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Sonlight or Heart of Dakota?

sl vs. hod hod vs. sl

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#1 blessedmom3

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:31 PM

I like them both but can't decide which one to choose for next year. My children are 7 , 5 and 4 . This year we are still doing MOH ( which we love ) with CHOTW and many books from Sonlight 1 but not the actual curriculum. Next year I want to use a packaged curriculum for the ease of the schedule .

So which one do you prefer and why?

#2 Tohru

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:58 AM

Sonlight is definitely easier for scheduling. It has it laid out for you, day by day. It was perfect for us when I was pregnant, then with her as a newborn. Absolutely minimal thinking, just pull out the IG and it states exactly what needs to be done.

I'm pretty sure with HoD you do have to do some scheduling maintenance to figure out what you're going to do...at least DITHOR you had to make some decisions on scheduling and book selections to set up your schedule and then go from there.

#3 ChicoryChick

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:15 AM

I have not used Sonlight, but have used HOD for 2 years now. It is very open and go and easy to use with 2 page layouts for each day. There are "week at a glance" for each manual on the website to give you an idea what the program is like. (I am sure that Sonlight has some samples to to help you compare).

There is a thread about Sonlight/HOD on the HOD board (you may want to check for the same on the Sonlight board) You may also want to type SL & HOD in the WTM Search box for past threads discussing this. :D
HTH

#4 crl

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:04 AM

I'm pretty sure with HoD you do have to do some scheduling maintenance to figure out what you're going to do...at least DITHOR you had to make some decisions on scheduling and book selections to set up your schedule and then go from there.


I did not find this to be true with HOD. But then again, we have not used DITHOR since my kids are too young for that. I found that we just open the guide and pull the correct books to read or do for the day. Very open and go.

#5 angela&4boys

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:31 AM

We've used and liked both.

Here are some differences I've observed:

The HOD schedules have every subject included on a two-page spread, where SL has them as a weekly grid but a different schedule for history, language arts, and science. There is much less text for the parent with HOD, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It also has all the dictation, alternate schedules for math, extensions for older students, and a recommended independent reading schedule in the appendix. The HOD TG is more streamlined. However, SL has comprehension question and great teacher's notes.

Sonlight uses a little more literature where HOD uses literature too, but also utilizes more traditional textbooks.

HOD is more hands-on than SL. And from our experience, they were practical and fun.

HOD also includes art and music, if you desire.

That's all I can think of right now. We're considering SL for next year's studies, but I love both of them for different reasons. SL will likely fit us better because I'd like to combine our middle guys in a core, and I'm looking at using a different science program for each of them.

Edited by angela&4boys, 27 April 2010 - 09:24 AM.
my poor grammar


#6 happyWImom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 09:30 AM

We've used and liked both.

Here are some differences I've observed:

The HOD schedules have every subject included on a two-page spread, where SL has them as a weekly grid but a different schedule for history, language arts, and science. There is much less text for the parent with HOD, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It also has all the dictation, alternate schedules for math, extensions for older students, and a recommended independent reading schedule in the appendix. The HOD TG is more streamlined. However, SL has comprehension question and great teacher's notes.

Sonlight uses a little more literature where HOD uses literature too, but also utilizes more traditional textbooks.

HOD is more hands-on than SL. And from our experience, they were practical and fun.

HOD also includes art and music, if you desire.

That's all I can think of right now. We're considering SL for next year's studies, but I love both of them for different reasons. SL will likely fit us better because I'd like to combine our middle guys in a core, and I'm looking at using a different science program for each of them.


Angela:

What are you looking at for science? Just curious.:D

#7 blessedmom3

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 02:19 PM

Wow , thanks that was very helpful ! Still hard to choose . I really like the Bible portion of HOD and the comments in the little boxes . But I think Sonlight is easier to use so we will probably go with that. I really need to use something easy as I have my hands full with four under 7 !

For science we are using Considering God's Creation and Apologia + living books & notebooking ,I like that better than Sonlight's science .

