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Excited for the new changes to Sonlight!


lovintolearn
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Hummm..... Not sure how I feel about this. While I DO purchase the Cores along with the readers for LA, I don't use much of their LA.

 

I HOPE they are NOT using less books in the Cores!

 

Re-doing the IG's might be good..... I tend to prefer slow change to sudden, large changes.

 

This is unsettling news for me. :ohmy: :eek:

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I don't see how this can work.

 

They sell their program not per grade level, but for an age range. I have a friend who is happily using Core B will a brilliant 12 year old (she did not feel he was ready for Core E) - so what will his LA be like?

 

Maybe they will do it like TOG, but then surely they will have to increase the price.

 

Does not make much sense to me. I hope I'm wrong.

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Hmmm....I don't use their LA anymore either, and have always appreciated the fact that it is a separate component, bought at the child's level. I wouldn't want to pay for components that I won't use.

 

At least I am at the point where I am basically just re-using my oldest's Cores with my youngest, so I am not really as concerned as I would be if I was just starting out buying Cores. I don't even know if I am going to be purchasing any more new Cores, even for the oldest. I've been opened up to a whole new world of information and resources since joining this Board!

 

Anyway, I will check out their videos when they are released, just to see.

 

~coffee~

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I have never used, only looked at, SL's LA mostly because others said it wasn't "enough". I have been praying and pondering because I want an all-in-one program. As of last night, I was planning to order the next core, including science and LA, and supplement as needed. I awoke to the email about changes and am so thrilled to see I probably will not have to!! :hurray:

 

After years of pulling things together I am more than ready for a complete program. I already love SL cores and the main thing holding me back from ordering all of it was the LA.

 

Cannot wait for the videos!!

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I started off with Sonlight many moons ago and used it for a few years before shifting to more of a WTM approach. Over the years, though, as I've heard of SL's ongoing changes, I've always wondered why they keep needing to alter and improve it. Why is it never quite "good enough"? If each new change is finally addressing various issues or concerns, why is it that in the next year or two it changes yet again? ("At last! The *best*math program out there!! " "Finally--an LA program that does it all!!!" (I can't help but feel that SL tries to be too many things to too many people and has lost its identity somewhere along the way....

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I started off with Sonlight many moons ago and used it for a few years before shifting to more of a WTM approach. Over the years, though, as I've heard of SL's ongoing changes, I've always wondered why they keep needing to alter and improve it. Why is it never quite "good enough"? If each new change is finally addressing various issues or concerns, why is it that in the next year or two it changes yet again? ("At last! The *best*math program out there!! " "Finally--an LA program that does it all!!!" (I can't help but feel that SL tries to be too many things to too many people and has lost its identity somewhere along the way....

 

I agree. Lost identity is a good way to put it. They need to find the groove and stay in it.

 

We started using SL in 2004 and stuck with it through 2009. I used their Bible program a little bit and really liked their LA before they changed it majorly. My dd thrived with their old LA3 and became a much better writer.

 

SL comes out with new and better, yet they don't sell the student worksheets for LA and science for previous years. So follow-up students can't use those components when they go through the core later on. SL should change the copyright to allow families to copy the student pages for other siblings.

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Well, a curriculum needs to stay updated and fresh, ever changing, dynamic. At least that's my humble opinion. I do agree it will be frustrating for others who don't care for Sonlight's LA. I see many, many people who only use the Cores.

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Does anyone else remember years ago (not that many - maybe five) when the Bible was included in the Core, and didn't they even have the LA included one year but then because so many people complained they decided to split them out to make everything more flexible? Maybe I'm dreaming this up but I swear that was the case a while ago.

 

Also, about the format of the IG, when I originally purchased Core 1 and Core 3 I think the IG was organized like this with all the material right behind the schedules then they changed it because so many people got off schedule on one subject or another and wanted the flexibility of having the books notes not attached to the schedule.

