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Does anybody use this? Like it or not? I'm intrigued by the literature and am just exploring this option, although I am not interested in the religious teachings, so would it be good without that aspect? TIA
 

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don't use it (but i do use their booklist for ideas & love them). just wanted to chime in and say a lot of homeschoolers use sonlight in a secular manner. i think there is a yahoo group specifc for that purpose. it wouldn't be an issue to drop the religious aspect<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Love Sonlight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Doing P3/4 now with my youngest two, and core K with the oldest 2. I do use the bible part, but I don't think its too over-the-top as far as religious content (but then you have to judge who is making that particular statement, I'm in college studying ministry although my dh is an athiest and he agrees that its not too religious for his liking, which is hard for us to strike in this house) There are a couple books I've come across in my cores that are pretty religious, so you may have to substitute something else for them, but really its not too bad IMO.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tammyw</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15438293"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">elizawill - where did you get their booklist and ideas?</div>
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The Sonlight catalog has every book they use listed in it. Most you can find at the library, or you can buy every single one at amazon (I should know, I just filled out our core K at amazon)
 

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Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I love Amazon! But we have gotten so many books that our house is overflowing. Now I hit the library first whenever I possibly can!!
 

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i just finished sonlight 3/4 and i'm getting ready to start with 4/5 with readers k and LA K. so far, i love what i see. it's a really great company who has worked hard to put everything together. their IGs are really helpful and do so much of the planning for you. they have very helpful forums. they have an 18 week guarantee. i guess it all depends on your educational philosophy....for me it works because i love to read, my kids love to read, and i think you really, really learn a lot from reading (as opposed to memorizing and forgetting from textbooks, which is what i did most of my school years).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kanga2roo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15438016"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Does anybody use this? Like it or not? I'm intrigued by the literature and am just exploring this option, although I am not interested in the religious teachings, so would it be good without that aspect? TIA</div>
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I don't use Sonlight, but really enjoy the catalogs and use them as booklists. Part of what attracts me is that I'm constantly finding books I remember really liking as a kid, including ones that I didn't realize anyone else actually knew about <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. While I know some of the books included have an overtly religious message, most of the ones I remember from childhood don't.
 

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Love the booklists. Don't think the IG is worth the price. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We love Sonlight - of course, we picked it specifically for religious content and evangelical missions perspective, but plenty of people leave those books out and use it in a secular fashion. I find the IG very valuable, for the schedule and the notes/discussion questions/appendices BUT many people just use the catalog as a booklist and get books on Amazon, only buying from SL their exclusive books. Either way, their literature selections are great!
 

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I've used just the history cores before. There are a lot of things I love about SL, but my favorite of all is their approach to history. (yes the living books approach over textbooks, too) They introduce dc to World history before they do American history. While a big reason they do this is b'c of their missionary goals, I like it becuase it gives dc the WHOLE "picture" first, then brings them to the US history. (Obviously I am an American.) In our school system and in American media, there is a constant message that America is IT. I want our dc to have more of a global awareness and I feel Sl does a good job of that. I think when I was reading in their catalog last week they state that most schools teach community, then state, then country, then world. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to be an American (no, I'm not singing!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">), it's just that for me, this common approach doesn't sit well.<br>
When i used it in the past, I bought the IG and SL specific books from the SL company. All the other books I either bought used or borrowed from the library.<br>
hth!
 

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We used Core 1 this year.<br>
Loved:<br>
great books & discussion,<br>
whole world view and no dumbing down for kids<br>
challenging readers<br>
IG helped guide our discussions when I needed help<br><br>
Not so much:<br>
Language Arts - didn't work for dd at all. We struggled trying to make it work by adding in FLL. Wish I would have just scrapped and tried something else.<br>
A LOT of history/geography for such a young age when I really want to focus on the 3 Rs.<br>
My 2 children can't be combined into the same core due to age differences. SL is just too time consuming for me to keep 2 cores going and my own school.<br><br>
Did not use: SL Science or the Bible portion so I can't speak to those.
 

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i use sonlight p/3p/4s guide book then borrow the boooks. ( minus bible bits) i plan to do the same for older grades very easy to make secular.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the replies! My catalog arrived yesterday, and after looking at it for over an hour- I am confused. I think I will call the company to see if they can help me out...<br>
It doesn't show you any lessons- does it? I see lots of info about what you COULD buy but I have no idea how the day would flow, what the lessons are like, how much writing ( and what types) will be done...<br>
And it seems like their math is non existent- am I correct? I can choose Singapore or another type- but aren't these totally separate math programs I can get anywhere on my own? I've used Explode the Code...<br>
Is their program basically history with good literature? What do you do after you read the books? I don't want the references to scripture and am wondering how much of that is woven into things my child will see. I don't mind if its in the teacher books, because I can just omit them.<br>
Also, in the reasons you may ( or may not, I forget) like Sonlight it talks about how they don't avoid the "controversial topics". Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks!
 

