Starting a new curriculum can be a bit intimidating at first but once you realize how the programs work, the order in which they teach and you set up a schedule to follow for your kids (or free-style, what ever your preference be), then it gets a whole lot easier.
My son is in the 7th grade level of his education and we have been homeschooling for roughly a year and a half now. We went through quite a few curriculums the first half year just trying to find something that would work with us. My son has ADHD and various other behavioral issues that we needed to modify learning for him. He possibly has dysgraphia as well, which makes writing a difficult task, so much so, that the school he used to go to said he should just type on a computer instead.
Well this year he is writing paragraphs. They may not be neat but we have come a long way from, “he can only type.” We are working on specific items that my son struggles with, mostly writing and spelling. He is above his grade level at reading, but the dysgraphia hurts his writing skills.
We chose to switch to Sonlight a few months ago because he wanted to try a literature based curriculum. He is old enough to make some decisions about his education and he did a great job with telling me what he wanted. What he wanted was to read… yes you heard that right…less videos and more reading. This actually seems to be working well for us 10 days in so far… I am shocked that he really wanted to move away from the highly popular online education settings that a lot of homeschoolers use now a days.
We previously struggled with his attention span and just feeling like we were missing chunks of materials. Sonlight is a Christian curriculum, but there are others similar that are secular to choose from. I chose a Christian based curriculum because my son is a Christian and was interested in reading the bible. So far we are enjoying the books that were sent with Sonlight…which were a lot!
I am also impressed with the MathUSee books / videos. We are currently on Pre-Algebra for his 7th grade class, which has been easy to explain to him so far. The full curriculum we went with is HERE. It came with a really helpful science kit, so that when we are doing experiments from his science book most items are bought already instead of me having to run to the store every week. The language arts we a little bit lacking, so I also bought a book to help him with his writings and spelling. But that was also something that I could buy on the sonlight website.
The notebook for parents to follow along and give assignments was very helpful. I personally hate planning out the school year and this book tells me what to do on different days, which books to read, and gives me additional information to help me teach my son. My son’s favorite book is the 12,000 years of world history so far. You can find that book HERE.
People ask me if homeschooling takes a long time… yes and no. It depends on your child, the day and the subject. Sometimes we dive in deeper to a subject. Sometimes we flow through and will be done in a few hours. Most days I spend 2-3 hours teaching. My son spends 3-4 hours doing work, and has breaks in between certain subjects. So we start between 8-9 am and take a few breaks, plus our lunch break… we get done by 2-3 pm. So with the hour and half of breaks, we usually get done around 4 hours.
We still follow the 180 days of school that is required by our state and if I have additional subjects I want my son to work on, I add them in. We decided to do spanish this year again, but we got a book on Amazon instead of using any curriculum online. So what curriculum does your child use and why? We all pick for different reasons. I have heard some amazing things about other curriculums, I wish I had the money to buy multiple ones to try them all out.
Other curriculum I have found myself interested in are:
You can also find a ton of free resources by joining facebook groups such as “crossing over to homeschooling” , I have found such support in those groups when I first started my journey with my son. I am going to provide a list soon of all the facebook groups that I find helpful, there are so many resources out there. Keep your eyes open for my next post. I have to get the toddler up! But things are going well with this new curriculum and I am very happy with it!
Sonlight Curriculum – Awarded Best Overall Homeschool Company in 2012 by Old Schoolhouse Magazine <– Before I start, if you are still looking for a curriculum that is literature based for your child, click that link to check out sonlight curriculum. If you use my code –
DH20479937 to receive $5 your first order of $50 or more!
The above image is the curriculum my son is using this year. He is using the Grade 7 – W pack. He is really excited to read some of the books shown, and I am really enjoying how everything is laid out for me, so I don’t have to worry about making my own schedule. I have a teacher’s guide which tells me when to teach things and what pages, obviously we can deviate but it has the required 180 days of school that we must do and it’s a FULL curriculum. Yes this is a faith based curriculum, but there are other sites that sell secular as well. We decided this year to move away from the secular learning and go with sonlight.
I want to keep you all updated on how this goes for us since we have done some online homeschooling in the past AND book…but this one is literature based. I think for my son, this will be better and less distracting. He loves to read and when our “box day” came and he saw all his new books, he was very excited. He struggled with online learning and when I asked him what he wanted for this next year, he said “BOOKS”. The cost of this vs the online homeschooling is pretty similar as well, and I can always resell the curriculum when I am done with it instead.
Why aren’t we doing online public school?
