Monday, March 11, 2013

Curriculum Changes

This is our scheduled week off, so the kids have been relaxing while I've been trying to get things ready for the changes we'll be making in our school next week.

We've been Sonlight users since Caleb was in Preschool.  Last year, I was worried about the logistics of using Sonlight with 6 kids.  I knew I would have trouble doing 3 or 4 cores.  I also heard that Sonlight wasn't strenuous enough for High School and I didn't want to short change my kids.  So, I made the decision to leave Sonlight.

Instead, we read our own literature selections and used Story of the World for History.  Although we enjoyed our read alouds over the first half of the year, finding some new favorites that we wouldn't have probably read with Sonlight (The Princess and the Goblin, for one), we haven't really gotten into Story of the World that much.  I've also come to the conclusion that a super strenuous education isn't a good fit for my kids.  A few weeks ago (as we were making math changes) I asked the boys if they missed Sonlight at all.  They both said yes.

I started looking back at Sonlight's Cores and decided that we could make Core F work for all 4 kids.   Jada is below the recommended age, but I will just adjust her assignments accordingly.  So, I made plans to switch back next year.  Aaron and I were talking and decided to just go ahead and start now.  We often would get behind a week or two on cores, so starting early will allow for catch up weeks and rabbit trails.

I'm really excited to start next week.  Core F is a little different than the other cores, studying cultures instead of chronological history.  I'm really looking forward to learning more about an area of the world that I know very little about.

We've also changed math programs.  All of the kids have switched to Teaching Textbooks over the last several weeks.  They're all liking it.  Rachel has even done math on Saturdays!   My kids have never like Horizons and, frankly, I was tired of the daily fights.  Teaching Textbooks also frees me up to work on other subjects (and with Sarah and Alex) while they do their math.  Before, between the four of them, Math was taking pretty much the whole morning.

So, those are the changes we are making here.  Hopefully the rest of our school year goes smoothly and we enjoy our studies!

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