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Tell me about Sonlight....

re: Tell me about Sonlight....

We love Sonlight here! I have no experience with the lowest level cores, but we've done G,H,100, 200, and 530 (looking forward to 400 in the fall). Definitely look over the 27 reasons not to use Sonlight, because many of the criticisms I've read here are addressed in that document.


re: Tell me about Sonlight....

I typed up a nice, long ;o response and it got lost. So here's, hopefully a quicker version.

Like everyone's been saying read their website for 27 reasons not to use it as well as their beliefs on why they use what they do.

A couple of months ago we tried Core G (1st part of World History) with my ds13 (7th grade). We returned it within a few weeks. No problem with returns. Book lists are great, although can be controversial or intense.

We've tried/used a lot of different curriculum and my ds13 was convicted that this was not for us. We started with the beginning of history/creation. The bible reading doesn't really match up. They had us read the book of Mark. The history is Story of the World, which starts with nomads and the Usborne/Kingfisher includes evolution. The TG talks about some of this stuff and says to skip it. All this left my son asking things like, "well, what really happened?" "the timing doesn't line up," and "how can I believe the rest of the book if they say parts of it aren't true?" I did not blame him for questioning and was blessed by his conviction. We wanted to read what the bible says about history because we believe it IS history. Sonlight encourages this type of questioning, but again, read their website and/or forums to learn more about that.

He did like Sonlight's style/format of read and discuss. There's not really any hands-on with Sonlight.

I have used some of the books on their lists because they are organized by topic and reading ability/level/age. But you could also use HOD or MFW book lists for living books, which are not so intense/controversial. My plan includes one of these all-in-one programs next year. ;) But, of course, you have to choose what's best for YOUR family.


This post was edited on May 15, 2013 11:19 AM

re: Tell me about Sonlight....

We love Sonlight here. We used it for our first year of homeschooling and it was such a pleasant, stress-free way to learn. I am not the most organized person, so I appreciated having everything planned out and all the materials waiting on our bookshelf!

Core D sounds like a great option for you. Either that, or Core F (which is really unique to Sonlight). If we return to Sonlight next year, we will be doing Core D. I really like the new changes that they have made to the history spines (Landmark and the Children's Encyclopedia of US History). Looks fabulous!

Another literature-based option to think about is Moving Beyond the Page. That is what we have been doing this year (our second year of homeschooling). It is similar to SL, but has a bit more writing and hands-on activities. I'll probably let my DD decide which one to go with for next year. :o)

re: Tell me about Sonlight....

I used SOnlight for p3/p4 and Core A. I also used many of the books from p4/5 because we tried something else, but missed SOnlight so much we ended up buying half a core anyway.

What I love about SOnlight is the literature. Many literature based curriculums use very dry, almost encyclopedic books. Sonlight uses 1 or 2 non fiction spines and the rest are GREAT literature- books I would be buying anyway. We have used these books over and over and over again. I also dont have to spend time at the library hunting things down.

It is very open and go. I dont have to reinvent the wheel, which leaves time for ballet, piano, awana, CC, etc. 'THere is no stress. By turning the read aloud into a bed time story, it really doesnt take much time. SOmedays we will do all of our language arts, all of our poetry, etc. It is very flexible. I also appreciate the 4 or 5 day schedules.

My daughters retain the stories. The other day my 6 year old filled her notebook with pictures of Ida Scudder, a missionary we just learned about in Core A.

IT is very affordable, especially when used with multiple children. They also have payment plans and excellent customer service.

On the down side, it can be hard to combine multiple children if they are far apart in age or are very advances or have learning challenges. I am currently using p3/p4 and core A and I find it to be manageable. The prek curriculum takes about 10 minutes a day, though.

Part of what I appreciate about SOnlight is the opportunity the stories give to pass on our values. However, this takes time. Sonlight is not a curriculum for someone who wants to hand their child a book and leave. The parents should be engaged.

Hope that helps :)

re: Tell me about Sonlight....

We used Core G and H with ds 7th & 8th grade, dd 4th & 5th grade and little 2nd and 3rd grader tagging along. My oldest read everything, dd read most things, but she skipped the more intense books. Youngest listened in on the read alouds and did some Story of the World Activities (not as many as I'd hoped we'd get to do.)

I would try to keep your kids together because the read alouds are very time consuming. If your 10 yr old isn't able/willing/suited for that level of reading or that grade level of books, you could also use some of the Story of the World activities and/or substitute other books. It's also easier on your brain to be at one point in history. :o)

I really liked the synopses of the books and questions so I know what the kids are reading w/o having to read it myself. The maps are great, too.

We're continuing w/SL, having to tweak a bit because my kids are all 3 years apart, but a little tweaking is easier than doing two cores.

The Sonlight Forums are helpful. Also, you can get a three week sample from SL if you want to get to know the program.


re: Tell me about Sonlight....

Thanks so much for all the replies! I got a three week guide for Core D and W. I really like that they do that! We are looking through the guides, and going to try to do a little bit of them as we finish out the school year. I can't believe how much reading there is! Does it not get confusing reading different books at the same time?
I know that my 13 yo will be fine with all the reading. He loves to read. It is my 10yo that I am concerned about. She is dyslexic, so she struggles with reading anyway. I know I would be doing most of her reading for her.
I am just going to pray about it, and see where the Lord leads. Thanks so much for all the great responses!

re: Tell me about Sonlight....

I love Sonlight, but I'm using it in a weird way. My 6th grade daughter is doing core B+C completely by herself. That is, she reads all the Bible, history, read-alouds, and readers to herself. At the end of the school day I ask her the questions in the instructor's guide, and we talk about things. It's working well! (We use other publisher's for the rest of the subjects.)

Next year I'm going to do the exact same thing, only with Core D+E.


re: Tell me about Sonlight....

We love Sonlight here! I will say Core F was not our favorite, but we've loved the rest. I can't recommend them highly enough.



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