#8 angela&4boys

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 02:34 PM

Angela:

What are you looking at for science? Just curious.:D


I'm all over the place with science right now. That's a hard one for me.

We have been using BJU this year for 4th and 6th. My 10yo wants to stick with it, but I know my 12yo is not ready for BJU 7th. So, I'm contemplating Apologia's General Science, A Beka (eh), or combining them in God's Design. I'm just not certain that the latter will be beefy enough for the elder.

Hoping to find some clarity at the convention. They both like science, but I hate to hand them a textbook. I don't want to kill the joy. Kwim?

Edited by angela&4boys, 27 April 2010 - 02:55 PM.


#9 angela&4boys

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:02 PM

Wow , thanks that was very helpful ! Still hard to choose . I really like the Bible portion of HOD and the comments in the little boxes . But I think Sonlight is easier to use so we will probably go with that. I really need to use something easy as I have my hands full with four under 7 !

For science we are using Considering God's Creation and Apologia + living books & notebooking ,I like that better than Sonlight's science .


Oh, yes! How could I forget? The Bible portion of HOD is wonderful! Carrie does an amazing job of tying Bible readings, Bible memory, and character with history. In general, the subjects are integrated very well. That definitely sets HOD apart from many other curricula.

The only other thought I had in regard to comparing the two, is that there does tend to be more reading aloud with Sonlight. And as the programs progress in HOD, they do become much more independent.

#10 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:08 PM

Can someone compare the scheduled books? Winterpromise, for example has more visually appealing books than Sonlight. Sonlight has emotionally deep books. How does HOD compare in that respect?

I have absolutely fallen in love with one program from each of these, and just have to use them, so I don't think I will be loyal to any of them.:tongue_smilie:

#11 FordFamily

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:16 PM

More hands on in HOD is the first thing that
comes to mind. I think they have a different
approach to Language Arts, which is something
to consider.
HOD includes everything, LA (lower levels) and Science
SL you will purchase LA and Science to add to the Core.
I hope that is hepful.

#12 happyWImom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:32 PM

[quote name='blessedmom3']Wow , thanks that was very helpful ! Still hard to choose . I really like the Bible portion of HOD and the comments in the little boxes . But I think Sonlight is easier to use so we will probably go with that. I really need to use something easy as I have my hands full with four under 7 !


I like HOD's Bible portion too, and was really impressed with how they do it in Bigger. I though I would steal the idea and incorporate it into some of the books we do with SL. (ex. picking a character trait, having them look it up and define it and then applying it to one of the characters/situations in the book & the Bible)

#13 blessedmom3

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 09:59 PM

Hard to decide :001_unsure:
I like the fact that HOD is more independent (thanks Angela for mentioning that). My son though not even 7 yet , reads at 7 grade level . He is a bookworm but doesn't like it too much when I read ...he tolerates me though .Something to consider . Also the LA and math portion from HOD don't match with his ability and if I go a higher level it doesn't match with his maturity but of course I can always ignore the LA and math portion and eventually match it with my younger kids (my 6 and 5 yo)


I think I need to go to a HS convention but it's hard to justify the money ( I think it's $80 for Orlando ) just to see the books and I'm not interested to listen to speakers .

By the way for anyone interested here is a free audio of HS speakers. Everyhting is there: Sonlight , MFW , Rightstart Math ,etc

http://hche.org/list...jsp?SectionID=3

#14 birchbark

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:22 PM

I compared them here.

#15 blessedmom3

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:49 PM

I compared them here.



Thank you so much , your post made me want HOD now :001_smile:

#16 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:52 PM

Will someone tell me exactly what grade level would be best for Bigger and Preparing? If you follow every box in the TM... including math, where will you be in grade level? Thanks!

#17 birchbark

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:05 PM

Bigger Hearts is approximately second or third grade level, and Preparing Hearts is third or fourth grade level. You can also take a look at the placement chart.

