I'm quite excited about the product updates rolling out on April 1. If you're on our mailing list you should receive the new 2013 Sonlight catalog by then. April 1 is also the first day you can order the latest and greatest curriculum online.
One Sonlight mom on the Forums, "happyhomeschooler," just wrote that she's very curious to see the changes to Core W. Well, I'm delighted to announce that we totally revamped Core W: One Year World History! I'd love to share some of my excitement with you.
You can skip down to the updates if you're already familiar with Core W. If not, I'd like to share…
What is Core W?
The Bronze Bow, just one of the beloved titles you'll now find in Core W.
I developed Core W primarily for middle-schoolers stepping into Sonlight for the first time. The goal is to help kids who have lost their innate love of learning after years of lifeless textbooks and worksheets.
Designed for 12- and 13-year-olds in 7th or 8th grade, it gives a winsome overview of World History, an overview of the Bible, and kickstarts the type of reading and study students will do in the rest of their Sonlight years. Basically, Core W reminds students that learning is a fascinating and worthwhile endeavor.
You can absolutely use Core W if you've used earlier Cores, but we designed it especially as a starting point for children not accustomed to the academic rigors of Sonlight. It's an unusual name – Core W – because it is an alternative to Cores G and H, not just a combination of the two.
The spine of Core W, Hillyer's A Child's History of the World, presents a fascinating, easy-to-understand overview of world history. We also use the Hillyer book in Cores B and C, where the parents read it out loud to their children. Although middle schoolers can read Hillyer quite easily, the important thing is that they're getting a winsome tour of history. We seriously beef up the content level with the other books in Core W. Speaking of which …
Updates to Core W
This year we coupled the Hillyer book with a gorgeous book, the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. Together, the text of Hillyer and the illustrations, timeline and call-outs of the Usborne book help kids grasp the flow of the story of our world.
For the fifth day of each week, we found an amazing new book that presents history in a novel way: The Kingfisher Atlas of World History. The book gives you snapshots of what's happening in a particular part of the world at a particular time. As students look at the same history from different angles, they make connections and really grasp the big picture.
We re-read every book in Core W, plus hundreds of other potential books, and made sure we were giving you the absolute best books. We pulled many titles and replaced with others that we love even more.
One brand-new book is Operation Yes, which covers a very important demographic we haven't talked about much in Sonlight Cores: military families. The novel presents the story of a very gifted teacher on a US military base who uses drama to help kids face uncertain life situations. It was a very eye-opening and inspiring book for me.
You'll also find many of the very best books from Cores G and H included in the new Core W. Placed chronologically throughout the year, these books bring particular points in history to life. These are a few of my favorite new additions to Core W:
- The Bronze Bow (first century Galilee) – one of those great stories of Christ that just takes your breath away.
- A Single Shard (12th century Korea) – my daughter Amy's favorite book.
- Murder for Her Majesty (Elizabethan England) – a comfort book I've probably read a dozen times.
- The Sherwood Ring (1950s and Colonial America) – another fabulous comfort book.
- The Good Master (Hungary in the early 1900s)– oh how I wish we could all just live under that good master's eye and learn from him.
- I Am David (Europe, mid-1900s) – what many people have told me is their favorite of all time. A boy who grew up in a concentration camp escapes and makes his own way in the world.
- The Breadwinner (Afghanistan, around the year 2000) – a heartbreaking but moving picture of what the world is like elsewhere. Under Taliban rule, women in Afghanistan weren't allowed to leave the home. In a household of all women, with no source of income, a brave girl dresses up like a boy to venture out and earn money for the family's bread.
Oh, I could just go on and on about these books and the whole Core W curriculum. The year is full of fun, moving, eye-opening, inspiring snapshots of the world throughout history.
I think you will find this year marvelous.
P.S. Stay tuned and visit the Forums for more product updates.
Again, the new curriculum line releases April 1.