Can Sonlight be affordable? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-27-2008, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just looked at the Sonlight curriculums and yikes!!! They were expensive! I would have 3 kids in 3 different years although close because they will be in 3rd, 2nd, and 1st. Is there some way to do Sonlight so that it will be affordable? Dh would probably pass out at the price since we are in a virtual public charter that provides everything for free. I'm not happy there though, and so I'm looking for something else. Is there a way to just buy their lesson plans? And then look for books elsewhere? Library? Used? Etc? Or are their curriculums made in a way that it just needs to be bought yearly?

I love this new smile by the way! :
ccasanova is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-27-2008, 03:51 PM
 
mackysmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SHHH... I'm reading Harry Potter
Posts: 1,665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't use Sonlight but I often get my book suggestions from them and have read their catalog thoroughly. With the ages of your kids, I think that you could easily combine them into one CORE program. The Sonlight website has lots of information about how to make this work - just get different level readers, phonics, handwriting, and math if you NEED to (you could probably combine at least two of your kids on some of these) but keep the history core and literature the same. Get the readers and read-alouds from the library or from a used bookstore (or, many of them are available new from Amazon as buy 3, get 1 free). Get on the Sonlight forums and find a used CORE curriculum. It is going to be more expensive than free but you can do it for a lot less than their sticker price.
mackysmama is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 04:09 PM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd think about what you want out of a curriculum and what isn't working with the virtual school.
Are you attracted to literature based curriculum?
Do you just need a schedule prepared for you?
Do you just want a booklist?

You can buy the Sonlight instructor guide only and get many of the books from the library. You do not have to buy a core or the newcomer package.

You could buy used. Check e-bay.

You could use the catalog as a book list and not buy anything.

If your children are so close in age maybe you could put all of them in the same level. They actually have advice on how to use one level for multiple ages on their site. http://www.sonlight.com/faq-curr-age-span.html

You could try Ambleside Online instead for a free schedule and booklist.

We bought core 1 and used it for 2 years for my dd.
We didn't buy science, art or music. We use less expensive or free resources for those.
We only got language arts the second year.
We did not buy the markable map. I think we are fine without it.
We bought but did not use the book of time. I'd skip it and make your own timeline.

We are just buying the instructor guide and the books we really want individually for next year.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 04:40 PM
 
3momkmb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you could pretty easily combine the kids into one core. Do all the same read alouds and some of the same readers and then buy math and LA at the appropriate levels. The Horizon workbooks are pretty cheap and you really don't need the teacher guides in the lower grades (IOM anyway). I did cores 1 and 6 one year and I still ended using some of the same books for both children. I bought a lot of the books from Amazon sellers and used and also borrowed some.

You can certainly buy just the IG. I did that this year for Brit Lit. since all the books were classics and easily found at the library. I did buy a few books, but they were so inexpensive from Sonlight ($2-$3) that I figured why not?

This is the first year I've purchased science cores and I did find it worthwhile BUT I would only buy one for your three kids. I have science 3 and my 9yo is loving it. He has some delays and can do it so I would think you could make it work for a 2nd or even 1st grader with a little modification (like reading the worksheets aloud, not expecting as much writing).

I've never used the markable map of book of time either.
3momkmb is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
so by doing these things that really are great ideas, what is an estimate of what a year of Sonlight would cost?

What is it costing you per year? And I am correct that this Sonlight is a literature based curriculum correct?
ccasanova is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 01:46 PM
 
3momkmb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I did cores 1 and 6 I think I spent about $300. I bought core 1 IG used, got the Core 6 IG and some of the books from Sonlight and bought monay more from Amazon. I also took quite a few from the library.

This year we are only doing the Science 3, Brit Lit and what amounts to High school Biology w/o the IG. I actually purchased the entire Science 3 (except for the Usborne mysteries and marvels which I already had), the Brit Lit IG and 3-4 books and the Apologia Biology text and CD. I spent about $300. If you add in Horizons math 2 and Teaching textbooks (which I also bought) then it brings it to about $475 for two kids.
3momkmb is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
$475 for 2 kids is not too bad. I need to figure out how to work their curriclums though which is a bit confusing when you've never done it before. Core this but not core that? That's where I get lost!
ccasanova is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 04:06 PM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used core 1 4-day with level 2 regular readers for 2 years with my dd. With Miquon math and LA and required resources it was about $430... so $215 a year for my 1 child I guess. If I had more than 1 child close in age I could have used it again or for 2 at the same time.
If I could go back I would not buy the book of time, markable map, Beginner's Bible, A Child's History of the World, the reader's schedule and a few of the other books that we did not like.