Honestly I don’t like our options. K12.com is not available in my state and the ones that are available don’t seem like they give you enough support and you can’t change your schedule around as much as I would like. I miss having a teacher to go to, but then again I don’t. I didn’t always get the proper amount of support from my son’s previous school and honestly if the teacher was burned out or too new, they just ignored him. I only had 2 really good teachers the 5 1/2 years my son was in public education.
Why not online homeschooling again?
Well my son has ADHD and he complained that the videos were too distracting and that he would prefer to read more. He wanted books to review information easier. The online stuff didn’t allow us to have PHYSICAL text… so bringing his tablet or computer somewhere got annoying. Plus he really is very bad at taking notes, (again ADHD) . But having something physical may help us and our situation.
Why religious and not secular?
Well my son is being raised christian, even if I am not on the same path as him and I feel that this type of structure would benefit him. I personally wouldn’t mind if it was more secular based but I couldn’t find a secular homeschool curriculum with all the things I liked that sonlight offered.
Why am I starting in the middle of July?
My son is bored. So why not?
We are going to ease into this school year, so hopefully it goes smoothly. I am waiting for the back to school sales start so I can get some more notebooks and other fun items. I went early since we will be starting tomorrow, and I only got what I will need for now. The rest can wait until the sales hit.
I don’t really know how the public schools will handle this coming year but I wanted to show you all that homeschooling can be done. And you don’t have to be weird.
There are TONS of curriculums, free, paid and religious/secular to choose from. My 2 year old uses ABC Mouse to learn currently and that is working for her. But once she gets older, we may homeschool her, we aren’t sure yet because her learning situation is different than my son’s.
According to SONLIGHT – the time spent per day doing the curriculum I chose for my child (yes there are multiple options for different ages) is Child: 4 – 6 hrs; Parent: 2 – 3.5 hrs. And honestly I believe that is pretty darn good. I can set a side a few hours a day to make sure my son is educated properly instead of being ignored.
The pubic school system just didn’t work for us. They let my son down. And I was struggling with them daily. I missed work constantly and his grades were going down. Eventually some of his educators and I talked and they even mentioned online school or homeschool as being a better option and when I pulled him from public school the principal and I talked…she eventually told me I was probably doing the right thing. So far…I feel I have not made a mistake by doing this.
So even if you plan to homeschool for a little while due to COVID-19 OR if you choose to do it for the rest of your kid’s education, the choice is up to you. I personally believe that public school does have a place…just not for my son.
I was secretly dreading getting my new hard drive reader today. I have an old hard drive with photos I care about – and when I hooked it up to my new computer (it was in an external hard drive reader) it just wouldn’t work. Nothing…. but it was an old thing so I was hopeful… and ordered a new reader…
Today the UNITEK device I bought came in the mail –
That is what I bought – I also had a mystery hard drive I wanted to view – and since this gives the option to look at that one as well, I got it. It was well worth the money. My hard drive was THANKFULLY not broken, and I am currently backing up all my files. My new computer has a ton of space and I was ready to do this last week but that’s when my computer just wouldn’t recognize my old drive.
I am telling you – It took a lot to not cry. I told myself I would get those files off one way or another. I am working on a project to print all my photos for the last 12 years… well not ALL the photos but at least photos for my kids.
Oh and that other drive? That was my husbands old computer. He and I have a habit of keeping our unlabeled drives in the closet in my office together apparently…
Has it really been that long since I graduated? Yes.. yes it has…
I grew up in various states but I did graduate in New Jersey. I have since moved from NJ but I miss it greatly. I love the people and the ocean. I do hope to live near the ocean again someday. I have had the opportunity to live on both coasts, so I have gotten to experience the differences. Being landlocked right now isn’t too much fun.
I still cannot believe that I am now in my 30s. I don’t FEEL 35 years old but here I am. I am older than my mother was when she had me. I never planned on living in New Mexico, but life likes to throw things at you. And sometimes you have to roll with the punches. I was living in Indiana, with my son’s father when he told me he didn’t ever love me. So I told him I was moving in with family (my mother) who happened to move to New Mexico the year before. And I followed through…
I met my husband a little over 10 years ago after moving here to New Mexico. And honestly he is the only reason I stay here. I don’t mind the weather…but I miss green…. I miss forests… I miss the ocean. I just can’t be land locked forever. My husband knows this too. And eventually we will move closer to a coastal town, just not any time soon, especially with COVID running rampant.
Ugh but still….where did those 17 years go? I swear that 12 years ago wasn’t even that long ago…