Since our founding 30 years ago, Sonlight has affirmed that children need to learn from multiple perspectives to truly understand history.
That’s why our homeschool curriculum is based on great books, sometimes called living books—not textbooks. With a Sonlight History / Bible / Literature program, you and your children will read books by multiple authors from multiple perspectives so they can appreciate the complexities of history.
But Sonlight’s great books are just the beginning of the beauty! After reading your daily selections, you discuss the material with your children. Your Instructor's Guides provide talking points, historical background, geography notes and vocabulary words to help you. Most parents agree that it’s in these discussion times that the deeper understanding of history happens.
Children start to recognize common themes woven through the centuries. They begin to identify cause and effect and make connections. Best of all, you are right there, guiding them, sharing your perspective and gently imparting your personal values.
A phrase we use a lot at Sonlight is “education, not indoctrination.” We created a curriculum that gives your children the ability to hear more than one side and to be respectful of others’ opinions while not losing their own beliefs.
Sonlight doesn’t shy away from the painful realities of history: slavery, war, racism, genocide, and oppression. You will find tragic themes in our curriculum, but always in age-appropriate books which gently introduce tough topics in kid-friendly ways. (If your kids are especially sensitive, the notes in your Instructor’s Guide will help you handle or skip troublesome parts that may be too much for your children.) After the books broach the topic, you are there as the parent to guide the discussion and point out the glimmers of redemption hiding among the tragedy.
Bonus! The Sonlight way of learning enriches EQ (emotional quotient).
When you read biographies of heroes who overcame adversity, children adopt a growth mindset that says, “I can do hard things by working hard.” Historical fiction lets children put themselves in the shoes of others and see things from a character’s perspective. This ability to see from another point of view fosters empathy.
SOCIAL STUDIES VS. HISTORY
Sonlight teaches history but not social studies. What’s the difference? Social studies teaches unrelated snippets from different times and cultures. But learning history shouldn’t be a bunch of discrete facts.
History is a series of interwoven stories, and stories are interesting to listen to. We all want to know what happens next! When you are engaged, you remember more. With the context, you understand more of what is happening.
A history-based curriculum (like Sonlight) gives your children a more systematic and chronological framework of knowledge they will build on their entire lives.
To get started with Sonlight, visit SmoothCourse™. It will walk you through the steps to choosing a perfect Sonlight program for your family.