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  1. #11
    Senior Member Evolved Fiddler's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Jessica. It's good to know that the books you used this past year were on target for your 6th grader.

    One of the things I was hoping would help me actually *get it done* is the instructor's guide with discussion questions, vocabulary, etc. I relate it to sticking with a diet because food is prepared and ready for you (as one of my friend's husbands does for her--would that we all had such a spouse). If I spend time looking for books and then figuring out things to go with them (and separate books for both kids--yikes!), I'm afraid we'll peter out by November like we've done in the past with history. For instance, Rome fell in early September, 2009 for us, and we just barely touched on the Vikings before we went into low power mode (i.e., mostly math) for the summer.

    I could take it up a notch and do Core 5, which says ages 10-13, but am afraid Sonlight's Eastern Hemisphere core might be too slanted toward Christianity, given that the title description is "Give your children a vision for world missions and a passion to spread the gospel!" Does anyone have experience with that core? I do have kids that are interested in the Far East right now.

    Core 6 might be a stretch for my 4th grader, though. Plus we just did the Ancients for the second time in 2008-2009 and I don't feel the need to revisit Ancient Egypt, Greece, etc. again.

    TIA!

    ~Christina

    Visit us at Rockhound Place

  2. #12
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    I adore Sonlight, I have used it for many years in conjunction wtih The Well Trained Mind. Most of it has been upgraded so I can't speak to the older cores. We have P 3/4, P 4/5, and K now. We are starting all over again. I do not use the LA.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddler View Post
    for instance, rome fell in early september, 2009 for us
    lololol

  4. #14
    Senior Member Evolved elkhollow's Avatar
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    This may be a stupid question, but how do you secularize SonLight? I thought it was a pretty heavily religious program with Creationism and providential history and so on.I just looked at their website for the first time and I have to admit that I am intrigued, though I never thought I would be interested in a curriculum in a box. I'm too much of a control freak. Truth is, though, as Garrett has gotten older I have started looking for short cuts. The prep and plan time kills me and I haven't even started planning for him yet. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time prepping and planning than my daugther spends actually learning. It looks like they do the dirty work, which is what makes me say, "hmmmm." Also, you mentioned a core. What is that? Can you just buy it in pieces so that you can use your own history and science, for example? Just curious. TIA
    Ashley

  5. #15
    Senior Member Evolved Fiddler's Avatar
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    I haven't used it yet, but I have a couple of friends who use Sonlight, and the one who secularizes the program who graciously sat down with me and went through her Instructor's Guide with me, spelling it all out for me. You can purchase everything from Sonlight (with or without the Bible curricula), or you can purchase separate subjects.

    History is their main Core and uses lots of living books, many of which are Newbery or other award winners. The paper catalog puts an X with titles that come from a Christian publisher (so I "X" them right out, LOL), and an S for books created by Sonlight, itself. I looked at the American History 3+4 Core, and would hardly have to do anything to secularize it. But the description for the Core I've chosen (Core 5: Eastern Hemisphere--the kids voted and this one won, hands down, over American History) reads "Give your children a vision for world missions as you journey across the mysterious East. . ." so you can probably imagine I've had to "X" out quite a few more titles than for 3+4. Missionary tales will be replaced with folk tales and one of the core "books" that was a little too work-booky for us with suggestions from a Well-Trained Mind Forum poster (these books: Trail Guide to World Geography, a McDougal Littel middle school textbook about the Eastern Hemisphere, and/or the Enchantment of the World series of books for the countries we'll be covering).

    I'll be buying the Instructor's Guide plus any remaining books (minus the Xed ones) that can't be bought elsewhere cheaper, the Book of Time (which sounds exactly like the Charlotte Mason book of centuries), the timeline figures, and the write-on map that folds up neatly (thank goodness, because I am out of wall space) from Sonlight, and that's it.

    The Instructor's Guide does give Bible readings for each day with verses to memorize (which I may replace with a poem to memorize from time to time), but those are easily skipped.

    I'm hyper-sensitive to any evangelical content, having grown up in and left (at 18) a church of that ilk, and I didn't see much that would make me run for the hills. FWIW, Sonlight actually has a reputation for not being Christian enough for some fundamentalist families.

