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Tricia O
09-29-2013, 01:28 AM
I could use some advice from anyone familiar with Sonlight. I know there are a few of you here. I posted this on the SL forums as well, but I really know you all better & trust you & respect you, so here are my questions.

We are currently about 17 weeks into our school year (since we started earlier than most). My oldest daughter, age 13.5 & 8th grade, is doing Core W (basically core G & H, which is two years of world history, combined into one year, supposed to be good for those new to SL &/or 8th graders who don't have 2 years left before high school to spend on world history). However, she has had a hard time keeping up. Even though she loves to read, some of it is just issues with being consistent about getting things done, and issues with us being consistent about checking in on her more often (as she is doing it mostly on her own). So I do know we need to work on helping her improve in this area, which we plan to do. She is at least 5 weeks (maybe more) behind.
Also, I am beginning to think about what we want her to do next year.

I graduated from MSMS, which is the MS School for Math & Science, a residential high school for gifted & talented juniors & seniors. I do not know if my oldest daughter would want to apply to attend or not, but I want her to be prepared, just in case, so we don't inadvertently close any doors for her.
I am trying to figure out how to make her high school history plans. She is currently doing Core W, and this is our first year with Sonlight. I am struggling a bit with the fact that Core 100 (US history) would be next (it comes after Core W), yet she would not be expected to have US history yet, but to have had the ones listed below instead.

Here are the requirements for admittance to this school:

please note: The classes listed below must be completed prior to your enrolling at MSMS. You can be accepted to the school without having all of these complete; however, you will not be enrolled until you have completed each
Two units of English
Two units of Science - Biology I required, Chemistry recommended
Two units of Math - Algebra I and Geometry required
Two units of Social Studies - Any combination of Mississippi Studies, World Geography, World History, Economics or Government equaling two full units is required. Additional Social Studies units are recommended.
Additionally, we recommend that you complete the following courses if possible.
One unit of Algebra II
One unit of Technology - Computer Discovery, STEM, or .5 unit of Keyboarding and .5 unit of Computer Applications
One half-unit of Physical Education
One half-unit of Health Education

So, I was thinking about this and wanted to see if anyone thought this would be reasonable/feasible. I was thinking about continuing with Core W, but with giving her two weeks to complete each "week" worth of work, and adding in the associated readings from the Mystery of History. As a family, we actually worked through about 3/4 of the MOH 1 last year, and we already own MOH 2 & 3 since they are such great books, but haven't really had a specific plan to use them yet.

Also, something else to take into consideration is that I do own most of the reader books from Core G & H that aren't in Core W, as I thought we might want to work them in somewhere.

So do you think it would be possible for next year's history to be a continuation of this year's history (only more in depth with the added MOH) and count as a high school credit? If so, how do you think I would work the English/literature credit for 9th grade? Just add in more of the books we have & count it good? We are doing the Institute for Excellence in Writing Student Writing Intensive B this year (as a family). They are also doing Vocabulary from Classical Roots. We aren't planning to do the SL Language Arts, but will likely continue with the next step of IEW next year (SICC-B I think). Would this be enough? Oh and we also do Fix It for grammar & vocabulary (as a family). Would all this together be acceptably called English I?

I also plan to spread out our state history next year (1/2 credit) over the course of one school year (9th grade).
If we follow this plan, we should know by the end of next year if she's thinking she may want to apply to MSMS, and if she does, we will likely do Government & Economics in 10th grade (using Core 400). Otherwise, we will go ahead & do Core 100 in 10th grade, followed by Core 300 in 11th and Core 400 in 12th.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Kendra AU
09-29-2013, 02:27 AM
First off..

Core W -- Not sure if you've read it or not, but many Mamma's use that core over 2 years because there's a lot in it. Also, it starts out with some hefty books & I've heard a few Mamma's stating their children had a hard time keeping up. You can find a considerable amount of those books on Audio to help her catch up in some areas. Are you doing the read alouds or is she reading those on her own as well? If you've got her reading all of it, totally on her own, & she's struggling to keep up you might need to decide if dropping a few books is wise. Some of the books cover the same time frames, overlaps, etc. Dropping them mean she won't miss anything major because there's so many rich things to choose from. There's lots of Mamma's who don't do it all. They pick & choose what will work for them dropping the rest along the way. There are also those who do use it all & aim for 2 years to get it done in. Some of the best advice about any of those cores is to plan for the first couple of weeks to take 2 weeks each to finish in order to give yourselves time to find your feet.

As for Core 100.. Those cores do not have to be done in order & it won't effect a person to use them out of sequence. Lots of people are known, for example, to skip Core 200 because it's more Biblical History & it may clash with their own personal belief system. It doesn't upset anything for them to simply pick a different core to move into. So, if your daughter doesn't need US History yet & it will mess up credits in order to apply it to her Highschool Transcripts now, skip it & do something else. If World History is what she should have I'd most certainly take 2 years to use Core W in, slowing the pace down & perhaps adding in bits & bobs there to enrich it. If she simply doesn't need a history credit right now it might be a wonderful time to use Core 200, if it doesn't clash for your family.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you've ticked World Geography that she has to have. Core F is geography, all though it only touches on the 10/40 window. CAW from Winter Promise is a world geography programme that, if used alongside Core W would allow you to use both for 2 years & enrich both. CAW touches on countries around the world, not just limited to the 10/40 window. It gives the history, in summary form, about each country, geographical detail, & more. Depending on how deep you go with it would depend on how much extra you could use {recipes, crafts, cultural experiences, etc.} which would certainly help extend the length of it. However, I don't know how that would pan out for highschool credits if you're not tracking them prior to 9th grade, kwim?

