I have heard nothing but positive feedback from Sonlight users, however, it is a curriculum that we had never fully researched or tried. Upon using Core 100: In-Depth American History with my eighth grade son, I can say that it is everything I expected and more.
- Sonlight is literature-based – This is a huge plus to me. In our experience, children learn history much better from good historical fiction or well-written history books such as Joy Hakim’s A History of US (the framework on which the course is built) than from dry textbooks. Core 100 highlights include Christy; To Kill a Mockingbird; Sounder; The Landing of the Pilgrims; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Amos Fortune, Free Man, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Call of the Wild.
- Sonlight covers multiple subjects – I thought we were getting a history curriculum, when in fact we’re also covering Bible reading and memory work, Geography, Biographies, and Creative Expression (writing).
- Sonlight does much of the teacher prep work for me – A full five-day-per-week, 36-week schedule is included, broken down by subject. My son takes a piece of paper and writes down his scheduled assignments for the week. Complete book-by-book history and literature study guides provide overviews, chapter summaries, review questions, and vocabulary development.
- Sonlight helps me keep my son accountable – My son has always been a reluctant reader. Once he realized that we were actually going to sit down and discuss his assignments – and I was equipped with questions in my teacher’s guide – he began to concentrate and read for comprehension.
- Sonlight assigns writing – Weekly assignments and detailed overviews for composing a literary analysis or research paper provide topics and opportunity for that most elusive component of many homeschools: writing assignments. I like the suggestions for reading and teaching current events, which is an area I tend to ignore. Sonlight has inspired me to renew our subscription to World Magazine and challenge my son to read more than the current box scores.
I’m excited that we’re getting a jump start on high school credits and covering so many subjects from the same study guide. With so many students in my household, keeping up with multiple subjects and children is always a challenge, and Sonlight’s Core 100 is simplifying that for me. Just add math and language arts, and you’ve got a full-year’s curriculum tied up in one neat package.
Kudos to Sonlight for an amazingly detailed and organized program. Thank you for the opportunity to review it.