The Sonlight Curriculum is produced by Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. It costs around $325 – $800 plus extras, depending upon the level and the package that you purchase. This is a very popular curriculum amongst homeschooling families because it has a Christian world view woven throughout it. However, if you are a secular homeschooler, you will not find it difficult to remove the religious references.
How Sonlight Is Sold
Sonlight is sold as a “core” curriculum. It contains the subjects of Bible, Read-Alouds, Readers and History plus the Instructors Guide. There are also Science and Language Arts add-ons. Unfortunately, there isn’t a math program but you can easily find something to use. Whenever it comes to “curriculum in a box, you will find that this is a “Comprehensive” curriculum package with the core components all be included. If you don’t want to use the entire curriculum you can also “mix and match” or add on other things.
Drawbacks To Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
One of the biggest drawbacks to using this curriculum is its price. It is exorbitant and out of reach for a lot of homeschoolers. However, if money is no object, this curriculum can be very appealing. On the other hand though, there aren’t a lot of consumables, so this curriculum can be passed down to younger siblings.
This curriculum is also heavily literature-based, which means that parents must be prepared to spend a lot of time reading to their child. This is great if your child loves to be read to or loves to read themselves. However, if your child is not an auditory learner, this will not be the curriculum for them.
Another frustration that parents will have with Sonlight is the length of the day, which will last anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours. This does not include math instruction or any other additional instruction. As a parent you can expect to spend around three hours directly teaching your child. If you don’t want to spend this much time, then this is not the curriculum for you. Of course, you can scale down the curriculum but this can be difficult.
You will also find that it is difficult to combine instruction for multiple children. Trying to do so will leave you burnt out and your children bored. Of course, you can scale back on the reading and keep it to only an hour or two a day but deciding what to eliminate can be difficult.
Sonlight levels also are not equivalent to a public school grade. In fact, most children are a level or two behind their given grade because this curriculum is so challenging but this can appeal to gifted homeschoolers.
Benefits To Sonlight Curriculum
Parents who favor the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling will really enjoy Sonlight for its classical literature guidance and focus. You will also appreciate the way in which the lessons are laid out, especially if you are a new homeschooler who has no clue how to organize a day or where to begin. This is definitely a rock solid program in terms of content and scope and sequence.
The Bottom Line
If money isn’t a concern and you have a highly auditory learner, then this is a great curriculum for them. However if you are on a tight budget or your child is not an auditory learner, if you have limited time or you don’t like reading to your child, then you should look for another curriculum. This curriculum will help you get on track but you can also use it as a spine to create your own free curriculum, which may be more beneficial to your family.