- 1997 - Immigrate / Investigate Homeschooling and methods. Read For The Children's Sake
- 1998 - Sonlight K learned from Ruth Beechick about being a Home Educator.
- 1999 - Sonlight 1 Discovered Dr Raymond Moore and Better Late than Early Homeschool conference by Gregg Harris
- 2000 - I used the Sonlight Catalog to do Core B discovered A Charlotte Mason Companion Homeschool Conference with Diana Waring
- 2001 - Read the Well Trained Mind and purchased the books to do this.
- 2002 - Eclectic WTM and Sonlight books.
- 2003 - Eclectic WTM and Sonlight books. Started with Student Writing Intensive from Excellence in Writing.
- 2004 - Join ATI to do Wisdom Books & Homeschool Conference with Diana Waring
- 2005 - ATI Wisdom Books Saxon Math
- 2006 - Back to Sonlight Eastern Hemisphere Explorer Saxon Math
- 2007 - Sonlight Year One World History Saxon Math Teaching Textbooks
- 2008 - Sonlight Year Two World History Teaching Textbooks & Core P 3/4
- 2009 - Started Sonlight History of Gods Kingdom &Teaching Textbooks Homeschool Conference with Diana Waring Interviewed by Herald Sun and Trail Guide to World Geography.
- 2010 - Sonlight 20th Centruary History Teaching Textbooks& Core P4/5 feature family in Keystone Magazine
- 2011 - Jane attends Carrick to do Cert III in Childrens Services Updated Core K with Sir N & Expedition Earth .
- 2012 - Updated Core K with Sir N & World's Greatest Artists, Miss J Graduates.
My Journey in Detail
The very first book I read concerning Homeschooling was For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaefer Macaulay. I am so grateful that I did. This book challenged me and encouraged me to really enjoy my children and to see each thing that I do as purposefully training them. It challenged my core values and grew me as a person in ways I never expected from a book.
- I spent several months visiting homeschooling families and seeing what they use. Some of what I looked at are: ABeka, Advanced Training Institute Wisdom Books, Christ-Centered Curriculum, Accelerated Christian Education (Paces), Bob Jones University Press, Timberdoodle, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, KONOS Unit Studies, Rainbow Resources. The choices and methods were over whelming. Each and every program had its positives and negatives. I didn't know which way to turn (and this was before the Internet .......) The more families I visited the more I realised there was not one right way to homeschool each and every one was different. But what was going to work for me ?
Sonlight Catalog. My saving grace. I read it from cover to cover and was hooked. I liked the idea of an Instructor guide. I had no idea what to do and some guidance sounded like a good thing. And books good living books really appealed to me. Our first year we used Sonlight K.
This catalog has become my living book resource and I eagerly anticipate its annual arrival in the mail.
When my box arrived from Sonlight they had given my a gift worth its weight in gold: The Three R's by Dr Ruth Beechick. This is a treasure trove for new homeschoolers of primary aged students. Ruth empowers you with the jargon and know how to put you at ease when teaching Reading Writing and Arithmetic. Excellent. It is available from: The Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond, Sonlight.
The Homeschool Seminaar presented by Greg Harris (Father of Joshua Harris known for I kissed Dating Goodbye) Greg has written a book on Homeschooling called: The Christian Homeschool. In Homeschool circles he was also known for The 21 Rules of This House. Gregg's passion is Delight-Directed Study which has been their family's approach to home schooling for over thirty years. Priceless Treasure: Why I Choose to Home School was published in Talk Magazine in 1999. I found an excellent article summarising what happened to the Harris family since then.
The thing I remember from this seminar was Greg encouraging us as homeschoolers to look around and try something. Use the curriculum for more than a week before putting it aside. Use it for at least three months. If it's still not working then put it aside / sell it and use the wisdom from the experience to purchase your next choice. Write up what you liked / did not like and do research till you find what works for your family.
- I hooked in to two Home School groups: South Island Home Educators and Christian Home Educating Families. (Christian Home Educating Families (CHEF) Dot was an inspirational mentor. We would meet once a month at her place and fellowship with home educating moms who would share treasures they had unearthed. This is where I discovered a Charlotte Mason Companion.
It is available from: The Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond. Karen now has a blog you can follow: Moments with Mother Culture.
It was Diana who inspired me to get Beyond Survival in my homeschooling and enjoy the abundance the lifestyle has to offer. At this conference I learned about learning and teaching styles and the impact this has on our school at home how it causes a lot of frustration both for the teacher and student and it did not have to. Arm yourself with this treasure from Diana and discover some excellent tools for your homeschool today. This book is available from: The Book Depository and Amazon.
