Moving On

After 7 years of homeschooling with Sonlight, we’re moving on.   There are a number of reasons, but perhaps our family has simply outgrown Sonlight.

This year began with us deciding that we didn’t like the main book that Sonlight used for history, ‘The Story of the World’.  (I mentioned this in my formal review of Sonlight 6)  ‘Story of the World’ is based on evolutionary presuppositions, does not include much of recorded Biblical history  and the proverbial straw is that the Biblical history that it does record is misleading in the best instances and blatantly false in others.  If we can’t trust the author to be factual when it comes to history that is recorded in the inspired Word of God, we aren’t willing to assume that the author is factual when it comes to areas of history where interpretation is necessary.  So we decided to choose our own history resources.

Next we realized that while Sonlight’s suggestion for Bible is good, it is a bit simplistic for children who have been reading and studying Scripture for several years.  It is a book that we could happily use with our 5-8 year olds, but is not a challenge for our 5th-8th graders.  So, we chose to use another book for Bible study.

Then I stepped back.  We were not using Sonlight’s history.  We were not using Sonlight’s Bible.  We were not using Sonlight’s science or language arts.  We weren’t using Sonlight.

We’ve appreciated the safety of Sonlight and it has served our family well, until now.   The creators of Sonlight are people, moms and dads just like us who have looked at some of the resources that are available and have chosen what they think are best.   Perhaps in the future their choices will once again be a good fit for our family, but for now we’re ready to make those choices for ourselves.  We’re ready to leave Sonlight’s plan  behind and create one of our own.

We’ve spent the last couple of months praying, reading, researching, talking, evaluating and  selecting the history and literature books and resources that we want to use with our children. (Our distinctives and methods and other curriculum choices have remained the same.)

I admit that I’m going to miss the already-laid-out lesson plans and the ability to wake up in the morning, open the instructor’s guide and know what we’re going to cover, but I’m excited about creating our own plan for our own family.

We are open to suggestions for GREAT, living history and literature books and are always happy to discover quality book lists, so feel free to share.

Now, if I could just  come up with a way for me to add lesson planning into the schedule without getting more behind on laundry.  Anyone tips?

If you’d like to read more about our how and why we homeschool our 10 children, please visit the homeschool page where posts are listed according to topic.

Other posts in this series:

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90 Responses to Moving On
  1. Jacquelin
    November 9, 2010 | 7:57 am

    We too are moving on from Sonlight for my older girls after this year is finished. I will be sticking with SL for my younger girls for now. I too love the IG all laid out nice and pretty but i am looking for more. I think I may have found it with Tapestry of Grace. Hope this helps you.

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  2. Kelly
    November 9, 2010 | 8:02 am

    Have you considered Tapestry of Grace? It uses living history books and is a Christ centered curriculum. TOG is designed to teach multiple children at multiples ages & levels. It incorporates History, Geography, Literature, Spelling, Vocabulary, Writing, Bible, Church History and probably a few other things I’m forgetting! I’ve often thought that it is a good fit for those who like Sonlight- I think their approaches are somewhat similar- but it is so much easier to use with several children. And I LOVE how it weaves secular and Church history together!

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    Jennifer Reply:

    I second the Tapestry of Grace recommendation. It truly reveals the how hand of God is woven throughout history, using living books, fantastic hands-on activities, a writing supplement, and all plans are laid out for all ages/levels of children. You can check out Marcia Somerville’s blog here: http://blog.tapestryofgrace.com/

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    Meredith_in_Aus Reply:

    I third the Tapestry recommendation. They have some great Teacher Training videos to help you along too.

    I’ve just started my blog (if you’re interested) and I am/will be including how we use Tapestry with our family of 7 (so far).

    I just realised that I may not have posted before – not quite sure – so you probably have no idea who’s recommending what. Sorry! I’ve been reading for several months and I love your blog.

    In Him

    Meredith in Aus

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We have considered Tapestry of Grace and should probably to look at it again. Next week I hope to ask some follow up questions about some of these suggestions, so be prepared, ‘kay?

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    Kelly Maine Reply:

    Heather (came to mtg. last night) uses TOG and loves it. It was always more than I could get my mind around, but perhaps it is the time to re-evaluate it…We’ll talk. 🙂

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  3. Nancy
    November 9, 2010 | 8:07 am

    I am a new follower and hope you will follow me too.
    Nancy
    http://www.findingblessingsineverydaylife.blogspot.com

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  4. Rebecca
    November 9, 2010 | 8:10 am

    HI….we have been discussing leaving for the same reasons. I love so many things about Sonlight…but, the books they are selecting for History and Science are so full of Evolution and comments that are basically degrading to the Christian faith…that it leaves me out in the dark…..
    I am considering Noah’s Plan for History, as we move forward…Ambelside for reading recommendations/planning and we have already moved to Answers in Genesis for Science.

