Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homeschooling Question

Because it seems homeschooling moms are thorough, organized and generally over-achievers (okay - that's a huge generalization, I know) I am expecting to get bombarded with answers - so don't let me down! haha!

I am starting my research on homeschooling. Libby is 4, but wouldn't start Kindergarten until fall 2011. However, she is in need of more challenge and she is so eager to learn that I don't want to put it off. I've ordered the Sonlight preK4/5 curriculum because it is mostly reading and Libby enjoys our reading times together. However, while I've chosen that curriculum for now until her "real" kindergarten year begins I am not closed to other ideas. I am very interested in The Classics.

So... on to my question... What books can successful homeschool moms out there suggest for MY reading. I want suggestions for....
1. books that will prepare me for what is ahead if we choose to homeschool
2. books that will help me understand how it works
3. books that will NOT overwhelm me
4. and curriculum suggestions for pre-K through 1st. grade. - especially the Christian curriculum that uses the Classical education method.

Okay! Thanks!


The Garrison's said...

hi friend - well, I am not a 'home school' Mom so to speack just yet, but I am a huge believer in Classical Education and such, are my Classical Conversations. It is awesome curriculum and model for classical home based education. Also, there is a group in Bulverde that meets for Classical Conversations (kids and Moms together) twice a week...or maybe its once. Anyway, I think Libby is old enough for that group as a sort of Pre-K kid. If you are interested, tell me and I will give you my friends info as she runs the Classical co-op. Good luck!

Tristan & Melissa Summers said...

I was homeschooled all the way thorough 12th grade and my mom is the queen of I will pick her brain for books. We used a few different curriculums but KONOS was my absolute favorite. I LOVED it!
A great thing to do is contact San Antonio's homeschool organization...they are GREAT, you can meet tons of other moms in the same boat you are and then some that have been doing it for years. I think it's called FEAST?
San Antonio also has a wonderful homeschool book fair.....those are GREAT to go to as well.

Melissa Juvinall said...

Oh my, Cindy, I have so much I could share with you!! This is our first year of homeschooling, and Aidan is in kindergarten.

Books for you to read, chew on, think about:
The Well-Trained Mind
Debra Bell's Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling (or something like that)
Cathy Duffy's book on the top 100 curriculum

If you check out my blog, I have a list on a previous post on what we're using for kindergarten. We are also using the classical model as explained in The Well-Trained Mind. (It's a huge book, but you don't need to read all of it right now...)

We are using some Sonlight this year and it's ok. I won't be using it next year, but I will be using their reading lists.

Please call me or email me if you want to chat further!! You'll also want to check out HSLDA's web site to find out your state's requirements for homeschooling.

Also, the site I LOVE LOVE LOVE for used curriculum is We save so much money using this site.

Alli said...

Just wanted to mention to you that my sister Denise Birchfield would be a great person to talk to about homeschooling. She does an integrated approach with her kids....a little bit of Christian School, some homeschooling and then off to public high school! I think she has a great outlook on it...she wouldn't overwhelm you and would be a huge encouragement. Feel free to contact her via Facebook. I know she's one of your "friends". ;)

Marti said...


The ones Melissa suggested are great (Well-Trained Mind, Deborah Bell's Ultimate Guide, Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks). Add to that Sally Clarkson, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child. Add to that anything by Ruth Beechick. Her "3Rs" series of little books will help you so much. Check out and

Sonlight's catalog alone is great to read (we've used lots of Sonlight through the years). I have friends who are extremely happy with Classical Conversations. But I also know you have to find what's right for YOU and YOUR CHILD(REN). Talk to homeschool moms who homeschool different ways. Read. Research. Pray! Pray, pray, pray!

Remember, Libby's a little girl who still needs lots of play. It's great, even important, to check things out (I did too). But don't stress about it too much. Enjoy your children. Love them. Share your life and your ministry with them as you're already doing.

After seventeen-plus years of homeschool I've learned that the best, the very best, thing you can do for you kids as mom AND teacher is to model a Christlike, surrendered life. You do. And you will.

with blessings and love always--


LaPaula Williams said...

Hey Cindy! I home school the boys and always have. They have never been in a preschool program and we have had a great experience so far. Benjamin is in 3rd, Bradley 2nd, and Bowman K-5. Not what I pictured my life to be, but what God had on His mind from the beginning. A book that has been a GREAT resource is The Well Trained Mind. I love the classical approach and love how detailed this book is. It even tells you how to set up their notebooks. I love how she gives choices for the different subjects so that you can decide what will work best for your child. That is a must read! I am happy to help you in any way. It has been wonderful for our family because we are able to slow down and get to the heart of a lot of things that we wouldn't be able to do if we were always rushing here and there. My boys are very close and are loving getting to know our newest addition. If they were at school, they would miss this great opportunity. I love being the one that is pouring into their lives knowledge, Godly principles, and deep relationships as a family. Like I said, NEVER thought I would be doing this, but I truly love it. It's not always easy, but I know it is the right path for us right now.

the Steiger's said...

Hi Cindy,
well I have been homeschooling for over 5 years now and I can tell you read your Bible with your kids every day and PRAY A LOT!!!
There is so many books out there yet it comes down to you and your child and every child is So different. I love using Sonlight but moving to TOG this and next year since my kids are getting older. We read a lot every day and love every book and the time with spend together.
Homeschooling is na amazing journey with your kids and your family. It is hard but rewording. Enjoy every minute of it:)


Karen said...

I have homeschooled for 10 years and have compiled a list of books I recommend for those just getting started in their homeschool journey.

Mark and Wendy said...

Hi, Cindy-
I usually just lurk here, but wanted to let you know about the book The Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson. It is an excellent resource book that helps you, as a Christ-follower, to first focus and define the WHY of homeschooling, which then makes the HOW much easier to see. She has a blog, too, I think. I've been homeschooling for three years now (2nd grade boy, PK boy, 2 1/1 y.o. girl, & can't wait to add our own Ethiopian princess next year), and that book has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me as I need reminders to keep first things first! Have fun, and kudos to you to start your own education on homeschool!

Kelli Diane Kanani said...

I have a friend who used Sonlight for her first year teaching her girls (over here). She was really worried prior to starting teaching because she isn't a very organized person and was scared she was going to mess up her kids. She had an awful first semester and ended up switching in the Spring. Maybe it is just harder here?! I would tend to go for a curriculum that is going to have a lot of teaching resources and explanations. (For you benefit)Then as you get use to homeschooling you can add to curriculum as you need. That is my opinion since i have taught in the public school systems. i can share more info if you need about things if you want. i plan on homeschooling ev and elijah and our future child as well.

Sarah said...

Hi Cindy. I have been Homeschooled since the fifth grade and I am now in 10th grade. My mom liked the book called "So You're Thinking About Home Schooling" by Lisa Whelchel because it talks about different families' styles of Homeschooling. She also recommends the Timberdoodle catalogue for hands-on preschool and kindergarten learning. And she likes Son light because it has a great multi-culture learning style.

CanipeClan said...

We, mainly my wonderful wife, have homeschooled all our children. It's one of the best decisions we made! We are about to graduate our 3rd from High School and our two oldest are in the Honor society in college (despite our many trials, mistakes and shortcomings)! We are currently homeschooling 7 - 1st through 12th grade with 3 more preschoolers. What helped us most was going to our state (NC) annual homeschooling conference, meeting other homeschooling parents and listening to the benefits, challenges and "how to's" of homeschooling.

LD said...

I know this is a little late in the game but I thought you might find this useful:

It's a post I wrote a while back about my experience as a home schooler all the way until college. I also touched on some of the curriculum that we used and things I wished we had done differently.