Children love stories. Imagine a storyteller with eager children gathered around her. What would happen if she stopped at the most exciting part? The children would beg her to keep going.
Literature-based learning is an educational philosophy based on children's natural curiosity and love for stories. It uses outstanding books and delightful stories as the centerpiece for learning. Sonlight's Christ-centered Literature-rich Curriculum teaches from the perspective of God's truth and his love for all people of the world. It gives parents tools to guide their children in the way of Christ as they learn about their own faith and heritage and interact with a wide variety of ideas and cultures.
We see that Jesus knew the value of stories, too. When he wanted to teach the crowds, he told memorable parables with interesting characters. He didn't quote from dry textbook-like tomes. He used the power of story to engage his listeners. And it worked!
With Sonlight, you won't have to put your kids in front of dry textbooks or impersonal computer programs all day. Instead, YOU will be their teacher as you discover History, Geography, the Bible, Language Arts and the joy of reading—all through top-notch books. Sarita Holzmann, Sonlight's President, has scrutinized thousands of books and strategically selected the best-of-the-best for Sonlight curriculum.
How do Sonlight's Christ-centered Literature-based programs work?
1. Start with a History / Bible / Literature Program
Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature Programs are basis for your Sonlight experience. Each History / Bible / Literature program includes a year's worth of History & Geography, Bible and Readers/Read-Alouds/Literature.
Each level is crafted around gripping books. A particularly great story-based history book or series (such as The Story of the World) serves as the "spine" for each program. You'll gradually read this book throughout the whole year; it's your chronological guide, moving you logically through history. As you progress through your spine, you'll also read lots of biographies, historical fiction and novels that dig deep into the historical/cultural topics you're studying. Since quality literature reaches kids of various ages, you can use your History / Bible / Literature program with multiple children at the same time.
2. Let your Instructor's Guide show you what to do
Your curriculum is far more than a pile of books. It wouldn't be Sonlight without a customer-acclaimed complete Instructor's Guide. Your easy-to-use Instructor's Guide weaves the books into an integrated curriculum and equips you to pass on your family's values and Christian faith to your children.
With flexible weekly and daily schedules, discussion questions for nearly every book, teaching tips, ideas for hands-on activities, and insightful notes to prompt deeper discussion, you can just open up your Instructor's Guide and teach with confidence each day.
What kinds of books will I read?
A huge variety. You'll find lots of wonderful Christian books in our curriculum. You'll read many thrilling biographies of missionaries and great heroes of faith. When your children read these biographies, they connect with great examples of real Christians living out their faith in both everyday and extraordinary circumstances. Your children will discover Christian heroes like William Wilberforce, Gladys Alward, Corrie Ten Boom, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and many more who truly lived out their faith.
But you'll also find books that aren't written by Christians and don't necessarily portray a clean-cut Christian worldview. Why would we include those books?
In short, we carefully evaluate each book to make sure it is appropriate for the age level of the students. And we've found that reading great literature from a variety of viewpoints is tremendously valuable for students. Kids learn to think critically and they enjoy many moving, informative and beautifully-written books, even if they're not written by Christians.
And we believe that parents, not just authors, are children's true teachers. Your Instructor's Guide carefully equips you to talk about what you're reading with your kids. If a book mentions something against a Christian worldview, for example, your Instructor's Guide will usually point it out and help you talk about it with your kids.
Let's talk about an uncomfortable truth: Your children are going to discover the messy realities of life someday. We believe it's best if you guide them through this discovery while they're still at home.
As you continually read real books and discuss them with your children, you gain a huge privilege. You get to have many natural conversations with your kids about things that really matter, like character development, faith, citizenship, our role in the world, politics, and God. What an honor for you to guide your children.
What about Science, Math and Electives?
Sonlight Science programs complement the Christ-centered, literature-based nature of the History / Bible / Literature programs and help you teach from a Christian worldview. The A-G Science programs are based on many fascinating books. Your kids will read stories about scientists' lives and discoveries, enjoy stories and more straightforward science books, and do loads of hands-on activities and experiments. (But don't worry - our complete Science kits and experiment DVDs give you what you need to actually do the experiments with very little stress!)
The upper-level Science programs offer great college-prep courses, including full lab sciences like Biology and Chemistry. They also include all the supplies you need, and are designed to let students guide themselves, so you don't have to understand how to balance those tricky chemical equations.
Can I see a sample?
Yes! Check out free samples of any and every Sonlight Instructor's Guide.
What if I have questions?
Simply contact a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor, free of charge. A friendly and experienced Sonlight mom will happily answer your questions without pressuring you to buy anything.
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