    Blessings!

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  5. Carrie
    November 9, 2010 | 8:20 am

    We also used Sonlight and I loved it, but we have moved on this year to My Father’s World and I love that all the books and the lesson plan format was wonderful. I pray that you will find just what will work for your family at this time in your life.

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  6. Gen
    November 9, 2010 | 8:29 am

    I highly recommend switched on schoolhouse. no lesson planning, and it has worked really well for us!

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  7. Grainne
    November 9, 2010 | 8:31 am

    You should checkout “an old fasioned education” and see if it suits your family’s needs, I’ve heard good things about it and it’s mostly free

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    Devina Reply:

    Yes, I have used bits and pieces of this one. I love the fact that I can look up wonderful, free “living” books on http://www.gutenberg.org!

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  8. Amy
    November 9, 2010 | 8:32 am

    Hi! I’m a lurker, but I just want to mention a couple great history books…This Country of Ours is a wonderful living book of United States History! We LOVE it! By H.E. Marshall. We also enjoy Hillyer’s a Child’s History of the World (albeit there are some things (racist sounding terms/themes??) in it that have to be waded through…it is SUCH a neat book with tying Biblical events together with world events in story form! Just maybe review it (FYI) before reading to kiddos…) Oh and if you do read Hillyers, Usborne’s Ancient World by Fiona Chandler goes right along with it beautifully!

    Blessings! 🙂

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  9. Tristan
    November 9, 2010 | 8:33 am

    We’ve never used a laid out curriculum plan like with Sonlight, but I really like the guides at Simply Charlotte Mason and we’ll be using their Middle Ages, Rennaissance, Reformation & Epistles guide next year. They have guides out through then, and they offer a full curriculum plan on their website listing books for the time periods beyond that. It is literature based.

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    Katie Reply:

    I too LOVE Simply Charlotte Mason.

    Simply Charlotte Mason has an excellent resource for planning your school curriculum. Whether you use the Charlotte Mason method or not, I would highly recommend it. It really helps you figure out your goals for schooling (which you have already done) and then implement them into your school year.

    If anyone is interested: http://simplycharlottemason.com/books/planning-your-charlotte-mason-education/

    ~ Katie

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Tristan. We’ve used some of their resources and book recommendations, but I haven’t looked closely at their curriculum planners.

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  10. Lisa
    November 9, 2010 | 8:35 am

    Wait, does Sonlight actually teach Evolutionary theory? I accept the theory of evolution and was weary of this curriculum because I’d heard that it rejected evolutionary theory (I’m a scientist, and it’s very important to me that my children learn good science.) I’d otherwise heard great things about this curriculum though and really wanted to try it out.
    It would be SO refreshing for me to find a Christian curriculum that has a science curriculum that doesn’t reject evolutionary theory (though I suppose I could just use the rest of the curriculum and supplement with a secular science book).

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  11. Luke Holzmann
    November 9, 2010 | 8:43 am

    Naturally, I’m sad to see you go. But, at the same time, it sounds like what you’re moving toward will be a much better fit for your family. May God bless you in this next phase of your homeschool adventure!

    ~Luke

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  12. Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy
    November 9, 2010 | 8:59 am

    We’ve used Sonlight since my oldest was in 1st or 2nd grade. He’s in 9th grade now. We’re using it this year, but solely for the reading choices and instructor guides. First I quit their math, then their language arts-they didn’t work for us. We used the core with bible study for many years, but this year that went by the wayside too. It is a great Bible program, but is largely apologetics in the upper grades. That is good-but my husband’s middle/high school age brothers moved in with us. They had NO biblical knowledge so we needed something a bit basic for them. We may move on completelu next year as I grow in my confidence and ability to plan. I like your reader’s suggestion about Tapestry of Grace. I will check that out. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Becky
    November 9, 2010 | 9:02 am

    We are using the workbox system described here
    http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com it is under “homeschool” It is easy to plan your day for the little ones this way!She has a link to the FREE downloadable homeschool tracker as well… ANd it only takes about 30 minutes for all three of mine. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND this. There is NO what do I do now and everyone is happier!!!! GOOD LUCK!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Becky. I can’t find the workbox post, do you have a direct link? Thanks!

