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Topic: thoughts from Sonlight users?

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Subject: thoughts from Sonlight users?
Date Posted: 2/4/2009 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Hello.  I am very interested in using Sonlight as I begin our homeschooling journey.  Cost, of course, is kind of hindering that start.  Instead of purchasing the core packages from the website I am considering piecing them together on my own.  Has anyone had success doing that?  Or had difficulties?  And how has PaperBackSwap factored into your homeschooling experience?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond.  I am looking forward to learning form your experiences.  :)

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 168
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Sonlight is great if you like a day by day type of program. I know a lot of people got burned out on it if they try to do EVERYTHING so the key is to do what works for you and leave the rest.

Lots of people just buy the manual and then buy the books on their own. You can find a lot of the readers at thrift stores or on here. I've gotten lots of sonlight readers from this board. Many of the workbooks you can also get cheaper at places like Rainbow Resource.com or amazon or on other used boards.

I don't use Sonlight as written but use the book lists quite often-they are great.

Good luck

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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My girlfriend used Sonlight for 2 years and said she liked ut but it's expensive and lots of work. In the younger grades mom is spending lots and lots of time reading to the kidlets. When they get older it is more self guided but aren't most curriculums like that anyway?

 

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Thanks for your responses!  PaperBackSwap has such warm and helpful members!

Subject: Sonlight
Date Posted: 2/6/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 8
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We are piecing together Sonlight this year.  I like the program but the cost is prohibitive.  Some of the books I was able to find others I was not. It is really hard if you don't have all the core books IMHO. I tried to sub some books out and it takes away from the ease of having things planned out. This year I am planning ahead and come July/August I will just order what I don't have from Sonlight and pay the extra cost I think. 

Just my two cents

Theresa-

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2006
Posts: 333
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I have found lots of Sonlight titles here and at thrift stores.  To get them on PBS...start early!  So think ahead and maybe get some of the smaller easily read books from your library.  (I use inter-library loan a lot.)  Then maybe plan to get the next years books from PBS-so get them on your wishlist now.  We read the Sonlight books, but I don't even use the Instuctor's guide anymore.  After I did it for a couple of years, the kids got tired of all the questions.  I do have them do narration sometimes.  We enjoy all of the books!  The kids are always asking me to read to them before bed and that is when we do most of our reading together.  Now we go at our own pace.  Hope this helps!  Carrie 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Thank you!  All the responses have been so helpful.  A wonderful surprise for me is that I have already been able to get some of the readers and read alouds from PBS.  And I appreciate the advice to start early, and that is seems like I will not have to follow the schedules exactly in order to school my kids.  Flexibility is a friend in our home.  :)

Date Posted: 2/15/2009 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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Ask around with local HS circles and join local HS chat groups (YahooGroups maybe) if they are available. People around here are always selling used Sonlight including one (gasp) who was selling each grade's entire kit core etc.  for $100 per grade (some were never used and brand new!). See if your state or county HS org has a used curriculum sale. I have traveled to the next state to get bargains up to 90% off at my neighboring state's used curric sale.

I have pondered Sonlight multiple times but the schedules make me twitch and I don't want everything all laid out for me. We do use many of the same books though and I love that it is based on living books.

Date Posted: 2/17/2009 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Thanks, Christine.  Great ideas for me.  I appreciate it!  I also like that Sonlight is based on living books as well.  :)  I'll have to see how well I do with the schedules - but it helps me to know that if I don't have to follow them exactly.  I think I've said it before but flexibility is key around here!  :)

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 10
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I love, love, love Sonlight. My oldest is a senior this year, and we used Sonlight for years.  We bought the core programs, because I could use them over and over. Plus, the manual is so convenient!  Want to know what to read--they tell you just how many pages. Want to quiz your kids on what was read? Use the discussion questions. Plus, it really does work for multiple age levels. I like the option of 4 day or 5 day, too. It's nice to follow a curriculum and still have a day free for a co-op. 

You can certainly piece things together, no problem, but you may have to adapt a bit with page numbers listed in the manual.  It's no big deal. I would encourage you to have your books together before you start, as the years I just had a manual, I would skip books because the library didn't have them or because I didn't get them in time. 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2008
Posts: 17
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I love Sonlight and find it very interesting.  I purchase the IG's used and gather up the books myself.  PBS is great for this purpose.  I get some at thrift stores, ebay and from other homeschool moms.  The library is also a great resource for most of the books.

