years months and months I have gone back and forth over what we will use for our curriculum next fall. What curriculum, what style suites us best, what will keep Lexie’s fire going, her passion for learning; what will also work for Max so we can reuse some materials, etc.
I have also had to consider what will be easiest to fit into our life, with baby #3 due in September of this year. =)
As you know I have mostly decided on a classical/Charlotte Mason education style for our family because it just fits us (and our love of the outdoors, learning, and books); but I have also been contemplating joining Classical Conversations. There is a community not too far from us that a dear friend is also a part of. I really enjoyed the open house I attended and Lexie did AMAZING sitting in the room with me for the 2 hours we were there. However, I just don’t know if we are ready for it yet.
I love the Charlotte Mason approach to learning. It encompasses everything I believe about education and family uniting. It is Biblically based, and literature rich (so is classical education). It is truly where my passion for learning and educating my children comes full circle.
Charlotte Mason is also what I see in my children. I see Lexie loving books- asking questions about everything we read; wanting to know more and making connections from her books to her world. Max is beginning the same process- he didn’t love reading books at first, but at about 13 months old, he became obsessed with them, just like big sister. When I sit on the floor, he will bring me a book and say, “boo-k,” turn around and plop into my lap. He then proceeds to open the book and I will read. He really likes for me to take his finger and point to everything in the picture and say its name. He loves reading. And that tells me he will also love learning.
I want to keep their fires burning, but I need to do that in a way that will fit our young family’s lifestyle. As a busy mom of soon-to-be 3, there won’t be much time for the intense planning that a combined classical/Charlotte Mason style education can require. So in the fall, (well, really in January probably) I think we will begin with Sonlight’s P4/5 curriculum.
Sonlight P 4/5 includes: read alouds and language arts, science, Bible, rediness skills, beautiful art books and studies, and introduces world cultures. One thing I love about classical education is it begins history at the beginning. So children not only learn there is much, much more to their world than just their immediate surroundings, but they also learn where it all began. Sonlight does an amazing job of choosing wonderful children’s literature and living books to teach every subject, which is where the Charlotte Mason style comes in. Another point I love is that Sonlight is fairly adaptable. You can supplement with as many books as you’d like, whatever math you prefer (although they sell a few great curricula), and you can make it work with just about any style of education, if you really want to. Their book list is what has driven their popularity for years, but as more and more families have used it, the more it has become known for being a wonderful core curriculum. (no, this is not a review and I am not being paid to say any of this!).
We already have a phonics/reading program we will use, which we haven’t started yet. I chose All About Reading because it is so child friendly and hands on, which I think will be fine for Lexie (as I am mostly sure she has a photographic memory) but I know will be great for Mister, because he is my 100% tactile learner. We will use this with our Sonlight, along with Saxon or Horizon’s math, and a few supplemental activities in science.
I have many friends ask me about two things :1) homeschool curricula and options and 2) converting to a healthier, real food lifestyle. #1 is mostly why I am writing this post.
I tell you, I cannot wait to get started next year. We might begin in August, to get a head start, then take off in September-Christmas with the baby coming, holidays, etc., then start back in January. Or we may just begin in january and go through part of the summer… I know me, and I know Lexie, and chances are we will not want to take that much time off. We both crave structure and our learning time together, so I imagine we will get back to it pretty quickly.
One thing I am really looking forward to is not having to plan and print every thing we do in this season of life. Right now, I am using a printable curriculum (that we both love) and we are doing Five in A Row which is Charlotte Mason style, but requires all the planning be done by the parent. So it requires a lot of time on my part. Sonlight has done most of the work for me, meaning I can enjoy my time teaching, learning, and snuggling, all three of my babies this fall.
So, I have to get busy filling orders in my etsy shop, since that is how I plan to pay for this curriculum! haha If you haven’t noticed I haven’t been writing much lately. There is a two fold reason for this. 1) The first trimester of this pregnancy has kicked my butt! Between the extreme nausea and exhaustion, I am just now catching up on household duties! and 2) I have been very busy making baby blankets in my etsy shop. I keep saying I am going to slow down, finish my drapes for the kitchen, and make a few dresses for Lexie, but so far that hasn’t happened. Hopefully soon!