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  14. Anita Chamblee
    November 9, 2010 | 9:11 am

    We have had to make some changes here as well because of my lack of planning time. We have always used KONOS for elementary and The History of the World for high school for my oldest son…We used Far Above Rubies for my two oldest girls. My oldest son will finish this next year and second son feels led to medical missions…which will mean less of a focus on history and more emphasis on science (kills me!) I will move my youngest daughter into Far Above Rubies next year and I think have her older brother do the same history as we will be starting back at Creation. The two little boys will be 3 and 7 next year and will get more out of our KONOS, so we will tie that in as well. All Through the Ages by Christine Miller is a great source for book suggestions through time periods and geography. I also like Bethlehem books for historical fiction from Egypt through the Medieval times. They are a Catholic company so the Catholic emphasis in later books is more evident after that time period. Lesson plans? I have fallen short of that this year and we are not as focused. I spent a few hours Friday afternoon working on this weeks plans instead of cleaning house and we are much more prepared. Finding time is hard!

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  15. AmyG
    November 9, 2010 | 9:14 am

    We moved on from Sonlight to My Father’s World. We love its distinctly Christian position, its global focus for ministry, and especially its methodology allows us to group teach history so that we can maintain the discussions and learning as a family and making for a shorter school day (thier goal is 4 hours typically). I encourage you to check it out. The family who designed it is a wonderful missionary family who has a generational vision for their family and encourages others in that direction. We add more Bible during family devotions and longer memory passages, but the fact that we agree with their presentation of Biblical concepts is a great thing. I look forward to hearing what you choose!

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    AmyG Reply:

    I forgot to say that the reason we started looking away from Sonlight was the exact history book you mention. I called and wrote Sonlight and they supported their curriculum choice on all counts. I was very disappointed.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for the input. It’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones.

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  16. Anita Chamblee
    November 9, 2010 | 9:22 am

    I will also be focusing more on Polished Cornerstones with my dd. Far Above Rubies is also based on Proverbs 31 so I was able to tie them together quite well for my older daughters. You might be interested in finding an older copy of this resource.

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  17. Jamie
    November 9, 2010 | 9:25 am

    Hi Kimberly! I’ve been just lurking lately :). Not much time in my schedule. I am thankful that you headed us toward Sonlight, as we are loving it right now! That being said… looking long term we have tentatively (TENTATIVELY) decided after Core 5 to switch to Tapestry of Grace. Mostly because with our multiple children we can still all be studying the same thing. I cannot seem to see doing Sonlight forever simply because I cannot figure out how to do more than one core at a time. I know people do it… I just don’t want to. I find it interesting that other readers here have mentioned Tapestry of Grace. Nobody I know uses it.

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    Nicki Reply:

    Jamie and Kimberly, this is exaclty where I am. We begn Sonlight this year, and we love it. I haven’t run across anything objectionable at this point. But I have spent some time looking to the future, and it will be much harder to inorporate my 14, 10, and 5 year old into one core, and I certainly don’t want to do 2! And then there’s the 2 yo and the baby on the way! I love the idea of involving everyone, and I’ve heard lots of great things about TOG.

    Hmmm…

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    Jamie Reply:

    Yup Nicki! I KNOW people do more than one core… I just don’t want to be one of them :). So, while we are thrilled with Sonlight at the moment…and we do plan on continuing for awhile, long term there is NO WAY. The relationship will need to end ;). From what I’ve researched (and it’s A LOT), TOG seems to be what would work best for our family. Different books, but everyone studying the same topics at the same time. Most of the other curriculums that I like the look of (Heart of Dakota, My Father’s World, etc.) still divide up a bit during age groups. A high schooler would still be studying very differently than the younger ones. Even if my 3rd through 8th graders are studying the same thing… I’ll have younger kids than that and older kids than that. I would still be “teaching” 3 programs. Ooomph. I know kids get more independent as they get older, I just think it’d be a lot easier on me to not have 3 different things going on…I wish I knew someone in real life who uses TOG…

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  18. the survival mama
    November 9, 2010 | 9:35 am

    Wow. Homeschooling! Wishing you luck on finding a new curriculum that fits your life.

    Excited to follow all your adventures now, swinging by from the blog hop.

    The Survival Mama

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  19. Courtney Wilson
    November 9, 2010 | 9:38 am

    I’m a fan of Mystery of History, it’s inexpensive and includes activities from the very youngest students to the very old. My impression is that the author has a great love for history and for God.

    The only criticism that I have heard is that it is a little TOO biblical, with not enough secular. I actually use it in tandem with Story of the World (since SOW has some secular things that MOH doesn’t) and I’ve written out a schedule that combines the two for Ancient History, let me know if you want a copy.

    Combine it with age appropriate historical fiction and other historical literature (I’m in love with Shakespeare right now, but that is more middle ages.)

    Also, the original King James Version of the bible would be an excellent choice. Nothing like reading from the real thing. Your older children would definitely be challenged and the beauty and poetry of that version is unparalleled.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’d love to see your schedule of combining the two. Thank you.