    ~Christina

    Mom to DS (12.5), DD (9), and DS (5.5)
    Visit us at Rockhound Place!

  6. #16
    Senior Member Evolved elkhollow's Avatar
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    Christina,
    Thank you for your response. It sounds like I'd have to do quite a bit of re-working it to make it fit. I might as well stick to what I'm doing, which includes many of the literature selections they have listed. I'm just a glutton for punishment, that's all.On the bright side, passing on it saves me a lot of money!
    Ashley

  7. #17
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    Over the years it has not been very difficult to secularize Sonlight for me. The harder cores are 5 and 200. The others mostly just have 2-3 books that need to be tossed, and a few parts that need to be glossed over. The IG's will leave out reading some info in the books, because it doesn't match their world view. Most of the Christian instructions after getting rid of the Missionary Stories and the bibles is just notes in the IG. Occasionall I will come accross something in a book that I gloss over or minimize on the fly.

    As my children get older I don't mind a bit of religion here and there, it opens up discussion. I still get rid of the over the top books. The draw to Sonlight in my opinion is the great literature. Of course you could incorporate this into any homeschool without the IG's. I purchase Sonlight and put it in WTM order, using Sonlights notes and comprehension questions that are relevent. I want the heirloom and free shipping for life, that is the only reason I have bought complete cores. Althoguh for K, it has been said the IG is so disjointed that I just purchased the books from Amazon. Sonlight Science is mostly secular till Apologia comes into play.

    I only wish I had all of the books I bought the first time around, I never dreamed I would be here again LOL.

    I feel that Sonlight loses a lot of steam in the upper grades. I suppliment heavily. But since we do P 3/4 - core 4, skipping 5, then 6 - 100, and 300-530. We should complete most of them by high school anyway.Although we may have some literature left over that they are just not mature enough for, I will have to play that by ear.
    Last edited by StartingOver; 06-21-2010 at 10:22 AM.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Guru paganmomblog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post

    History is their main Core and uses lots of living books, many of which are Newbery or other award winners. The paper catalog puts an X with titles that come from a Christian publisher (so I "X" them right out, LOL), and an S for books created by Sonlight, itself.

    ~Christina

    Mom to DS (12.5), DD (9), and DS (5.5)
    Visit us at Rockhound Place!
    I have the catalog for the 2010-2011 school year (just got it today) and I am looking at the grade 6-8 World History Core Curriculum. I am not seeing the "x" or "s" a whole lot. What if there is neither code? Does that mean it's a secular book?
    Angela
    The Pagan Mom Blog

    Mom to Alex (5), Claire (8), and Molly (10).

  9. #19
    Senior Member Evolved Fiddler's Avatar
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    Angela,

    I ran right out to the mailbox and mine isn't here, darn it! But looking at last year's catalog, it looks like there are only three titles with an "X" and (besides the timeline figures) only five with an "S" (and two of those overlap with the X's). There were many more in Core 5 (because the focus is on missionaries), but I haven't had any problems finding substitutions so far. There was one book that didn't have a X in Core 5 that I found out is written with a Christian worldview, thanks to the Amazon description (David Livingstone, Africa's Trailblazer--part of the Christian Heroes series from Youth with a Mission or YWAM Publishing--definitely should have had an X).

    I recognize or have read the vast majority of the Core 6 books from last year's catalog, however, and they look like great selections.
    ~Christina
    Currently homeschooling parent to one adolescent:
    JaneG. (13)
    and also mom to
    Jazz (16 - at a fabulous charter school)
    and J.J. (9 - at a small Waldorf-inspired school)
    Learning and living in Massachusetts

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  10. #20
    Senior Member Guru paganmomblog's Avatar
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    Thanks! The hubs and I are trying to figure out what the best route to go is. We aren't too keen on boxed curricula as our kids are all over the place for development but having 3 kids means we can use them at various times and skip over using their timeline to complete the work.
    Angela
    The Pagan Mom Blog

    Mom to Alex (5), Claire (8), and Molly (10).

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