Sonlight Curriculum? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 05-23-2008, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thoughts, anyone?

Tabitha, married to my best friend Steven - Mama to 6 little ones and another on the way!
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#2 of 19 Old 05-23-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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I have a friend who has used it for a few years and she really likes it. She is a secular homeschooler so revises it a bit, which she has found pretty easy to do and there is a yahoo Sonlight Secular group. She really likes the way it is all planned out and it all comes in a box and you just follow along. Her daughter likes it a lot also, as she really enjoys the read-alouds. They also like it that it can be adapted for reading level (her daughter is very, very bright but struggles with reading and they have enjoyed the flexibility of choosing reading levels).

I considered using it but decided it was too much for me, in terms of scheduling. I like to have more flexibility. I LOVE their reading suggestions! I may consider again in a few years, when my son is older.
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#3 of 19 Old 05-23-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!

Tabitha, married to my best friend Steven - Mama to 6 little ones and another on the way!
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#4 of 19 Old 05-23-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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We have used core 1 spread out over 2 years.
We like it for the most part.
I haven't felt it was inflexible or too much in terms of scheduling. I don't feel obligated to do something just because it is scheduled though.

We have decided not to use Sonlight language arts next year. Dd didn't like it so we are going to try something else.

Do you have specific questions?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#5 of 19 Old 05-23-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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On Sonlight's website there is an article called something like 20 Reasons NOT to Choose Sonlight.

I think anyone considering buying it should at least read that!
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#6 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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If your child is a hand-on learner, you will have to do supplements. We used it one year because my oldest loves to read and be read to, but it actually ended up being too much reading. For some kids, it works, but not for my hands-on learner. This year, instead of using their curriculum we did our own history thing but used their readers for our reading, since we were wanting to do US History. Their readers and read-alouds are great, though.
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#7 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 09:38 AM
 
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I think it depends entirely on how and how much your kid likes to read. A friend of mine gave me her old Sonlight. We would never used it because a) it's entirely too religious for us and b) I didn't like the way you read little bits of lots of books rather than one book at a time. My kids would HATE that.

Besides, we're unschoolers anyway.

dm
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#8 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
Do you have specific questions?
Well, I'm unsure about which core to get. They came out w/a preschool one for ages 4-5 but I think dd would be bored with it. She already knows her alphabet and their sounds. She LOVES to read books to us by memorizing what we read to her. I just really feel she's ready for the next step and I am wondering if she's ready for the kindergarten program.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
On Sonlight's website there is an article called something like 20 Reasons NOT to Choose Sonlight.

I think anyone considering buying it should at least read that!
Yes! I did read this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
b) I didn't like the way you read little bits of lots of books rather than one book at a time. My kids would HATE that.
I didn't realize this. So you don't read one book at a time?

I thought about the hands-on thing too. DD definitely LOVES to read. It's one of her favorite things. But, I still believe that we should incorporate more hand-on activities too.

Tabitha, married to my best friend Steven - Mama to 6 little ones and another on the way!
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#9 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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Core C may be a bit old for your daughter. Not sure though. My daughter is 6 and we are doing it for the second yr now. We spread it out. The read alouds don't have many pictures at all. If she doesn't mind sitting and listening then it is great. Or doing other things and listening for that matter
We love Sonlight. I like how there is a schedule for us. We don't follow the time line for it though.
I will give you an ex. for a day of Core C.

Bible Pg 124-127
Memorization (they give them a verse to memorize) We skip this part.

Children's Encyclopedia Pg 34-35

(Read aloud) The Hundred Dresses chap. 5

(Poetry) The Llama Who Had No Pajamas "Time" Pg 24

The Real Mother Goose "Diddle...", "Jerry Hall" Pg 37

Development activity - Practice pouring. Use a variety of containers and materials (both liquid and powder)

Then there is Science and language arts. Same kind of thing there too.

I will do like a wks worth of Encyclopedia and check it off. Or a couple of chapters at a time if that is what she wants. So pretty much we adapt it to fit our lifestyle.

Hope this has helped you with any questions you may have.
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#10 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Check out My Father's World if you are looking for a similar curriculum with more hands on stuff. They use a ton of books as well, but have them listed so you can use the library and not have to purchase them all like Sonlight.
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#11 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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we have core 1 & 2. i totally, hate the instructor's guide and as dharmamama said it's crazy how they break up the books in bits. the books they recommend are wholesome and nourishing. we don't have the religious ones. we just read the books when we feel like it.
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#12 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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I didn't use a curriculum before my dd was 6. I just got a bunch of good books and read to her and did some fun activities.
I've only used core 1 with level 2 readers. My dd was reading well before we started with Sonlight.

