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#1 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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   I am once again taking a good look at Sonlight for next year ( third grade). Can anybody offer any advice/suggestions/reviews? Thanks!

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#2 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I'm doing Core K with my 7yo (boy) for I guess first grade this year.  He loves it.  I really, really like it (can't say love yet, but who knows). 
I do a more flexible/scattered approach than some, so the IG is nice to keep us moving along, but if I'm still recovering from the holidays I have no qualms about it taking us 3 weeks to finish one week's worth of school reading/activities.


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#3 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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I've done it informally for the younger ages, basically by going off of their book lists, and then ended up buying the IG for Core K, as well as the science and math DVDs.  I have to say, that although I tended to ignore the IG  (I hear they are better for advanced cores), I was very happy with the materials.  I owned a bunch of books already, so couldn't buy the Core package--but honestly, nearly every book that we didn't have that I took out of the library, my kids loved.  Adored.  They became family favorites even when I didn't think they would.  I ended up buying them anyways. LOL  We used Sonlight along with Right Start Math and HWT.  

 

The pros of Sonlight to me are:

* Great books (even for this non-Christian)

* Great return policy and payment plan options

* Good support through fellow Sonlighters

 

I would join one of the Sonlight Yahoo groups and also see if you can post on the forums.  


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#4 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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We used K last year and are using 1 this year - love it. One thing I discovered on their forums is that many users like to use one core below what your child's traditional grade level would be. Others like to combine multiple kids into one core (we do) so if you want to do that it works best when all kids are in the recommended age range for that core (each core has a recommended age you can see online or in the catalog).

 

Definitely order a print catalog, since it makes more sense than the website. You can buy used or from Amazon if you don't want a whole core ... if you buy new, piece it together yourself since the newcomer's packages will force you into math/language arts you may not want to choose. The books are GREAT! Have fun shopping :)


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DD 9 love.gif DS 7 yrs   
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#5 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 11:02 PM
 
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We've used core 1, 2, part of 3 and are doing core 5 now. I really like the books Sonlight offers.

So far we liked core 2 the most and core 3 the least.

We took two years to do core 1. It was our first time with a curriculum so it took a little getting used to the structure. You should go at your own pace instead of feeling you have to complete everything on the schedule each day or week. If you order the 4 day you get the 5 day schedule as well so if you choose one and later feel you want to change you don't have to buy a new IG.

I wouldn't try to match the core number to grade level. I think you could do core 1 with a 3rd grader for example and it would not be too young.

 

We are using it as secular homeschoolers and leave a few books out but the majority of the books are not religious. In the print catalog they indicate those which are from a Christian publisher. I think having a print catalog is pretty useful.

 

It is quite a bit of reading. If you or your dc don't like reading much you may not like it.

Many of the readers and read alouds are older titles.You may be able to find them at your library. We have used audiobooks  for a few titles.

 

We do not do the timeline book. Dd just isn't interested in it.

Sonlight doesn't come with hands on activities but there are sites with ideas for that and ideas on the forums for activities and supplements. Dd liked History Pockets published by Evan Moore.

 

This year I did not get the history IG because I have found that the last couple of cores I have been leaving things out or switching things around so I basically was writing my own schedule anyway. In the beginning, I relied more on the provided schedule.

 

We used Sonlight LA one year and did not like it. Dd's handwriting level was pretty low compared to her reading level at the time and she hated writing anything. The exercises and activities were never fun for her and it became a big fight. For us it wasn't a good fit.

 

We do not get math from Sonlight. We like Math U See which they do not sell.

 

I've only gotten the science instructor guide this year ( science 5) and it is okay.

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#6 of 11 Old 01-27-2011, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the helpful information. I have the printed catalog and think I'm beginning to understand how it all can get pulled together. We are huge readers, so I think it might be a good fit. I'm not sure what the lessons are like, though, and am going to spend some time looking through the samples as soon as they email them to me. I was thinking of going with core 3 since my son will be 9 in the fall and a third grader.