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  20. Lisa
    November 9, 2010 | 10:00 am

    This year, I have made somewhat of a switch myself with our curriculum. We are now using Heart of Dakota. I just thought I would mention it, as I noticed no one else had. It is a curriculum that is written to be more of a Charlotte Mason approach and uses excellent literature. It is VERY Christ-centered, and can be used over several age groups. There is also a wealth of information on their message board. When searching out curriculum, I looked very heavily at Sonlight, but felt the book choices didn’t always line up with things we wanted our children to learn. You may adapt this to meet your families preferences, too. The author encourages you to use the language and math that works best for your children. I encourage you to look around at Heart of Dakota or even email or call the author. She loves to answer questions and help you learn more about Heart of Dakota. I know that this curriculum may not be the perfect fit for your family. It has worked wonders for our family and has been a tremendous blessing from God. I just encourage you to give it a look. Blessings as you seek the Lord’s will in your homeschool!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’ve not heard of this curriculum before and am hoping to post some follow up questions next week. So please come back and give me some more input. 🙂

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    Lisa Reply:

    One more important thing to note is that Heart of Dakota is almost completely non-consumable, which makes it cost effective for larger families. You can also check out their website and their message board for lots of great info on the curriculum and how it works!

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  21. Cindy
    November 9, 2010 | 10:01 am

    I like Tapestry of Grace. Especially since you’re not brand new to homeschooling. TOG can be overwhelming if you’ve never done this before!

    I can’t believe Sonlight is using evolution-minded curriculum! I never would have guessed it, though I’ve only used their 2nd grade science so far. That bothers me a lot. If you do decide to use TOG, would you mind ordering through this link? http://www.lampstandbookshelf.com/connect/jrox.php?uid=spoodles

    I’m poor. I could use the kickback. ;0)

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes Cindy, I will use your link.

    I want to clarify Sonlight and evolution a bit. My understanding is that Sonlight’s authors are day-age creationists (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). That has come out in some of their materials but because of the way that we use Sonlight (lots of reading aloud and interaction between parents and children) it has not been an issue. If the only problems with Story of the World were the evolutionary presuppositions, we would probably have discussed them and moved on.

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  22. Stephanie
    November 9, 2010 | 10:56 am

    I didn’t know Sonlight had an evolutionary stance or undertone, that is good to know. I think when “science” goes against the Word the “science” of man has to go 🙂

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Stephanie,

    I completely agree. Please see my clarification about Sonlight and evolution above. 🙂

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  23. Rachel R.
    November 9, 2010 | 11:17 am

    I tripped on this book -http://www.nothingnewpress.com/atta.shtml – 3 years ago and have LOVED it as a resource for finding good history books. It is laid out by time periods and books are grouped by age level. I usually take the list and look up the books online before deciding to InterLibrary Loan them for my girls.

    I’ll be using this for years and years, so the price was a great bargain.

    We tried her supplemental books on History, and we liked them, but they were more geared to elementary than Jr. High. I may buy them when my son gets ready in a couple of years.

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  24. Erica Hale
    November 9, 2010 | 11:28 am

    Hi! We have used Sonlight two different (not concurrent) years. I like many things about it, but I agree with the history and Bible study…we used it once when my son was a 3ed grader and liked it, and now as an 8th grader we’re doing it again. I’m not as excited about it now that we’ve tried some other things…I think I like Winter Promise better for the younger kids and I find myself wanting to add stuff to Sonlight, as well.

    Winter Promise has a lot of wonderful book suggestions, and works great for kids of multiple ages! We enjoyed Mystery of History (WP’s core history book), which is a Christian book and is, in my opinion, better than Story of the World. Veritas Press has some wonderful book suggestions, too. You know, I think if I were working on writing my own curriculum, I’d start by choosing what period of history you want to learn about, then I’d check the book selections on Sonlight, Winter Promise, and Veritas Press and create a reading list. Maybe divide the number of books you want to read by the number of weeks you homeschool, and figure out how many chapters a day you’d have to read. Do the same with the history core, and then add writing projects and research, etc. as you go. Exciting!

    I have no suggestions on how to tackle the curriculum creation and keep up on the laundry. Unless you take a summer break, in which case I guess you could try and do your planning during the break…maybe even for the next few years. Good luck!

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  25. Phyllis
    November 9, 2010 | 11:31 am

    We have done the same thing. I just didn’t find the upper grades material as good as the younger grades.

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  26. Kristen
    November 9, 2010 | 11:41 am

    I’ll put in another plug for Tapestry of Grace 🙂

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  27. Andrea
    November 9, 2010 | 12:06 pm

    We struggled to find a history curriculum to fit our wants and needs, also. I found “truth Quest”. It uses living books. Its really a guide. Check it out at truthquesthistory.com It’s the story of how God has moved in history, rather than just mankind. Thanks for for your blog, its encouraging!

