Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have been to the CHEC homeschooling conference. I was only there half the day on Thursday and most of the day on Saturday, but I was overwhelmed after just the first talk I attended. Now that I've had a day to think on it, I feel better equipped to post some thoughts :)

The world of homeschooling is vast, to say the very least! I was prepared for the endless array of curriculum choices, but I should have been better prepared for the wide range of lifestyles and opinions within the Christian homeschooling community.  Sometimes these types of things and even certain Christian books make me feel like I need to overhaul my entire life to be a godly woman (or successful homeschooler) and this is simply not the case. I was fighting feelings of inadequacy the entire weekend. After praying for wisdom and asking God to separate the lies from the truth, I was able to gain some perspective, I am thankful to say. I do not need to get rid of my TV and I don't need 14 children to be a successful Christian homeschool mom!!!

So, while I was all set to order Sonlight curriculum, I have decided to go with My Father's World (MFW) instead and here is why:

  • My kids are not quite close enough in age to share a Sonlight "core" in the future and with the demanding amount of reading aloud involved in each core, I was concerned doing two at once would get to be too much. MFW integrates ages in a much easier way, in my opinion.
  • MFW is a fraction of the cost of Sonlight, which means I can afford to get Layla started on the Kindergarten program (she is only four, but as she sat in on Natalie and I last year, she is ready to get going. I plan on taking two years to do the K curriculum.) 
  • Natalie despises text books and MFW is a very hands-on approach and seems geared toward creative/visual types, while focusing on godly character. Very few text books involved and everything is very colorful and story-oriented, which I think is what she will thrive on.
  • MFW balances the Charlotte Mason, Classical and unit study methods in a way that really appeals to me.  
  • Sonlight requires you to find your own math and science programs, while MFW integrates those subjects in. 
  • We get to build an ant farm! Nuff said. 
SO, how many homeschooling readers do I have?? I would absolutely love your input on this! Do you have experience with these curriculums? How do you fight the stereotypes? How do you filter out the legalistic messages? How do you fight against comparison with other homeschooling families? And most of all, why do you love homeschooling!? Please share, I'm sure many of us could benefit :)

My little artist, hard at work:


  1. Nikki,
    This is an excellent post ! Maybe I have subconsciously been avoiding the CHEC conference for those reasons you mentioned above. I will tell you one thing about homeschooling I struggled with and that is comparing how "smart" my children were to others around them. The Lord has shown me over the years just how different He has made us all. The boys have their strengths and weaknesses, just like me. They are pretty smart kids, and yes, as their mother I do wish they would study more. To me, more importantly, do they help others in need, do they speak to the kid who is alone in the corner, do they tell people, if they ask, that the reason they are different is because they have a Savior who has died for them, are they respectful to the people around them. The list goes on. Homeschooling is a journey and you find your way a little more each year. It is exciting and one of the most difficult things I have ever done, personally. It is well worth it though, even on those days when I want to pile them in the car and drop them at the closest school :0) Enjoy the journey, it goes fast !

  2. Well, I was homeschooled and I now homeschool my own children, and I have never been to a hs convention or book fair! **GASP**

    I don't at all fit in with the quiverfull, patriarchal crowd (although I'm pretty conservative and traditional, just not like that...) and I find that those viewpoints are prevalent in the speakers and organizers of many state conventions. It's been a bit of a lonely journey, but I've finally connected with a nice (if small) local group started by a friend, and I recently found an online community where I've gotten inspiration and encouragement (as a lurker LOL). Addy:

    So all that to say--I loved your post! Can't wait to read more about your journey!

  3. A friend directed me to your blog because she saw me mention MFW on Facebook the other day. We will be starting MFW Kindergarten this year with our oldest, an almost 6 year old. We have two sets of friends who are using the older curriculum for their older elementary and middle school kids. They love it and one of the moms introduced me to it, pointing out the kindergarten stuff. We wandered around a state homeschool convention a couple weekends ago and decided that it looked like the best & cheapest all inclusive option there was. We're very excited to get started. It'll be fun to follow along your journey.