by Margaret Weyler
(Spring, TX USA)
I am currently using Sonlight kindergarten curriculum for my son. He is a very young kinder so it is an ok fit, but I would not recommend this curriculum for more advanced students. While they do have "advanced" options, they are still not too challenging and you will find your child could achieve far more using a different curriculum.
Sonlight is a literature-based curriculum. My son loves all the reading we do together. It uses old picture book classics and even more advanced chapter books. My son has enjoyed it all. I have saved money by checking most of the books out of the library rather than purchasing them outright from Sonlight. Another option is to purchase them piece-meal on Amazon or other used bookstores.
The usual daily work-load is about 1 1/2-2 hours. Most of the time is split into reading/writing/literature. Math has not proven challenging enough yet (we are doing Horizons). I would recommend using Saxon or a different math program. We also do a little science each day--again, mostly reading picture books. It uses a lot of Usborne Press which are fun info books that even adults enjoy looking at.
The Sonlight curriculum is a Christian curriculum but not all the books are. Be aware you will need to address issues like evolution, etc. with your child individually. I personally like this because it provides opportunities to discuss it.
Kindergarten handwriting has not been challenging enough or repetitious enough either (we are not doing their new "Handwriting without tears" though). I am supplementing with Leapfrog dry erase material (cheap at Walmart).
Sonlight is reasonable (although definitely not the cheapest around). It does include everything you will need, though, and as mentioned, can purchase read-aloud books separately or directly from them for separate bulk fee. I love having the lesson plans written out for me and the ease with which I can just sit down and teach without thinking up new ideas or even extra fun activities (many included in lesson plan notes).
They do take a global perspective rather than solely US focus which will introduce your child to the world rather than only growing up learning about US culture/peoples/ history etc...
Overall, a good investment. Just head into it knowing it is not the most challenging curriculum out there. Not as much drilling of material either. I would go "classical" if that is what you are looking for.Thanks so much for the excellent review of Sonlight Kindergarten curriculum, Margaret! I appreciate the detail you included; other parents will definitely find your thoughts and feedback helpful. Blessings, Heather :)
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