushed harder for homeschooling. I am a teacher, and I see how much time is wasted in school and how teachers stray from the standards they are supposed to teach. What a wonderful experience you are about to embark on!!

Dana said...

I don't have on denim jumpers either, but Stella has cloth diapers on her bum right now...we are both still cool!

Luke said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Erin! Love the photos and you crack me up [smile].


The Sunshine Crew said...

Wat an awesome review! Am following your blog and hope that you will follow mine!
Colleen (Sunrise Learning Lab blog and F5th on Twitter)

Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing your story! You have a way with writing too! I am hem hawing myself. I had thought about trying it out this summer and everyone told me my kids will protest (1st gr and 2nd gr) and make it more difficult than what it should be since they "know" they are on summer vacation. I am still looking into curriculums and still hem hawing. I have a curriculum I really want to use for history that sonlight doesn't have. I'm anxious to hear how it goes and if you have any useful info that might be beneficial for another hem hawer, would you send it to me at hulseyfam@gmail.com Thanks!

April said...

At the end of my oldest daughter's first grade year I had had enough. Hubby and I decided to give home schooling 6 months and see what we thought. That was 6 years ago and we are still going strong! Hope you love it as much as we do!

Michael Ann said...

Prepare for an exciting adventure! We are also a military family, and my amazing man is deployed right now. He's cheering us on as always, and he's cheering extra loudly right now because our daughter will graduate from high school next week after 12 fabulous years of homeschooling with Sonlight! You're going to love it!

David & Mary Ann said...

I happened upon this post... This will be our 2nd full year of homeschooling. I have a to be 4th grader, a (to be) 4yr old and 2yr old. We have tried a variety of things with our oldest. I was drawn to Sonlight from day one just couldn't part with the $$! Finally this year my hubby said just get it. We just recieved Core D and Core 3/4 in the mail! My kids are super excited and we will probably jump in with both feet this summer as we have decided year round works best for us! Good luck!

Shannon said...

Good review. Love the humor too. I just ordered ours yesterday after a year of the same debating. Just kept coming back to Sonlight.

Yara said...

I'm starting the same core (for 2 girls) this summer, too! I think I had run across Sonlight before, and the price made me run away. Then I actually SAW the difference (plus I fired a public charter school) and realized Sonlight is more than worth the price!

Jamin said...

We have used Sonlight for 9 years with our oldest and now are re-using it with our 2 littles. You will LOVE it! Couch time ROCKS!

Rose Starr said...

Hey there, total stranger here who came across your blog via the Sonlight blog :)

We are in week 32 of our first year with Sonlight (not our first yr home educating though). I'm doing the same core that you just received with my 7 & 8 year old son and daughter and we are LOVING it!!! The books are so fun, each one seeming to get better than the last :)

I just wanted to encourage you to take one day at a time, don't let the instructor's guide use you, you use it! I have four kids and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I don't have to spend time planning ahead :)

Heidi Jo said...

we just finished the Core you are about to start and it ROCKED. Next year we are doing Core C, H and 100. I lurv me some Sonlight! btw I am a barefoot in the sand, island kinda homeschooler ;-)

The Houston Family said...

At this time I am researching my Disney World vacation and sonlight and education in general. I taught in the public schools for 9 years. My baby starts K in the fall. Just today I looked over the kinder links for her school and realized she has already mastered most of their curriculum. My sonlight and homeschool research has just kicked up a notch. Good luck and maybe I will run into you at "the happiest place on earth".

LannaM said...

I have an off-the-wall suggestion... Is your husband already deployed?
If not, I'd look into having him read a few of the books aloud and into a tape recorder (or computer to turn into MP3, I have no idea anymore) so you can surprise the kids with the school stories in daddy's voice while he's gone, and he can still be part of school to some degree. :)

Taylor said...

Love it! Now I want to order Sonlight . . . :)

CheleLew said...

This was the first Core that we did. My boys still love to look at the Usborne World History book. We found at a library used book sale a follow up book to Detectives in Togas. Here's the link to Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Roman-Ransom-Henry-Winterfeld/dp/0152162682/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

Have fun home educating your kiddos. I also resisted Sonlight for a few years while we struggled with a well known unit study curriculum. I love that Sonlight has done the planning and gathering of the books for me.

Missy said...

You are going to love this core. It brings back so many sweet memories for my and my daughter. She is finishing Core 6 today and is already asking when her next box day is. Pretty good for an almost 14 year old.

And don't forget to follow Pat the Bunny's instructions. That is the beauty of your choice, you can take that trip.

Proverbs 31 Wannabe said...

Sounds like a great plan! Great idea to try things out this summer! The books look great.

Erin said...

Ummmm, I don't remember getting a consultation call? I looked at Sonlight and instead went with My Father's World. Same style based curriculum. But, we also use A Beka for phonics. So they get their worksheets and their hands on/reading time. Marina did the K5 A Beka and joined the Grade 2 MFW Science & History. She reads just as many chapter books as Malachi now. Make sure you have a worksheet or a puzzle book or a coloring book for Derek, they younger ones don't like to be left out of anything!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

this post comes as close as anything ever has to making me want to homeschool. The only problem is that my kids are now at an age where their books would be much too hard for me. :)

Suz said...

I have to say I am Coming out of the Closet by being a blog stalker! My friend Megan (Me & Mister Wright) showed me your blog and you are just hilarious! We are the ones that will be moving to NC this year- my husband just got the F-15E out of UPT. I might need some help on finding a good place to live! Looking forward to getting out of Oklahoma! Let me know if you have any advice :)

Anonymous said...

That's so exciting for you! My husband is in the military, too, and we've just started our own homeschool adventure with Sonlight (my daughter will be 4 1/2 and starting P4/5 in August, we just finished P3/4 this spring).

Christina said...

That's great! My sister-in-law just mentioned that program to me, and I've heard really good things about it from others, too.
You'll be a great homeschool mom!

Heather and Scott said...

Holy guacamole you got a lot of comments -- so great that you have so many supporters out there. :) And I agree with your friend who said to make sure you have things for Derek, I was a slow learner on that one for K. Love ya.

Elinette said...

Those are some great pictures. Hi, I'm Elinette and I will also be doing Core B this fall with my boys ages 6 & 8.

Cathy said...

This was a great post! I love it and I am a new fan.