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Can someone explain Sonlight to me?


mnemom
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Is it basically a literature-based curriculum? Does it come with a teacher's guide? If so, what kind of lessons/activities are in the teacher's guide? Is it something you would use in addition to another language arts curriculum? It seems kind of like a supplementary curriculum to me and for the price I'm just not sure it's worth it for that. But I hear many people raving about it, so maybe I'm missing something.

 

I see that it comes with packages of books, and while my dd loves reading and being read to, she is somewhat particular about what she reads and I'd hate to get a big lot of books only to have her only be interested in half of them.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with Sonlight. I am currently just afterschooling, but may move to homeschooling in the future. Thank you!

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Is it basically a literature-based curriculum? Yes. Does it come with a teacher's guide? Yes, there are Instructor's Guides for history, science, and language arts. If so, what kind of lessons/activities are in the teacher's guide? Reading schedules, vocabulary words, discussion/comprehension questions, narration questions, map and time line assignments. The Science and Language Arts guides include Activity Sheets to reinforce what your child has learned that day. The History lends itself better for oral discussion but there is plenty of info. there to provide written assignments. The History guide also includes research project suggestions. Is it something you would use in addition to another language arts curriculum? You could, but it's complete on it's own. It seems kind of like a supplementary curriculum to me and for the price I'm just not sure it's worth it for that. But I hear many people raving about it, so maybe I'm missing something. SL is a complete curriculum if you used it as it is written. Some just buy the books and read them but it's more than that if you want more.

 

I see that it comes with packages of books, and while my dd loves reading and being read to, she is somewhat particular about what she reads and I'd hate to get a big lot of books only to have her only be interested in half of them. Yes, I guess that would be a risk. Your local library will probably have alot of the books and many are available through book retailers like Barnes & Nobles. You may be able to find someone in your local area who is using it and check out their materials. We really enjoy our SL books. My kids love them.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with Sonlight. We are using our fourth SL core. We enjoy SL. It's very easy to use, the books are great, for us it has really encouraged their love of reading & learning. It's a really good choice for families that enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. Overall, it's just a fun, informational curriculum that is easy to use. My children learn a ton when we are doing SL. I am currently just afterschooling, but may move to homeschooling in the future. Thank you!

 

Be sure to order a catalog. It's much easier to get a feel for it if you have the catalog in front of you. :001_smile:

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I am currently using Sonlight Core 2. It really is not a supplemental but a full Histroy and Literature program. It is very much litterary based and there is alot of reading (parents mainly do the reading in elementary and middle school) The Language Arts follows a more natural approach but it really does cover everything. Dd does daily reading. The rest of the LA goes something like this : Day 1 Copywork (upper cores I believe it is dictation), Day 2 a grammar or language arts concept (descriptive words, onomonpia, capitalization......), Day 3 pre writing, Day 4 Writing Assignment, Day 5 Optional Assignment. The lower cores have a weekly spelling list then starting in core 3 they recommend using Sequential Spelling.

 

The IG list out daily assignments and reading. You can look at samples on the Sonlight site. The basic Core list Bible, History (which includes timeline and map work), Read Alouds. The LA has spelling, phonics (optional but we use it), readers, and writing. The IGs also provide discussion questions, new vocabulary, map work, timeline info, and sometimes additional information on the books or topic.

 

We also use Sonlight for Science. The instructors guide lays out the daily section we have to read and then what questions to answer on the activity sheet. There is also usually at least one experiment each week.

 

The only thing we add in are Math, Handwritting, Latin, Art and Music. Everything else is covered in Sonlight. I really love the way it is laid out and the fact that dd gets so much out of it.

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For us it is a History curriculum. While we haven't used it much, the couple times we have (and when I look into during my curriculum research part of the year) it is as a history and history based literature program.

 

It can be used much more competely by following thier Bible, Language Arts, Science, and Math schedules. But I wasn't impressed with the one LA book I saw, we don't do Bible, and I am fine planning our Math and Science (although we are using many of the recomendations from Science 3 this year).

 

The instructors guides don't really have any activities, at least if you want hands on. They are mostly a schedule and comprehension questions for the books. Like Donna T. said there are maps and vocab. You can also get Time line figures, but I think they are a separate purchase from the IG. I was not impressed with the one LA guide I saw, so we have always done writing and grammar separately, I also wish there were more discussion questions instead of comprehension questions and also more literary elements worked with.

 

Have you seen the list of 26 (or is it 27) Reasons Not To Buy Sonlight on thier website?

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Yes, there is an instructor's guide that schedules out your reading and gives you comprehension questions and mapping activities. There is also a timeline book that you are supposed to be completing as you go along. I love SL because I love reading to my kids and it's a fun way to get Bible, History, Science, Literature and Reading into our day in a very efficient amount of time. SL is the bright spot in our school day and my kids look forward to it.

