Its official...we're a homeschooling family. I won't lie, I'm super excited and super scared at the same time. Who am I, this publicly trained educator, this professor of future teachers, who plans on keeping her kid out of the public schools? What am I doing? However, I also have a sense of peace as I feel this is what we are being led to do at this time. I'm choosing to move forward, knowing its our path for now, and believing that Sonlight will help us along our way.
The teacher in me, is excited. I only recently learned (from Erin at Usual Mayhem) that "Box Day" is celebrated among the Sonlight community. And I was glad to learn of this important day. While many of of my friends are posting photos of their kids and their first day at public school kindergarten, I am seriously wondering, am I really doing what is best for my kid? I even remember my first day of kindergarten (ok, I remember because I have photos). So I love the idea of the Box Day photos!
We had the tracking number and knew that day had arrived....our books were coming today. I was teaching science lab in the morning, and put a sign up for the Fed Ex. guy, so he would leave the package. But when I came home, there had been no delivery. We were disappointed, but found activities to keep us occupied. Finally, by 2:00, I checked our tracking number and discovered that our package had been delivered earlier that morning. We live on a campus, and so I realized that the package was somewhere else on campus, and I must track it down. I loaded the kids up into the car, and we headed to the main office. There I found, two beautiful white boxes withe the "Sonlight" logo. Ahh..there they were...waiting for us. I carried the large box, and my son Caleb carried the lighter one.
We took a few photos in front of the front door of our home, then took them inside to open them. The name on the package was to my son, not to me, and so he was super excited. I even allowed him to use scissors to cut the packing tape an open the package. Of course even the packing material was exciting, Caleb ended up using the brown paper as a way to make himself into a "knight." We never used the castle cut-outs available in the big box, but we continued the theme with the knight!
On top was the bingo chips, bingo cards, and the overhead markers for the map. Caleb was super excited about the markers. I warned him, these were "adult" markers, and they were not washable, but because he was now in kindergarten he would be able to use them! You can imagine his excitement.
So I started going through the books, checking off the books from the packing list making sure we had all the books we had ordered. I know Sonlight is very clear on what is part of "Core A," but checking them off one-by-one, made me a bit nervous about the upcoming year. Really??? We will be reading ALL these books? There was a lot of chapter books...with very few pictures..do they really know what they are asking my kid to do? Sit and listen to these long books? He's in kindergarten...really?
But it is only 3 days after we opened the "box" and we already have the first chapter book on our schedule completely read! "The Boxcar Children." I loved these books as a kid and remember how cool it would have been to make home in a train-car.
I, of course was super excited to see the science curriculum. My husband thought that just being in our home would be science curriculum enough, but I went ahead and purchased Sonlight's curriculum for kindergarten. While science is all around us, and we experience it as a family together all the time, I worry about my ability to bring science down to his level. So having an instructor's guide for science is actually a stress reducer for me! The books we will be using as part of our science curriculum this year are wonderful. However, as I look through the science instructor guide (IG), I am a bit concerned with the student worksheets that go along with the wonderful books. The LA, history, and geography instrutor's guide all seem on target with where my son is academically, but the science worksheets ask him to write full answers to questions (while the LA/phonics are just working on individual letters). But I now remember that Core A, is for 5-6-7 year olds. So that means that much of the worksheet material won't be applicable to my son.
Plus, after reading, "The Three R's, " By Ruth Beechick, that I ordered as part of my Core A, I am more confident that the chapter book read-alouds, and the breadth of science and history that is part of this curriculum is exactly what my son needs at this age. I'm so pleased to learn that it is more important that kids absorb a breadth of content, and not necessarily be able to read and write about it. This is particularly good news, as I know that my son is a strong auditory learner. I can read to him while he's playing and he's completely with me. He remembers what I read, asks proper follow up questions, and remembers what he hears. So this is GREAT news for all the reading we will be doing this year. In addition to all the Sonlight Curriculum we got this week, I'd also like to read the Hobbit to Caleb! Wish me luck!
The photo above, is my youngest son, reading his favorite book of animals! I guess, He's trying to get into the school thing too!
In preparation for our school year, we made bookmarks for all of our books. The photo above, is of him working on "decorating" the bookmarks and we have since laminate them!
Now, I'm working to determine how to start slowly, then get up to full steam by mid-Sept. Overwhelmed, but excited...here we go! :)