For kindergarten and first grade, I have taught using various resources, compiled by me, using guidelines for each grade's suggested scope and sequence, and been rather eclectic with my homeschooling. This year, however, I am using a pre-planned packaged curriculum from Sonlight. I was hoping that having everything scheduled and planned for me would save me time and the stress of wondering if I'm teaching enough or the right things. It has gone well! It's so much easier to know exactly what we will have to cover each day, and be able to check it off as we go, and know when we are completely done with school.
I am learning a lot myself, as I read the chapters in the history books to my 2nd grader, and as we learn about world religions and pray for them. One favorite fictional story was called "Red Sails to Capri". My daughter also read "More Stories from Grandma's Attic" to herself, one or two chapters a day, and I had follow-up questions and sometimes activities that go along with it. Science has covered everything from animals and plants, to engines and batteries. I am learning new things myself. For example, did you know there is a type of bat that eats fish? Our 2nd grader also is doing handwriting (cursive) and math. We took 6 weeks to memorize Psalm 24, one verse each week, and have a song that goes along with it. We also have songs that teach us geography.
I have to say I am pleased with my purchase of the curriculum. It takes a lot of the worry out of meeting standards, and a lot of the time out of planning. I can relax and just teach, and observe as my daughter learns. I even have time while she works on independent assignments to work with my preschool daughters.
I know there are hundreds of curriculum options I could choose from. I chose Sonlight because I have several friends who were using it who seem to have well-educated children, and because I liked the idea of reading a lot to my children, especially because the younger ones can learn along with my oldest.