I like having a schedule but I found that we didn't really use discussion questions in core 1 so we probably could have just use the catalog as a book list.

I'm buying the level 2 IG ($75.24 with binder and index tabs) and the books we want individually from Sonlight this time. My total is $337.22.
A core 2 Intermediate 4-day package would be $351.85 and I would have books that I do not want.
I'm not sure if we with complete it in 1 year or stretch it over 2 years yet. It depends on how it goes.
I'm buying our language arts and math from somewhere else this year because dd didn't like Miquon math and Sonlight LA- with that plus Sonlight stuff I will be spending about $475- $500 this year.

Since people do buy Sonlight used you could sell it when you are done with it.

Do you have a catalog or are you just navigating their site?
Have you tried their online curriculum advisor?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just ordered their catalog and was navigating their website. From the looks of it I might be able to use 1 core for my 3 kids because they are 8,7,and 6. I would just need to buy their level math and l.a. and readers I'm assuming? So what is usually done with Sonlight after reading history and literature? Are there worksheets to complete to see what the kids retained? Narrations like CM style? Are their tests every so often? From the looks of it, Sonlight seems to rely heavily on literature whole living books reading, but after that, how CM like is it? And about their instructor guides, is that where the lesson plans are laid out? It's a toss up between AO and Sonlight at the moment. I'm trying to see what we would like more.

Although I will be on my own for Math, and maybe L.A.

oh, and how complete is their catalog? Would it be enough to use as a booklist, if I want to piece together just what I like about Sonlight and use other curriculums for other subjects?
ccasanova is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 08:46 PM
 
3momkmb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are discussion questions and (at least in core 6) map work. In the literature course there are writing assignments. In the science cores there are worksheets. There really aren't tests.

The IG's tell you what to read (and what to have the child read) everyday and which questions/worksheets/writing assignments to use. It really is all laid out if you choose to follow the IG.

I think you certainly can use the catalog as a reading list. Just to be clear, I actually put together the history piece myself using the catalog and several other reading lists (you can see them on my homeschooling blog under resources). I found the discussion questions in the IG of minimal value and find it's easy enough to do on our own. The cost in my other post if for science and lit only.
3momkmb is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have noticed that a few have said they didn't like the book of time. Is this the history timeline book? If so, I was planning on getting it because I was looking for a book of the centuries to do with the kids. Was this one not good? Why didn't you like it? Or did you just not want to do a book of the centuries?
ccasanova is offline  
Old 06-29-2008, 02:25 AM
 
3momkmb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't get it because my kids don't like timelines.
3momkmb is offline  
Old 06-29-2008, 07:30 AM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The catalog (and site) lists every single book used in the core. Each book is available to purchase individually so they are listed individually. So you could easily use it as a book list.

We bought the book of time but didn't use it. We aren't into timelines I guess.
I feel that is a place I would personally cut back to save money. If your family adores timelines it might be worth it to get.

I recommend looking at the IG samples on the Sonlight site.
http://www.sonlight.com/samples-sonlight.html

You might also find this site useful.

The core IG includes the schedule pages (4 -day on one side, 5-day on reverse side no matter which you buy), suggested learning objectives in the study guide, maps, discussion questions and vocab development for read alouds. No tests or worksheets. The readers IG includes weekly schedule sheets with discussion questions and sometimes references to maps. No tests, worksheets, or crafts.

I didn't really rely on the discussion questions from Sonlight. I found that questions suggested themselves as we read. If you don't need a schedule or suggested discussion questions then you probably could do fine without the IG. There are several sites with hands-on-activities to supplement Sonlight if you want that and you might find free discussion questions for some of the books.

The LA IG includes the schedule. There is a spelling word list, a student activity sheet, writing assignments, assignments for Explode the Code and Wordly Wise (both optional) each week. You are supposed to do a spelling pre-test and test each week. The LA schedule lists the readers for that week as well.
I felt the LA was complete but my dd didn't respond well to the structure of it so we are going to try something else.

I have not used the Sonlight science. We just got a book of experiments on sale and have used other low cost or free resources for now. We did get The Living World Encyclopedia and Usborne Book of Knowledge and dd has enjoyed those. As dd gets older we might buy the science IG.

You should read the reasons not to buy Sonlight and reasons to try Sonlight-
http://www.sonlight.com/not-to-buy.html
http://www.sonlight.com/to-buy.html
I think they are pretty honest about what their curriculum is and isn't.

Ambleside Online uses some of the same books that Sonlight uses- not all in the same level though. They probably have a similar feel. Their history seems to go in a different focus though so you might look to see which you feel more comfortable with.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off