Choosing Your Curriculum

We are committed to helping you on your homeschool journey. That's why we provide the following resources to help you choose homeschooling curriculum that is a perfect fit for you and your family.

Three ways to get help choosing homeschool curriculum

Confused? Feeling overwhelmed? Need someone you can chat with who will explain everything, give advice, and answer your homeschool questions? If so, be sure to contact one of our Sonlight Curriculum Advisors at no charge. You can talk on the phone or chat from your computer to get the individual help you need in choosing or using Sonlight's homeschool curriculum.

If you're looking for automated help to walk you through your options student by student, subject by subject, grade by grade, then you'll love Sonia. She's our Internet Advisor. She'll ask you a series of questions and get everything you need ready for you to order.

You can also find great help from other Sonlight users on the Choosing Sonlight Forum. Veteran Sonlight moms, who have been there and done that, answer your questions based on their experience. See how others have combined Cores, selected programs and tweaked their homeschool experience with Sonlight.

How to Choose your Curriculum...

Option A: Full-Grade Package

Save time & money: Get all your materials in one easy step

Get complete curriculum for your preschooler through 5th grader with one easy order. Sonlight Full-Grade Packages include our top recommendations for one student for one year at our biggest discount available.

You'll receive:

When you buy a Full-Grade Package, you get our largest discount on that package plus a 10% discount on other Sonlight materials for a year.

Electives
A Full-Grade package has all the essentials for your year. But if you want a little more, add some Electives and help your children explore their gifts. Find Music, Art, Foreign Language, Practical Life Skills and more.

Option B: Customizable Package

Build a personalized program

STEP 1 - Choose your Core Program

Choose a Core Program that fits within your children's age ranges and interests. A few tips:

  • Many Sonlighters like to use Cores that put their child near the top of the suggested age range. For example, if their child is 8, they'll use Core B, designed for 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds.
  • Click here to see the chart showing the full progression of Core Programs.
  • Click to learn more about options for high schoolers.

Choose your Readers and Language Arts set (for Cores A through C)

If you're using Core A, B, B+C or C, you can choose the Reader + Language Arts program that best fits each child's reading ability. Visit the Quick Reading Assessment to place each child. Readers for Core D and up coordinate with the history content of each Core; you don't need to choose them separately. Language Arts for Core D and up is included in the Core Instructor's Guide.

When you buy a Core Package, you get our largest discount on that package plus a 10% discount on other Sonlight materials for a year.

STEP 2 - Complete your Curriculum

Add subjects, electives and resources to complete your year!

Handwriting
To help your students learn to write legibly (or provide more practice if they need it), we offer three different Handwriting programs, each with unique strengths.

Science
In the elementary grades, we recommend teaching all children within four years of each other with a single Sonlight Science Program. Pick a program that fits your children's age range and interests. For middle school and high school, choose an Apologia Science program with Sonlight-exclusive schedules, parent tools and lab resources.

Math
Choose the Math curricula that appeals to you most (see p. 105) and then find the right level for each child with the placement tests at sonlight.com/placement-tests. If you buy your Math at the same time as your Core, you have our Love to Learn, Love to Teach Guarantee and can easily switch programs if needed.

Electives
Help your children explore their gifts with Music, Art, Foreign Language, Practical Life Skills and more.

Resources
The end of each Core Program choosing chart lists a few required materials you may already own. Read it to ensure you have what you need.

If you use one Core program with several children, you'll need extras of the few consumable items (if there are any). Check the (consumable) designation that occasionally appears in the book listings for each Core program and order one for each child.

Teaching more than one child?

Sonlight helps you teach multiple children with the same program. Simply put your children into learning groups and choose one Core and one Science program for each group.

This approach works because Sonlight uses fascinating "living" books instead of boring textbooks. And books, by design, reach a span of ages. Therefore, a wide range of students can access and enjoy Sonlight History, Read-Alouds and Science books together.

