I Homeschool So I Have Time for the Little Things

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When my kids were born, I elected to stay home with them because I truly believed that it was best for all of us. I loved watching them be able to wake up on their own without rushing to fill them with food and shove them in the car only to hurry myself off to another job.

We spent mornings after breakfast cuddled on the couch, reading and talking. We also were outside much of the time: watching ants crawl, collecting potato bugs, and finding all kinds of shapes in the clouds.

The kids were so curious about everything around them that naturally we began to research different topics. They wanted to know why it rained and what happened to the puddles. Their deep desire to know and understand was only matched by their wonder at God’s world.

As it grew time to enroll them in school, I knew that I didn’t want to miss this time together. Sending the kids to school meant that the hours we typically enjoy reading and playing outside, would be replaced with the kids sitting in classrooms or on a bus. By choosing to homeschool, we were able to keep enjoying the small things that were really what made being a family enjoyable and fun: reading great books, enjoying time outside, and lots of free time for play.

Reading Great Books

As homeschoolers we are able to bypass traditional textbooks and worksheets in favor of “real books.” The kids actively ask to read and love the books off the “homeschool shelf.” We spend hours cuddled together just the way we did before our school years started. The freedom to use a literature rich curriculum like Sonlight has protected the time we treasure sharing books. All that reading also results in hours of my kids engaging in imaginative play. Every stuffed animal in the house has tried on Cinderella’s glass slipper, been bandaged James Herriot style, and starred in a nativity scene.

Enjoying Time Outside

Rather than rushing through a chaotic “get to school on time” morning routine, my kids are often outside before breakfast. Yes, sometimes in their pajamas. While many neighborhood children are riding the bus, we are reading the bible on the front porch. As children attending the local school sit with their teacher in a classroom, we find other ways to learn outside.

  • We hone our math skills on a picnic blanket at the park.
  • We pour over countless books in our backyard.
  • We hike and walk, often stopping to share fun facts we find in our science books.
  • We explore the weather and seasons simply by opening the backdoor.
  • We recite poetry and sing bible verses while swinging on the swings.
  • When the weather is nice, we spend the entire day learning and playing outside.

Free Time For Play

Increasing amounts of research show that the continued loss of unstructured play and overemphasis on testing requirements are causing dire consequences for our school children— including a negative impact on academic performance. At our home, time for free play is abundantly available. We don’t spend hours of our day preparing for and taking standardized tests. No one has to sit quietly or wait in line while lunch is prepared. We don’t need to find busy work to stay out of trouble while others finish their school work.

My kids spend all their downtime with access to a big backyard and several open-ended toys like blocks and crayons. They have the freedom to talk to and engage with their siblings, other family members, friends, and community members all day long. Games of tag, hide and seek, and “made up games” too numerous to name punctuate our days.  

The school bus for our neighborhood runs at 7:00 a.m. and returns at approximately 4:00 p.m.

During those nine hours of “school time,” our kids get an extra hour of sleep, complete all their chores and schoolwork, eat, and play outside. No homework awaits them in the evening; they’ve gotten all of that done during the school day. My little ones continue to hear great books read aloud, play outdoors every day, and have loads of time for unstructured play. Homeschooling has protected our time to treasure these little things that matter most to our family.


Author Bio

Erika is living a life she never saw coming and couldn’t be happier. As a veterinarian turned homeschooling Mom (and a proud Sonlight Curriculum ambassador), she is loving learning with her three kids. She enjoys sharing her homeschool journey and connecting with other Moms at Pray Species.

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This Post Has 99 Comments

  1. This would be great to win so I could use it with my daughter.

  2. I love the variety included in this curriculum and it would be perfect for my daughter!

  3. Eek!!! Super exciting!! Sonlight is an AMAZING curriculum! I’ve wanted to get my hands on this Core for a long time! I’d love to make use of it with my two littles

  4. I think the question was a misprint… because it’s asking about the Good and the Beautiful Language arts and not about Sonlight. But anyway, I DO happen to know a bit about the language arts… I like the art appreciation woven in.

  5. I would love this for my youngest! We have been using Sonlight for 20 years and we’ve enjoyed every one of them!!!

  6. I would love to use this curriculum with my middle son! I’m starting homeschooling this year with my oldest 10 yr old. And I’d love to have something for my toddler/preschooler to “work” on as well. He loves learning already!

