I once cut out a comic that has a tiny little pastor sitting behind a small desk that has a looming book case behind it, towering above the pastor and the small lady he is talking to. We can only guess what she said, but he says,
“Books are not things of this world.” [Amen!]
of my love for books, I guess it was a no-brainer that when I got more
experienced as a homeschool mom I branched out into literature unit
studies with my kids. The year I did this the kids were in 9th, 7th, 5th
and 1st grades, with a 3 year old thrown in for good measure! We did a
study of animation and read biographies of Walt Disney and Bill Peet—and
did some animation besides. We did a Robert Louis Stevenson study and
read his biography and a few of his books—anyone for buried treasure?
And we did a few other equally intriguing studies as well. WE all loved
learning with living books!
But the planning about killed me. So, the following year it
was back to textbooks. A few years later I discovered a curriculum that
was literature based AND had daily lesson plans. Amazing! I mean, I
literally wept for joy. And that started my love affair with Sonlight
There are a lot more literature based curricula out
in the market place now, and people ask me all the time why Sonlight is
better or how it is different. I am not an expert on all curricula,
but I can tell you how Sonlight is unique.
~Reading Great Books
inspires children to do their own hands on activities such as drawings,
writings, making pyramids out of sugar cubes and constructing beaver
dams out of sticks and mud and so on. After reading a book on Samuel
Morse my kids actually made a working telegraph system that ran between
their bedrooms! I stayed out of their way and was called upstairs to
stand in amazement when they sent messages the 40 feet-from one end of
their attic bedrooms to the other.
curricula have plans for moms to spend lots of time and money preparing
coordinating hands on activities. And some people like that. But I
believe we just need to provide a learning-rich environment and great
books—that's all you need. The kids will take it from there.
goal [and my personal goal] is that of creating Ambassadors for Christ
that are equipped to reach THIS generation. With Sonlight's broad base
of books and their detailed IG teacher notes, children are taught to
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
I know with
the well rounded education they get from Sonlight that our children have
been prepared to go to a our state universities, sit with people of
varying backgrounds; not be judgmental, but seek to understand where the
person is coming from, then show Christ's love to that person--as an
I found many curricula try to advance their own
agenda, but with Sonlight the information is given to you and then it is
up to you to interpret it to your kids. The study notes constantly
remind us to measure what this person or nation did by looking to God's
word. The notes are very balanced and lead kids to learn how to think
critically and not to believe something just because it is in a book.
I think the thing that makes Sonlight head and shoulders above any
other curriculum is the Instructor's Guides [IG]! If you are convinced
that the literature approach is the way you want to go, look at
Sonlight’s Instructor's Guides. They are amazing--and another benefit,
you can get all the books from Sonlight so there are no fruitless trips
to the library and/or the book store. The editions match the IG right
down to the paragraph and page number. The IGs save you so much time,
and are so complete, they are unparalleled.
And that is why if
you love books, love creativity and want to raise ambassadors for Christ
who can think critically, Sonlight is the perfect curriculum.
top to bottom: A picture of the kids the year I wrote my own unit
studies-here we are at Gettysburg; the other two pictures are ones I
like of the older boys reading to the younger kids.]