I'm searching for next year's curriculum. I know I dont want to do textbook style like we did this year. I will have a 1st grader (who is not catching onto reading quickly as of yet but is great with math) and a 3rd grader who hasnt been challenged by anything I've given him yet out of his 2nd grade curriculum.....and he loves learning just by getting science books at the library.
I am stuck between using My Father's World (we'd be in the 1st grade progrm and Adventures for my oldest) and Sonlight.
Dilemma is....I think my youngest would like MFW better....she's more of a hands on and audio learner. I think my son would like Sonlight better.....he just likes books, doesn't care for crafts or projects. And for me, I want to make sure they are getting all they need with a program that is manageable with our day (also will have a 2 year old running around).
So if you've used one or both of these, can you tell me what you liked/didn't like? I'm ok with cost of either.....i budgeted for curriculum assuming I'd use Sonlight since it costs the most.
by oredebMarch 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM
hi luvmy , ive never used either one but this is a bump!!!
We just started using MFW Adventures for my oldest in January. It turns out my middle son who is 5 likes it more than his 2nd grader brother and we are still using it. I think you could make MFW work for both kiddos. There is a list of book suggestions with each section, I just have to read ahead and request the books from our library; My oldest is kind of like yours, he loves to read and be read to but when it comes to crafts or more hands-on stuff, he is very selective of the project and often times will just skip it but . I don't have experience with Sonlight but to me it sounds like it might not work for your crafty child but you could also supplement with something for her. Good luck with your decision!
We are on our 3rd year of Sonlight. My kids are in K, 1, and 4th grades.
-Learning about history, geography, and cultures - a LOT! - so if your kids are interested in things like ancient Egypt, China, Africa, wars, explorers... it's a good fit. Older kids read books that put history into context (so instead of a dry textbook about life during the Revolutionary War, they read Johnny Tremain, for example - they see history through the eyes of children their age).
-Covers things that typical curricula don't cover at that age (most - especially public school - seem to cover small-to-large, like learn about their community, then their state, then their country, etc. Sonlight starts BIG - world cultures, then America, which makes more sense chronologically since America is a very young nation in the scheme of the world!
-Most of the books are fantastic! And to save $ many of them are classics and available at the public library.
-The instructor's guide is very detailed. Sometimes I don't have time to read every chapter of every book assigned, so it's nice when I can have my daughter read her chapter and then look to the IG for questions to ask her about it.
-It's a LOT of reading so if your child doesn't like reading, it will be painful. Although for my K and 1st, we read everything together. Only my 4th grader has things she needs to read on her own.
-Everything extra, is extra. You have to pay separately for language arts, math, science, etc. So the cost adds up fast.
-A few items we skip entirely because they are so heavily evangelical OR downright offensive in their worldview - and so that's a little annoying. For example this year we have completely stopped using the American Indian Prayer Guide because so often it portrays the Native Americans as savage Un-Christian beasts worthy of our pity... but then it's used throughout the year so that's a piece of the IG that I'm not even using at all but have paid for.
-There are lots of activities online (free, some on personal blogs) to go along with the IG but you have to pay an add'l $10 for a CD which just contains a PDF directing you to those blogs. I think with a little digging you could save yourself the $10, and REALLY I think that Sonlight should just print this information and include it as an appendix to the IG, because especially with the K core, it was very much lacking in hands-on activities or enrichment. I had to look up a lot of that on my own and for $100 just for the IG, I think they should include it.
I haven't used either of them but have looked at them- what about picking one and supplementing with either crafts or literature that can go with it? If you go with Sonlight, you could google for craft ideas and activities to go with the lessons (maybe drop some of the books off the list) or if you go with MFW- grab books from the library to match up with the lessons. Good luck!
by lucschMarch 2, 2013 at 4:03 PM
I have, and I like Heart of Dakota better.
Sonlight had too much reading and not enough guidance. It was disjointed. It also wasn't Christ-centered enough for us, though we did like the Bible study.
MFW, in theory, looks great; but it has TOO many projects. It, too, wasn't integrated well enough for me.
With HOD, I can trust that all the skills my daughter needs are purposely taught, it is Christ-centered, and all the material taught is appropriate for her maturity.
March 2, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Have you studied world history yet? I may have the perfect fix for you LOL. The nice thing about sonlight is you can combine the kids. You could get Sonlight Core B (the first half of world history) and combine them for history and then get the age/reading level appropriate level LA/Readers. In the Usborne book of world history that is one of the spines there are activities randomly suggested in the text. granted they are not every week but it would be cool. My dd loves them. I would just go through the book first so you can have the supplies on hand for when you get to them. Another option is adding in Artistic pursuits K-3 book 1 I believe has some ancients activities throughout it. Or you could just look at the major civilizations that B covers and get a craft for each... ie make a pyramid out of legos... dress up like romans and lay around eating grapes, bread and cheese drinking grape juice, get a caligraphy set for china, hold olymic events for greece... you know weird homeschool stuff they wouldn't do in school :) We are sonlighters through and through. DD loves the books! And she was not a reader before. She loves when I read to her too. And she love the activities that are not included technically but are in the book so you could do them. My friend just gifted me Core A which Iwon't even use for 5 years with my youngest as she is 2 months old. We are just finishing B and C is in the mail. And I already have D for next year and the guides (older ones) for E and F!
Moving Beyond the Page is a great complete curriculum too For hands on. We use their LA :)
I love Sonlight, and know 2 families that love MFW. (One was just as torn between the two.....and then just went for one). With Sonlight remember you can return it (if you buy a core) after half the year if you aren't happy...so that is a plus.....MFW would save you some money...both have good reputations. Just wanted to remind you that you don't have to choose something and then stick with it forever....I'd just make a pro and con list....choose one and try it out. Either will be good, and if the one you pick doesn't end up being what you want...either stick it out just for the one year (if MFW) or return it and switch out (if Sonlight). I don't know anyone that has tried both.....I just know folks that have tried the one I haven't ....and are just as happy with it :)