Choosing curriculum can be one of the most daunting parts of making the decision to homeschool, mostly because there is so much curriculum to choose from! One way to start sifting through the overwhelming number of choices is to simply ask other homeschooling families what curriculum they use and why it works for them. If you were to ask me those questions, here is what I would tell you….
Core (Bible, History/Geography, Read-Alouds)
Sonlight Curriculum–We are now in our third year of using a Sonlight Core Package, and we love it more every year. Rich with high-quality literature and complete with easy-to-use Instructor’s Guides, Sonlight is the way this book-loving family will go every time. Visit Sonlight’s “Why Choose Sonlight” page to explore why it may or may not be the right fit for you.
Sonlight Curriculum–Sonlight’s Language Arts program employs Dr. Ruth Beechick’s idea that students best learn to write well as they listen to good writing, look at good writing, copy good writing… and then practice good writing. I believe that this program’s daily writing assignments are not only teaching my children good writing but also aiding in the development and expression of their creativity.
All About Spelling–I started using this curriculum for Amariah just this year in order to cater to what I perceived as her need for a more multi-sensory approach to learning. The “hands on” learning tools, the built-in review system, and the mastery-based approach have been key in giving her the ability to both grasp and retain the information being presented and to do so with confidence before moving on to something new.
D’Nealian Handwriting–I chose to teach my children the D’Nealian style of handwriting (1) because it is the method I learned in school and (2) because I believe its manuscript style produces a more natural transition into cursive writing.
Math-U-See–This is not the math curriculum I started out with, but I believe it is the one I will stick with. What I like about Math-U-See is that it makes an abstract concept into a visible problem–into math you can “see” and therefore understand. The mastery-based approach allows (and dictates) that we move at the student’s pace, ensuring that when we do move on we are building on a foundation of solid understanding.
Sonlight Curriculum–Sonlight’s Science curriculum has worked well for us for much the same reasons their Core programs have worked for us. The kids adore the books and the hands-on experiments, and I love the Instructor’s Guides and the supply kits (which include all the small and unusual items needed for experiments). The Discover & Do DVDs are a definite bonus, too!
So what about those subjects that are hard to teach at home? Look for my next post on My Homeschool: Why I Decided to Join a Co-op!