- What if I have more than one child within 2 to 4 years of each other?
- What if I have more than one child with an age span of more than 2 to 4 years?
Just as one may find freshmen and graduate students taking the same college course, so, too, with Sonlight® programs. Your choice of Core level should be based more on content than on the letter we happen to have attached to the program. You may wonder how this can be.
The primary reason: Great literature (unlike most textbooks!) is appropriate for a wide range of ages. I have a master's degree. I have been fascinated and educated by materials in the Sonlight® Core A program.
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Our daughter, a straight-A student according to classroom school teachers, studied the Sonlight Core F program to good purpose when she was in eighth grade. Other parents have told us much the same thing: each program can be used with little difficulty by students with a broad range of ages.
Truly, what is more important: your child's knowledge base, or the number someone happens to place on a curriculum guide? We adults don't choose the books we read and the courses we take based on an arbitrary level. Why should we choose in that manner for our kids?!
If your children have not studied the most spiritually needy peoples and places on earth (the subject matter of our Core F program), it's time they did--whether in fifth or ninth grade.
So what does all this mean to you?
It means that you'll have the flexibility to do what's best for your family. You could use unique programs for each child, but you also have the choice of using one program for two or more children. Which ultimately means you save time you would have spent juggling the extra program(s), save money you would have spent on it (them), and avoid much of the frustration that comes from being pulled in multiple directions.
Ready to find the program right for your family? Chat with a Sonlight Curriculum Adivsor now!
So how do you combine your children into one Core program?
The truth? The answer largely depends on the way you like to operate. Do you like to "enrich" a program? Do you have the resources to enrich a program? Does it bother you to leave a printed "assignment" undone?
There are three camps when it comes to combining children: those who prefer to teach to the youngest, those who like to teach to the oldest, and those who think a middle point is "just right."
For the purposes of this article, we will limit the discussion to the extremes: oldest vs. youngest.
Our customers who prefer to teach to the youngest say they like the approach because it makes it easy to cover all of the material in the Core program. They can follow the Instructor's Guide more closely, and they rarely, if ever, have to worry about "falling behind" the pre-printed schedule. What's more, some of them enjoy the hunt. They like searching out materials with which to supplement their older children's education.
Others, however, hold different views. They prefer to teach to the oldest. Why? Because though they may have to skip some assignments with their younger children, they find that eliminating assignments is far easier than having to locate quality resources to supplement their oldest child's education.
The main point in all of this: You know your children. You know yourself. Whether you choose to teach "to the oldest," "to the youngest," or "somewhere in between," you can have good success.
Laura in CT says, above all, keep things in perspective: "If you want to use a Core program much below or above the child's grade level, you'll have to do some modifying. If you don't want to do that; if you want it all laid out (since, after all, that "laid-outness" is one of Sonlight's strengths), you need to know that using Core C with your 10-year-old 5th grader is likely to require some beefing up, and that using Core H with your 4th grader is likely to require some adjustment.
"My three children," she continues, "are spaced with four years between each pair, and I don't expect to ever use the same Core with any two of them. The gaps, in my opinion, are just too wide."
If the children in your family have these greater age spans between them, you may consider purchasing programs that complement each other. For example, you may choose to purchase Core programs that focus on World History or American History so all of your children are studying the same basic history, though at different levels and depth.
Ready to find the homeschool curriculum that will fit your family's needs? Chat with a Sonlight Curriculum Adivsor now!
One word of caution: there are no hard and fast rules about what will work best when using one Core program to teach more than one child. That's why we recommend you chat with a Sonlight Curriuculum Adivsor to find the program right for your family. You can also ask those who have already done what you would like to do. Visit the Choosing Forum to meet other homeschoolers and draw on their wealth of experience. I'm confident that you'll find someone who can provide you with the guidance you need.
Remember that Sonlight's literature base gives you great flexibility. Capitalize on it! You have the one year Love to Learn, Love to Teach Guarantee. If things don't work out, return your program for a full refund.
Please see the attached PDFs for visual samples of how you can combine curriculum resources to teach two or more children with a single Core.
Want to talk over your curriculum options with a homeschool mom? Chat with a Sonlight Curriculum Adivsor now!