By Stacey Ford Prater
Last fall my daughter was enrolled in a private school for children with learning differences. She was entering 2nd grade and the public school system was not meeting her needs (even with IEP’s, etc.). I was so afraid that she would continue to fall behind, so we put her in a school where the first half of 2nd grade cost more than my entire Bachelor’s degree.
After one semester of commuting an hour both ways to school and paying the equivalent of our mortgage per month for her tuition I broke down and decided to give homeschooling a try.
I was scared. I work as a nurse in a busy city hospital and I know that I can handle stress and any life threatening challenges that come my way, but this would be something completely different.
I called a woman from church who has 6 children and has homeschooled them all. These kids are funny, caring, socially adept young,Christian people and I hoped that my daughter would grow to be like them.
She told me that the closest thing to a school in a box is Sonlight. She gave me a list of options, but the one I clung to was the Sonlight curriculum. The Sonlight curriculum breaks down your school year into weeks and your weeks into a 4 or 5 day curriculum. It even gives you a schedule for your day, ex: Day 1 (language arts) read pp9-11. do exercise 4 from Wordly Wise…and so on.
I was so new and so intimidated that I really needed this guidance. Later, I realized I could give both of us some breathing room and vary a bit from the schedule.
This school year we WILL try a different curriculum. Sonlight, when purchased new, is expensive. It IS wonderful I love the literature and I actually enjoyed the reading as much (or more) than Sophie did. This curriculum can also accommodate children of varying ages.
However,I found that to cover all her subjects “by the book” took us approximately 5-6 hours not including lunch breaks and a “recess”. So, I’m looking for our next option, now that I have the courage to branch out a bit.