Level D - Intro to American History, 1 of 2

Great for ages 8-11

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Sonlight D is the first year that the History, Geography, Read-Alouds, and Readers all coordinate. This takes your studies to a new depth. Paul Revere shows up in a history book, and then appears in the Read-Aloud Johnny Tremain. George Washington presides over the Constitutional Convention in History, and then in the Reader Phoebe the Spy. Your children will enjoy these wonderful connections between the people, places, and events in American History.

Years ago, my daughter closed a Sonlight D book, sighed, and said, "I've never read a book that I didn't love."

I think you'll find that a testimony to the quality of Sonlight books. May it be that your children develop a similar love of learning this year.

Overview of the History

The overarching goal for this program, and its companion, Sonlight E, is for children to understand the context and progression of American History. I want them to grasp why people came to a new land, how they persevered and settled the continent, and that every day they faced decisions about how to live in the New World.

We begin with history before the Pilgrims and end in the mid-1800s. The foundation of the History program is former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin's Landmark History of the American People. Boorstin specializes in the details: why Georgia struggled as a "charity colony" (and what does that even mean?); why the sea tied some colonies to England, yet opened others to the world; and why early settlers had to innovate. These are fascinating stories! This full-color text includes timelines, maps, and illustrations.

To supplement the stories of Boorstin, the schedule interweaves the Smithsonian's Children's Encyclopedia of American History, a book with short articles and copious illustrations.

Overview of the Literature

The D Read-Alouds are awesome! Of the dozen, more than half of them are Newbery Medalists and Honors: Secret of the Andes, about an Incan boy (it beat out Charlotte's Web for the Newbery that year!); The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a story of cultural differences, set in Puritan New England (and there isn't actually a witch in this story, though suspicious townsfolk wonder about a Quaker woman); Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, about a brilliant mathematician who made navigation more safe (such a great story!); Swift Rivers, a fascinating look at logging, from Minnesota on down the Mississippi River (you probably haven't ever considered this part of settling America, but it is fascinating!); Justin Morgan Had a Horse, the captivating true story of the runt horse who had the heart and drive to do far more than anyone could have predicted (you don't have to be a horse person to like this one); Johnny Tremain, set in Boston during the Revolutionary War (a perennial favorite); and Sign of the Beaver, in which a young settler, in danger of demise in the Maine wilderness, receives help from an unexpected source.

Sonlight customers routinely say that they would not have picked up these books of their own accord, but are incredibly grateful that they had the opportunity to read them.

And D Readers – what a great collection! As your children move from "learning to read" to "reading to learn," they have interesting and exciting books to enjoy. From Pocahontas and Squanto, to settler stories, to the Revolution, these early chapter books are engaging and include several additional Newberys.

Unique among the Sonlight programs, D offers the option to choose Regular or Advanced Readers. The Advanced program schedules the Regular Readers at a faster pace, and includes additional titles. Some customers choose the Advanced Reader package and use the extra titles for summer reads.

Estimated daily time for Intro to American History, Year 1 of 2 plus your other subjects: Student: 3.5-4.5 hrs | Parent: 2-3 hrs

Want a one-year option? See Sonlight D+E.