Group students within 3 years of each other and teach as few Core and Science programs as possible. Here's how:

  • Unless a child has special learning abilities or challenges, children within a 3-year age range can use the same Core Program with few modifications.
  • If you're up for doing a little modification, you can stretch the age-span of one Core program to teach kids within a 4-year span. An Advisor can help you do this.
  • If you use more than one Core, see if you can match up the subject level for the groups of students you're teaching. For example, you could study ancient World History with Cores B and G one year, finish World History with Cores C and H the next, then move on to American History with Cores D+E and 100 after that.
  • You can easily use one Sonlight Science program to teach children within 4 years of each other.
  • After you choose your Core and Science Program(s), pick additional subjects (like Readers/Language Arts and Math) that match each child's level. Children often need individualized Math because they usually need to grasp each new concept in order to understand the next.
  • Find reading and math placement tests.

Remember: we're here to help! Contact a Sonlight Curriculum Advisor for individual advice, free of charge.

Choosing between 5-Day or 4-Day programs

Sonlight programs through middle school give you the option between 5-Day and 4-Day school weeks. Which is right for you? Most families choose our standard 5-Day programs that schedule 180 days of school in a year.

But some families like to save one day a week for music lessons, sports, field trips, co-ops or other extra-curricular activities. Some just prefer a slower-paced schedule. If this describes you, the 4-day option may be a great fit. It only schedules 144 days of school in the year. You'll miss out on some great books and assignments, but you'll still get a cohesive, very enjoyable program.

Learn more at sonlight.com/faq-products.

What do other people pick?

Here are some sample Sonlight orders to help you imagine what yours might look like:

Scenario 1: the Mendozas

Linda and Gilbert Mendoza's children are ages 8 and 14. She chose the Grade 3 Full-Grade Package for her 8-year-old. For her 14-year-old, she chose Core 100 (American History), the Core 100 required/recommended resources, Science 250 (Biology), Teaching Textbooks Algebra I, and Rosetta Stone French Level 2. She added the Piano Wizard Academy as an elective for both students.

Scenario 2: the Dixons

The five Dixon children are 4, 6, 8, 11 and 13. Parents Susan and Paul decided to teach her 6- and 8-year-old as one group (while her 4-year-old listens in), and her 11- and 13-year-old as another group. Both groups will focus on World History.

The Dixons used the placement tests to determine the best reading levels for her younger students and the best math levels for all her students.

For her three youngest they ordered:
Core B (Intro to World History, Year 1 of 2) with grades 1 and 3 Readers with Language Arts; the Core B required/recommended resources; Handwriting Without Tears, levels 1 and 3; Horizons Math, levels 1 and 2; Science B (with extra activity sheets); the Electives B package; and Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book 1 and Art Supplies Kit.

For her two oldest they ordered:
Core G (World History, Year 1 of 2); extra Language Arts activity sheets; the Core G required/recommended resources; Teaching Textbooks 6th Grade with MathTacular4; Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra; Science G (with extra activity sheets); the Electives G package; and Rosetta Stone Spanish level 1.

How to Choose the Right Materials for Your Child

Sonlight approaches education so differently from classroom schools and, in fact, from so many K-12 homeschool curriculum programs, one of the hardest questions new customers face is figuring out what program they should use. So how do you decide which program is right for you and your child?

Top Ten FAQs about Choosing Sonlight

Get brief, clear to the top ten questions on the Choosing Forum.

Read answers to the ten most commonly asked questions about choosing homeschool curriculum packages from Sonlight's Choosing Forum.

How to Choose Which Reader is Right for Your Child

Which Sonlight Reader is right for your child(ren)?

Is Sonlight Curriculum Right for You?

We have created the following list of nine statements to give you a quick sense of whether or not Sonlight is right for you.

Junior High: The Critical Years

Wondering whether to send your kids to school for junior high? Here are some reasons to consider homeschooling through junior high.

Beware of the Well-Meaning Advice Other Parents Give You

Advice can be very helpful when trying to make decisions about elementary and high school programs for Christian homeschoolers, but be careful not to place too much importance on the advice you receive.

High School Curriculum

Sonlight is committed to meeting the needs of high school students. That's why we offer such robust courses at the high school level.

Reader Packages for Cores P4/5 through C

To increase the flexibility of your homeschool curriculum choices for these younger ages, we offer mix-n-match Readers.

Think strategically and it's easy to make your curriculum choice

PDF - 3.3 MB

Some common options for long-term Sonlight plans

These examples can give you an idea of what many Sonlighters do. You can definitely take a different route if you want. Curriculum Advisors are available, free of charge, to help you customize to meet your family's needs.