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busymama7

Is there a hostory/lit program similar to Sonlight that is more secular?

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We are Christians, but prefer to do our own thing with regards to religious studies. I have used Ambleside Online or similar for years, but am looking at Sonlight. I want something that is literature heavy and prefer something that keeps the family in the same topic at least, with some overlaps of read-alouds and such. We will have a 10th, 9th, 7th, 5th, 2nd, 4yo, 2yo and new baby in the fall. I love the way Sonlight has the weeks mapped out and planned(I am a box checker!) but I would like something that has more assignments instead of just reading/discussing. Sonlight seems really close to what I want, so maybe we would just skip the Bible part and just keep doing what we are doing. But I wanted to know if there was something else I should consider.

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Sounds like Tapestry of Grace! Designed exactly for large families with children in various stages, with literature/book based, more assignments, a weekly schedule to check off... I'm not sure how you would keep everyone on the same topic with Sonlight, as the high school levels don't match up history time-wise with the lower grade "cores", and there is no *one* core you would be able to stretch upwards to make rigorous enough for your 2 high schoolers, yet gentle enough to stretch downwards for your 2 elementary students...

 

Other possible options might be:

 

My Father's World -- a little harder to match up all student grade levels with the same time period; also, heavily incorporates religious perspective throughout

Mystery of History

Biblioplan -- "lite" on assignments, but could match up students with same time period

Beautiful Feet -- "lite" on reading and assignments, but could match up students with same time period

Veritas -- harder to match up all students with the same time period

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I agree with Lori that Tapestry might work for you. They need include some Christian thinking when they discuss how various folks acted in historical situations.

 

They also study church history and religious movements. As an example they use this book with high school students when they study the Civil War: http://www.amazon.com/The-Civil-War-Theological-Crisis/dp/0807830127/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338202607&sr=8-1

 

The one place I would look carefully is at the overview church history book and possibly at the Bible study book they use in the first year. http://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-All-About-NIV/dp/B002XUM2TC/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338202794&sr=1-4

 

Other books will be more like the Nolls book.

 

For your older students you will need to schedule time to go through a discussion with them each week.

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We are planning to beef up the Revival to Revolution curriculum for Am. History and use other resources besides the Heart of Dakota program for our 9th grader. Carrie is going to write more for the high school age and is currently working on the guides now......

 

Char

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I think Winter Promise or Learning Adventures would be a good fit. Winter Promise can easily be used with a wide range of ages, there are the older and younger guides, lots of different hands on activities other than just reading, and a schedule to check off.

 

Learning Adventures (A World of Adventure) might also be a possibility. It was designed to ideally only go up to 8th grade, but I know some use it in high school as well and just add a little more in the way of reading, writing, etc. They also have younger learning guides as well now. LA is not exactly like Sonlight with a weekly schedule. It has daily assignments and each historical study is 30 days long. LA also includes language arts and science so if you don't like language arts and science being included, then it would not be a good choice.

 

Both WP and LA are not completely secular. WP is easier to adapt in a secular manner. Just leave out the religious books they schedule. LA has specific questions and activities related to Bible readings and these can be left out as well, however, you will see these listed on each day's assignments.

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I've used SL for years - we are Catholic - I just drop their Bible and add in my own. Sometimes I have to drop a book or two but that is easy to do. There is also a very active SL Catholic yahoo group you might look into - there is tons of info in the files on the group and everyone is very helpful and forthcoming with ideas - that's if you are Catholic - sorry shouldn't assume. :tongue_smilie:

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We are Christians, but prefer to do our own thing with regards to religious studies. I have used Ambleside Online or similar for years, but am looking at Sonlight. I want something that is literature heavy and prefer something that keeps the family in the same topic at least, with some overlaps of read-alouds and such. We will have a 10th, 9th, 7th, 5th, 2nd, 4yo, 2yo and new baby in the fall. I love the way Sonlight has the weeks mapped out and planned(I am a box checker!) but I would like something that has more assignments instead of just reading/discussing. Sonlight seems really close to what I want, so maybe we would just skip the Bible part and just keep doing what we are doing. But I wanted to know if there was something else I should consider.

 

I will admit up front that I'm not one who's ever used much of the commentary in either SL or TOG, so I can't speak to the particular flavor of most of the comments. Both use many books that have a religious content as well as many books that don't have a single Christian character.

 

Perhaps you would benefit from using the chapter in Story of the World as your general map, with the kids doing narration/paragraphs/essays each week as appropriate to their age. The activity guides for Story of the World has a lot of book recommendations that would stretch into the middle grades. The book lists and lists of people in Well Trained Mind would keep you going for the upper grades.

 

I'd probably spring for the audio versions of SOTW as well, since your littles will probably enjoy that and it will let you just keep moving forward during weeks when you're not up to things.

 

I'm not saying that SOTW would be a good book for all of these ages, but just that it does a reasonable job of breaking history into chunks. You'd have different kids reading different books in TOG anyway.

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Tapestry of grace is thoroughly anti catholic protestant.

 

Hmmm, have you actually used the Tapestry Instructor's Guide or just looked at books used?

 

The only place I've found any anti-Catholic bias is in materials used (mostly church history), unfortunately there are very few secular church history materials out there. Most of the books they use come from secular sources so I find very little bias in most materials (or at least interdenominational bias, the guy who translated the Ancient Egyptian poetry prefers that to both the Bible and Greek works and so forth).

 

In the Tapestry IG they strive to make students really think about what the Bible and God demand of people and how the players in history lived up to those demands. Very thoughtful.

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Hmmm, have you actually used the Tapestry Instructor's Guide or just looked at books used?

 

The only place I've found any anti-Catholic bias is in materials used (mostly church history), unfortunately there are very few secular church history materials out there. Most of the books they use come from secular sources so I find very little bias in most materials (or at least interdenominational bias, the guy who translated the Ancient Egyptian poetry prefers that to both the Bible and Greek works and so forth).

 

In the Tapestry IG they strive to make students really think about what the Bible and God demand of people and how the players in history lived up to those demands. Very thoughtful.

 

:iagree:Especially when discussing TOG Redesigned. I grew up Catholic and I just don't see it. I used to secularize SL, now I secularize TOG. We have finished Y2 and Y3, and my planning is almost done for Y4. Y1U1-U3 might provide more of a challenge. I don't know until the updates come out.

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