Craig and Barbara were and are pivotal to the Home School Movement. They started the Home Education Foundation and if you needed anything all you had to do was pick up the phone to access their wealth of information. If you are in need of some excellent encouragement and information I recommend their quarterly Keystone Magazine . Our family had the privilege of being the feature family in 2010.
Before Craig passed on into glory last year he recorded a few encouraging YouTube clips. There are 146 clips for you to choose from. Make a cuppa and take some time to have some of your questions answerd by this godly man who was a pioneer and leader in the homeschool movement for over thirty years.
Enter the Well Trained Mind. This book took the homeschooling community by storm in 2000/2001. I was hooked. I loved the idea of teaching history chronologically. At this stage Sonlight did not have a chronological history programme. The do now (Core G & Core H & Core 300 ). I could not wait to start using her recommended books. We used Sonlights catalog to find twaddle free read alouds. We sourced them from all sorts of places. (Amazon and Childrens Books in particular). We ambled along this journey for a few years.
This book is available from: The Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond.
In 2003 I was introduced to Teaching Writing Structure and Style. I had been wrestling with how to teaching essay writing and preparing my students to be excellent writters. I needed tools and this course equipped me. If you are wanting to know what excellent composition writing is this is the program for your homeschool. It is an easy step by step system. I recommend your co-op purchase this programme for the moms to do. If you are confident you can teach all that is required and have your students ready and well equipped for university by year 12 (or earlier if you have a confident writer). IF you would rather have Andrew teach your students you can buy the Student Intesnsives from Linda at Adnil press in Australia.There are three levels A, B & C these levels are identical in their content, the level is in reference to the age of your student. If you come unstuck Linda is Australia's Certified Instructor. The program is designed to be taught over the lifetime of your student not in one week !
When first looking at homeschooling I liked the idea of homeschooling all my subjects from a christian point of view. We had looked at Advanced Training Institute Wisdom Books when I first looked at homeschooling and thought that would be great to do for high school. A good friend of mine was switching over and I realised high school years were upon us. So we joined IBLP and started using Wisdom Books and Lap packs for our learning. You can download a sample Wisdom Booklet #4 from IBLP
ATI is available world wide. (Australia, New Zealand, USA)
Things We Wish We had Known. it's a compilation of letters by 50 veteran homeschoolers all sharing what the one thing is they wish they had known when they started home educating. Q: Who do parents turn to with questions about homeschooling, whether they're novices, long-timers, or just testing the waters? A: Experienced homeschoolers. Who better to answer the questions arising from any serious endeavor than those who have been there, done that, and found a better way? The one thing I remember most from this conference is Diana warning us to avoid a snap shot mentality with our children. This book is available from: The Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond.
2006 arrived and we moved to Australia. It was at this time that I felt ATI was no longer a good fit for our family and in my heart I knew I needed to return to Sonlight. So we embarked on Eastern Hemisphere Explorer. I was in heaven surrounded by good books and an IG. What more could a homeschool mom want ??
indispensable ingredient needed for homeschooling ? YOU are that ingredient. Diana encourages us to use the Bible as our plum line (The Well Kept Secret of a Biblical Education). She encouraged us to Actively ENGAGE learning as well as to enjoy teaching History via the Scenic Route. You can purchase some of her workshops on CD.
Diana has written an excellent chronological history curriculum (History Revealed) from a biblical perspective (Ancient Civilizations, Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries, & World Empires, World Missions, World Wars) her History Audio products are excellent and children of ALL ages will enjoy their journey through history with Diana. Dianas books have encouraged and inspired me on my journey.
Trail Guide to World Geography. If you’d like a geography course that includes mapping activities, atlas usage, research, notebooking and culture with very little teacher preparation, look no further. The Trail Guide to World Geography is a “week one, day one” kind of teacher’s manual with daily geography drills (answers included) and numerous weekly assignment choices. Multi-level geography course for 36 week school year for elementary through high school. This program comes in three levels: Primary, Intermediate & Secondary. It is value for money and available in book form or digital download. In the space of three years your student will do a comprehensive walk through earths geography. I will be using this with Sir N when he is 8, 12 and 16.
In 2011 I embarked on this blog and discovered just how much curriculum is available on line to us as homeschoolers. I was feeling a little burned out and tired and on my blog hop adventures I discovered Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. This year she shared The Worlds Greatest Artists study. The best part is it's FREE! I am so glad that I did. The source books are excellent and Sir N is enjoying this project !
Well that my friends is a tiny glimpse in to some of the things that have influenced my journey so far. If you are looking for homeschool supplies please check out my Links page for some of the companies I have used in the past.
May your week and year ahead be filled with His abundant blessings.
** There are NO affiliate links in this post **