We have been homeschooling for 8 years. That is a bit surreal to me, but it’s the truth. My oldest child, my only son, is in Eighth Grade this year and has been homeschooled since First Grade. We have always followed a Classical approach, mixed with a bit of Charlotte Mason. Classically Eclectic, perhaps?
In the last couple years, I noticed my son becoming increasingly bored and less and less interested in school. Some of that is age, I know. But the nagging thought in my mind was that we homeschool so we can teach to each child. I know that not every child is going to love every subject or every book, but we have the ability to give our children a love of learning, and my son wasn’t loving it. He used to be an avid reader, reading anything he could get his hands on. He used to have dreams and goals about his future. This changed in the last year or two and I knew something needed to change on my end.
Sonlight graciously sent me product in exchange for review, although all opinions are always my own and are always truthful.
This homeschool year has been a delight, especially compared to the previous years. I have no doubt that much of that is because we switched to Sonlight. There has been far less arguments and learning seems to be a joy for my son again. The material he is learning has sparked so many discussions and questions, which has been such a blessing to our family. When I asked him why he seemed to be enjoying school so much more this year, he attributed it to the new curriculum.
We are using Sonlight Level 100 American History this year, which has a grade range of 7-12. My son is in 8th grade this year and it seems to be a perfect fit.
Why My Son Loves Sonlight as a student:
- Everything is organized and laid out ahead of time for him. He works best with more structure and likes knowing exactly what is coming next. Sonlight allows him to easily see what he will be doing each day and he can prepare for it.
- Similar to everything being organized for him, he also loves that lesson plans laid out for him. If there is a day he knows he will be unable to do his schoolwork, he has the flexibility to double up one day, or spread out one day over the next 4 days.
- He loves that Sonlight is easy to travel with. There has been a few weeks where we have traveled as a family this year and it is very easy for him to grab his Student Guide and look through the weeks and grab what he needs. He knows exactly what he will need for each week and can easily bring it with him.
- He loves all the books! It has given him a love for reading again. He always thought he didn’t like learning through literature, but found it was just the way he was learning through literature before that he didn’t like. Sonlight has given him back that love.
- He loves the different perspectives on the same topic given through the books he is reading. For example, he will learn about slavery from the perspective of a slave owner, and then from the perspective of a slave in another book.
Why I love Sonlight as a teacher:
- The Instructor Guide! This guide is what has been missing in my homeschool life! Sonlight guides are all laid out for me. I have lesson plans for the entire year alredy planned out for me. I have notes that I can refer to each day. I have discussion questions listed in the guide and so much more. The Instructor Guide is seriously a lifesaver.
- Sonlight is flexible enough that I can change the schedule if needed. They do offer a 4 day and a 5 day week in their plans. This year, I chose the 5 day and I think I would choose the 4 day next year to allow for even more flexibility. As much as I love having everything planned out for me, I love that Sonlight offers a guide…and you are free to choose what you want to do and what you want to omit.
- Sonlight keeps me organized. I know what I am teaching each year, each week, each day. All 36 weeks are planned out for me and I can just open up my Instructor Guide and go from there.
- Sonlight is cost effective! I have 7 children and homeschooling costs add up very easily. I will be re-using this level with my younger students in future years. When my son is finished with this year, I will just box up the entire level and pull it out again when I need it for the next student. Imagine how much money this will save me!
- Sonlight has saved me so much time! As a mom to 7 children, time is of the essence. I have spent countless hours creating lesson plans and projects and more. With Sonlight, I don’t have to waste any time. I know the lesson plans are already there, and I can spend my time on what it truly important.
- My husband can step in and teach at any point. This is a huge blessing! I had my seventh baby during this school year and had to take some time off from teaching. My husband was able to easily step in and not miss a beat. That would never have been able to happen in previous years.
- I love the assortment of books! Learning through literature is such an amazing way to learn. My son has made connections in geography and history and the Bible at the same time. It makes learning really come to life for him, which is exactly the way we should be learning.
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