Thursday, October 29, 2009

SL vs...the ultimate review

After homeschooling for 9 years, I finally get it! My chosen curriculum is Sonlight. And I get that too!!! It is unbelieveable! My husband was right, he always is.

So what took me so long? Well, the extra student I had for 2 years had low comprehension and didn't retain all the reading aloud that you do for SL, so I kept trying to find something that would work for him and my kids.

I had decided to move on over to WinterPromise or My Father's world.

First I checked out WP. I searched the SL forums.

"Lots" of people seemed to find they preferred WP, it was every that SL lacked. The author of the curriculum corresponded w/ me by email and she was wonderfully helpful. In the end, the big thing for me was the high school offerings. And it was really expensive. I am sure there is a cheaper way to do it, but my first year, I was just going to buy what they suggested and it was pricey!

Plus, upon closer inspection, "lots" of people on the forums mixed and matched programs and books from WP and SL, so there really didn't seem to be a mass exodus or anything. Just more of an appreciation of WP.

UPDATE: To clarify, I never purchased WP. I found the author of the curriculum very accessible and very helpful. It just didn't seem to be the right fit for our family.

Then I checked out MFW. I found out they now have high school. Well, one or two levels, w/ more to come. I liked the courses and the fact that they are written to the student. They also include grading guidelines.

The online forum was awesome. It had a real gentle feel to it.

I read and compared. MFW seemed so much cheaper! W/ 4 kids though, it really isn't cheaper than SL, but may be if there is only one child. And although the booklist is optional, many expressed frustration in finding the books and/or racking up huge fines!(that would be me!!!)

Hands on stuff intimidated me(would I have the energy?) and I didn't really want to do it, but I thought it would be good, esp. for the extra student I had.

My mind was made up to do it. It seemed to be just what I needed.

I posted about it here and Sonlight left me a comment wishing me well! I was blown away. My husband said it didn't seem like I wanted to give up on SL.He didn't think I would be able to hunt for books. He really didn't think I would turn them in on time. He didn't think I would have the energy to keep up w/ projects. Why couldn't I just buy all the Sonlight books and use them to the best of my ability? No projects, just reading. No library searches or fines.

He thought the 2 books we had managed to finished were pretty outstanding. Red Sails to Capri was so dry and Ginger Pye had me about bored to tears. I found out on the SL forums that alot of people don't love those titles, but just finish them, it would be worth it. So I did.

W/ Ginger Pye, every day, my little boy would say "Isn't this a good book?!"

When we finished Red Sails to Capri and I went online to check out the real place, I gasped aloud. When I showed it to the kids the next morning, they did too. Every time we hear the word grotto, or Capri, everyone gets excited and says "remember!?" It wasn't a book, it was an experience we shared. It was one of those Sonlight moments.

When my extra student went back to school this year, it was a perfect opportunity to try SL again. The kids are older now. We have built up our reading and listening ears a bit and can listen to 2 or 3 days worth of history reading at a time.So when I get behind because of co-op homework or because I am not feeling good, we can still finish the week.

When I looked at other curriculum choices, one thing they all agreed on, was doing the one God leads you to do. God has led us to SL and He will equip us to do it.

I get it now that SL is a buffet and you don't have to eat all of it. It just took me a LONG time to understand. I don't use Window on the World all the time, for example. But I use the other 2 history books. I love how history is just me reading and us talking about it! What could be easier? I love how the bible reading, the history readings all tie together!

The other day my husband was home for lunch and we were going over the bible memory verse. Our youngest was doing great, her little voice carefully speaking out the long verse. My husband jerks his head around"Is she READING that?!" He couldn't believe she had it memorized. Another one of those Sonlight moments!!!


Luke said...

May your family continue to be blessed with those little moments [smile]. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

I couldn't tell, did you ever try the Winter Promise, or not?

Jennifer Sr. said...

Thank you for asking. I did not use the Winter Promise.