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  28. Rebecca
    November 9, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    We use Truthquest for history and LOVE it. It works for multiple ages (ours are 20 months to 14 years, the 5-14 year olds in homeschool). It has a commentary that keeps your focus on God and his plan during history and booklists for you to choose from if you want to go more indepth on the subject. It doesn’t have actual scheduled plans but I’ve found that to be freeing. I pray before working thru our years plans and then pick out which topics we will be staying on longer and what books we’ll use. I write them on a chart in order of coverage and then we just work our way thru them without stressing about what needs to be done on any given day.
    I assign extra reading for my olders and read aloud some books to everyone. Period specific literature is also listed so that would be easy to add too.

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  29. Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews
    November 9, 2010 | 1:35 pm

    Have you looked at Heart of Dakota? That is what I started using this year and we love it! I have several posts about it under the heading “Our Homeschool” on my blog. We are using Preparing for His Glory this year.

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  30. Heather Huerta
    November 9, 2010 | 1:59 pm

    We love Mystery of History!!

    http://www.themysteryofhistory.info/

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  31. Sherid
    November 9, 2010 | 2:15 pm

    Hi there,
    A curriculum that hasn’t been mentioned is Student of the Word (SOW). It is fantastic and focuses on discipling your children in the Word. It is fully and completely Bible based.
    http://www.sowcurriculum.com/
    Regards Sherid

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  32. Grateful for Grace
    November 9, 2010 | 2:17 pm

    Weird, we left Sonlight after 7 years also. For some additional reasons. We used Tapestry of Grace for two years and as much as I like aspects of it, I don’t think we’ll go back to it either (too expensive). Sigh. I’m just not up to creating my own.
    We are using SL again this year, though. Core 5 is my favorite. Such a great missionary study.
    If you come up with an IG and all… be sure to let us know. There’s a market. 😉

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hubby said that we should write our own curriculum. If that happens I’ll let you know and our family will be wearing disposable clothing because the laundry will really never get done. 😉

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  33. Annie
    November 9, 2010 | 3:03 pm

    Our family has looked into Sonlight, My Father’s World and Heart of Dakota. I am so glad that I now know you are not pleased with the stance SL is taking and I will no longer be considering this curicullum for next year.
    From what I have seen in MFW and HOD I love them both! I have friends who use these and love them. Maybe you should take a look.
    I want to thank you and your husband for your wisdom and discernment and your decistions to change.
    Blessings

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Annie. Sonlight has been an excellent tool for our family up until now, so I wouldn’t necessarily discount it entirely for the early years. We still plan to use many of the books that we collected during our Sonlight years with our younger children.

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  34. Ann
    November 9, 2010 | 3:11 pm

    We use Heart of Dakota and love it. It is Christ centered and very easy to use! You would have very little planning to do(and only if you use a different L.A. and math program than she recommends). It is all done for you.
    It’s an awesome program!

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  35. Jean Anderson
    November 9, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    Hi!
    We use Mystery of History and love it, one of the main advantages for me is that you can get all the stories on CD and the kids can listen to them whenever they want to – or while we’re folding washing. 🙂 (I believe SotW has this too) My voice tends to fail after too much reading aloud. I flick ahead a few weeks if we’re going to the library to see what the next topics are so we can get out related books. The only problem with MoH is that the author hasn’t finished writing the series yet, still has the 4th book to complete.

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  36. Jodi Whisenhunt
    November 9, 2010 | 4:53 pm

    I’ve never used Sonlight’s history. Thanks for the heads-up!

    I’m following from Hip Homeschool Hop. You’d have fun at http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com, where Disney IS school. Hope you can stop by!

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  37. Jordin
    November 9, 2010 | 5:04 pm

    I’ve been lurking for a while now, but thought I’d “come out” now! 🙂 I’m thankful that you shared your experience with Sonlight. We haven’t started homeschooling yet (our children are too young), but we’re looking into all of our options now. We are actually leaning toward using mainly textbooks (A Beka, BJU). Have any of you homeschooling mamas implemented a textbook-based homeschool? I’d love to hear your experience!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    I’m not a homeschooling mom who used BJU, but was a homeschooled kid who used it from 2nd grade through about 5th.

    It depends on what your needs are in homeschooling. As a homeschool mom _I_ will not use BJU, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good curriculum. The problem that I have with it is that as a “boxed” set, parents usually aren’t as sensitive to their child’s learning styles or weaknesses, or their families educational goals when using it.

    I struggled with BJU’s spelling, and instead of trying something else, my mom just pushed me through. The same with English. I loved their math until I hit algebra. As a parent be careful not to just push through everything because “it came in the ‘box'” or “it’s in the textbook” and you are supposed to finish XYZ in a year’s time.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We’ve never used a textbook based approach to homeschooling our children, but I was homeschooled using Abeka and BJU textbooks.

