Sunday, June 7, 2015


 Homeschool. Something I am so passionate about and love so much. But along with that passion and love comes confusion. There are so many wonderful resources and curricula it's difficult to choose what's right for our family. I have been researching for years in order to choose what we would like to do. After using the Montessori method for a year, I decided it wasn't for us. As much as I love learning through play and all the other wonderful aspects of Montessori, it was just SO much preparation, planning and mess that I couldn't keep up with it all. I wasn't enjoying our school time so it was time to move on. Thankfully we found Charlotte Mason. Lily and I both enjoy this literature based method. Every day Lily brings her school books to me and BEGS me to read. She just wants to keep going and going. I love her love for learning. Instead of doing worksheets and sitting focusing on "learning" all day we put a large focus on playing and developing. We always follow Lily's cues and know when it is time to move on.  The most important subjects for this age are:

  • Bible 
  • Nature Study
  • Habit Training
  • Read alouds

What we have done in the past/currently-
2 Years- A full (school) year of Montessori.
2 Years 9 months through 3 Years 9 months- P3/4 twice through.
3 years 9 months- My own Curriculum focusing on Bible, Character Qualities, Nature study, Read alouds and Reading Readiness
4 years- Yet to be determined

I love, Love LOVE Sonlight. The read alouds included are wonderful! It is literature based/Charlotte Mason and has a focus on bible study. Every week we work on scripture memorization, every day we read two bible stories from our bible story book, many read alouds and do an activity with each story. The activities are usually "learning through play" and include everything from cooking a dish to go along with the story to counting and classifying characters. We also focus on one character quality each week and do many different activities to understand what they mean. Nature study and nature journaling are also a very important part of our week.

So now my dilemma. There are SO many wonderful curricula that I would love to use.

Before Five in a Row (core)
Sonlight (core)
Ambleside Online (core)
Simply Charlotte Mason (handicrafts, life skills and habit training)
Life of Fred (math)
Considering God's Creation (nature study)
Handwriting Without Tears (penmanship)
Petra Lingua (foreign language)
Ivy Kids (supplemental "fun" boxes)

For awhile I struggled to decide between SL, BFIAR, and AO for our core. Since then I have given up on BFIAR because of the lack of read alouds. So here are my two options:

First Option for a total of $405:
USED SL P4/5- Core
SCM- Handcrafts, life skills, habit training
LOF apples- Math
CGC- Nature study
HWT- Penmanship
Library resources- Foreign Language

Second Option for a total of $250:
AO Y0- Core
SCM- Handicrafts, life skills, habit training
LOF apples- Math
CGC- Nature study
HWT- Penmanship
PL- Foreign Language
Ivy Kids for supplements for additional $15 a month

Obviously the second option is more appealing because of the wonderful price and flexibility with what we can do. But I am hung up on SL. I love how everything is laid out for you each day with very little planning. I love how the books show up at your door and the read alouds are so enjoyable. I love how Lily loves it. AO would be enjoyable too but there is a lot more planning and searching/buying books. I'm just so torn between the two!

Anyone use both and have a strong opinion either way?

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