Monday, August 16, 2010

Ask AWAY...Children’s Education-#2, Where Do I Start

Today, I a going to answer some more questions from you precious friends.

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

Hi Shonni,
Today, I a going to answer some more questions from you precious friends
17 years! Wow...that is something to be proud of! God has been laying it on my heart to HS my toddler duo (soon to be trio). Thank you so much for this opportunity. My questions are:

1. Is it difficult to HS at high school level? They seem to learn at a much higher level than I was taught.
2. Where do you find your cirriculum?
3. Any suggestions for material to teach preschool age about Jesus on their level?

Hugs and blessings,

Kara said...

17 years is an inspiration to those of us plugging away after you. I'm beginning to think about the high school years now that my oldest is in 7th grade, so any tips on those years would be wonderful. Your blog is beautiful, and so is your family!

Wonderful questions Robin and Kara! is my greatest secret...I have used this secret from day one, for all ages and all levels....
I learned a long time ago some of the “curriculum” and publications that I would say I trust.  I go to these each year and use their catalogs as my “scope and sequense” for what ever age and subject I am needing.  I make a list, pray and then choose what I feel will meet the needs of a particular child (or group of children) the best.  
However, I forgot the secret that comes before this....
I really pay attention to what my child(ren) has an interest in.  Usually, this doesn’t make itself completely apparent till age 7-10is.  Some examples-
Jace loved history, especially a certain time frame. So, I purposefully looked for books and educational choices that fed his natural, God-given passion.  Kalyn has a passion for biographies and missions, so again, I get her what ever I can get my hands on to “feed” this passion.  Caresse is passionate about herbs, medicines and the body.  So again, I focus on this for her.  Landon likes math and has a “bent” toward engineering, Kiana is a wonderful artist, and Garett is good at building things.  
For my preschoolers, I have liked My Father’s World. 
So, now, armed with a basic knowledge of my child’s passion, I turn to some of my favorite places and begin to look at what they offer.
Two of my favorites to start with are:
I am also a huge Charlotte Mason fan, and you can find info here and here if you are interested in that.
My FAVORITE AND MOST HELPFUL book to help me plan and keep my priorities in order is Sally Clarkson’s book, Educating The Wholehearted Child, which I’m sorry to say, the new edition will not come out from publication till around December. 
Now, I don’t follow EVERYTHING on the Sonlight curriculum (or any other curriculum suggestion), unless I want to. I use the suggestions as a starting place to “form” the educational goals for the next year.  I usually piece from different places what I want for that child or age group. 
Back to one of your questions Robin and Kara, Sonlight has a wonderful and very strong high school level curriculum and I would never hesitate to use it’s suggestions for any of my children and feel they they are “ready” for higher education!!!
Some other places that I love and trust for ideas is:
Beautiful Feet (In fact, we are enjoying their “Horse” study right now for our 8, 9, and 10 year olds).
O.K., so this is a lot of information, and there are still some very thoughtful questions that I will get to in the next few days. 
Please let me know if this is helpful, or if there is something else you would like to know?


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing!! As we've been researching... we've found those to be great places too. But my favorite is Heart of Dakota!!
    (I really appreciate your kindness to help some of us "newer" moms out!!)

  2. It is very helpful and I love all the sites you gave us- bookmarked everyone of them!!

    My other question is this- Have you adopted any of your children at an older age? I know you have you new little 6 yr old coming from China.

    I am finding it to be so so different to educate our older adopted children because they need to start at the beginning- pre-k and move forward plus learn a new language. Each child is different and goes at a different pace. My natural desire is to hop into academics- that is where I am most comfortable BUT that is not their need- I need to be patient and walk this road with Jesus- it is challenging.

    What are you thoughts on this topic?

  3. I am not currently homeschooling but I still order read alouds based on those suggested by Sonlight. Thanks for your insight. I am considering homeschooling next year when we bring our 11 yo home from China.

  4. Thank you, Shonni, for sharing what has worked for your children. We love Sonlight, too! I would love to hear about your daily school routine. How do you get the laundry done and lunch and dinner on the table and so forth? My youngest for now is 3 (although we are in the process of adopting a SN toddler girl from China), and seriously, it is still a challenge every day to feed everyone and make sure there is enough clean underwear and socks. So. . . any secrets or tried and true ways to make days easier while home learning and playing and lots of quality time with the Lord and the kids :-).

  5. Thanks for sharing. I love the "Simply CM" website too. Great ideas. The more homeschoolers I talk to the more I hear what you said "I use it as a starting place"...I don't think I know any family that fully uses one set curriculum. (sigh of relief!)
    I have 2 kids with special needs and I often find it hard to eveluate myself and find that balance of pushing them to their highest ability but not against a wall they simply were not made to cross.

  6. Shonni,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I've been thinking of HS for my toddler and this is a wealth of information.
    17 years, God bless you are one amazing mama!!

  7. Shonni,

    Thank you for taking time to provide these wonderful resources and the encouragement to follow through. I'm still really struggling over here with the thought of HS'ing. Some days I feel at peace about it and other days it scares me. I need to continue to pray and listen.
    You are such an inspiration!

    Love and blessings,

  8. Thanks for sharing & for the links. I find it so interesting looking at different curriculum.
    I would love to get that Sally Clarkson book - will have to look around for it.
    Have fun
    Renata :)

  9. I got a post of yours in my reader and when I came to comment, it appears to have been deleted. I am actually kind of relieved to see that, but if you desire our input feel free to contact us.

    In Love

  10. I suggest researching virtual charter schools in your state. They are publicly funded, but your children are home and you have the ability to affect their education without doing all the prep work.


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