Just thought I would share our random school ramblings.
We currently use a mom intense (in regards to non-reading children) literature based program (Sonlight) for our oldest two daughters. With the addition of the twins to the routine our life was about to get very complicated (3 cores) and very expensive ($2,500). I did quite a bit of research (understatement of the decade) and came up with another option. This second option (My Father's World) allowed all of our girls to be in the same "class" for everything but language arts and math. This would be a considerable cut back on my input time and was quite a bit cheaper ($1,000).
I requested catalogs from both companies and then worked out a timeline for both companies for all 6 kids through June 2022 when our oldest daughter would be graduating from High School. I wanted to get a feel for how the program would work at our busiest season (all 6 kids in school) and make sure our oldest daughter would be able to complete both programs before graduating.
Option 1 (sonlight) would be pretty extreme with 4 core programs going at once.
For those who don't know about core programs that would be:
4 history classes
4 science classes
4 Bible classes
6 Language arts classes
6 Math classes
Option 2 (My father's World) would be much more laid back. The kids would be in the same "class" and would use the same books for language arts (making it cheaper and less clutter).
1 history class
1 science class
1 Bible class
6 Language arts classes
6 math classes
I asked my fellow large family homeschooling mom's and couldn't find anyone who had anything negative to say about option 2. So I looked on option 1's forums to see what they had to say about option 2's program. The only negative thing I found was that option 2 uses a "book basket" approach where you use library books for the literature program while option 1 sends all the books with the package (why it is much more expensive). Okay....not a deal breaker for me.
So option 2 is cheaper, easier on me, and has a very well recommended program. Bonus points that the money paid to the company is used to translate Bibles into different languages. Why is this even a difficult choice? I don't know but it was. I somehow felt like I was "cheating" or "taking the easy way out" by going with option 2. I did a lot of research and praying about it.
So the other day I again was praying for the Lord to make this clear for me. I walked out to the mailbox a few minutes later and found a second catalog for option 2. Okay. Got it. Option 2 it is
So I have been searching out used items for our family to use when our current things are finished. I chose to start the twins in the kindergarten curriculum ASAP since they are almost finished with their preK things. They are doing 3-10 lessons a day in preK. I keep trying to slow them down but they are having none of it. I fully expect them to finish the kindergarten work and start 1st grade by this fall. When it clicks it just clicks. Anyways I found a deluxe kindergarten set used for the exact amount that was refunded to us from the local college (their pool is under repair and all swim lesson money was refunded).
So again I feel like God was giving his blessing. I mean here is exactly what I need, exactly when I need it, and oh look here is the exact amount of unexpected money suddenly sitting in my account.
I am now working on putting together the older girls set for this June. The program works in a 5 yr cycle so we begin with this set and then will repeat it after the next 4 sets. As the kids get older the set becomes more and more difficult. Anyways I found the teachers manual (retails for $99 plus $20 for each set of student sheets) for $25. It is the older edition with the student sheets in the back. This older edition also allows for copying the student sheets as many times as I like. Where as if I bought the student sheets separate with the new edition I would not be allowed to copy them.
I found the $20 language arts book (used for 2nd-6th grade) used for $10 shipped.
I also found the $60 spelling book (used for 2nd-8th grade) for $7.99 I was able to use swagbucks gift cards so it was $0 to me.
I plan to use our swagbucks gift cards over the next few months to finish putting the set together. I figure it will keep me busy during the first few months of the deployment.