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The I.G. is a chart with assignments. Then there are other pages with discussion questions, mapping assignments, vocabulary, etc. As far as writing it depends upon what level you choose but it's a VERY natural approach to Language arts.<br><br>
Yes the Math is completely separate. We opted to go w/ MUS. But the bonus of buying from Sonlight is the free shipping & discount.<br><br>
Yes I would agree that the Core itself is basically History, Geography & Readers with great literature. Then you add in their LA, Sci, etc.<br><br>
To avoid the religious aspect of it (I removed much as I'm Catholic and wanted to sub Catholic materials) there are Core materials that I substituted like Missionary Stories, or other read alouds. And depending upon the core you buy, Readers 2 - Regular uses a children's Bible as the entire first 1/2 of the year student reader. So you may want to replace that as well.<br><br>
As far as controversy I didn't deal with a lot of that in Core 1. But there were some uncomfortable conversations for me. There's a wide exposure to wars, world religion, slavery in the ancient world, things that some sensitive children may struggle with. But I would have preferred less nudity in the books or war scenes of men being mutilated. For example: there's a page about some war that the soldiers proved their bravery in battle by bring home the hands of the other army. And there's a gorey picture of hands hanging on a line. We skipped that page - though my son ended up finding it later.<br>
Just realized I wrote a book...sorry!
 

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We just started using the IGs as a guide this week. So far, I am loving it. I feel as if we have somewhat of a purpose for this year, except I don't feel completely tied to it KWIM? The book choices are fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the replies. My little boy is VERY sensitive, so it was good to find out about some of the gory info. That's certainly not what I'm looking for. I love the idea of being able to look over the materials- and use them- and still be able to return it, but I think that's only a full package...?<br>
I'm going to carefully look at the book lists. It is very appealing to me to think of just buying something that includes lots of great literature, because I feel like doing that on my own takes up a lot of my time.<br>
Do you all think the books are accurate as far as levels? I have a child who will be a second grader next year, but he reads at a very high level, so it is tricky to find good books that are developmentally appropriate but closer to his reading/instructional level...TIA!
 

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We did the reading assessment and found the books to be spot on. However the LA are linked to reading ability.. which I found difficult bc dd's writing ability trails her reading ability. I've heard this is common. I guess it works itself out as they mature but it was a problem with us in the LA dept.
 

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Yes, the guarantee is with a CORE or Newcomer package purchase. What I love is that it isn't 18 weeks from date of purchase, it is 18 weeks of <i>materials.</i> So you are free to use the materials that are scheduled in the first 18 weeks of the IG, and if you don't love it, send the whole thing back for a refund. I personally have used this guarantee (I returned the P4/5 package and decided to buy Core K), and I can tell you that they did refund ALL of my money. The only thing I was out, was what it cost me to ship the package back to them. (About $26.00.)<br><br>
I don't find Sonlight to be <i>overly</i> religious. You would simply not use the bible portion. And any other biblical / religious references that bothered you, IMO, would be rather easy to modify / omit. (But then, we are Christians and I haven't felt the need to do this, so I can't speak from the experience of actually trying to edit out any and all references.)<br><br>
You are right that you are free to add your own Math, Science, and LA. You can buy these things through Sonlight or you can do them completely separately. Sonlight does have their own LA and Science, and they do have certain things they recommend to use. But when you order just a Core, what you are getting is History, Geography, and readers. And the Instructor's Guide with a schedule and discussion questions / vocabulary.<br><br>
If you feel that your child is <i>very</i> sensitive and you want to avoid anything that may trouble him, then Sonlight may not be for you. But keep in mind that you can always pre-read things and decide how you think he will handle it. You can always put a book on the shelf until later, too.<br><br>
Best wishes in deciding. We LOVE Sonlight! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I look at the Sonlight catalog every year, wishing that we afford it! I've been scouting out some used Sonlight, but even that is expensive.<br><br>
Has anyone used the Sonlight Science? I would like to have a structured Science plan, and their program looks like something my kids would like. I may just add that to what we're doing and try the Cores another year.<br><br>
I've been trying to figure out how my kids would do a Core together. My ds will be 9, and my dd will be 6. He is reading very well, and she is just starting to put words together. I was looking at the Core 1 and 2 with Advanced 2 readers for ds and Regular 1 readers for dd.
 
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