 

It just seems like they can't quite make up their mind what they want to be . . . every year it seems they flip-flop back and forth . . not quite finding their way.

 

For me, when I got the catalogue last year without books that was probably the beginning of the end. I'm using 530 for my two oldest this year. Maybe will use Core 100 for my 15yo next year but am really leaning away from it now . . I just don't like how the company deals with their customers.

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Well, a curriculum needs to stay updated and fresh, ever changing, dynamic. At least that's my humble opinion. I do agree it will be frustrating for others who don't care for Sonlight's LA. I see many, many people who only use the Cores.

 

Updated and fresh is good. SL has always been great about keeping their cores updated with new books and updated edits. But change that in many ways appears to be just for the sake of being able to justify charging people more for their materials . . . not so much. (I know, I'm assuming the price will go up . . won't know that for a while).

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I'm very excited, because I really want a curriculum where the bible is totally integrated in (like MFW & HOD), and I especially like the fact that the weekly notes will be right there and not in the back. I hate the flipping, and always feel like I'm missing something. I hope the notes and the maps are updated in a positive way as well.

 

As for the LA, one good thing would be if the readers and LA are all tied together with the Core content as they are in the later Cores. That might make me use it all.:D

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I too am excited to see some changes to their LA portion, but not the fact about adding it into the Core. I don't see a reason for that since kids are all over in reading and needs go, that people need the flexibility to use what they need for their child- hopefully that will be the case though.

 

Plus I'm not sure I'm excited about adding in all the extra Bible stuff- I'm Christian- but I go through a state wide home school program that won't cover this so then I'm being forced to buy it all for a better price and I have to cover everything they won't. (I'd rather use what we do at home and church).

 

It almost seems with the addition of the LA and Bible it is going to be one expensive Core to buy! But we'll see!:confused:

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see this as a HUGE deal. As the cores are now, you can pick and choose certain things from the core. You don't have to buy the entire core. You lose the 10% off when you don't buy the entire core. I guess that's a bummer. Anyway, you can add everything from the core to your cart except for the LA.

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Clarification for the LA issue from the SL forums.

 

Just like you can now pick reader levels for Cores A-C, you'll be able to pick the LA level for Cores A-C when buying a whole core. But, you cannot mix and match the Readers and LA. So, if you want Core B with Readers 3, you HAVE to get LA3 when ordering a full core. If you want a different LA level than readers, either don't order a full core or you have to order an extra LA in addition to the one you get with the core.

 

Also, we've been told that a digital copy of the catalog should be on the site "shortly" so that we can see pricing for 2012 Cores, and that they "have made our package pricing extremely competitive this year so that you can receive the full 'Sonlight' experience at a comparable cost to previous Cores."

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Clarification for the LA issue from the SL forums.

 

Just like you can now pick reader levels for Cores A-C, you'll be able to pick the LA level for Cores A-C when buying a whole core. But, you cannot mix and match the Readers and LA. So, if you want Core B with Readers 3, you HAVE to get LA3 when ordering a full core. If you want a different LA level than readers, either don't order a full core or you have to order an extra LA in addition to the one you get with the core.

 

Also, we've been told that a digital copy of the catalog should be on the site "shortly" so that we can see pricing for 2012 Cores, and that they "have made our package pricing extremely competitive this year so that you can receive the full 'Sonlight' experience at a comparable cost to previous Cores."

 

 

Thanks for this. :)

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I'm very excited, because I really want a curriculum where the bible is totally integrated in (like MFW & HOD), and I especially like the fact that the weekly notes will be right there and not in the back. I hate the flipping, and always feel like I'm missing something. I hope the notes and the maps are updated in a positive way as well.

