This is my homeschooling motto ~
I started out over 12 years ago …
& determined to make it work with 3 different children on 3 separate cores …
And I was stressed and none of us really managed.
As I shared before, I am re-using my Sonlight curriculums. In fact, I am and will re-use most of my bought full packages. I have used and re-used Kindergarten Introduction to World History, Core 1 & 2 World History, Core 3 & 4 American History packages.
Sonlight packages are FANTASTIC! Their readers, read aloud books and core books are wonderfully selected and perfectly scheduled to overlap and cover history through literature. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend the full packages! They are a real investment.
As I re-used my Sonlight cores, I have taken a different approach. May I share how my approach and methods have changed?
I try to place as many children on the same core as possible.
Homeschooling through literature is a journey best shared with the entire family. Especially when you read aloud, all the children end up listening anyway. There are some years where combining all the children on one core is not possible, but try avoid buying different cores for each child – there is simply too much to read and cover with each child.
I am led by my children’s ages and stages.
My children follow their own Maths grade, spelling, handwriting and phonics programs.
I try to ease the younger child along the program, realizing that she may not get the full picture, but she is learning along with the rest and enjoys the hands-on activities and lapbooks we cover. Who knows, I may re-use parts of the package with her again later?
This year I am pushing my middle schooler. I want her to maximize her learning and develop her skills everyday. In the past, she may have cruised a little, but now I focus on her pace and keep her motivated and focused.
Follow the schedule at a pace that suits my family.
My first years of homeschooling, I ticked all the boxes. You see, Sonlight is so organized that all you do is open the schedule and start the work. I was devoted to the schedule. I dreaded “falling behind” and I would strive to do everything every day. It was simply exhausting.
Now, I follow the theme. If a sub-theme or topic catches our attention, we deviate. We take side paths.
I don’t mind how long the program will take. In fact, I usually spread a 12 month schedule over 18 months so that I can stretch it to the max! And why not? It is all paid for, it is all there. I want us all to enjoy it.
I try savour the moments. I try not to rush and cut things short. I am not trying to fill my kids with information. I want to ignite their hearts, fuel their love to learn and develop their characters.
I add new activities to the core where and when I can.
I realize that my kids may be familiar with the books, stories and some facts as I reuse the curriculum, but they were so much younger when they first heard it. Yes, they may know some things, but when we cover the themes this time, they learn new information and understand concepts better.
My children really love to notebook their narrations. They also enjoy some lapbooks. I didn’t even know about these activities when I started homeschooling my children.
Surely, if I re-use any core a 3rd time, I’m sure I would do it differently … I’m growing and learning [smile] and I still discover new techniques and approaches. I prayerfully apply more of Charlotte Mason’s principles as I go along.
(I want to just add quietly that I have also used other out-the box curriculums which I will re-use too. And I’m sure we’ll do these differently when we get there. 🙂 )
Nothing is cast in stone.
I hope that my sharing encourages you as you plan your new year.