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Tweaking Sonlight - help!


tinkgumby
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How many of you have tweaked Sonlight, with success?

 

Here's the thing. I get bogged down with good intentions and not enough follow-through, so I thought going with a program that had it all laid out for me would be GREAT, and maybe I'd actually stick to it. (I'm going to be schooling two boys, ages 8 and 6 1/2, starting this summer.)

 

I love the looks of many of the Sonlight books, so I thought I'd spend the summer doing the read-alouds from K, and then move on to Core 1 in the fall.

 

Here's where the problem comes in - I keep finding other great stuff! I just got A Child's Geography by Voskamp, and love the approach and activities. I also got SOTW 1 and the activity book for it, and want to do THAT with my kids, but I still have all the history books that come with Sonlight. I have the Sonlight LA programs (three of them, actually - did I mention I go overboard?), but I also have FLL that I look forward to using. Obviously I have to make some choices and weed something out, or my poor kids will be doing school for 10 hours a day!

 

To complicate things further, I also plan on tweaking many of these books for an ever-so-slightly more secular approach.

 

With so many great choices out there, how do you tweak Sonlight for your own use? And at what point do you stop because you're getting in over your own planning abilities? :D

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Are you just going to do the SL Core C/K books this summer; or are you going to do something else too? If not the summer is a great time to figure out what you want to do and how to get it done.

 

There is a schedule on Paula's archives for incorporating SOTW with CHOW, which is used in SL Core 1. This is what I will be using next year, but I am using MOH as my spine and dropping CHOW.

 

I don't have any suggestions how you can incorporate FLL with SL LA. I will be using SL LA 1, 3, and Core 3 LA (which is different than LA 3 by the way).

 

There are many people who replace a book that SL would schedule in their IG with something else they like better. IT's rather easy once you get the hang of it.

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Thanks for the fast reply! This summer I'm pretty much just doing C/K books - taking a break from formal math and LA. I won't be following the K schedule too closely, though, since I'll be zooming through the books in three months instead of nine! I appreciate your suggestions. :001_smile:

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I also like to tweak Sonlight, we need lots of hands on activities here. We are planning on doing Core 1 next year with SOTW and the AG, leaving out CHOW. My schedule is here. We don't use Sonlight LA, I just piece together my own. Also we use my science plans instead of Sonlight's. Hope that helps!

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We've used SL so many different ways since my 10yo was in K. This is the first time we will (potentially) use the instructor's guide mostly "as is". (We're starting Core 4 soon). We did many of the things you talk about - using FLL instead of SL LA, SOTW, etc.

 

Typically we wound up using the books as a "book list" and not following the IG - just reading one after the other as fast or as slow as was working for us. I may not be in the majority here, but I'm not too strict or stressed about how much science/history/geog is covered at the ages of your kids, as long as it's getting done in some way - so if we get through 10 books or 20 I still think it's all good. My inner curriculum junkie may be mourning the fact that we didn't get to all the great books on my shelf, but inside I know the kids got a good education anyway! Hey, you could always just read the books for YOU after the kids go to bed. :lol:

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Don't worry, it's an addiction that many of us suffer, curricuholism. I too tweak sonlight and mostly always have. When we did core 1+2 I used sOTW and the activity guide instead of CHOW. We had a great year, lots of fun projects, ds learned a ton, so no crime there.

 

When we did core 5, instead of the EHE I switched to CC unit studies volume 2, For God So Loved The World, and used their country reports, in fact I used their schedule and added all the sonlight books where they fit in. We had a great time, they included tons of fun projects like a chinese buffet, making sushi, origami, making a silk scarf, building a wall, and even some fun board games and science experiments. Ds still had to find out the main information about each country and make a report, we still read all the great books, but CC also suggested some great movies. Wonderful year.

 

I think you it doesn't matter how you use the curriculum, as long as it works for you.;)

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We have always tweaked SL (adding SOTW, movies, extra readers, other spines we liked better, etc). I have used the IG's as guides, not as a schedule set in stone. I use the schedule in a very relaxed manner, writing in, on, over the assignments for that day.:tongue_smilie:

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I also use Sonlight and am tweaking! One of the things I decided was to focus one day on a specific thing. For example, friday is now our science and nature day. This enables me to add in extra's since I am more focused. Another day's focus is history and another is social studies/geography. Basically, I use the IG as a jumping board and tweak tweak tweak:)

Rebecca

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Wow, thanks for all the input! Thanks especially to Pata in VA for the schedule - I will definitely be using that!!!! (:

 

"Curricuholism" - I love it! I definitely suffer from it. I guess I just need to repeat to myself over and over that it's okay for me to not do everything under the sun that looks good! ;)

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I've been tweaking SL for 10 years. It's still been worth it, even with tweaking for secular use, advanced readers, dyslexic non-reader who became a reader, and three different grade levels at the same time with the same Core. I have always added a lot too, but mostly additional readers for my voracious readers. My youngest is dyslexic, and hasn't yet done any SL readers. Next year will be the first time she has to read history-related books.

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  • 1 year later...

Okay, this is hilarious. I just did a search on "tweaking Sonlight" and found my own thread I'd forgotten about! :rofl:

 

Apparently I haven't changed much since I first posted this thread. I'm currently knee-deep in my curriculum, having realized that I'm changing SL Core 2 SO much that I might as well type out a whole new schedule for each week. I'm still glad I have it as a jumping-off point, but I'm changing the bible study part, the history part in favor of SOTW 2, the geography part . . . um, that basically leaves the readers! :001_rolleyes:

 

My name is Maria, and I'm a tweakaholic . . .

 

On the plus side, I've just found (or re-found) the Story of the World 2 Workbook pages to go along with the book and AG at http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/fancy.htm#workbook2, so yay!

 

Back to my schedule-typing . . . only 34 weeks to go! :D

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When we used to use Sonlight, I "tweaked" routinely.

 

We always ignored all of the religion/Bible parts.

I usually threw away (metaphorically) the language arts in despair over its chaotic nature.

If a child heartily disliked a particular book, we would drop it.

Core 300 was so unpalatable, we gave away nearly all of the books, and did only the 20th century history book-related lessons.

I used math at the child's level, not the Core's level.

 

I wrote my own alterations directly onto the IG pages.

 

I still like Sonlight for Core 100 and below. :)

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I also like to tweak Sonlight, we need lots of hands on activities here. We are planning on doing Core 1 next year with SOTW and the AG, leaving out CHOW. My schedule is here. We don't use Sonlight LA, I just piece together my own. Also we use my science plans instead of Sonlight's. Hope that helps!

 

Have you seen these hands on activitie guides for Core 1 and 2? I got the Core 1 guide and it is great! http://www.handleonthearts.com/cart/handson-sonlight-c-24.html

 

Edit: I do not recommend Sonlight's LA, I say go with FLL.

Edited by coralloyd
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Have you seen these hands on activitie guides for Core 1 and 2? I got the Core 1 guide and it is great! http://www.handleonthearts.com/cart/handson-sonlight-c-24.html

 

Edit: I do not recommend Sonlight's LA, I say go with FLL.

 

Very interesting kits. We ended up leaving Sonlight because I was just tweaking it beyond recognition. This year we are using SOTW2 as our main curriculum and adding in Sonlight books. Seems to be a better fit for us. Good luck to all you Sonlight tweakers!

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