 

As for the LA, one good thing would be if the readers and LA are all tied together with the Core content as they are in the later Cores. That might make me use it all.:D

I'm not sure the Bible will be integrated in the way you're expecting. The materials will just be included in the core package. It never really tied in before but I could be wrong.:)

Edited by Happyhomemama
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I hope it is better, as I am returning my core w and language arts along with the books. I am glad they have a return policy up to 1 year. I am switching to TOG for my sanity and large family. If I had started SL long ago when I wanted to, I would have loved it! My husband never would let me spend that much.... so I just talked him into it after 12 years! He is not happy that I can't use it, but he is shocked that I can send it back!

 

I got hooked on FLL and IEW and still like most of th SL recommendations for our young children, along with Easy Classical K & 4th grade.

If SL had the layout of TOG for all ages, I would have been better able to use it. I need more mom helps, and have always wished Susan Wise Bauer would come up with a Full curriculum guide ;)

 

I have gleaned from SL over the years and from the IG's I have read some great tips, and encouraging stories. I just have too many gaps in ages and not enough hours in the day!

Good luck!

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Does anyone else remember years ago (not that many - maybe five) when the Bible was included in the Core, and didn't they even have the LA included one year but then because so many people complained they decided to split them out to make everything more flexible?

 

Hmm...Not sure about that, but I remember the year (2000, I think?) that they got so many complaints about the LA that they sent gift certificates to everyone who'd bought any level of LA.

 

Maybe they're just changing what they mean by "core" so it's more like the newcomer packages? That's what it sounds like to me. Ugh. I can't stand the way they change the names of things. I still think in terms of the old core names! This old dog doesn't really like learning new tricks, I guess. ;)

 

I wouldn't want the Bible portion included in the Core. As a Catholic, I've never used SL's Bible. I also don't see how they're going to include the LA in the core, but still have you choose the appropriate reader packages for A-C. It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out though.

 

I don't see myself using SL again (I've used P4/5, K, 1, 3+4 and 100... whatever they're called now), but who knows. I've toyed with the idea of doing Eastern Hemispheres (SL 5? Again, I don't know the letter!), so I'll watch the changes, but they're unlikely to bring me back.

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My problem is that my kids are all over the board with skills, so we are doing core 3/D this year, next year would be core 4/E for content, but they can handle the lit from 100 so I have had them doing the reading for 3 as well as for 100. But their actual LA skills (aka writing) are at about grade 2 level really. Sonlight LA is heavy on the writing. My kids are not good with writing right now. We have started MC but mostly we are still working through WWE simply getting them comfortable putting pen to paper so to speak. Not to mention it looks like dd is about to shoot up a grade level or 2 higher than ds yet they are in the same core AND you can not pick a higher level reader because the readers are intertwined with history, so I would not be able to get the appropriate level LA for either of them.

 

Then you have ds8, next year he will be 3rd grade, content wise he was ready for core B, readers I suspect he will be ready for readers K or A if we are lucky, again though he can not have a writing focused LA, his OT, SLP and VT think using AAS/AAR, HWOT and WWE should be all he does and even that was pushing them on what they felt he should be doing. They pretty much wanted me to drop all LA instruction.

 

My kids abilities are all over the map, and even if pricing is similar I do not want programs I will never use cluttering up my shelves. The same with bible I like to pick my own. FOr example though the kids are doing core D they are doing bible 110 along with christian studies. I do not like the bible program they have for grade 4-6 at all. So again more stuff on my already over burdened shelves.

 

I am trying to simplify my homeschooling plans with the 4 kids not make it more complicated

 

I have never wanted the LA, I will never want it, I have found the programs that work best for us and I don't like being told that if I want to buy the full core and get the benefits that go with that I must buy these extra subjects. Yes you can still peice meal, but then you are not working towards heirloom status and the benefits it offers, you don't get the discount or any other benefits given to those that buy a whole core.

 

Bad business move imo

 

ETA I have been coveting TOG for a couple years now, they may be the move that pushes me away from SL and right into TOG's arms

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I'm very excited, because I really want a curriculum where the bible is totally integrated in (like MFW & HOD), and I especially like the fact that the weekly notes will be right there and not in the back. I hate the flipping, and always feel like I'm missing something. I hope the notes and the maps are updated in a positive way as well.

