In Sonlight H, students cover the last 500 years of World History, continuing the study they began in Sonlight G.
Overview of the History
The History uses the final two volumes of Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World, and the Usborne 12,000 Years of World History continues as the visual embellishment of, and expansion on, the text.
Overview of the Literature
The Read-Alouds: what a fabulous treat! Since I feel like that about all of the Sonlight Read-Alouds, maybe that's not an exceptional claim. (That doesn't make it less true.)
The first book, one that makes me spontaneously exclaim, "I love that book," tells of a girl who ends up in a cathedral boys' choir, while also trying to figure out why her father was murdered. (This does not touch on the humor, charm, interest, and delight in this book. As with all the best books, it is impossible to convey the feeling of the whole in a single sentence.)
Both my daughters claim The Sherwood Ring as one of their favorites. Not a story of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, this is set in New York, mostly during the Revolutionary War, in which dashing military officer Peaceable Sherwood makes life miserable for the rebels. (One of my daughters hopes that, in heaven, all book heroes are as dynamic and perfect as Peaceable Sherwood.)
One Read-Aloud tells the story of the Jewish Danes escaping to Sweden during WWII. Another one set during WWII includes the evacuation of Dunkirk, and a description of life in a country that is under attack.
There's a book about life in Afghanistan under the Taliban; one about the Japanese occupation of Korea and the later Communist takeover of North Korea; and one about figuring out what causes cholera. One is about the Trail of Tears, when the Cherokee were evicted from their homes in Georgia and forcibly resettled in Arkansas.
And for the final Sonlight Read-Aloud in all our programs: the laugh-out-loud classic story The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. An unwilling mother takes over the annual Christmas pageant, and her child gains new insight into what it would be like to be an uncertain visitor to Bethlehem, ready to have a baby. (Some families make this an annual tradition during Advent, to remember to prepare their hearts for the Savior.) No matter what time of year you read this, may you be changed.
The 15 Readers this year continue the Sonlight standard: a range of topics and beautiful writing. Huguenots flee persecution in France and end up on a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. The potato blight and subsequent famine in Ireland. Life in the Tower of London. Exile in Siberia. Growing up in the Amazon rain forest. Growing up on a military base. The French Revolution. The Russian Revolution. Stories set in Canada, Japan, Hungary, India, and China.
Sonlight H discusses some uncomfortable realities of history and life: the Holocaust, poverty, war, and famine. But even though the world can be dark, even though life can be hard, my hope is that when your children face challenges – which, at their ages, might be no more than resolving conflicts with siblings or working hard to understand math – my hope is that they'll say, "I know I can do this because I've read about ordinary people like me who kept on trying. I won't give up!"
With strong heroes to emulate, may your children be prepared to persevere.
The choices of each generation impact every generation after. May your children make good choices.
Estimated daily time for World History, Year 2 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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