 

There is not much, if anything planned out that is hands on, except the science. I have added in one of the TT cds for some lapbooking to go along with our studies. When we get to Cores 6 and 7, I am hoping to use the SOTW activity guides for a few hands on activities, but honestly, we don't have that much time for hands-on stuff unless I want to replace my kids free time with things like that.

 

I have also been adding in some movies (there is a list on the SL boards) that go along with Core 4. That has been a fun change. We read about William Wilberforce and then we watched the movie.

 

Anyway, I definitely don't consider it a supplement. I do not use SL's LA. Never have because I've heard too many complaints about it, but that IG is sold separately, so it's not like I'm paying for it and then not using it. For LA I pick and choose what I think is best for each child.

 

Lisa

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Is it basically a literature-based curriculum? Does it come with a teacher's guide? If so, what kind of lessons/activities are in the teacher's guide? Is it something you would use in addition to another language arts curriculum? It seems kind of like a supplementary curriculum to me and for the price I'm just not sure it's worth it for that. But I hear many people raving about it, so maybe I'm missing something.

 

I see that it comes with packages of books, and while my dd loves reading and being read to, she is somewhat particular about what she reads and I'd hate to get a big lot of books only to have her only be interested in half of them.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with Sonlight. I am currently just afterschooling, but may move to homeschooling in the future. Thank you!

I've used Sonlight every year save one since I started homeschooling 11 years ago. It's what drew me to homeschooling, and it's the backbone and highlight of my day. I really have no clue what you mean when you say that it seems like a supplementary curriculum. Have you looked at the web site? A catalog? Take a look at it yourself and let me know if you have questions.:)
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SL is great for kids who love to read. My two older girls enjoyed it immensely up until high school. I think the Cores up through level 100 are well done, but I think Core 100 is middle school level rather than high school level. I switch over to Oak Meadow for high school now.

 

SL was never a good fit for my youngest who is dyslexic and hates historical fiction. She is using Oak Meadow for the first time this year and likes it a lot better.

 

SL isn't a supplemental program. It's a complete history and literature program. You can also order their science (but we had to stop using their science because they switch over to strictly religious programs in middle school) or their math.

 

Their LA program really isn't very strong. They have a lot of writing assignments, but no instruction in how to actually do the writing. This has always been a major weakness of SL. The literature component of SL is very good though.

 

In your case, I would probably look at Oak Meadow. My two girls who loved to read and would read anything that couldn't get away from them loved Sonlight because of all the reading. My youngest is extremely picky about what she reads (to the point that she doesn't have any assigned reading anymore, but is required to read something she wants to read every day) and does much better with Oak Meadow because of that.

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SL is in no way supplementary. It's the most complete program I've seen or used. Your get EVERYTHING! You can also customize your package which is wonderful. I do not recommend buying a newcomer's package. You won't get to pick what is right for your kids and you'll end up with stuff you don't need or want. They have a function on thier site where Saritia asks you different info and helps you place your child. I did not find that this placed my kids well. However, I am sure it has helped many. SL has now added activities for grades K-2 on their site. If your kids like hands-on, science is the only subject where you do projects. Some of the read-aloud time can be long for any age. My kids do better with shorter chapters. It is recommended that you order a grade behind for most kids. So I would order Core K for my 1st grader and customize as needed. The IG is rather large and you may need to have some help putting it together, but it is wonderful and so easy to keep track of things if you want a record. A catalog is a must-it really helps you see the curriculum. They get them out very fast. You can also contact a consultant online or via phone. Again, I have not had the best of luck with this. I have a consultant in Oregon that has done SL for over 10 years and trust her with all my heart. She is who I go to with questions. I believe you can access a good part of their forum even if you haven't purchased a Core. The forum is fabulous and has so many loving and experienced moms. Remember, SL can be bought in pieces and used with other things.

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SL is great for kids who love to read.

:iagree:

 

She is using Oak Meadow for the first time this year and likes it a lot better. I have a friend who uses this as well and they LOVE it. Tried something different and then went back.

 

Their LA program really isn't very strong. They have a lot of writing assignments, but no instruction in how to actually do the writing. This has always been a major weakness of SL. The literature component of SL is very good though.

:iagree: I find that so odd.

 

 

 

Very good points:)

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I'm a first year homeschooler with an 8 year old son that I pulled out of public school after first grade. I had several friends who used and liked Sonlight so I decided to try it. I ordered Core 1 with more advanced readers. Much to my surprise, my son LOVES Sonlight. We only use the history/literature core, but he wants to do this first everyday and asks if we can read ahead. The IG makes it so easy to keep track of reading and to do comprehension questions, map and timeline. My jumps up and down with excitement when I pull out the SL books! We've both enjoyed all the books we've read so far and we're actually two weeks ahead on our read-alouds. If your child likes to read or be read to, SL is an excellent choice.

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