 

As for the LA, one good thing would be if the readers and LA are all tied together with the Core content as they are in the later Cores. That might make me use it all.:D

 

The bible components will just be included now as a required purchase...Sonlight has never had integrated biblical history with their world history programs. You will still need MFW or HOD for that.

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I agree. Lost identity is a good way to put it. They need to find the groove and stay in it.

 

We started using SL in 2004 and stuck with it through 2009. I used their Bible program a little bit and really liked their LA before they changed it majorly. My dd thrived with their old LA3 and became a much better writer.

 

SL comes out with new and better, yet they don't sell the student worksheets for LA and science for previous years. So follow-up students can't use those components when they go through the core later on. SL should change the copyright to allow families to copy the student pages for other siblings.

 

I do think you can copy, for the immediate family. I don't use the worksheets so I haven't seen them in a long time to know for sure.

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Well if they keep the pricing comparable to what it is now I'll buy a core.

 

I really dislike the advice I got about the readers though. I was told to buy for the level of language arts dd is at. I just can't imagine getting K readers when shes at a 3rd grade level just so she could have LA K.

 

I'm confused who told you that about the LA?

 

Usually people will suggest getting the LA level your child is capable of doing which maybe different than the reading level. Mostly because the writing component would be difficult for that child.

 

you may have to use something else for challenging readers though

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For me, when I got the catalogue last year without books that was probably the beginning of the end.

 

:iagree: It was the end of the end for me. I was doing a state study and was going to pick back up with them and somehow make 2 and then 3 cores work. I saw that catalog and tossed it in the trash. What a useless bit of paper that was, totally useless. I used to love that SL catalog!

 

I haven't gone back. I'm not quite so petty that it was totally because of the catalog, but that was pretty much the last straw for me strange though it was.

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:iagree: It was the end of the end for me. I was doing a state study and was going to pick back up with them and somehow make 2 and then 3 cores work. I saw that catalog and tossed it in the trash. What a useless bit of paper that was, totally useless. I used to love that SL catalog!

 

I haven't gone back. I'm not quite so petty that it was totally because of the catalog, but that was pretty much the last straw for me strange though it was.

 

What do you ladies mean by getting the catalog w/o books? I had never gotten a catalog before this year, so I don't know what it was like before.

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Hmm, I not sure what I think about this. We have really loved using the Sonlight cores, but I'm happy with the LA I'm already using. Will I be paying more for the core since it includes LA now? The redesigned IG sounds good though.

 

THis is my point. I don't want to pay extra for things I wouldn't be using!

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What do you ladies mean by getting the catalog w/o books? I had never gotten a catalog before this year, so I don't know what it was like before.

 

I sent you a pm.

 

I have a pdf of the 2010 catalog.

 

I have all the catalogs except for one since 1995.

 

this last one is the worst, there is no real info in there.

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We started using SL in 2004 and stuck with it through 2009. I used their Bible program a little bit and really liked their LA before they changed it majorly. My dd thrived with their old LA3 and became a much better writer.

 

:iagree: with you about the LA. I really liked the old LA too. My older kids learned so much while using it. I've managed to find a couple of levels of it secondhand which is good. I would love to get hold of the 'old' LA at all levels.

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I'm confused who told you that about the LA?

 

Usually people will suggest getting the LA level your child is capable of doing which maybe different than the reading level. Mostly because the writing component would be difficult for that child.

 

you may have to use something else for challenging readers though

 

Over on the SL forums, a question was asked about the LA and Readers both coming with the core now and if you could get different levels for LA and Readers with a core. She was told no, and that SL has always recommended you stay at the same level for Readers and LA and she should go down to the level of LA for Readers and just supplement the Readers herself.

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The catalog used to have every book listed along with a little blurb about the story or topic. So you could see at a glance where a history core was headed.

