By: Mary H
Sonlight is a wonderful curriculum package, but frankly there is too much material for people who live overseas (even for those only doing full-time home-school). A full load of Sonlight makes it difficult to help your children with the important skills of language and cultural acquisition. Here are some tips Sonlight users should consider:
- Order the condensed one-year versions for elementary school (i.e. One Year Condensed World History for first and second graders, One Year Condensed American History for third and fourth graders).
- Spread the year of lessons out over two or more years.
- Spread out a Science package over two or three years.
- Teach your kids together: the books are great and work for a wide range of ages.
- Vary the routine/Don’t be rigid– I found that we spent a lot of time making the switch between subjects in Sonlight. My kids were excited about whatever we were doing at a particular moment and loathed moving to the next thing. Therefore, we did history two days a week but covered several days’ worth of material. We did science one day a week, alternating between reading the lessons one week and doing the experiment the next week. We did Math three days a week (but covered about two days of lessons each time using Singapore Math). We did spelling (using Spelling Power) every day, because it is a weakness for TCKs. We also did reading every day and some kind of grammar activity several days a week.
- Encourage your children to spend time with national children in the neighborhood or by joining a sports team or taking music lessons — whatever would be beneficial for that particular child.
- Have your kids tested academically every year or so to make sure they are not falling behind.
Mary’s background is in education; she and her husband are third generation teachers. Mary has a degree in Math Education (teaching high school) and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (which she did for three years overseas). She has now homeschooled full-time or part-time for eight years.
Check out Sonlight Curriculum by clicking on the following link: http://www.sonlight.com
Sonlight is a firm believer of Art Education in the elementary grades and provides a host of resources for teaching this. http://www.sonlight.com/art-appreciation.html . The physical education section of Sonlight is rather limited, but CBD (www.christianbook.com) in their home education section has a large selection of reasonably priced books, videos, and DVDs for encouraging physical fitness in your family/homeschool. Sonlight also has a tremendous section for music! Not only music, but also musical education: math, grammar, history, etc.