Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why I Homeschool With Sonlight

Okay, I'll confess... before I had children I honestly thought I would never homeschool. After all, I had survived public school just fine, and as long as I was involved in my children's education I was sure everything would be just fine. The year my oldest child turned 4, a friend who also only had preschoolers invited me to attend a homeschool curriculum fair with her. She did intend to homeschool, and I was interested to see what was out there for preschool... because I knew I wouldn't be sending my child to school till kindergarten.

Wow! What an overwhelming and eye-opening experience that was! I took the tote box they gave us at the door and proceeded around the hall, gathering as much information as I could. And that's exactly what I recommend to folks who are considering homeschooling for the first time. Attend a conference. Explore your options.

Up until that time I only knew about a typical textbook curriculum, or a not-so-typical but still very cut-and-dried workbook approach. While I have always loved to teach, I wasn't sure that either of those approaches really appealed to me. I would really just rather read to my children. Imagine my delight when I discovered the literature-based approach to home education! I have always been a voracious reader... and I love to read aloud. To get to do that, and call it school? Umm... yeah, I b'lieve maybe I will homeschool!

No, I really didn't make up my mind that day, but it sure gave me food for thought. What really clinched the decision for us was an opportunity to move out-of-state the next year, just before our daughter was due to start kindergarten. We moved to Idaho after school was out for the summer, so I didn't have a chance to check out the public school. My husband and I decided that I would try homeschooling for the kindergarten year and see how it went. After poring over dozens of catalogs, I finally settled on Sonlight Curriculum for that first year. By the end of the year, I couldn't imagine not continuing with Sonlight for the next year. So we did... and here we are 11 years later.

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