In early elementary school, Sonlight students study World History in Sonlight B and C. At that age, though, there are few Read-Alouds, and almost no Readers, that expand on the History.
This makes Sonlight's middle school World History study so enjoyable: Students are old enough to engage with the material, and strong enough readers to enjoy so many great books.
Overview of the History
In History, Sonlight G uses the first two books in Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World series, covering Creation through the transformative 1600s. (Continue on with the other two in the series in Sonlight H.) Bauer is known for her storytelling, and these are extremely readable, enjoyable books.
To go along with the descriptive text, the illustrated Usborne book 12,000 Years of World History offers a visual history.
These resources work well together.
Overview of the Literature
Sonlight's G and H are the last programs with Read-Alouds. Enjoy these few years with your children, reading great books and learning so much, so pleasantly.
The dozen Read-Alouds (plus an astonishing poetry collection with over 700 poems) progress mostly chronologically. The school year begins with the thrilling story of an Egyptian boy, Ranofer, set around 1350 B.C. From a goldsmith shop to the banks of the Nile, from a tomb to the palace, the setting is fascinating and varied.
The school year ends with Master Cornhill, set in London in 1666. In 1665, the Plague had wiped out much of the population. One year later, a great fire sweeps the city.
And in between these two dramatic stories, you'll read a marvelous summary of the Trojan War (important for cultural literacy – and a most excellent story); a beautiful story of adoption and pottery set in Korea about 900 years ago; one of my family's favorite Sonlight books of all time, The Great and Terrible Quest; and the creative, insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) story of Leonardo da Vinci's servant.
The 16 Readers this year are also fabulous. (One of my daughters used most of them as Read-Alouds because she didn't want to miss the experience of sharing them with her boys.)
The first Reader, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, is the only book my daughter read two times in a row straight through, and then went back a third time to read again her favorite parts. A spy story, a rags-to-riches story, and a story of revolution – don't miss it.
The Bronze Bow, set in Galilee at the time of Christ, shows what it would have been like to live under Roman occupation. Would you have rebelled against harsh rule? What made the message of Jesus so compelling? This is a book that, when my daughter read it aloud, her husband found himself drawn in to the story.
There's a historical fiction book about how Lord Artos (better known in mythology as "King Arthur") brought horses to England. This was transformative. (Why? It was a technological breakthrough in warfare.) Another one tells the story of Patrick in Ireland. There's even one on the improbable subject of bull-fighting! It's a marvelous coming-of-age story about conquering fear and choosing your own path.
It's a great year of books to share with your children.
Estimated daily time for World History, Year 1 of 2 plus your other subjects: Student: 4-6 hrs | Parent: 2-3.5 hrs
Want a one-year option? See Sonlight W.
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