   Kim, was there a specific reason you didn't much like it? Also, how do you choose which set of read alouds to get? Is it a three year program ( it says grades 3-5) so you just change the read alouds? Are there lessons for those too? Thanks again!

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#7 of 11 Old 01-27-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kanga2roo View Post

Thanks so much for the helpful information. I have the printed catalog and think I'm beginning to understand how it all can get pulled together. We are huge readers, so I think it might be a good fit. I'm not sure what the lessons are like, though, and am going to spend some time looking through the samples as soon as they email them to me. I was thinking of going with core 3 since my son will be 9 in the fall and a third grader.

   Kim, was there a specific reason you didn't much like it? Also, how do you choose which set of read alouds to get? Is it a three year program ( it says grades 3-5) so you just change the read alouds? Are there lessons for those too? Thanks again!


They have sample IG pages somewhere on the site...  Aha, here you go.
When it says grades 3-5, it means that age range.  You know how some kids are way ahead of the curve, and others (like my 7yo) can be on the tail end of the learning/maturing scale?  Yeah.  That's the brilliance of homeschooling - you can gear towards your own child's abilities.  :)  There's a reason why my 7yo is in Core K this year, and I keep going back and forth between Core 1 or 1+2 for next year.


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#8 of 11 Old 01-28-2011, 12:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanga2roo View Post

   Kim, was there a specific reason you didn't much like it? Also, how do you choose which set of read alouds to get? Is it a three year program ( it says grades 3-5) so you just change the read alouds? Are there lessons for those too? Thanks again!


You get the read alouds with the history core. They are the basis of the history program. You are supposed to be the one reading those to your child. The read alouds are scheduled in the history IG.  Each core IG has 36 weeks scheduled- so 1 school year if you follow the schedule as written. I don't dislike the schedule but just found we didn't need to rely on it so much since we were leaving out certain books so we had to skip back and forth. If you will use most or all of the books you will probably have no trouble following the schedule as written.

 

The readers are scheduled in the Language arts IG and you are supposed to buy what matches your child's reading level.. You don't have to buy level 3 readers just because your child is doing core 3.  I still get the readers but skip the LA IG now.

 

The good thing about Sonlight is that you can buy every item individually so if you just want an IG or just want certain books you can just buy that..

 

Our problem with the Sonlight LA was a focus on copywork and writing assignments that my dd wasn't ready for yet. Her reading level was much higher than her writing level. The writing assignments weren't very interesting or fun to dd so she didn't want to do them. Her spelling and vocabulary were well ahead of level. Some people like the Sonlight LA okay and some people don't. To me there are better things out there for language arts.

 

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#9 of 11 Old 01-28-2011, 05:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

 

The readers are scheduled in the Language arts IG and you are supposed to buy what matches your child's reading level.. You don't have to buy level 3 readers just because your child is doing core 3.  I still get the readers but skip the LA IG now.

 

 



The only thing you may want to consider for Core 3 is that the readers correlate with the history lessons. So reading along with the readers, goes along with the lesson you are learning about. But they have different levels like regular and intermediate readers that you can choose from.

 

We are using parts of Core 3 for American History right now (some spines, some read alouds and the readers) and we are very much enjoying it. My dd is younger so I've added a lot of my own hands on projects and plan to take about 3 years to complete it.

 

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#10 of 11 Old 01-31-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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We're using Sonlight for our 3rd and 2nd grader, over halfway with Core 1 right now.  I plan to start Core 2 sometime in April, and then be on Core 3 when they are midway between their 4th and 3rd grade years.  We love it!

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#11 of 11 Old 02-02-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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I am looking into Core 3 with my ds who will be in the 3rd grade next year.  I liked a lot of what I saw.  I am thinking maybe use the 2 science, 3 math and the 3 core.  I love the idea of having a schedule.  With ds2 and another on the way, I know next year will be hectic so that will help me out so much and I really like how much it seems you learn.  I am not going to be ordering anything until we go to the homeschool conference in May.  We aren't even 100% on the homeschooling yet.


BFing, co-sleeping, non-vaxing mom to Noah(7) and Sully(1). Our third blessing due March 13
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