Anybody else have a Facebook page covered in “back to school” photos of your friends’ kids?
Mine is totally overwhelmed with first days, first teachers, new clothes, and fancy backpacks and lunchboxes.
The school bus comes down our street and neighbors are starting to wonder why our eldest isn’t on board.
We’ve been homeschooling from the very beginning, but since our kids are all young no one’s really noticed.
Preschool isn’t required in TN and although sending them isn’t unpopular, keeping them home isn’t entirely unusual.
This year my daughter is five and although kids aren’t required to be registered for school until they are six, Tennessee does require kindergarten be completed before entering first grade.
So the other kids her age at gymnastics, church, and the park are headed to school.
Ready for Kindergarten
Our daughter enjoys our preschool activities, but it’s hard to miss that she’s ready for more.
She knows her letters and sounds, has started reading some words, and can write her name.
She wants to learn cursive and loves listening to books about history far above her age level.
She routinely counts to one hundred and is teaching her brother basic addition.
Since we homeschool and plan to continue doing so, there’s no rush to start her in any formal program, but we also don’t want to hold back materials she finds interesting.
We need a way to challenge her more in the areas where she is ready for growth without sacrificing her time to learn through her own self discoveries.
For this we turn to Sonlight.
Was she ready for this? Were we?’
We decided to go for it and have been so pleased.
Sonlight’s Kindergarten program ensures that we safeguard our time together.
Everyday we read aloud, play outside, and have plenty of “real life” adventures.
We are giving her more to learn and ponder, while protecting her right to plenty of free and unstructured play.
Unstructured play is one of the most important things for her, yet something our public schools struggle to provide.
Sonlight has a huge focus on read alouds, which seamlessly incorporate into our days.
The books are challenging and bring to light ideas and issues from history, religion, and science.
The books stimulate great conversation and encourage questions perfect for this age range.
Adding structured programs in math, science, and language arts are all optional.
We initially decided to pass on these, but our daughter asked (yes, asked) if she could just start.
There was no real reason to say no.
This isn’t a race or a test.
This is her education.
If she starts now and finishes early she can move to the next level or pursue other things that interest her.
If it takes her two years to finish, it takes her two years.
Homeschool is such a great gift for little learners like mine and so is Sonlight.
Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for the Year
I have encountered very few Christians and even fewer Catholics who can claim to have read the whole bible. I love getting my kids off to a good start with age appropriate bible readings everyday. Discussion questions are included in the back of the book. Bible verse set to music enables the kids to quickly and easily memorize scripture.
History and Geography
Developing an awareness of the rest of the world and recognizing the global impact of our decisions has never been more relevant. I love giving my kids a chance to learn about diversity and culture through books. The large markable map gives the kids a chance to recognize and label the places they’ve read about and associate historical events and characters with relevant landmarks. The book of centuries is a huge bonus and helps the kids (and let’s be honest, me too) develop a better sense of how intertwined all of histories’ events truly are. I’m thrilled to have a curriculum that incorporates the lives of characters in the bible with the rest of history.
My kids have been raised reading Sonlight books and love our read aloud time. This year will be no different with many favorites I remember from my own childhood. The discussion questions provided by Sonlight are fabulous aids to spot check my children’s comprehension of the stories and serve as gentle reminders to review some opportune vocabulary.
Reading and Language Arts
My favorite part about the revised Sonlight Language Arts program is that it is simple with just small amounts of desk work to be completed each day. The program moves beyond letter recognition and letter sounds rhymes to word and phonics building.
Sonlight science is a wonderful combination of story books, heavily illustrated concept books, and experiments. The experiments can be completed easily with the included supplies and items commonly found around our house. The DVD brings relief when there just isn’t time or interest in completing every experiment. The pre-recorded experiments are basic without overly flashy graphics or music. I love this about them, it keeps us focused on the science!
***Please note, “Wild Places” is part of the history and geography program, not science as shown here.
Sonlight offers several different math programs. For our family Singapore math seems to be the right mix of straight forward, fast paced problem solving that my daughter enjoys.
Although my daughter has been working on her letters on her own for some time, she and I are are both welcoming the opportunity to work towards consistent hand writing practice. Handwriting Without Tears blends beautifully with Sonlight’s Reading and Language Arts program.
Please note, not all items included in the Sonlight Kindergarten package are pictured.
We are a busy homeschooling family and several items are in use throughout the house.
Visit Sonlight to see a full list!
The image below is perfect for saving to Pinterest for later!