    My mom has said that she regrets that she did not have the options available to her that we have today and that if she did she would have made different choices.

    All of us kids are well educated and well-rounded, but none of us have chosen to homeschool our children using primarily textbooks. 🙂

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  38. sabrina
    November 9, 2010 | 5:44 pm

    Have you looked into My Fathers World? They have everything scheduled for you….it is really fun and of course Christian based. Good luck in your search!!

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  39. MommyTopics.com
    November 9, 2010 | 6:01 pm

    I’m not exactly sure what you’re looking for, but I can certainly identify with your heart to move on beyond SDonlight, for children who are raised in a home where God’s word is always central.

    I just wrote an article on my approach to Classical Christian Education and included several links to my favorite curriculum vendors.
    http://www.mommytopics.com/parenting/why-and-how-i-am-using-a-classical-christian-education-approach-in-our-home-school

    My amazon store is also full of my favorite home school resources.

    Come by and visit!
    Blessings
    Rachymommy – MommyTopics.com

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  40. Heather
    November 9, 2010 | 6:01 pm

    May I recommend my mom’s site?

    http://www.valerieslivingbooks.info

    These books aren’t for sale, they are just lists of our favorite books.

    Heather

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you! I followed your mother’s suggestions for years (was on her mailing list when she emailed lists of her favorite books that were on sale at online retailers and purchased many of her suggestions), but had lost track of her. She was a huge help as we began to build our library of living books.

    Please thank her for her help and suggestions, many are family favorites.

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  41. Shannon
    November 9, 2010 | 6:27 pm

    I too left sonlight for similar reasons. I recomend My Fathers world but more so I recomend Veritas press. It is very refomed in it’s world view and theology. The older grades teach some amazing books. Books that I would have worried about, but the Omnibus is set up in such a way that all the bad points of view are addressed from a Biblical perspective.

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  42. Gwenyth
    November 9, 2010 | 8:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Story of the World. This is our 2nd year of homeschooling, and I was so excited to discover and order SotW this summer, based on lots of positive reviews I had read. My husband was planning to read-aloud SotW with the children in the evenings, but red flags were waving wildly for him after the first reading, and he stopped completely after 3-4… for the same reasons you mentioned. Our children enjoyed the story-format in which it is written, but it is not centered around Biblical history at all, and yes… the evolutionary presuppositions are quickly obvious. I’ll be following the responses of your other readers closely, since we are now looking for a Biblically-based replacement!

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  43. Pam
    November 9, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    My sister recently bought some curriculum from ICR, Institute for Creation Research. Biblically based science. She likes it as there is a daily assignment, then different projects or downloadable worksheets for different grade levels to work further with.

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  44. Lara
    November 9, 2010 | 9:34 pm

    I started Ambleside Online this year with DD11. If nothing else, it has a great booklist, broken down by year (not grade), and has wonderful suggestions on it. The website is amblesideonline.org. We are currently reading “This Country of Ours,” “Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution,” Shakespeare, Plutarch, “Kidnapped,” “The Age of Fable,” and using Apologia science & Saxon math. The wonderful thing about it is you can use as little or as much of their lists as you like! Good luck!

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  45. Deirdre
    November 9, 2010 | 9:58 pm

    I know that in Core 1 book, “People of the World”, there is a very evolutionary based page (which Sonlight IG skips), but my tired brain is drawing a blank on anything else I have run across. Which materials are you referring to that are “evolutionary-based”? I’d like to know so I can have a heads up when I encounter them. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The Story of the World not only begins with evolutionary presuppositions it also teaches a ‘biblical’ history that contradicts the Bible.

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    Connie Johnson Reply:

    Kimberly, would you expand upon (help me see it by sighting something) the evolutionary presuppositions you see in SOTW and also the “biblical” history that contradicts the Bible. We’ve decided that we would much rather our dc be exposed to evolution here at home and be able to discuss it with them before they are brought face to face with it in “the real world” (ie. college classroom, neighbor, etc.) without a clue as to our Christian world view. Also I’d like to hear more about your Bible history concerns.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Sure Connie. We also expose our children to the theory of evolution. We’ve used Usborne history books for years, go to plenty of museums, read books and watch documentaries that clearly lean toward evolution. I think this can be beneficial in opening up the discussion and teaching our children the truth of and scientific evidence behind creation.

    The evolutionary presuppositions in SOTW are plainly evident by reading the headings within the first chapter.

    Chapter 1: The Earliest People
    Section 1: The First Nomads
    Section 2: The First Nomads Become Farmers

    The Bible teaches us that the earliest people were farmers and herders, not nomads. We know that people were already living in cities during Cain’s life and by Genesis 4, people were forging tools of bronze and iron.

