Sonlight Curriculum–Making it work for you

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:

Sonlight is a firm believer of Art Education in the elementary grades and provides a host of resources for teaching this. .  The physical education section of Sonlight is rather limited, but CBD ( 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.


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