Okay. Short version: B has said that with three kids, we could conceivably afford to purchase a curriculum package each year with the intention of keeping it to use for the younger kids (yes, we would have to go back and order the earlier grades that the Elf has already done). We can't afford it Right Now. But it's a good time to start looking, right? Maybe with all this looking we'll decide not to purchase a packaged deal. Who knows.
The help I need is this: what do you use? What works for you and your kids? What have you tried and disliked?
My heart loves Waldorf. But my head acknowledges that we aren't those people. We don't sing, we don't rise with the sun and put our kids to bed at 6pm. We don't have baking days. I cannot make myself joyful about all of our daily tasks (scooping cat litter is not something I can do with a smile on my face). I don't have the time (or capacity at this point) to memorize stories to tell to the extent that it would seem I need to. So I don't think I can do a pure Waldorf curriculum. That seems to rule out Live Ed and A Little Garden Flower.
We are not Christian. So I don't want anything religious (it seems silly to pay for a package that I need to ditch half of). I'm not entirely sure what that rules out.
I love the idea of a nature-based curriculum. Summers here are intense and it's often hard to go outside. Think deep winter in some places, only hot instead. And winter? Not so much. Yes, it gets cold. But my kids don't really understand what snow is.
The Elf (since I can't yet speak for the younger two) isn't all about the worksheets - at least not an endless stream of them though he does enjoy some. He also isn't enthused about reading straight texts. He reads above his "level" but is.. picky.. about what he wants to read. He's stubborn and willful and.. well, almost nine. But he's extremely smart. He asks the most amazing questions. At the same time, he doesn't always know the days of the week in order. He can't tell the difference between cities, states, and countries. He gets confused about the difference between months and seasons. I'm still not sure he knows the alphabet in order completely.
I'm looking at Ambleside Online because it was suggested to me by the lovely Wool and Chocolate. It's a lot to look through, so I haven't made much of a dent yet.
I'm open to any and all suggestions. B ideally wants to buy whatever we buy used (or extremely cheaply). I just want to make the right decision.
Thanks in advance! I'm positively drowning in uncertainties.