Sunday, June 15, 2008

Clearing up Ambleside Misunderstandings

A few people have commented to me via email about being very shocked that I'm leaving Ambleside in favor of Sonlight. I really want to clear up everything so that nobody is confused. I'm not giving up the CM flavor or focus of our homeschool. Rather, I'm just using a different history schedule/rotation. It doesn't feel as dramatic of a change as it probably sounds.

It made sense to me to purchase the schedule for Core 6 because I was already in the process of replacing some of the history spines with AO to use SOTW. SOTW covers a wider base of world history, and I do already own them. Having us all in one time period of history is going to make it easier on me. I will only be reading aloud the "read-aloud" historical fiction (and anything else that appears to be more difficult). Austin and Riley will be reading the other readings on their own and narrating them to me, as they have with AO! I will have the Instructor's Guide to help me when I don't have time to read everything. I could have kept us in one AO year together, but I was struggling to keep up with the reading. And I was unable to really develop narration with either of the children when I hadn't read the books myself!

I will be reading a Child's History of the World to Reece, slowly over these next 3 years, as I would have had we used AO. Her plans are really changing the least right now. I wasn't planning to start AO with her until 3rd grade anyway!

One AO influence that will remain is the slower reading of the books, which is the reason that we're using these 2 Cores over 3 years. It will break down to 3 days worth of "Core work" spread over our 5 day school week. I don't think we could use Sonlight at the scheduled pace. Well, we could, but I'm not sure if any of us would get much out of it! LOL

Science will be the most different. We like to DO our science, rather than read it. And I tried so hard to enjoy the Apologia Elementary books, and I just didn't. It's very personal for me, so please don't feel that I'm saying Apologia Elementary Science is a bad curriculum, because it definitely isn't. I have a number of friends who LOVE it. It's just not right for our family. The Sonlight Science year I selected will cover magnetism, electricity, and astronomy. I'm not sure of the pacing we will need, since I haven't used SL science in a long time, but I'm experienced enough as a homeschooler now that I feel free to adjust as needed.

I'm very glad that we used Ambleside this year. It helped me to have some guidance while I learned more about CM methods. I give all the credit in the world to AO (and the wonderful AO yahoogroups) for helping me during this transition! I'm so excited about our coming school year, and I'm looking forward to becoming more comfortable with our CM homeschool!

1 comment:

The Glasers said...

I think that is the key--finding the living books and pacing that work for your kids. In the PNEU schools, they did not even keep the same books from year to year for each form. Charlotte Mason made substitutions here and there so that it would be fresh for the teachers, too.