    In this comment response I quoted how ‘The Story of the World’ explains the death of Christ and contrasted that with what the Bible says about that event. That is the most obvious example of her careless treatment of the inerrancy of Scripture. There was a review of the book that sums up some of my thoughts on this point. In SOTW Ms. Bauer does not make distinctions between legend, her imagination and fact. For our family, this is not an acceptable treatment of biblical truth.

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  46. Jama
    November 9, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    Wow…what a change this will be for your family. I’m interested to hear what you decide to use. I recently wrote a short review of Tapestry of Grace for someone with what I felt the pros and cons of it are. I know this is something you’ve considered in the past. Let me know if you have any desire to read it. I’m still a fan of Mystery of History and would be using it with my younger students as their “spine”, but the volume we currently need hasn’t been completed. Have you ever looked at Biblioplan? It was the first thing I ever used (after being disappointed with SOW) and really liked it. It is mainly a guide of books to use as opposed to a complete curriculum. I have used it as a supplement to MOH. I think it would work well for K-7 or 8 but isn’t written for high school. Several of your readers also mentioned TruthQuest. I know Lori uses it, if you are interested in finding out more. Praying for wisdom as you seek to find the right curriculum for your family.

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  47. Jama
    November 9, 2010 | 10:30 pm

    Ooops! I just read back through your post. You’ve already made a history selection haven’t you? Your request was for individual books, not curriculums. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We do have something that we are using, but we appreciate all the suggestions. I may call and talk to you about TOG if we think we’re heading that direction.

    Seven years ago when we chose Sonlight, we said we would consider moving to TOG when our kids reached high school, we may yet.

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  48. Heidi
    November 9, 2010 | 10:57 pm

    Another plug for Heart of Dakota. Love it! So easy to use. As your biggest children get older, they can use Little Hands to Heaven and even Little Hearts for His Glory to teach the preschoolers and kindergarteners.

    I think if you’re used to having something that clearly lays out your schedule, you should strongly consider MFW or HOD.

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  49. Kathi
    November 9, 2010 | 11:06 pm

    Kimberly~

    Just a heads up on all the My Father’s World plugs…they use Story of the World books 2-4, and they even use the SOTW 4 Activity Book.

    We’re using Veritas Press with TruthQuest, after 2 years of MFW. And we are happy. We also use Veritas Press for Bible.

    P.S. You are so brave to share this with us. I hope you are able to fit ‘lesson planning’ and laundry into your day. We, however, just do the next thing 🙂

    Love!
    Kathi

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Kathi! I’m going to have to re-look at Veritas.

    Yes, do the next thing, which right now is get off the computer and start a load of laundry. 🙂

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  50. Nicki
    November 10, 2010 | 9:03 am

    This is all very interesting. I’m following closely. I have a couple of friends who rave about SOTW, but we have never used it. I’m not really surprised at the content though, because the author, same as The Well Trained Mind, didn’t ever really strike me as a ‘biblical’ author.

    We haven’t used Sonlight’s LA or Science or Bible either, so I can relate there. Core 4 has been fun, and we will certainly finish it, but I am already considering what will come next?

    I’ve considered Ambleside Online and Beautiful Feet History. I’ve used Beautiful Feet before, and really enjoyed it.

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  51. Elizabeth
    November 10, 2010 | 10:35 am

    We’ve never used a curriculum for history, but read A LOT of books and make-up our own projects. I want to second the recommendation for the Truth Quest History manuels. They are amazing resources.

    I did a brief foray into using Veritas for my 7th grader this year (using the Omnibus) and it turns out not to be a great fit for our family. I have had to do a lot of reworking as it seems to contain a lot of written busy work, in my opinion.

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  52. Jill
    November 10, 2010 | 11:09 am

    I’ve been using My Father’s World this year as well and LOVE it. I love it for the lesson plan, of course, but my favorite thing is the way missions and a Biblical World View are woven throughout all of the subjects. And they are very careful when it comes to resources – occasionally there might be a resource suggested that has a bit of evolution in it (very few and far between) but when that happens, the author always warns us ahead of time so we can decide if we want to use that resource or not. But that is rare, like I said. The resources that have been chosen are excellent. My daughter and I are LOVING reading the missionary bio’s, the Window on the World people group bio’s, etc. We’re currently using Exploring Countries and Cultures. The only thing I don’t know much about is how well this curriculum works with Jr. High. But if works so well with the elementary ages. FYI Kimberly – we are also using your Bible memory verse box system and I am amazed at how well that is working! I cant’ believe how much my kids have memorized! Thanks for posting the detailed description of that method.

