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Sonlight Overwhelming-tips for modifying?

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I am trying Sonlight for the first time. Usually I just have thrown an eclectic mix of stuff together. I thought my oldest dd,12, could use more structure and I needed to be told what to do:). I decided to try Core 6 with her and Core 1 with my dd 4 and 6. I wanted them to study the same history and needed less to have to buy so did not buy all the read alouds for Core 1 and nor did I buy the Core IG for 1. So for history I read aloud the Core 6 stuff, have the littles color timeline figures, add videos and crafts to the mix.

But really, this Sonlight curriculum is still too much for me! There is just so much reading even without doing all the Core 1 stuff. And some of the activity sheet work is just too much for even a 6 yr. old! But I tend to worry about all the slipping behind we run into. I was behind from the get go because I had to buy my stuff piecemeal, used, online and couldn't afford to get it all at once.

The night I received the Core 1 LA IG, I read through it a bit and then went to sleep. About an hour later, my husband gets up to pee and I sit up in a near panic worried he has not gotten all the necessary readers and activity sheets for that lesson!:lol: I am serious! I was about to tell him he couldn't pee without them!


I am begining to think this curric is too much for me. (and 2 cores years apart is rough.) How can I modify to stay sane? Any suggestions? I am already thinking Konos next year. Or maybe H. of D. (I used that for preschool.)


Lakota in Missouri

DD 12 (almost 13)-Sonlight Core 6

Teaching Textbooks Pre-algebra

Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science

Mind Benders, Sign Language, Guitar, Artistic Pursuits,Tae Kwon Do


DD 6- Sonlight Core 1 (for LA and Science)

Miquon Math, Handwriting Without Tears

Recorder, Art with a Purpose ArtPac1, Soccer


DD 4-Sonlight Core 1 (same as sis, but usually less assigned-don't push it)

Miquon Math, same handwriting, art, and music as dd 6

Spends most of the rest of her time helping Daddy at the farm or staging elaborate scenarios with inanimate objects.

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We have used Sonlight for several years. I have found it easy to drop whatever part of the program that is causing me to feel overwhelmed.


For example, if it is just too much to do all the reading then I choose what is the most important to me - the history? the read aloud? the reader? I decide which one and only use that. I am making sense?


Another thing that has helped tremendously is getting the read aloud on audio. That has saved my voice many a time!

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I can tell you what is working for us, but it may not apply. We are using Core 6, primarily for my oldest, over two years - Ancients last year, Middle Ages this year. We only use history, though, as we are happy with other stuff for LA. He does the timeline figures. He uses IEW history-based writing lessons, so the history is reinforced that way, too. We're slacking with colouring maps, though we look at them regularly. I've all but pitched the teaching notes for the books. I flip through them to see if there is anything I really want to make sure to mention, but otherwise am happy with their book selections and the schedule all laid out for me. We scrapped a few titles last year that weren't available from the library, or replaced them with something similar.


My younger two listen in to SOTW and any other read-alouds they like (9yo all of them; 6yo precious few, as far as I can tell). We are doing other Canadian stuff for them. Sometimes they flip through the SOTW Activity Guide and ask me to copy colouring pages for them, or other little crafty pages. They'll do anywhere from just 1 page to 6+ pages then be done with it for awhile.


You have my admiration, working on two cores. I'm doing half and it feels like plenty! Anyway, that's how I attempt to stay sane. I hope you can find a way to make it work for you.

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We're only doing Core 1, but it was really overwhelming for the first 2 months. After that, we got into a groove with Sonlight and I think we've speeded up a lot.


I wouldn't read any read-aloud or reader that I think the kids will absolutely not sit still for...(there was one or two on our list)

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We're only using 1 Core, so I can imagine how difficult it is with 2 cores! Really, skip what you don't want to do. They say in Sonlight you do NOT have to do everything. We've skipped books I felt were inappropriate for my ds, and moved on. If the worksheets are too much, do them orally. Audio books are another great idea. Your children will learn plenty with what you DO decide to do. Hope this helps!



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I personally find Sonlight to be the easiest (by FAAARR) of all the curriculums we've ever tried. Here's a few pointers:


1) A 4 and 6 year old are too young for Core 1 - at the MOST you should have them in Core K. Personally, I would skip any formal schooling with the 4 yo and do Core K with the 6 yo. I have a 5 yo and she does Core p4/5 with K readers and LA - this is PLENTY. We will use Core K with core 1 readers and LA next year.