Good luck.

 

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Thank you!! It really helps to know I am not alone in the adventure of piecing the cores together. I must say it again - PaperBackSwap has the nicest, most helpful members. Thank you all for your suggestions and wisdom!!!!
Subject: used Sonlight
Date Posted: 3/10/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 2
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I love using Sonlight, too.  They have a used currriculum site on their forum.  I've purchased from it, and have been pleased.You might take a look at it.  After years of getting my own books piecemeal, or using the library, I purchased from the forum and was so blessed to have all the books right here!   www.sonlight.com

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Thanks, Paula! I have been checking out the forums and even recently purchased an IG through the used one.
Subject: Sonlight
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2007
Posts: 4
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I just now saw this discussion as I logged in and had to get my two cents in!  I have been a Sonlight user for years!  I have gotten cores together by any plan that I could put together to make it work!  Most of the time I wasn't able to get the entire core together since there are SO many books with each one.  One thing you that makes homeschooling such a joy is that you are not tied down to having to do it one certain way.  Only you know what is best for your children. For mine there were even times that Sonlight alone was not the best thing for any given year.  You are lucky to just be starting out!  There is SO much available to homeschoolers now I wish I could have more children just so I can homeschool them!  My last two of five are graduating this year and we made it to Core 300!   I was putting this core together when I discovered paperback swap!  To my amazement it was the first time in all my homeschool years that I managed to get an entire core of readers - thanks to this site!  Again I envy how lucky you are to just be starting out!  It may seem like a task beyond your ability  in the beginning and that is normal!  If you ever get discouraged don't hesitate to run to fellow homeschoolers to give you strength to carry on.  I did that many times over the years!  Since mine will be done by June I will have tons of Sonlight material that I will be deciding what to do with.  Maybe I can be a help to you!  What cores will you be starting with?   I think I have many of the books all the way down to Core 2.  Whenever I post a Sonlight book on PBS for swap it will go quicker than any others!  You are lucky to have found this site early in your homeschool career!  I can't say enough how finding this site was my greatest internet find!  Also I don't know if anyone has mentioned the fact that Sonlight started offering an option of payments a few years ago.  When they began the payment plan it opened a new freedom to being able to set up an ideal situation for my children.  They have SO many great homeschool options beyond just the cores.  I love the Rosetta Stone for foreign languages and the Teaching Textbooks for math. I could not have afforded those before the payment plan option.  They don't charge an interest  rate.  They do charge a set fee to do the payments, but it is not as high as interest would be. Yours are probably too young for the higher priced options needed by middle and high school ages but the years will go by faster than you can imagine!  When we first started out to use Sonlight the IG was a small soft cover that was only 131 pages long.  I still have it!  It has a bright orange colored cover with Concise Course Guide and Teachers Manual Grade 2 - Sonlight Curriculum written in bold black letters.  SO different from what you get now.  They work hard on improving things every single year!   There were a couple of times I wished they would slow down with some of the changes but in the long run it has always made the program better.  One more thing ---I know this is getting long --- but I wanted to also say to remember that you are not limited to just what is contained in Sonlight!  Like I said already the beauty of homeschool is that we can do what is best for our children.  There were a couple of times that we got a little bogged down with all that the Core had to do and we took a little time of to do a few other options that we were blessed with.  We never totally stopped the Core readings but would cut back and do some hands on things or concentrate on other subjects or do a catch up on areas that we got behind on.   Its up to you and what you know is best for your own children!  Isn't that awesome!    I better quit going on and on!   I would love to invite you to be a buddy so you can look at my bookshelf when you do Sonlight orders as I think I always have Sonlight books listed.  God bless you as you take on the wonderful call of homeschooling!  I will miss it.... unless of course some of my grown children get married and have children they will homeschool.  Maybe they will let Grandma help! (lol)

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2007
Posts: 11
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Sabrina, Thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement. I am so glad I posted on this forum - all these wonderful people have taken the time to offer their thoughts. PBS is awesome! I'm off to send you a message. Thanks again! ~Carrie