I am so excited to get the new Sonlight Core H/B/L F!
Sonlight is a bargain for what you get (I’ve priced it out separately and the money I would have saved by piecing it together has never been more than $50-$75). But still, Sonlight is on the pricey side compared to some homeschool options, so I’ve shopped around. I’ve bought entire used sets for a quarter the price of new. Since we don’t usually use the Sonlight worksheets, I don’t need to worry about consumables, so buying a Core from 2004 is no big deal for me.
BUT. Sometimes Sonlight does some really good updates, and H/B/L F (used to be called Core F) is one of them.
Sonlight H/B/L F is one of those levels that some people choose to skip. I wouldn’t miss it! My children are in their fifth year of studying Chinese, so you could say that area of the world is of particular interest to us. Even if they weren’t studying Chinese, I think the topics are really interesting. Part of the issue with F is that it’s a big jump in the level of difficulty. If you start F with a child on the young end of the age range, your experience is likely to be much more difficult than if you start F with a child on the older end of the age range. This is why I delayed F until my oldest child’s 6th-grade year. My middle child won’t start F until her 7th-grade year. My youngest child is going to tag along in 5th-grade with her big sister, and I’m already anticipating the amount of work I’m going to have to do to make it more fun for her at such a young age.
F is the Sonlight level that includes student response sheets for history. I love that! There are more specific notes for me to use in the guide, and I feel like it’s much easier for me to understand what I’m supposed to cover. Too many times, with my older Sonlight cores, I’ve looked back and realized that I had missed something that I was supposed to have done and that I would have done if I’d known it was scheduled.
The new F includes more specifics in the weekly Instructor’s Guide page, so that I know what topics we’re covering for the week.
It makes is so much easier for me to combine my kids together and make topics understandable for all of them. It also makes it a lot easier for me to adjust the amount of time we spend on different topics. I want to spend extra time on some topics – for example, this year while we’re covering the second year of US history, I’m spending extra time on the Civil War and on World War I and World War II. I’m basically making mini-units to add to Sonlight and My Father’s World (which I’m using this year). In order to do that, I have to cover other topics more quickly or eliminate them. I don’t want to spend my Sunday afternoon reading through 14 Sonlight books to figure out what’s being covered, either! I want the Instructor’s Guide to list what’s being covered, right there in the weekly grid. Quick and easy.
It’s going to make my life so much easier than my other Sonlight levels.
There are still a LOT of books that have to be used each day, so I’m not going to be following a daily schedule because I’m not a fan of reading out of NINE books in one day. I prefer to read a week’s worth of reading out of one book.