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Sonlight's purpose and strategy when it comes to Readers is similar to the purpose and strategy athletes follow when they are in training. Athletes rarely push themselves to their absolute performance limit while they are training. Rather, they gear down just a fraction and do many repetitions or long sets of the slightly less taxing exercises.
So it is in our Reading programs (which are part of a Core).
Rather than burdening students with books that always push them to the top end of their performance ability, we seek to give them lots of practice reading relatively low-stress, quality literature of all types — literature that will engage their minds and hearts.
We find that by pursuing this method, weak and reluctant readers are likely to become strong and eager readers... because they feel that reading is a privilege and not a chore. They look forward to their reading times. Students who are already capable and eager readers excel all the more because they enlarge their base of knowledge virtually painlessly.
We choose our books carefully with these ideas in mind.
In the Core B and C programs, we have chosen Readers based primarily on the needs of students just beginning to read. Starting with Core D, however, whenever possible we correlate the students' Readers with the History program. Please check out the Core programs for more information.
Our clients tell us that this latter arrangement achieves one of the primary goals we set for ourselves when we began Sonlight: to create a memorable, intellectually and emotionally engaging means of learning history "the way it really was."
Besides the historically-related books, we try each year to include in our reading program several books that are "just for fun," and to introduce students to authors and genres — poetry, for example, or science fiction — that they might not otherwise try reading on their own.
Each Sonlight Reader and Language Arts package in the lower Cores is a complete phonics program. The Language Arts programs in the higher Core levels—D and up—are tied to the Readers, so Language Arts is included in your Core.