#18 Tree House Academy

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:09 PM

Maybe another consideration...Sonlight is a whole lot more reading in the earlier levels than HOD is. I am using Little Hearts this year and have LOVED it for my 6 year old. I has been so fulfilling. I do not really like the Science in HOD until CTC, so we are using CLE Science 1 this year and will use Elemental Biology with Beyond Little Hearts next year for 2nd grade.

HTH and good luck with your choice!

#19 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:10 PM

Okay, I went from secular WTM to Winterpromise and now I can't stop looking at the two programs mentioned above...

Are there hands-on activities for science and history in Bigger? Could you describe them?

#20 Tree House Academy

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:15 PM

Hard to decide :001_unsure:
I like the fact that HOD is more independent (thanks Angela for mentioning that). My son though not even 7 yet , reads at 7 grade level . He is a bookworm but doesn't like it too much when I read ...he tolerates me though .Something to consider . Also the LA and math portion from HOD don't match with his ability and if I go a higher level it doesn't match with his maturity but of course I can always ignore the LA and math portion and eventually match it with my younger kids (my 6 and 5 yo)


We do not do HOD Spelling or Math because my son does not "fit the guide." Basically, we use it for History, Bible (which is better than anything else I have found), Poetry, and Read alouds. We will do the dictation from HOD next year for younger ds and older ds will go back to DITHR only he will be reading aloud to me so I can keep up with the book. We are also not doing English with HOD, even though we do use R&S which is what HOD recommends and schedules. For younger ds, he fit better in Little Hearts this year for history and Bible, while in Reading/LA, he was ready to move on. We went through the emerging readers, but he is not ready for DITHR, IMO. We are hanging back with R&S reading 2. I am also starting R&S English 2 this year with Beyond (but it isn't scheduled until Bigger). My older son will be doing R&S English 5 this year and completing it while doing CTC. In the CTC guide, R&S is scheduled to only complete half of the book by the end of the year. So, we definitely differ on those from the HOD guides.

#21 Tree House Academy

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:19 PM

Okay, I went from secular WTM to Winterpromise and now I can't stop looking at the two programs mentioned above...

Are there hands-on activities for science and history in Bigger? Could you describe them?


Oh gosh yes. HOD is known for the hands-on stuff. We only did 8 weeks of bigger with older ds, but I remember that we made a Wampum belt out of rice and he designed it, we made maps for Columbus' route, we experimented by pretending tools were bird beaks (tweezers, pliers, and a clothes pin) and tried to pick up little objects in oatmeal (?) - we did this while using the One Small Square Seashore book.

I loved Bigger...just not with a 5th grader! It would have been great for a 3rd grader! :)

#22 birchbark

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

Can someone compare the scheduled books? Winterpromise, for example has more visually appealing books than Sonlight. Sonlight has emotionally deep books. How does HOD compare in that respect?


Good question. I would say HoD's books are less visual, more literature-y like Sonlight. Lot's of children's classics like Sonlight: E.B. White, Marguerite Henry, Holling, Aesop, Sid Fleischman, Robert Lawson, D'Aulaires, some Biblical fiction, biographies written for children, etc. I know they make it a point to have a variety of genres represented. I am not sure if Sonlight does that or not. As far as "emotional depth" I would say fewer of HoD's are that way. And you don't see a missions focus with HoD as you do in Sonlight or MFW for instance.

You can go to HoD's site to see their book packs.

#23 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 07:16 PM

You can go to HoD's site to see their book packs.

Thank you for the response. I have looked, but you really can't tell... you know?

#24 DaffodilDreams

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:12 PM

HOD didn't work for us. Too easy, and therefore too boring -even bought one level higher than age recommendation because I could tell from the description she was already ahead of the recommended pkg. Probably should have gone up 2 levels, but I ended up spending more money to ditch HOD (after the guarantee expired, of course) and buy SL instead. I'm sure it varies from family to family, though. If one curriculum met the needs of everybody all the time, there wouldn't be so many fabulous options out there. If you can get your hands on the two choices you're trying to decide between and compare them, I would suggest doing so!


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