This is my second year of homeschooling, we are doing Sonlight Core A with my Kindergartner and 1st grader. I picked Sonlight years ago when my kids were tiny, because I loved the idea of it and it seemed so true that it was "the way I wish I'd been taught!" so while I did do some research here and there and looked at other catalogues, Sonlight was the obvious pick for my first try at this.
We use it for History/Bible/Literature/Science. I picked a different LA and Math and supplementary Bible. We don't do electives except a sprinkle here or there and they do an enrichment co-op.
Now that I'm starting to think about next year I'm thinking maybe I should make a more intentional choice instead of just moving forward with Sonlight because we mostly like it.
Here's what I like
1. All the books (duh) - my kids are obsessed with the readalouds and hang on my every word even on the ones I don't love to read (I'm looking at you Pooh Corner)
2. They tell me what to do and schedule it all out
3. I don't feel pressure to do crafts/projects
4. I feel security in knowing that this was put together by reputable educators
5. The timeline that comes with stickers of all the people
6. Combining my Kindergartener and 1st grader in everything except Math and LA
Here's what I don't love
1. The science - my kids love the science books and I like them as well, but it just feels like we just move so quickly through topics with very little depth. And the experiment video doesn't match up with the topics which has been weird, but my kids don't care, they LOVE the videos. I think its cool that my kids will be semi-familiar with a lot of things by the end of the year but I have wondered if it wouldn't have been fun to go more deeply into a smaller number of topics.
2. The instructor guide notes - I rarely use them as discussion starters. I read them but I pretty much only use the schedule
3. The geography - my kids don't retain it. (it's just writing each location on a map as it comes up in literature. I could probably review it more often but since it isn't systematic -- could be norway one day, oklahoma the next -- it feels clunky and half-hearted to me)
5. If I buy Sonlight's options for Art and Music as well (which I want to add in a more structured way next year), this will be even more expensive.
So...is there something else Sonlightish that might not have come across my radar yet? I kind of feel silly paying so much for a schedule of readings and a box of books...or maybe that's what all curriculum is like?? I haven't actually had any other curriculum in my hands to look through, so I really don't know what I'm missing!!
I have friends who do Memoria Press and the catalog intrigues me, but don't really feel compelled at this time to teach Latin.
I'd love to have language arts woven in with the read alouds or readers (for copywork and narration, etc) and more systematic geography and deeper science. And maybe a simple but solid music and art program to go along with it. I know I could pick and choose and get all this stuff, but part of why I picked Sonlight and another reason I like it, is how I can pick pretty much every subject from all from the things they either produce or "curate" and I don't have to take a deep dive into comparing/contrasting every curriculum for every subject.
For the record we also use WWE and I really like it, except I do think my daughter would LOVE to do some creative writing assignments. We tried Sonlight's LA for Kindergarten and I wasn't a big fan because she could read way better than she could write so the reading component was useless. I think it makes more sense for phonics instruction/writing instruction to be split up.