Summer (home)school

Due to several factors, I have decided that we would start Miss Ariel’s 1st grade year in the summer.  Considering that I am having a baby in October, and Music Man’s work will be in chaos during the fall, it only made sense to get ahead start on things.

So last week was our first week back!  Since there wasn’t much fan fare for kindergarten, I wanted to make a greater effort in starting fun start up traditions.  I lovingly displayed new school materials for the fresh student.

1st day of 1st grade school supplies

She was really excited to open up her new things.  I also got everybody donuts to help celebrate our new year.  I mean what’s not to love about art supplies and donuts?!

Last year, at the advice from veteran and newbie homeschooling mommas alike, we did My Father’s World kindergarten curriculum.  Now there is nothing wrong with this sweet curriculum, but after trudging along I realized that neither my kindergartener nor I were thrilled with it.  It was just too basic and the readers left us both going “that’s it?”.  I do think its a good choice for a PRE-K, just not kindergarten level.  I also didn’t do my due dilligence and hardly went to the library to grab the suggested readers to accompany the weeks lesson.  I had every intention, I really did!  I made a list with our local library of all the extra readers I would need so that when the time came I would simply press ‘select’ and it would be ready for pick up in a few days.  Or so I thought.  I don’t know if you understand what its like taking 4 small children anywhere, but let me tell you, you are not missing out.  I wound up hating anytime I would have to take all 4 of them to the library, so of course that meant that I finally stopped doing it.  Yup, not exactly parent of the year, let alone homeschooling parent, but I just couldn’t do it.  Now you might ask, ‘well why didn’t you just go pick it up yourself?’ and my response would be, I did.  However, our local library took forever getting in the books that I needed that I wound up being weeks behind when I would finally receive the books I requested.  Eventually I gave up and my enthusiasm weaned.  I guess I wasn’t cut out to be a library toting homeschooling momma.

I did however learn an important lesson.

Stick with my gut.

I wanted to try Sonlight curriculum in the first place, but listened to too many people who thought of many reasons why I shouldn’t try it.  Even the Sonlight staff has reasons that this is not a great choice for many.  So I listened to them instead of my own gut and perhaps even the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  After we competed the year with My Father’s World (sort of), I decided that it was high time to try what I really wanted.  So this year we are doing Sonlight Core A, along with Math U See PrimerGetty-Dubay Italic Handwriting and adding Express Readers for added fun and phonics.

Sonlight 2015 catelog

After carefully figuring out what kind of student I have and what kind of teacher I am (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), I was even more convinced to try Sonlight.  My daughter was rarely enthusiastic to ‘do school’, but she always loved snuggling on the couch and have me read to her.  These were also my favorite times with her and the boys, who would often want to sit along side us for a listen.  I’m also an actor by trade, so reading was highly enjoyable to me, in fact I would often view it as rehearsing my lines!  So this literature based curriculum seemed right up our alley.

Now this is only our first week, and it is much more intense than what we were doing last year, but so far, I’m already appreciating the work, and more importantly so is my daughter!  We are already ahead on our readers and poems simply because she wants to.  What a difference!

So far we are liking what we are doing and that is a relief to me!


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