This is the third day of our first week using Sonlight curriculum. So far I'm not sure what to think. It's a lot more reading each day than we're used to. I like the stories, but it's hard getting it all done.
We knew going into this that the first few lessons in the 4th grade math book would be mostly review, but I didn't expect quite the result I'm seeing. Danya is bored stiff and Gloria is struggling over certain concepts that I thought she'd already mastered. The teacher's guide seems to be useless for the math. It's probably designed for classroom teachers since it has a huge chunk in the beginning devoted to things like diagrams of its "scope and sequence" for the year. Homeschoolers, unless required by the laws in their state, don't really need that sort of thing.
We're reading multiple books about different Indian tribes right now. Om-kas-toe is about twins in the Blackfeet tribe. Walk the World's Rim is about Native Americans on the border of Texas and Mexico. Then there is the history workbook that just today covered Iroquois, Pueblo, Eskimo, Aztec, and Maya peoples. We've already studied some of these last year, but I personally think that this is just too many similar stories and people to follow along with at once. I would have preferred if they read these books one at a time.
There are a lot (I mean a LOT) of worksheets every day. It's more writing than the girls are used to. I'm trying to limit it and allow them to answer many of the questions out loud. The same with the math workbook. Since they are sharing it and it's printed in color I'm having them each write their work and answers on a separate piece of paper. Much of it they're just doing in their heads and answering out loud.
I'm also having to edit certain things as I read aloud. For instance, the history book says that people from Asia crossed the land bridge to the Americas 40,000 years ago. Since according to the Bible's clear timeline the Earth isn't that old, I just say "a long time ago" when I get to things like that. It's annoying though, because I thought that Sonlight was billed as a Christian curriculum.
One thing they like is the markable map. I'm looking forward to trying out the first science experiment later this week, too. Something I really don't understand is why they didn't give me a lesson plan for the art and music materials they include in the Core 3+4 curriculum. I thought the idea was that I wouldn't have to do the planning. Oh well, it's still new. We'll get it all figured out eventually.