In core 1 there is more than one book scheduled in a day/week.
There is a book (or books) for history/geography. If you do bible there is that. There is a read-aloud and a reader.
The read aloud is generally a chapter a day. Some longer chapters are broken up into 2 days.
If we feel like reading more than is scheduled we do. I just mark it off on the schedule. I think any curriculum with a schedule will be breaking the books up... otherwise don't get the schedule and just read whole books as you feel like it.
There are no hands on activities in the schedule. We come up with our own activities.

I recommend looking at the instructor guide samples for the levels you are considering.
http://www.sonlight.com/uploads/1/P4_5_2008.pdf
http://www.sonlight.com/uploads/1/KTB_2008.pdf

You could use Sonia or call the curriculum advisors to help you decide what level is best.

Some supplement activity ideas-
http://www.roadstoeverywhere.com/sonlightp.htm
http://www.roadstoeverywhere.com/sonlightK.htm
Also if you buy a core from Sonlight you get free access to their forums. People often share ideas for supplemental activities there.

Some people who want more hands on activities than Sonlight go with Winter Promise instead.

If you want a less strict schedule and/or a booklist you could use Ambleside Online. It is free.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#13 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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One of the things I love about Sonlight is being able to customize to our needs. I think Core B would be a great place to start, but you could add the LA and/or readers from Core C if you feel like your dd would be ready for that step.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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#14 of 19 Old 06-12-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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We are doing our first year of homeschooling with Sonlight.

I know that they have a package now out that you have 18 weeks to try it and if you don't love it you can send it all back (used books, workbooks and all). So even if you did get the P 4/5 and decided it was too young for your dd you could send it back and get the more suited package kwim? At least that is what I have gathered.

My ds turns 5 first week of July so we will be doing the Pre K 4/5. I am borrowing the majority of the books from our local library (all but about 7-8).

They also have forums which you cna get a 30 day free trial. Can't post but, still can purchase through the used curriculm avenue. I have done that with 4 books so far for a pretty good deal.

Best wishes,
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#15 of 19 Old 06-14-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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We love the instructor's guide and the way the reading is broken up. It really depends on how your child learn. Because you read chapter books, they don't schedule an entire book in one day which is why it's broken up. There is usually a good stopping point in each story each day. Also, this helps my kids look forward to the next day's reading and get excited about school each day.
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#16 of 19 Old 06-15-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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I did the Core K w/my dd last year. I thought most of the books were good, but I agree with the broken up into little bits complaints. I always ended up reading the whole book w/dd. I loved the Usborne books. I was not wild about some of the others, like the Little Golden Books collection. They're fairly outdated. Or the Christian books. We're not Christian, but I was planning to read them with an open mind. We read the Bible, but the books were way too didactic.

I also hated the instructor's guide. It offered very little additional information other than "Read XYZ". When I compared it to the Calvert Kindergarten instructor's manual that my sister used, I realized that I probably could used a lot more discussion questions, etc.

I am trying to decide whether or not to go w/Sonlight again this year. I really like the Core 1's book list. But I might just borrow the list and check those books out for dd for pleasure reading. If I were more confident, I could definitely cobble together my own curriculum using a lot of their products. But I'm not!

Mommy to kids

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#17 of 19 Old 06-15-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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We are going to purchase the Core K this Fall. My DD will be 5 in October and she loves read alouds. I have a feeling we will read through the books at our own pace and go from there. She also wants to learn how to write better so we will be getting the handwriting from them as well. We already have read a couple of the books, like My Father's Dragon, but I am excited to read the rest with her and my 3 year old listening to parts as well.

Homeschooling Momma to DD 8 years old, DS 7 years old, DS born 03/11 by adoptionheart-1.gif , waiting for DD born 07/10 and two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband of 12 years.
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#18 of 19 Old 06-15-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Sonlight is great for book choices - the books they choose are top notch and the best books we have ever read! I built my home library around their catalog. I am not a schedule person so we don't use the curriculum but we do read the books (not in any order or sticking to a Core or anything). One week we may read a book from Core 4 and the next a book from Core 6. It works for us!
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#19 of 19 Old 06-15-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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i don't use sonlight and probably won't ever use it due to the price and my dd's learning style....but it does get really good reviews for the most part. you could read more at http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/rev...ws.aspx?id=336

www.tanglewoodeducation.com is also a good free site and it's literature based (as is ambleside - which was already mentioned)


hth.

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