Okay, I know we're pretty new to Sonlight, but I love it so much! We had quite a long break from it while I was sick, and it was so easy to jump right back in! All I did was pull out the Instructor's Guide, figure out what we'd already read, and start reading some more. That was easy. We didn't even need review, because the girls remembered everything. In fact, Claudia (14) had started reading ahead because she was bored. : )
Which leads me to the subject of this post. Tweaking.
We are using Core 4, which is Introduction to American History, Part 2. I chose this because I love Revolutionary War/Colonial/Pilgrims-type history, but I haven't focused enough on the later parts. This was a great way to get the other half of the story for my girls (ages 9 and 13). It's been very exciting, and the girls are loving it.
However, it's designed for ages 9-12, and my daughter is about to turn 14. Moreover, she is an advanced reader. So, although she loves the subject matter and everything we're doing, it's a little slow for her. So, I flipped ahead in the Sonlight catalog to see what the older American History core included. I chose some of the books that deal with the current subject (slavery and the Civil War) from Core 100 and added them to our book selection. Now, when she finishes a Core 4 book in a day or two, I can give her some more in-depth reading from Core 100 on the same subject without putting her weeks ahead of her younger sister. While Chloe (8) reads her way through Freedom Train, Claudia is reading Amos Fortune, Free Man and The Red Badge of Courage.
The next youngest child is 4 (almost 5), and he listens while I read aloud. Some things go right over his head, but some of it he's very interested in. I'm currently doing Five in a Row with him on the side, but he's picking up some fun American History with us, too. I can easily pick up books at the library from the young kids' section to supplement for him (such as Indians, trains, etc.).
Another thing I'm doing is finding movies that fit the time period we're reading about. After reading about William Wilberforce we will watch Amazing Grace (hopefully today). I also plan to get Gone With the Wind and Shennandoah after we finish up our study of the Civil War. Oh, and I can't wait until we read about the westward expansion and the American pioneer. That's probably my favorite time in American history, and there are so many good westerns to watch!
I am loving Sonlight and can't wait to use all the Cores!