As year round homeschoolers we do not have to finish the current homeschool year in May. We have the option to homeschool through August to complete the 175 homeschool days that the state of Maine requires. We typically do light homeschooling during the summer (mostly math and english), but this year we’ll be doing more summertime homeschooling than normal to complete the year. However, it won’t look like our “normal” homeschool days because this year I’ll be using summertime as a season to test out changes.
In just a few short months I will be homeschooling a high schooler and a 7th grader. I want them to truly enjoy the last few years of their homeschooling journeys before being an adult and real life hits them. Looking back over the years I realize that there is one thing that both of them enjoy the most, something that I do not ever have to ask them to do because they love it so much.
Read. My children devour books. History. Biographies. Fiction. Religious. Mysteries. You can hand my children almost any book off of a book shelf and they will not only read it, but they will enjoy it. There are books that they’ve read that haven’t been their favorite, but they still find enjoyment in certain parts and share them with me.
It is my children’s love for reading that has given me the motivation to use this summer to test out a major change to our homeschool. I want to take time to ensure that it will be a good fit for us before we decide to use it throughout high school. I do not want to make a major change to our homeschool during the high school years. So, whatever the outcome is after this summer, that is what we’ll stick to for high school. If this doesn’t work, then we’ll go back to plan a when I first started preparing for high school. If it is a great fit, (which I believe it will be), then onward we’ll go through to their high school graduation.
Thankfully I didn’t have to make this decision alone. I have a very dear friend that took time out of her busy life to answer questions, look over her curriculum copies and be super supportive throughout my researching process. It was her encouragement and support that helped me decide to try out a new curriculum over the summer to see if would work for us.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering if I’m going to share what homeschool curriculum we’ll be testing out this summer. So, without further adieu…
This summer, we’ll be testing out Sonlight Curriculum and using their Core F, which focuses on the Eastern Hemisphere. My friend recommended this core because my children are so close in age and since we are going to spend the summer testing the curriculum out that we start with this core to see if they both like it. She also believes that this core delves into topics that are more appropriate for children 12+, so she felt that it was a great place to start.
As a frugal homeschool mom, I spent a couple of weeks looking on eBay, Homeschool Classifieds and Sonlight Curriculum FB Resale groups before making my purchase via eBay. I was able to find a used curriculum bundle that was only missing 5-6 books which I was easily able to find on Abebooks to make a complete Core F set for less than half of the new price from Sonlight. Since we’ll be using this over the summer as a testing out resource I didn’t want to spend full price if we weren’t going to continue using it. However, if I do find that it is a good fit for us, then there are some amazing reasons why I would consider purchasing new from Sonlight directly.
When the box of books arrived at our home my children were beyond excited to see all of the literature we’ll be reading over the summer. I’m excited that not only will they responsible for reading literature to learn history, geography and Bible over the summer, but with Sonlight there are also read aloud books that we’ll be able to enjoy reading together.
I’m looking forward to homeschooling through the summer this year almost as much as I’m looking forward to the warm summer days that I wait so long for each year in Maine. I am hopeful that my children will love learning through literature as much as I believe in my heart that they will!
What does summertime homeschooling look like for you?