Here are two graphics showing My Father’s World vs. Sonlight so you can easily see what is included and what you need to add. If you enjoy them, you can follow me on Pinterest for more of this info.
Part 1 includes a comparison of difficulty and what’s included (what you get for the cost of the curriculum).
Together, all three parts of this detailed review of My Father’s World vs. Sonlight includes a comparison of difficulty, what’s included and what you get for the cost, structure, flexibility and ease of use, combining grade levels in each, book quality, book content, publishers, science content, amount of parent reading required, “on the go” ease of use, independent reading required of the student, literature studies (especially for middle school years), addresses the question of whether MFW is really “Sonlight light,” “open and go” ease of use of each, which curriculum is more hands on, and the overall cost for those of you on a tight budget.
My Father’s World and Sonlight are two very popular literature-based homeschool curricula. They are often confused with Charlotte Mason, or called “Charlotte Mason-esque” or “Charlotte Mason light.” They are both faith-based homeschool curricula, and they have many similarities, so for most people it can be really hard to choose between them. In fact, it was so hard for me to choose that I ended up combining them! We had our best school year ever, so I’m combining them again this coming year.
Just how much experience do I have with these?
I didn’t just page through these two curricula, look at some book lists, and give you my opinion. Nope. I have history with these two curricula. I taught through three grade levels of Sonlight before trying My Father’s World. And, last year, I combined MFW and Sonlight, teaching through both of them at the same time. I used Sonlight’s Core D (called Sonlight H/B/L D now) and My Father’s World Exploration to 1850. Even more, I taught Adventures at the same time to my first grader! My youngest began My Father’s World Kindergarten and is halfway through it (she started it while in preschool).
In other words, I feel well acquainted with them, having done basically four levels of Sonlight and three levels of MFW, and some of the levels cover the same subject or grade level.
A word about the lower levels of My Father’s World and Sonlight:
In this three part series of reviews on these two curricula, I’m going to stick to comparing Sonlight’s Core B and higher, and My Father’s World Family Cycle. Why? Well, the lower levels of both MFW and Sonlight are different from their levels in about 2nd-3rd and up. This difference explains why there is so much confusion about the differences between MFW and Sonlight. For example, a parent who uses MFW K then goes to Sonlight’s Core A or B would be in shock with how much more difficult it is. Reverse that situation, and a parent who uses Sonlight’s Core A for K and then goes to MFW first grade would be in shock at how easy MFW is. But, by the time you get to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade, the levels are much more even (the age range depends on what level, and what age, you started with Sonlight). However, most people who already tried (or just looked at) these two curricula just had the initial year or two and then switched. I don’t think that’s a fair comparison between the two.
A Comparison of What’s included in My Father’s World vs. Sonlight:
- history books and many historical fiction novels,
- language arts with readers (Sonlight “readers” are the books that the child reads on their own.)
- Language arts worksheets,
- literature study guides,
You are supposed to add on:
- science (there is an add-on package available with a schedule),
- foreign language
- spelling in levels D and higher
There are no things like what I would call “manipulatives” like stickers, cards, etc. Each level contains what is needed for the recommended age range, which spans 2-3 years.
My Father’s World includes:
- student sheets could contain stickers and cards, etc.
- music (Deluxe package only)
- some historical fiction novels (Deluxe package only)
I buy the Deluxe package.
You are supposed to add on:
- language arts,
- readers (there is a “book basket” suggested list to get from the library weekly),
- art (You can add art appreciation but for 4th grade and up art is not scheduled.)
- Depending on your child’s age and which year of the family cycle you are in, you may need to add a 2-3 grade supplement or a 7-8 grade supplement,
- literature guides (two progeny press study guides for the literature in 7th and 8th).
- foreign language
Keep in mind that you might not like items that are included with a particular curriculum. For example, Sonlight includes Language Arts, Spelling (in A, B, C), and Writing, but add my own from different curriculum anyway. I hope that Part 1 of this series on a comparison between My Father’s World vs. Sonlight is helpful for you. Whichever you choose, they are both great curricula and I hope you have a fantastic school year!