 

The Sonlight catalog was so well thumbed at my house. It went a long way toward convincing me that homeschooling was not only doable but desirable. I knew many of the books used by heart and bought many over the years at library sales and used book stores.

 

Perhaps that is why they changed the catalog. Too many people using it as a reading list in and as itself but not buying the actual ig.

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The catalog used to have every book listed along with a little blurb about the story or topic. So you could see at a glance where a history core was headed.

 

The Sonlight catalog was so well thumbed at my house. It went a long way toward convincing me that homeschooling was not only doable but desirable. I knew many of the books used by heart and bought many over the years at library sales and used book stores.

 

Perhaps that is why they changed the catalog. Too many people using it as a reading list in and as itself but not buying the actual ig.

 

I will be really curious to see how well that worked for them. If it was a smashing success and sales increased without the book descriptions (which I seriously doubt) then I guess they will do the same again this year. If not, I imagine the book descriptions will be back in this year's catalog.

 

Lisa

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It's funny, because I remember as a fairly new SL user when they removed the bible from the core. There were so many people upset about that because they felt like it was no longer a Christian company.

 

The changes don't really affect me since we'll be doing Core 6/G next year and I've already got my guide and bought most of my books off of Amazon. I always buy my IG used and then just purchase a few things here and there from SL. I would not be happy, if I had to buy all the LA in order to get the discount for buying a full core, though. You rarely, if ever, hear of anyone happily using their LA (though there must be someone), so if this is a way to force people to try it, I think they are making yet another huge mistake.

 

I still love the program though and plan on using it at least through Core 100. It's the one thing we've consistently enjoyed in our homeschool since the kids were in Pre-K. After core 100, I may move onto a textbook approach for history, but I will will continue to use the literature portion of their program until we run out of cores.

 

Lisa

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I will be really curious to see how well that worked for them. If it was a smashing success and sales increased without the book descriptions (which I seriously doubt) then I guess they will do the same again this year. If not, I imagine the book descriptions will be back in this year's catalog.

 

Lisa

 

They already announced last week that they were not putting the descriptions back in because their research and convention-lookers say they like it better without.

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The catalog used to have every book listed along with a little blurb about the story or topic. So you could see at a glance where a history core was headed.

 

The Sonlight catalog was so well thumbed at my house. It went a long way toward convincing me that homeschooling was not only doable but desirable. I knew many of the books used by heart and bought many over the years at library sales and used book stores.

 

Perhaps that is why they changed the catalog. Too many people using it as a reading list in and as itself but not buying the actual ig.

 

I was one of those people who used Sonlight's catalog as a reading list ... to supplement the BJU history curriculum we used.

 

I finally realized that my kids were happier with a literature-based curriculum, even though they knew school would "take longer." :001_smile: I've purchased gently used Sonlight cores since the kids were in junior high. For our family, switching to Sonlight was the single best curriculum move I've ever made. My kids got their "love of learning" back. And it didn't make a bit of difference on their Stanford achievement testing, learning from "real books" as opposed to "textbooks."

 

My heart is sad, next year my daughter will be a senior in high school, the last year to use Sonlight.

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I will be looking at the changes, but with a slanted eye. They are not the same curriculum company they were when I bought my first core in 2005. Each year something changed and I never felt it was a change in the right direction. Sort of like there is a hole in the carpet and you rearrange the furniture, or paint the walls, or redecorate but the hole is still in the carpet.

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We haven't used it in awhile, but enjoyed it for different mixes of PK-6th grade.

 

I can't remember what year it was, but the one year that I used the LA was one of big revisions, and they ended up giving partial refunds. The feedback was that bad:glare:. That soured me permanently on their LA. How could a company that big make such a big mistake?

 

I loved their history and literature. I miss it.

 

And I'm not surprised that the catalog has cut the descriptions. Beautiful Feet did the same thing (their old catalogs were wonderful the same way), and I know some vendors who don't even do printed catalogs now.

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