I’m skipping their LA, too. But I still like the history books and the literature, basically the “core” stuff, so I just do that and ditch the LA.
We loved P4/5! I did it at an accelerated pace with a 5 year old and my 7 year old tagged along. We did some fun community themes and activities as a supplement ~ I blogged our craziness, pm me if you want the link! @MuscleMom
We have used Sonlight for two years now with four students. We put the students together into two cores. We have used A, B, D&E, and F so far. I am preparing to order C, G, and W for next year (I am splitting the two older ones apart into separate cores in prep for high school for the older one).
Before using Sonlight I put together my own curriculum from several sources and used many of the Sonlight books for our reading curriculum. Once our fourth child started homeschooling I began feeling overwhelmed and really wanted to switch to a full boxed curriculum so I could manage it all and be given straight-forward TMs. We were SO happy with the switch and plan to just continue with Sonlight for the rest of their schooling.
We only use their cores, our science (God’s Design series), math (developmental math), and handwriting (A Reason for Handwriting) are separate.
We really enjoy it, I look forward to reading the books as much as the kids do. School is a pleasure each day that we all look forward to, which wasn’t the case the last year that I was struggling to put it together myself for four different grades.
The one negative thing I have to say is that the language arts/grammar part of the curriculum is a bit weak. I supplement with Daily Language Review. I also supplement the geography in the early years with a couple of years of Daily Geography to be sure to cement their mapping skills. Lastly, I do use Geography Road Trip USA every few years to solidify the states.
I would love the link to this please
Absolutely. I’ve used Sonlight all different ways–as written, swapped out some or all history books, stretched over two years–even eclectic (which is where I am now) where I pick and choose what to use. My favorite part of Sonlight has always been the readers and read-alouds. We liked some history books, didn’t care as much for others. We found other things that worked better for us for Language Arts. Sometimes we used their science, sometimes something else, and so on. The IG’s were great for giving me a feel for how to structure a literature-based homeschool, and now I set it up for our preferences–some years using more of Sonlight, some years using less.
I loved stretching Sonlight in the early years, so that I had time to include nature walks, field trips, play dates, extra books we were interested in, baking around holidays and other holiday traditions, mini-unit studies around holidays, etc…
Remember that the Instructor’s Guide in Sonlight is a Thanksgiving Feast. You don’t have to eat it all or even try everything. Sample what looks good to you, and savor. Use the curriculum to fit your family–don’t feel that you must make your family fit the curriculum. Enjoy great books with your kids!
Thank you @Merry I appreciate the insight. I have been spending so much time drooling over which books I would like to read with my family but trying to make it fit with what I’m trying to do and now I know it could work perfectly!
I was wondering, some people seem to find some of the books in Sonlight completely objectionable especially in the older years, did you find this to be true in the books you have received up to this point?
I’ve not had problems with the books we’ve received, but I always research too. If one comes up on the SL forums a lot as being objectionable, then I look into it more and find out why. What is objectionable to one person may not be to another, you know? I read and find out what I can about books. I think there’s only been one upper level book that I took a chance on, started pre-reading and decided it wasn’t a good fit for us. Anyway, if you read on SL, read reviews on a few sites, read samples–you can usually tell if it’s right for you or not. On the SL site, they have descriptions and will include a note if it has objectionable content too.
One more question @Merry. If I chose to do just Sonlight Readers and read alouds with the IG would I be missing out on the whole point of Sonlight? Would it be a waste of time us using it as a curriculum if I did it this way? I like some of the History books but would only pick and choose perhaps one or two so in the long run it would be cheaper to stick with readers, read alouds and the IG. Also if I did that would I still need all the timelines and maps?
I know you mentioned using it this way before but with or without the IG and the other extras I mentioned in this post?
The whole point of Sonlight is to provide a literature-based education, where history comes alive because the student not only learns the facts of history, but experiences it vicariously through fiction and biography.
You can have that experience whether or not you use every literature book, and you can have that experience whether you use the exact history books Sonlight provides or choose to use another history text.
It may not be the exact same experience, but it is a rich experience.
As far as mapping and timelines–My kids really struggled with mapping in early grades, so I focused on just having them find things on our world or US map, or occasionally pulling out an atlas. We use Mystery of History, so in upper grades I’ve had them do more mapping.
Sonlight has a book of time, which my kids never cared for either. I’ve never been great at the timeline aspect, though I sometimes now wish I’d tried more varieties and pushed for it more. A friend of mine who also uses Mystery of History follows their style–instead of having her kids put in stickers and write about the character, they have the student use a pre-formatted character they draw on to help them remember the person. Her boys have loved their books. I didn’t quite “get it” when I tried to introduce timelines, but now I think my kids would have enjoyed that more and maybe I should have tried it…oh well! I guess I’m a timeline flunkie.
Use what works for you and your kids.
Thank you so much you have answered all my questions so thoroughly I have no doubt what I’m doing now! Now to start ordering! You’ve been so helpful. I was so confused and second guessing myself. I have checked out Sonlight since day 1 of homeschooling and now it’s time to at least try it for a year. I have nothing to loose!
Sonlights new catalog is available today on PDF. The printed catalogs will be shipped out in a few weeks.
This is the just what I needed on a day where we have 6 inches of snow
Yup same here looking through mine right now! A catalogue can really make your day! lol
@NicoleB - We supplement our science with nature walks, field trips, Magic School Bus, and Legos so I don’t think you’d have an issue with using the 4-Day Science. Since the 5-day schedule is also included you can look at what the book or activity is and see if your library has it or something similar. The 4-day program also has a list of “optional” activities - you could select one of those for your fifth day.
I’d love the link too. My little one just turned 3 in November, so I’m starting P 3/4 with her now. We’ll do Letter of the Week and part of P 3/4 into next year and then start P 4/5 probably next January adding in LA K and Math in the Fall.
Okay Sonlight mommas, I’m wanting to add sticker scenes to my P 4/5 curriculum. I thought this would be a fun activity to do with “Things People Do” book. But the sticker scenes are sold in quantities of 12. I would need at most 4 of each scene. Would anyone be interested in splitting some packs with me? If you haven’t heard of sticker scenes they are a great way to keep little ones busy, also a good option for toddlers (fine motor). Here’s a link to some options. A rough estimate is a $1 per scene (with stickers) by the time you add in taxes and shipping.
We are combining P 4/5 with All About Reading Pre-Reading and maybe AAR Level 1. I’m using the Sonlight books as part of our 20-minute reading supplement for AAR - so far so good.
I would go in with you on these.
I would love a link to your blog. Thanks so much!
I would also love to read it!