  7. LOVE Sonlight Curriculum! Would Love this for my 4 year old this year! Thanks for doing this!

  8. i would like having all the reading already together and not having to collect books from the library

  9. This would be an amazing blessing to my family!!! My 3 1/2 year old is so interested in learning already.

  10. This would be so great for my 5 year old. I love that it is Literature based.

  11. I am excited about introducing arts and crafts into our curriculum.

  12. I really like the good and beautiful language arts program. I think I may actually purchase the preK/k levels. Sonlight would be a dream come true! I could never afford it on my own!

  13. I love how art appreciation is woven into the everyday readings.

  14. This would be amazing to win since I have a delayed 5 yo and a 2 yo!!!

  15. I have always wanted to try out Sonlight!

  16. We started using sonlight last year for first grade and we love it! This year we are doing second grade and P3/4, and we will be getting to this Pre-K package next year! We love the literature rich program and plan to use it throughout as long as everyone continues to benefit from it!

  17. I love that God is at the center of everything!

  18. I would love this for my daughter. This would be great for her, as she already wants to start.

  19. Not sure what the question means, but I’d love to use this curriculum for my daughter.

  20. The entry said to comment on the LA of the Good and the Beautiful but since this is a Sonlight contest I’ll comment abput that. I like that it is gentle and combines copywork, creative writing and grammar.


  21. These resources will be great to have in the home in preparation for my youngest to reach pre-k!

  22. Is would be simply amazing! Every day, your giveaways just keep getting better and better!

  23. I would love to use this with my youngest! We love all the amazing books that Sonlight puts together.

  24. Gorgeous set and true to Sonlight quality. Would love to have it for my 3 year old this year!

  25. I love the hands-on activities offered in the language arts curriculum!

  26. Thank you for the chance to win an incredible giveaway! I travel with my husband and 3 children in our 5th wheel. Homeschooling has been a blessing for us, it’s given us the chance to spend time together as a family. We would love to try your curriculum this year! My 3 year old is the perfect age for this.

  27. When I entered the giveaway– it asked me something about a language arts curriculum that I haven’t heard of… but I love following you on Facebook and thank you for the opportunity to enter the giveaway!!! Also– I shared again on Facebook!

  28. I always drool over the Sonlight curriculum when I get their catalog in the mail. I would love to give it a try with my preschooler!

  29. The rich literature. I have never been able to buy the actual materials but use their booklists for my older kids extra reading.

  30. Im so excited to use Sonlight for my daughter!

  31. Love Sonlight! Their book lists are unmatched!

  32. Sonlight is amazing! The question for the giveaway is about the good and the beautiful language arts curriculum though???

  33. I love the literature rich basis of this curriculum. I think this would help my son start a true love of reading.

  34. I’ve heard really good things about Sonlight and would love to be able to explore it more with my young children.

  35. I love that the program is literature-based. My littlest guy loves stories, and absorbs so much of what he hears when we read aloud!

  36. We started Sonlight Core A today but my littlest would love all those amazing books from PreK! What a great giveaway!

  37. I love Sonlight! I don’t have any of their curriculum, but I’ve used some of it before and I’d love to own it!

  38. What a great opportunity!

  39. Fabulous article

  40. I have a little girl and would love to start her on Sonlight. I hope she develops a love for reading!

  41. This is a wonderful package for an early learner. I love Sonlight!

  42. I would love love love love to win this for my son. It would be just perfect for him because of the amazing literate and hands on nature of it. I am sure he would flourish using it.

  43. I love all of it, anytime learning is made easy for the student and the teacher is great!!!

  44. Love this giveaway! I’m a huge Sonlight fan! I’ve been wanting to try it out!

  45. I would love to have prek prepared for me! I usually print from homeschool mom bloggers 🙂

  46. I am using Sonlight for my 4th grader and I love their products! I am loving your site and your give aways thank you so much!

  47. This would be absolutely amazing! I have 4 kids and I wanted to do this with my first two but never took the plunge in buying it. I would love to do it with my younger two!

  48. Love Sonlight!!! What a great giveaway!!!! We own all pkgs 1-300…never purchased pre-k!!! ?

  49. I love Sunlight, we are starting school this year with our 4 year old and have him joining in with his older brother for Sunlight because of $$. I would love to start him with this program. Love the literature base!

