Sonlight B, the first half of a two-year overview of world history, begins with Creation and continues through the Fall of Rome. The story picks up and continues to the present day in Sonlight C. Overall, these courses tell of how we got from Adam and Eve to this fascinating world with billions of people living in vastly different cultures.
Overview of the History
To ease into the academic year (and the first year with chronological history all year), the schedule begins with a fascinating look at different houses and homes around the world.
Next up is a book that introduces what archaeologists do. As you read about ancient history, you may wonder, how does anyone today know how the ancients lived? This book helps answer that question: Archaeologists find clues like homes, tools, toys and pots. When paired with historical documents, these clues explain what life was like in ancient times.
Then you come to the centerpiece of the History program: V.M. Hillyer's story-based Child's History of the World. Hillyer writes the most readable history I've seen, in the tone of a wise, kind grandfather. He doesn't talk down to children – he meets them right at their level.
Hillyer's book, as delightful as it is, is not illustrated. To make history more understandable and memorable, the schedule assigns illustrated pages in The Usborne Book of World History. Either book on its own would be good, but the combination is outstanding.
Additionally, when Hillyer covers Egypt and Rome you get to examine these cultures in greater depth in the entertaining, highly illustrated Time Traveler book. (My daughter chose this book to take to rest time every day for years.)
Overview of the Literature
The Read-Alouds increase in difficulty a little every year. This year, most books include an illustration at least once per chapter, but the stories are more challenging than those in Sonlight A.
There are a few that loosely connect with the History reading: an age-appropriate look at Greek myths, and a mystery story set in ancient Rome.
But mostly this collection is an outstanding introduction to children's books.
As any collection should, this includes Charlotte's Web and the Beverly Cleary classic Henry Huggins. From the older favorite Homer Price, to the newer favorite Gooney Bird Greene (both by award-winning authors); from the funny wild-animal stories in Owls in the Family to the poignant farm-animal stories in Mountain Born; from performing penguins in Stillwater to a classroom in Alaska … these are stories that will make your children laugh out loud, that might bring you to tears, and that you and your children will remember for a lifetime.
This program also includes a gorgeous book of animal poems. If you opt to do Sonlight Science B, there's a nice tie-in with the World of Animals book: so much beautiful animal photography in both! Even if you don't do Science B, this is a "don't miss it!" book.
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Estimated daily time for Intro to World History, Year 1 of 2 plus your other subjects: Student 2-3 hrs | Parent: 1.5 -2 hrs
Want a one-year option? See Sonlight B+C.