Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sonlight--How's That Working For You? (Part 3)

The Tweaks

I'm sure somewhere there is a homeschool family who uses their curriculum exactly as prescribed. But i haven't personally met them. We all take the good and the great (and a lot of times, the free and the borrowed!) and then use it in a way that best suits our family. And you usually can't tell how you will change something until you've used it for awhile.

Well, there isn't much to change with Sonlight for me. But there are a few things.


First of all, there was Bible. For 2 years now, we had been using this:
But with the daunting newness of our big new curriculum coming, and considering that Bible was already written in to this curriculum, I decided not to order our next book from Bible Study Guides. I didn't want to make our day any longer or overwhelm anyone. Myself included.

So we spent the first 16 weeks of the year using only the Bible assignments from Sonlight. BUT...let me say...I didn't order all the components of their Bible program so that is probably part of the reason why our Bible time just didn't seem like enough to me. Maybe if we had used their full program, it would have.

Whatever the reason, I felt something was missing. I realized that Bible is more important than anything else we do during our day and its worth the time to do it well. (I already knew that!) So when we started back this week, we also started back with our old Bible curriculum. We've missed it. The girls love it.'s something we can all do together. A great way to start the day.

We are still doing the Bible reading from each girls' Sonlight program as well.

The Days

The only other thing I'm going to tweak, and this will have to wait until next year, is I'm going to go with the 4-day a week option next year. With Sonlight, you can purchase a 5-day curriculum or a 4-day one. We didn't have a choice this year as the condensed American History core already crams 2 years into 1 and that is why the 4-day is not an option with this core. But next year, both girls will be working on a 4-day core. That will free up our Fridays (or Mondays) to work on science, relax, get caught up, do projects, etc. I think it will give  us the breather we need.

That's it! Other than that, I am really pleased with our curriculum.

Math Change Coming!

Now, (this has nothing to do with Sonlight) but I found a Teaching Textbooks used on The Homeschool Lounge the other day and snapped it up. You know I have been thinking about switching to TT for Sweetheart ever since this day  back in November.  I LOVE Math U See and believe in it. I think their way of doing things works! I also feel loyal to Mr. Demme because he has brought us SO far! But when something stops working well for your child, (sigh), it's time to try something else. We will still be using MUS for Little Bit. And this TT is just a trial run. I bought the 5th grade level and I'm going to let her spend this spring and probably the summer too working through it. That should let me know if it's good fit and if I should order it for next year. I decided on the 5th grade because 1. it was for sale :) and 2. she hasn't covered fractions or decimals with MUS yet so I wanted to step back to a level that covered those for her. I'll let you know how it goes!

Anyone else make some changes mid-year? Man, I love homeschooling. When something isn't working for your child in public or even private school you just have to suck it up and make it through and hope for a better year next year. Not so with us!


  1. Yes, we've made a few changes mid-year. We also use Sonlight. My oldest uses TT, but I feel that it's about a year behind Saxon until Algebra. I'll be interested to see if you like the TT5. My daughter was doing TT5 all on the computer and I didn't like it. We switched back to Saxon for now. She's also dabbling in Life of Fred.


  2. We had to switch our kids out of MUS to TT in the last 2 years. There's a point where MUS just moves too slowly and they get "behind" if you plan on transitioning them to public school or just higher maths. When they spend a year on fractions and THEN a year on decimals it was just too much time. But one son may go back to MUS for pre-algebra and algebra because he just learns better the MUS way.

    I miss Sonlight :( We loved it for many years and then all of a sudden it no longer worked for us. I loved the books and the integration of literature into history. We would buy a 5-day core to get all the books and then use it over 2 years (I had the 4 younger boys all working on the same core)

  3. I am thinking about using the Bible program you have been using and I had a question for long does it take to do a lesson? Do you spread it over two days? Or do one per day?
    I was on the website for the program and it said there were 104 lessons/year....which means 2 lessons/week ALL breaks. And I know that won't happen so really that means some weeks we'll have to do 3 that do-able?

  4. I have a similar question to Barefootsintheburbs. How long per lesson? Were your girls in the same level? How many days a week. It looks awesome, I just need an idea so I don't get in too deep. :)

  5. We do 1-2 lessons a week. If it were just my older daughter, she could do the front and back of the Lesson in one day. However, because of my younger daughter, we just do one side a day. When I wasn't pregnant.. We did that Monday through Thursday. On Fridays we did other things. I know some churches use it for Sunday School so you would certainly do a whole lesson.
    One girl is on Advanced and one on Intermediate. But for a while they were on Beginner and Advanced. That's what is so cool about are on the same thing at the same time. Totally do-able!!

  6. Thank you Brenda! I am so excited I found this curriculum on your blog.

  7. Sonlight? or Teaching Textbooks?

  8. :) The Bible Study Guides :) We are a Saxon house, probably because I taught with Saxon when I was a public school teacher and we are old friends. I taught in Texas like you, don't miss state tests at all either! I have been reading your blog for a while but I am a terrible commenter. We are going to use Sonlight with my second child for preschool this year. Someone loaned me their core and my now 7 year old and I read the Kindergarten core before. I am debating using Sonlight with him next year while continuing with Story of the World. We have had a good school year despite my 21 month old's illness and quest for a diagnoses. He is doing well but we have more appointments than I like to think about :) I do think I need "boxes to check" and keep me accountable in this busy season. We have pretty much kept up except with our read alouds and our Bible Study.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)