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 History / Bible / Literature program).
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.
You'll begin in the earliest levels with phonics-based reading instruction. Reading lessons move your children through a natural progression of phonetic and spelling patterns. Your Language Arts Instructor's Guide includes spelling, grammar, and creative writing.
Customize the early elementary History / Bible / Literature program by choosing the grade of Readers that matches your child's reading ability. Use the free Reading Assessment to select the appropriate Reader levels for your family.
Sonlight's Pre-K Program
Readers are an optional add on for this level. If your children are ready to learn to read, consider getting the Pre-Kindergarten program with K Readers.
History / Bible / Literature K, A, B, C, or B+C
Pick from the available Reader options on the History / Bible / Literature product page. We recommend you start with the language arts level that matches your student's ability first, then choose the matching Reader set, regardless of reading ability. We offer a free Language Arts Assessment here.
History / Bible / Literature D & Above
Beginning in History / Bible / Literature D, the Readers tie directly into the history content of the program. These masterfully written, adventure-filled stories help cement the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." In Sonlight D, you can choose Regular or Advanced Readers. For children who are voracious readers, or are on the older end of the HBL D age range, choose the Advanced Readers. The Advanced Readers include all of the Regular Readers, read at a faster pace, plus an additional 9 books.
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 homeschool 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.
Ready to find a homeschool curriculum package that is right for your family? Readers are only one of the pieces that make Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature programs an effective, engaging way to learn.