Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sonlight Cores 1 & 2

When we began our homeschooling journey we decided to go with Sonlight for History and Geography. And although it doesn't have all the whistles and bells that I might wish for, I do enjoy it for its simplicity. This year I will start my second go at Core B with 2nd grade readers with JJ (2nd grade) and CJ(K). And as I look through all the lesson plans and guides I am realizing how much I missed the first time around with LJ and yet I am still pleased with the knowledge LJ has grasped from me even doing the bare essentials!!!! My two favorite things about  Core B and Core C are A Child's History of the World and the Readers!!!!

A Child's History of the World is short, sweet, engaging and to the point, just what children under 8 need and I enjoy reading it aloud.

I also like how Sonlight gives you the chance to chose the Reading Level for the Readers that accompany each Core as well as the fact that the Readers compliment what is being taught.

(Because of our personal family beliefs on structured education we did not start formal lessons until LJ was in 2nd grade which is why we skipped Exploring God's World and Intro to the World: Cultures. Seeing that we lived in Japan for 6 years we decided to experience first hand the Asian cultures and this help our children understand from an early age there was a big world out there that differed greatly from our beliefs and lifestyle.)

Because we plan on using our Cores over again with our younger children I needed some flexibility with the reading aspect of our curriculum. I didn't want to have to push a child through books that were too hard to read just as I didn't want them to skim by because the reading was too easy. With Sonlight there are common readers among all the levels within that Core which means I don't have to buy a whole set if I want to change reading levels. In fact if I need to I can usually find the books at the library for the books not purchased and follow the reading level I need from the lesson plans!!!!!

The other perk I like about Sonlight is you get a 4 day or 5 day schedule. We still continue to do the 4 day schedule as we are apart of a Homeschooling Learning Group, but it would be easy to adjust to the 5 day schedule with the addition of a couple extra books and since Sonlight includes both 4 day and  day schedule, there is no extra lesson plans to order. Talk about flexibility!!!!!

The Instructors Guide can be a bit overwhelming at first but once you sort out what books are History, Readers and Read alouds the battle is half won!!!! What worked for me best with Core B & C was to group the Weekly Lesson Plans and Reader Schedules according to the weeks they were to be used. This year I decided to file the Read Aloud and History Study Guides by when they would be read instead of alphabetically. Had I done this to begin with I think I would have used them alot more!!!!

I made my own timeline using the front of A Child's History of the World along with the stickers Sonlight provides. I think this works best for my little ones but I will be doing a book style time line with Core D.

The ONLY thing that I wasn't happy with this year was the tiny page of sticker paper that came with Core D that is used to color code your books according to the Core they go with. Other than that, I am looking forward to diving into US History as well as World History with my kids using Sonlight for another year!!!!

Come back tomorrow as I review the math curriculum for Not Back to School Blog Hop!!!!

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Sounds great!! I hopped over here from HOTM's NOT Back to School Blog Hop and it's so exciting to me to see other moms list their aspirations for their homeschool! I do hope you'll head over to see what's going on at our homeschool!
    Thank you for sharing, and have a great year!

  2. What a cool idea to do a different one each day!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey, great blog! I was interested to see that you lived in Japan and are studying Japanese. I'm trying to decide on a language to start with my boys this year and I keep coming back to Japanese... any recommendations?

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of your plans!

  4. Hi - just stopping by with the not back to school blog hop! I have just started Sonlight with one of my children. I love the idea of refiling the study guides into the order you are going to use them. I am going to pinch that idea. Thanks

  5. I borrowed some Sonlight history, literature and science from a Core Sonlight loving friend. She had to tutor me in those instructor guides! But now that I know a teeny bit better what I'm doing, I am truly loving the structure and checking off what is done. A real perk when nothing seems to be the day's end result--I can look back and see all that was accomplished. Good to meet you via the HOTM Not back to school hop.

  6. We are starting with Core A! I am excited! Good luck!

  7. I've never used Sonlight, but I've heard a lot about it. I hope you have a wonderful year!


  8. Living in Japan must have been an amazing learning experience!

    Hope you have a great year!