Well, for my oldest’s preschool year, we started homeschooling. The 2013-14 school year will be our first year on record with the county, but we decided to start last year, as he was learning to read already (CVC words) on his own. He loves to learn and read books, so we chose the following curriculum:
Sonlight Core P4/5 is our main curriculum and is great for preschool and kingergarten children. We will be continuing this into part of next year, as well. We used the Kingergarten readers for the 2012-13 year, though, since he was advanced. This core includes Bible, History, Literature Read-Alouds, Readers, Language Arts, Science, and World Cultures. We chose Sonlight curriculum because it is a Christian company and holds many of our same values, including exposing our children to other cultures and countries of the world, while still teaching a Christian worldview. They also have instructor guides for the parent, which makes my job much easier. (I can make sure they are covering what they should, without major gaps, but I don’t have to spend my whole time researching and scheduling.)
You can read more about Sonlight on their website.
We also added in Handwriting Without Tears-K (HWOT), a great hands-on program, which is really great for the young children just learning to write and form their letters. Even C enjoys “building” the letters. The Sonlight P4/5 Core actually schedules HWOT which is really handy.
For our math program, while at the homeschool convention last year, we really fell for RightStart Math, which actually uses an abacus to help them learn their math skills in group of 5 and 10. I never thought I would be homeschooling and surely not with an abacus! My son is using Level A currently and is doing basic addition.
We are almost through his All About Reading Level 1 lessons. We purchased the additional games with Ziggy the Zebra (a puppet) and both of my sons play (the two-year-old helps Ziggy pick cards). The oldest is always begging to play a game with Ziggy.
My son also used Reading Eggs for about 2.5 months and got all the way through it! He is now reading at the 2nd grade level. It really is remarkable how quickly he learns! You can find several trial codes for this site online to try it out for free.
For family Bible reading, we have been working through The Jesus Storybook Bible. This is a really neat children’s Bible, because a) it reads like a story and b) it shows how the whole Bible connects to God sending His son, Jesus. The boys really enjoy this.
We have been continuing to use our Seeds Family Worship CDs that my husband discovered at the marriage conference we attended last year. He was looking for scripture verses put to CD and really liked that they gave you two discs, one for you and for a friend, so he bought two of the CD sets. We have purchased more since then, as the music is catchy and not annoying, like a lot of music made for children can be. Most of the voices are adults and I would have never even guessed these were for children if I had not already been told. Samples can be heard here and memory verse cards can be found here. Andrew goes around singing these songs (and subsequently the verses) all over the house and requests them in the car.
We’ve added in a lot of other books, both picture books and chapter books from the library, along with the many in our collection that we read every naptime and evening. So far homeschooling is very enjoyable for us all and we hope to keep it that way!