Spring is on its way in upstate NY ... at least the calendar and the weathermen say it is. I keep looking for the hyacinths that I photographed last spring ... but the snow is still too deep to find them.
Along with spring comes an influx of parents beginning the planning process for the 2014-15 school year. The anticipation and excitement of summer activities is looming on the horizon, yet these committed moms and dads are already planning for August and September school days. Talking with them every spring is one of the most favorite aspects of my job. It is such a joy to talk with folks who have sacrificed much and are so very passionate about their children's education.
A common thread seems to run through many of the conversations I'm having this month. Some parents are concerned that the curriculum choices they're making might be the "wrong" ones, or that they'll somehow handicap their children by not choosing wisely. I remember having those same misgivings as I would choose math and history and science each year.
Might I offer one small piece of advice that I think will reap large dividends? Though not original to me, I regularly tell parents to trust your gut. My Advisor teammates and I can share a wealth of knowledge about our products, and our best recommendations for using them, but you alone are the "expert" on your student(s). While we usually recommend only combining children who are 3-4 years apart in age, if you've come up with a good approach for teaching your 7 year old and your 12 year old together, go for it! While we do not usually recommend beginning with the second Core in a two-year study (i.e. Core C or E or H), if your family is excited about doing a study of American History, beginning with the Civil War, please feel free to begin with Core E and have a wonderful school year learning together!
We are always happy to offer curriculum advice based on our years of experience and product knowledge ... and you can even head over to the Sonlight Forums and glean from the years of experience represented there ... but please always remember, you are the best judge of your student's educational needs. So certainly research, and ask lots of questions, and gain as much information as you can ... but learn to be confident in what you know about your children and how they learn. We might not always agree with your choices, but we will never disagree with the fact that you are the expert where your children are concerned.
Still on the journey,
PS ... The 2014 Sonlight catalog is in the mail and winging its way towards homes across the globe. Be sure to request yours if you haven't already!