…the back to school version.
This year we are doing three different Sonlight cores with four different students. If you are not familiar with Sonlight click here to learn more, but let me summarize by saying it is a LOT of really great reading, which means a LOT of books to order and that can get pricey fast.
Historically, I have always just simply ordered the Sonlight core from Sonlight itself. It’s fast, easy, and worry-free. Almost everything in it is reusable, so I know we will always get our money’s worth. This year, however, I was inspired by a friend who was going to try to piece together her own core. So, I spent a morning comparing prices and instead of doing the simple “click and ship” from Sonlight, I also decided to piece together my own set from Amazon and used books and fill in with Sonlight where necessary.
Here are some pro’s and con’s on that experience:
- You can save almost enough on the (almost) two cores ordered to offset the cost of one brand new version of Teaching Textbooks (another item I had to buy) and a few other items. No small savings!
- You will be “green” and recycled by buying used books whenever possible.
- It is like Christmas for a solid week as all the books come in one by one. (I can only imagine what our mailman thought of all the packages we were getting!)
- When you buy mostly used books, you lose that magical “new book” smell. This is not the end of the world, but that smell does make the start of a new school year much more exciting. You also never really know what you’re going to get when you buy used on-line, so some of your books may be pretty beat up.
- You can easily spend at least 3 or 4 hours comparing prices and ordering items.
- In your weariness after switching between so many windows on Google Chrome, you may inadvertently order multiple copies of a book. Or of more than one book. And you may forget to order other books entirely.
- Sellers may accidentally send you the wrong book. Then you are stuck with a crappy book that will cost more to return than it did to purchase and yet it’s still worth nothing.
- When you order close to 100 items from various sellers on Amazon, you end up with a 23 page receipt print out and your credit card will get flagged for fraud. 🙂
Even with all of those negatives listed (and I’m laughing as I write them out), I think I will still order our Sonlight this way in the future. The savings were definitely significant enough to offset the hassle.
In other home schooling news, I may or may not have handed the following document out first thing in the morning on our first day of school:
A School Year Agreement
I understand that school is for my benefit and is not some form of punishment devised by my parents to make my life miserable because Mom and Dad have nothing better to do with their time. I realize that my parents are sacrificing to provide my education and because of that and because my future success depends upon it, I agree to the following:
1. I will not argue or complain about the schoolwork given to me, either by Mom, Dad, or by any outside teachers.
2. I will do my best to understand the assignment independently. If I am unable to do so, I will politely and calmly ask for assistance without interrupting someone else’s time of instruction.
3. I will resist the urge to take the fast, easy route by doing the minimum amount of work required. Instead, I will complete my assignments thoroughly, making sure all questions have been answered to the best of my ability, even doing extra research if necessary.
4. I will use my time wisely. I will not be a distraction to others either when I am working, or when my schoolwork is complete. I will do my schoolwork during the school day as much as possible. I will not purposely save significant amounts of reading to be completed at bedtime, unless I intend to go to bed very early to do said reading. When I am finished with my work, I will find ways to be helpful to Mom or Dad. If my help is not needed, I will find constructive ways to spend my time.
I understand that school is hard. I realize that if it were easy, very little could be learned from it, and so I will rise to the challenge and expectations that my parents and teachers have set before me because they have faith in my ability to complete the work. This year, I purpose to work hard, do my best, and do all for God’s glory.
And, yes, I made them all sign it. 🙂 I credit this little document (and God’s grace) for how well the past two days have gone.
I think that’s it for today. I hope your Wednesday is wonderful, wherever it takes you!
For His Glory ~