  50. I love how many books are included in this! I really want to instill a love of learning in my kids.

  51. I have heard a lot about it and I would love to try it out. We have 5 we are homeschooling this year and some fresh books would be such a delight to have!

  52. I have never tried Sonlight but have been thinking more about trying it with my 3 kiddos! Fingers crossed for the giveaway! 😉

  53. Amazing giveaway we are starting pre k this year what a blessing this would be

  54. My 4 year old daughter longs to do “school scuff” with her big brother. This would give her official “school scuff” to do.

  55. This would be a huge blessing for our family. We LOVE Sonlight!

  56. we just started p3/4 with our son. What a blessing it would be to win p4/5!! Thank you so much for the opportunity

  57. I would love to win Sonlight for my youngest. He is so ready for preschool!

  58. The variety is great.

  59. I have two preschoolers so this would be awesome. This testimony gives true meaning to understand why we homeschool to someone who doesn’t quite get it without being defensive just true honesty.

  60. I have a 4 year old who is always asking for school work! We read together but haven’t had the funds to buy a curriculum. This would be great!

  61. I love the stories and the variety it gives my little ones to open them up to new stories they wouldn’t pick out on their own.

  62. Starting out with our oldest who will turn 5 next month! Sonlight caught my eye at a homeschooling convention last year. I know my son would be excited to dive into the books!

  63. My older kids and I love sonlight! Would love to do this with my preschooler as well!

  64. I would love to win this for my grandson. We have used Sonlight for years and I would love for my grandkids to grow up the Sonlight way!

  65. I’d love to use this with my son, who is 4. It looks so diverse!

  66. Oh my yes Yes Perfect Time for the age of my kiddos!!

  67. We just chose Sonlight for my first grader this year, this would be perfect for his little brother!

  68. This weould be great for my grandkids… they Love reading and this would be a great fit!

  69. This would be Great!!!

  70. My daughter loves to sit with me and do her own school while her older brother does his school work. I think she would really enjoy this curriculum.

  71. My, I bet my 4 and 6 year olds would love all these books. My 4 year old is anxious to do school like big brother this would be great!

  72. I use Sonlight & I really want this package for my youngest but I won’t reuse it so I can’t really justify the expense. I’d LOVE to win this!

  73. I love the character aspect of it! This is very important for us as a family and is our primary reason to homeschool. Being a curriculum that covers different subjects is a huge huge bonus for us too as so much time goes to taking care of the home (family and house) too.

  74. What a great giveaway! Love it!!

  75. Sonlight has an excellent reputation!! I love that this is a literature based, complete program. Our 4 year old would be blessed to use it.

  76. Love Sonlight!!!!

  77. I like that it includes all the subjects.

  78. What a blessing it would be to win this Sonlight curriculum! Thank you for putting all these giveaways together to bless others!

  79. This would be great to use with my girls.

  80. I like the variety of learning experiences it offers, Great for little minds!

  81. I have been looking at Sonlight’s curriculum for ages and pining over it LOL. This would be amazing to win, especially since I have a little one entering Pre-K this fall!

  82. My book loving little guy would love this!

  83. Always wanted to try this curriculum!!

  84. What a great giveaway!!

  85. This would be an amazing prize for anyone with a preschool aged child! I used Sonlight curriculum when I taught preschool at a local church. It is wonderful.

  86. i love literature based learning. we also read a TON! would love to check out sunlight with my 4 yr old son!

  87. Thank you, for the opportunity.

  88. Aaaaaahhh!! I’m so excited about about is giveaway! My little one of three loves some structure, but getting a full variety of curriculum for her hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do yet. Would love to win! Thanks so much for coordinating this with Sonlight!

  89. Would love this for my daughter.

  90. Would love this for my daughter! We start schooling this year!!

  91. I am need of a good preschool curriculum and this look absolutely wonderful! I have a preschool aged little that is always asking for her own school books like brother and sister and have. It would be great to tell her she has some.

  92. Wow! This bundle had so many of the books that have been in it wish list for a while! I’d love to add these to our library and start reading them with my almost 4 year old and other children.

  93. This sounds and looks amazing!!

  94. This would be amazing to have!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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