2) Do read-alouds, etc with your oldest first thing in the morning. I have two girls in Core 5 and we do Bible, RA's, and I give them their writing instruction through LA all first thing in the morning - takes about 30 minutes. At grade 6 your daughter can be doing all of the history, science, and readers by herself. She doesn't need you to read them and it will serve her well to do it on her own. Use the questions in the IG to orally question her on what's she's read. Most of the time this isn't necessary as they kids will TELL you on their own what they are reading about (or with a little prompting, such as - what did you read about today?)


3) Make a copy of the schedule from the IG, write in your extra subjects (that SL doesn't schedule, like math or if you have a different grammar program, etc) and give it to your daughter. The she can be more independent in her work - she'll know exactly what to do and what to read, etc. It will help you tremendously. Our kids need to learn that independence :)


4) If you find that a read-aloud just doesn't fit your family, skip it. There's nothing that says you HAVE to read it. We've loved all of the SL books so far, but my girls just weren't into The Master Puppeteer...even after several chapters, they just didn't get into it. So, I think we may just move on to the next book...I am going to give it a few more chapters first though :) I think they'll get into it eventually.


I am a box checker. I like to see it all done and we do it all - just my personality. However, I know many, many that don't. They pick and choose and rearrange and tweak to fit their family - and with SL being such an exemplary education, they still get all they need.


I haven't seen the Core 1 worksheets, so I can't comment...but I know the Core 5 worksheets are not difficult. All of mine are done by 10-10:30 with everything each day. We do start about 7:30 or 8:00, though.


I was a little concerned when we started SL that it would be overwhelming, but to me it's simple and just plain wonderful. I love that I don't have to plan anything :) I do have very independent students in my three oldest, though...and that makes a world of difference. If I had to sit over them all day, it would be a nightmare!


Anyway, hope I've helped a little. It'll come together - just make it work for YOUR family :)


**I should mention that we do the 4-day week, as well. It just works better for us.

Edited by MOM24WONDERS
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You don't have to do it all. My oldest dd has been doing all the readers and readalouds independently since halfway through core 3. But she's a strong, fast reader. I do highly modified cores with my younger dd who doesn't like read-alouds and doesn't like to read quite so much. Older dd is doing core 100, splitting the history over 2 years and doing most of the fiction reading this year. I skipped some books, replacing them with others that I thought she'd like better. I plan to have her do the readers for Core 200 next year. Younger dd is doing core 3 using some of the history reading (I'm skipping Landmark) and reading the readers. We are skipping the read-alouds unless she asks for something to read and then I go through the pile and pick a book I think she might like. There are so many books that I don't think it's the end of the world for most children if they skip some.

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I found it overwhelming as well. We switched to My Father's World and LOVE it!!! It has minimal works scheduled and an additional bookbasket for the various ages (to be read on their own in 15 minutes increments as soon as they are able). One core! I tried Sonlight for two years because I thought mfw would be too light. In reality, it is far more rich. I get the minimum done and we are able to enrich the areas we are most interested and we still have time to pull in extra activities that the kids love.

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I can't imagine doing 2 cores! We did SL or the first time last year with Core 1 with a 7.5 and 5 year old. It was the end of the year before I figured everything in the notes. We didn't do any major map work either...just look on the map when reading, no marking anything!


I think 4 and 6 may be too young for Core 1 together. I get why you want them there...to keep them all on the same level. But my 5 year old didn't grasp nearly as much as the 7.5 year old last year. She's doing Core 2 this year and I am leaning toward taking a year off SL before we do Core 3 to give her time to really be able to understand the material.


Why not just let the little ones listen for Core 6 and add in the History Pockets??? It would be enough for the ages

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Thank you, all. I have picked up on some good ideas from some of the posts. The main reason the 4 year old is doing Core 1 is to keep those two doing the same thing, as one pp aptly noted. Also, because we have done the same for preschool and K, 4 yr. old is a little advanced for her age (can read and write several words, do a little addition, etc.) But writing 2 sentences for copywork?! That's nuts even for the 6 yr. old.

Though it is also common for the 4 yr. old to go with her Daddy at least once/week instead of doing school. Oh, a little secret on an easy way to get them ahead in phonics-discovered almost on accident-Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD! After several views, they had those letter sounds down. So by start of last year, they were ready for learning a few words. The we also had to get their Word Factory DVD, of course.


I do wish I could get mine to get up earlier and start with the oldest that way like one pp did. But our usual start time is 9:30 (sometimes 9) because that is just when we are all done eating breakfast and dressed.

So it can be a struggle when we have an evening activity and we still haven't done the read alouds (again, only doing the Core 6 read alouds). But, like, why do they need 2-3 reading selections for history, 3 chap.s in the reader and then one in the RA-it's just too much!? So, I think we will have to drop a thing or two, make some optional, get the SOTW AG (sounds good), and perhaps start earlier. I hope that will help.



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