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  53. Liz
    November 10, 2010 | 12:42 pm

    We are not that experienced so can’t really offer any pointers (children currently 4 and 1)! I have enjoyed looking through all these suggestions. We liked Sonlight but it was waaay too expensive for us, especially as we already had quite a few of the books 🙂

    We are currently using Rod and Staff’s preschool books, and plan to use them at least for a few more years. They are amazingly inexpensive for how rigorous they are. They look really good for the basics of math, grammar etc.

    Our main problem is that we are BRITISH (yes yes, no references to 1776 thank you :)) so many of the packaged programs are just no good for us in terms of spelling and history!!!! We do weird things like spelling colour with a ‘u’, and don’t understand what a faucet is. We don’t seem to care about hygiene or manners as much as you (lol!), and our farms are a little smaller than the average Iowa sprawl.

    I’m thinking I’ll have to write my own stuff…maybe….while I’ve still only got 2 kids?

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  54. Shanna
    November 10, 2010 | 12:49 pm

    We love My Father’s World!

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  55. Brandi
    November 10, 2010 | 4:09 pm

    Hey Kim,

    Have you considered My Father’s World? Biblically based, multi level, the schedule is all laid out. They have great books and some hands on things to do. This is our 3 year and we are doing Creation to Greeks, we are really enjoying it, while their are other books for history most of what we are reading is from the Bible or the Victor journey throught the Bible, which I also really like.
    MFW included Bible, history, science, art, music and they have suggestions for other subjects.
    Another thing to check out is Diana waring’s history curriculum, especially the history cd’s – they are great!
    Hope you let us know what you decide.

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  56. Beth
    November 11, 2010 | 6:47 am

    We are using Heart of Dakota for our oldest child (6th grade.) We don’t do all of the activities, and you may just want to look at it for the list of books.

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  57. Julie Johnston
    November 11, 2010 | 11:01 am

    Just last week I read on Vision Forum’s website that they now have planned a curriculum guide using their books. I have not looked into it much…but would assume from our experience with Vision Forum that it is both accurate and excellent! I’m hoping to look into it more in depth soon!

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  58. Mari
    November 11, 2010 | 11:18 pm

    I like your blog and I like Sonlight, but my children are to young for “The Story of the World”. What is it about that book that is evolutionary?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Mari,

    If our children were all still young, I think that we would probably choose Sonlight again. We don’t have regrets. Sonlight has been a wonderful program for our family and has facilitated many years of wonderful homeschooling. (We continue to use most of their resources and book suggestions.) I dedicated an entire post to Sonlight, its pros and cons, how we used it and why it worked for us.

    I gave some specifics about the evolutionary presuppositions in “The Story of The World” and a link to an example of it’s biblical inaccuracies in this comment.

    In the chapter and sections I mention in that previous comment, SOTW teaches that the earliest people were nomads, hunter/gatherers wandering here and there finding food and moving when the food supply ran out. Then eventually, over time, they discovered that if you planted seeds crops would grow. They eventually began to settle down around water sources and plant crops and raise animals. This contradicts what the Bible teaches us about early man (see previous comment) and demonstrates that the author has adopted, at least in part, a world view more consistent with evolutionary theory than the Bible.

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  59. Letisha Reese
    November 13, 2010 | 11:23 pm

    Have you looked into Mystery Of History? I love it and Christian viewpoint. It has recommended activities for all grade levels.

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  60. Rebecca
    November 10, 2012 | 10:40 pm

    We follow Sonlight’s read-aloud list some, but we use the Mystery of History for our history guide. We do not plan to use any of Sonlight’s SOTW/US history. The Mystery… Is Creation based and we like how it lines up the other civilizations and what they were doing with the chronological highlights in the Bible. It lends itself well to the multiple age-groups and has further study for different student levels. We have been reading it alongside daddy’s daily Bible reading, right now we’re reading about Solomon in both. We have found small inaccuracies but we’ve been able to spot them quickly because the Bible story is fresh in the mind. It’s not perfect but it is best foundation we’ve found to weave in the rest of the world beside the Bible. I know there are probably many others, but this is one we decided to go with at this time. Great to read these other posts.
    Also, I made a chart like Sonlight’s daily in MS Excel so that I can just fill in book titles and page #s as I go along. I don’t keep up with it as well as I should but even having the blank chart in front of me gives me a good guide to follow and lets the kids see what we’re doing a bit. It might help you if you’re used to looking at your binder page each day.
    Thanks for sharing with all of us what you’re doing.

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  61. Jill
    July 24, 2015 | 8:24 am

    It may be worth nothing that while you may not like SL’s history spine or their Bible portion (we have never used their bible), their choice of books is excellent.
    This is an old post, I know, but maybe for the future, you could forego SL’s spine for history and focus, instead, on their book selection. 🙂

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