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For The Ones Who Love to Read

Do you have a child who always has a book in their hand? Have you ever punished them by taking a book away? Our oldest daughter read constantly when she was young. We had to tell her "no books at the table" during meals. We had to remind her "lights out" at bedtime because she would stay up way too late reading just one more chapter.

Maybe your son or daughter isn't that crazy about books, but learns well through reading nonetheless? A literature-based curriculum might be just what you are looking for!

We have used two literature-based curricula over the years (yes, both were chosen for my book- crazy oldest!). Here's the details on them:

Sonlight Curriculum--Sonlight is a literature-based curriculum with history as it's spine. What that means is that most of the literature chosen is based on the time period of history that is being studied that year. This allows history to come to life and also give purpose for the reading. You will not find textbooks in this approach, but instead real, authentic, rich literature. I can only think of a few Sonlight books that we did not love. I can count them on one hand and have some fingers leftover! Most of the time, my girls didn't want to sell books when we were finished because they wanted to own them forever. We have such cherished memories of reading together. Each time I pulled out a book for a younger sibling, the older ones would come running because they wanted to hear the book again. I also looked forward to repeating books with each subsequent child. It's just that good.

You won't find tests in Sonlight materials. If you are actively discussing ideas and books with your child daily, you know if they grasped the material or not.

So, is Sonlight just all reading and history? Not at all! If your family desires for Bible be a part of your day, there is that component to add in. Sonlight is a Christian curriculum company, but secular homeschoolers manage to use it as well with just a few modifications. All families can purchase a curriculum kit, including everything needed for that grade level, or you can individually purchase what you like. There are many choices of math curricula, language arts, science, even electives.

And the best part? The lesson plans are done for you and broken down by day in either a 4-day week or a 5-day week. It is so easy to use and very organized! You will really need to look around at their website to get a feel for all the wonderment awaiting you. When your order comes in that big box on the porch, it's like Christmas.

The other curriculum company I know of with a literature-based curriculum is called Guesthollow and they have a very interesting approach and might just interest your science-loving kid! I have used multiple years of their science curriculum from Pre-K through 12th grade and have loved all of it. The curriculum is written/assembled by a former homeschool mom who wrote much of the curriculum for her son when he was still in school. They are very responsive and helpful. Studying science through literature is such a unique approach and really brings it to life. They also use a multi-media approach as there are many videos, games, hands-on activities and other things to interest your learners. It is not all reading. Like Sonlight, the lesson plans are done for you, broken down by day. The author acknowledges there is no way to do all of the activities, but encourages parents to pick and choose the best ones for each child. The lesson plans are easily uploaded to your child's tablet and then all the links are "clickable" and they can get their science lessons done with very little help from you, depending on the grade level of your student. Guesthollow does not sell the books themselves, but rather you purchase the lesson plans from them. Then, I have had very little trouble finding the books from our local library and a used book site such as Abe Books. Some of the books are supplemental and my oldest daughter very much enjoyed a few of those, too. (Okay, I may have not told her it was from her science curriculum. I just handed it to her and said, "I've heard this book is good.") Guesthollow does not only offer science curricula. They have other subjects to choose from as well, such as history, geography, and language arts.

While textbooks work very well for some learners, your book-loving students might thrive with a literature-based curriculum. I know from comparing with public school friends and teachers that your child will read far more books each school year with this method. The other strength is hearing the materials in different ways from different authors helps in understanding.

Other curricula we have used and loved here.


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