Which is to say I think it would most certainly work! I'm not sure if you've spotted it yet, but there are all ready plans for mixing MOH into SL if you need a hand with that. Just thought I'd mention that to save you time if you needed that. And yes, take your time with it! It's not a race to the finish & since it will apply towards your daughters HS credit why not! ;)

Paige P
09-30-2013, 08:38 AM
Tricia, I've used a "Paige-adapted" version of Core F and own Core G, which I've considered using at some point. If I choose to go with it, I WILL adapt it, too. We'll see.

That being said, I definitely think that your thoughts on using W as high school credit is absolutely okay :yes: especially if you add in some MOH. I'm certain that W even says that it's "acceptable" for 9th and possibly even 10th. The one thing I've noted about SL at this level, though, is that I think you might want to add more writing (which you've planned with IEW) if you're using it for credit. Plus, with the other grammar and vocab you mentioned, you won't need the SL LA, either (it's not much to begin with).


Not much help, but definitely offering assurances here :D

Tricia O
09-30-2013, 10:22 AM
Tricia, I've used a "Paige-adapted" version of Core F and own Core G, which I've considered using at some point. If I choose to go with it, I WILL adapt it, too. We'll see.

That being said, I definitely think that your thoughts on using W as high school credit is absolutely okay :yes: especially if you add in some MOH. I'm certain that W even says that it's "acceptable" for 9th and possibly even 10th. The one thing I've noted about SL at this level, though, is that I think you might want to add more writing (which you've planned with IEW) if you're using it for credit. Plus, with the other grammar and vocab you mentioned, you won't need the SL LA, either (it's not much to begin with).


Not much help, but definitely offering assurances here :D

Assurances is what I need!
What I actually did was bought the 2012 version of Core W because I liked the Bible part of it better. Then I went & compared it to the 2013 version & bought the readers that were in this version that weren't in the 2013 version. I actually forgot that I had already went through & researched all the books to figure out the approximate time period & made a list of them in chronological order. So I have a list of the 2012 & 2013 Core W books combined that is in chronological (somewhat) order that I can use to help me add them in with her other reading.
My DH attended the local schools here & he remembers reading about five books throughout his entire high school career, so I think we are already ahead of the game. :D

Mara, Daughter of the Nile---ancient Egypt
The Golden Goblet---ancient Egypt
Hittite Warrior---12th century BC Canaan
The Trojan War---Ancient Greece
Archimedes and the Door of Science---Ancient Greece
The Ides of April---sequel is Beyond the Desert Gate
Beyond the Desert Gate---AD 70 Palestine (sequel to Ides of April)
The Eagle of the Ninth---Ancient Rome
Mystery of the Roman Ransom---Ancient Rome
The Bronze Bow---In the time of Jesus
Banner in the Sky---19th Century Switzerland
Flame Over Tara---AD 432 Ireland
King Arthur: Tales from the Round Table---AD 450-550 England
Son of Charlemagne---AD 781 Europe
A Single Shard---12th century Korea
The Beduins’ Gazelle---1302 Middle East
Otto of the Silver Hand---medieval Germany
The Great and Terrible Quest---late Middle Ages
Adam of the Road---13th century England
Master Cornhill---17th century Black Plague
Leonardo da Vinci---16th century Italy
The Monk Who Shook the World---16th century Europe
Mary, Bloody Mary---16th century England
A Murder for Her Majesty---16th century England
The Second Mrs. Giaconda---16th century Europe
The Shakespeare Stealer---1601 London
I, Juan de Pareja---17th century Spain
The Samurai’s Tale---19th century? Japan
The Sherwood Ring---1950's/Revolutionary War
In Search of Honor---1789 French Revolution
Nory Ryan's Song---1845 - Ireland potato famine
Anna and the King---1862 Siam
Shadow of a Bull---20th century?
The Westing Game---20th century?
The Phantom Tollbooth---20th century?
Angel on the Square---1914 St. Petersburg
The Good Master---pre-WW I Hungary
The Singing Tree---WW I Hungary (sequel to The Good Master)
The Endless Steppe---1941 Poland/Siberia
Snow Treasure---1940 Norway
Escape from Warsaw---WW II Poland
Number the Stars---WW II Denmark
Year of Impossible Goodbyes---WW II Korea
Betty Greene: Wings to Serve---WW II South America (missionary)
God’s Smuggler---1955 Iron Curtain missionary
I am David---WW II concentration camp escape
“It’s a Jungle Out There!”---20th century missionary
Operation Yes---present day America
The Breadwinner---present day Afghanistan
Chu Ju's House---present day China