tikkitikkitembi

Long-term outcomes?

Recommended Posts

tikkitikkitembi

I've been going back and forth about what curriculum to use for my family next year, and as much as we love to read great books, one of the criticisms I have read about literature-based curriculums is that they don't go deeply enough. Too many books, just skimming the surface, no chance for depth on specific topics, etc. 

Regardless of the criticism, I do think it's something we would enjoy. I'm more concerned about where Sonlight takes my kids in the long term. Do/did you feel that your children were prepared to do anything they wanted after they finished their literature-based education? Were they accepted to the universities of their choice or able to start apprenticing where they wanted to or become self-reliant entrepreneurs, etc.? Did they develop into young adults who have a love of learning? 

I'm interested in hearing success and not-so-traditionally considered "success" stories!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SewWhat?

imo workbook history is what skims the surface without going in-depth. With SL you read a ton about each subject, not just snippets here and there.

You can make it what you want it with either method. Your 'outcome' of success is going to vary depending on each child. That's the way it is with anything.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robin E.

Our family's experience has been that the only kids that can converse with our children in the depth of history, geography, and literature are those that also learned with literature based instruction (they may or may not be Sonlighters).

My oldest did Sonlight from kindergarten through 10th grade. He stopped Sonlight after 10th grade and Core 100, because it was no longer the best fit for him as he prepared to pursue a degree in engineering. He wanted to take heavy classes like advanced physics and college calculus, and didn't need additional credits in history. Also, he started college English classes in 11th grade. Interesting, when he was 16 and in college English 101 (which he aced), he was the only student in the class that had read many of the books and other materials the professor was using to teaching, including Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and To Kill a Mockingbird.

He did not get into MIT, his first choice school, but when you consider a higher percentage of qualified applicants get into Harvard than MIT I do not count his non-acceptance there as any indication of lack in his education at all. However, he did get into two other excellent engineering schools (the only two others he applied to) and chose to go to school just 4 hours from home. He is mid-way through his sophomore year and doing well. The struggles he has had (and yes, he has had struggles) are all related to character traits and habits that I tried, HARD, to break him off during high school. Apparently, it took 3 semesters of college to come to the point in his life that he is willing to stop doing things at the last minute. Sigh.

My second child will graduate this spring and will go to the local community college's program that allows them a for-sure transfer to a state university. She is pursuing a degree in nursing, and sees no reason to take on debt to do so. She has not and has no plan to apply to any universities. As for what she knows compared to others, she started working at a locally owned pizzeria last winter. The owner is very active in local politics and he has been hugely impressed with what Lily knows, how well she can converse on a wide range of topics (from local ordinance issues, to world history, to Lennon leaving the Beatles). She directly credits Sonlight for being able to do this, especially the conversation about the Beatles (that was covered in Core 300).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Little Women

I have 2 kids who have graduated and gone on to college, having used SL most of the way.   

1.  My oldest went to a Christian college and studies arts administration (fine arts like dance and music, plus business).  She jumped right into the college scene with no problems.  As a sophomore or junior, one of her professors said he wished most of his graduate students wrote as well as she did!   We did not do a ton of writing, actually, but I credit the discussions, reading, and thoughtful questions she did through the years with SL for this ability to get her thoughts in a nice, straight line for papers.   She just graduated and is working to build a ballet teaching career (which wouldn't require college, but we felt it was important).

2.  My second is at a top-tier secular college, in the honors program and a biology major.   She has not had trouble with the content of any of her classes, though the honors program requires a style of writing that has been challenging for her. (She's actually a far better writer than her older sister, but like I said, this program is HARD.)    She is also a National Merit Scholar.    

I think what many people don't realize about Sonlight is the level of difficulty of the questions and the notes in the instructor's guides as the kids get older.   It might seem like reading and not taking many tests is too easy, but they use those as a jumping off point and go into far greater depth than the original books began with.  Eg, core 100 uses a set of books that some programs use in junior high. However, I've seen some of the jr high questions, and they are mostly things like, "why did Columbus look for a new way to the Orient?"    SL asks questions more like, "how did this Supreme Court ruling change the way the Constitution has been applied from 1850 through the present?"    But because the books were more interesting in the first place, the kids actually REMEMBER what they have learned, too--there is no studying just to pass the test, there is "oh, I remember reading about that......"        

In the literature, there is perhaps a legitimate concern about whether topics are studied deeply.   Eg, there isn't a ton of talk about different types of metaphors or much about plot or character development.   However, since they are reading the books and talking about them, they do learn these things pretty thoroughly.  It's not hard when they are talking about it to say, "how did you see her grow through this," and then they have the idea of looking at that, specifically.   None of my kids have had trouble with that in their college classes, and there aren't many classes in college based on literary analysis, anyway. :)     

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tikkitikkitembi

Wow, thanks for that response, Robin. We live in a state that offers community college in 11th and 12th grades, and I would love for my kids to take advantage of that. 

Were you all also using the LA in Sonlight or some other programs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Little Women

We did not use SL's LA program, because it was not a good fit for us many, many years ago (when oldest was in 3rd grade, at least 3 major revisions ago).  We switched away at that time and found other things we liked better.    We did continue to do all of the SL readers, though, because they went with the history and were just fantastic books!     We wound up doing writing at the local co-op and sometimes at home with IEW, but it was a bit spotty for my oldest.   We used a much simpler program for awhile, but most of the actual writing and literature came out of the writing classes and the SL literature selections.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bendxap

We homeschooled from 1st through 11th, starting Sonlight when they were in 2nd and 4th. They each chose to go to the missionary kids' school for their senior years. The English teacher there was considered "hard" but both our boys did well in her class. In fact, one high school year when we were homeschooling, I asked her to grade their research papers. I was amazed that she gave one an A- and the other a B+. We didn't do a lot of writing or literary analysis. Older loved her class--he's my artist; Younger--the engineer--struggled with the analysis "Why can't we just read it?! Do authors really intentionally put all those meanings in their work?!"

My boys out-performed the expectations of several teachers for homeschool kids.

Both boys were accepted to their first choice colleges. Older went to a private Christian college, Younger is in a private, secular university.

Older graduated in three years (tested out of four semesters of Spanish and had some AP credits) with a double major (photography and graphic design). After graduation, he spent three months in Japan as an art intern and loved it. He's now working full-time, using both his majors. He would love to do photography (wedding and portraits and/or travel) full time but until he can swing that, he's content where he is. 

Younger is in his third year of computer engineering. Last summer he had a very well-paying internship. He spent a lot of his Christmas vacation at home here rereading many of his favorite books. :)  And exploring some new ones, too.

Younger said that he loves it when people at the university start talking about how weird homeschoolers are. (And my boys are more than a little weird!) Younger said he doesn't say anything for a while and then says, "I was homeschooled." They look at him and say, "But you're NORMAL!"

They both adjusted well to college as well as living in the US. (Older said at the end of his first year, "I'm finally beginning to understand these people.") I stayed at my parents' house (a couple of hours away from the colleges) for each one's first semester but since then, they've basically been on their own. They are doing well and we are proud of the adults they are.

We mostly used SL's language arts but didn't do every last thing in it. We did Winston Grammar (two levels) for some real grammar. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
heatherliv
On 1/31/2017 at 1:43 PM, tikkitikkitembi said:

I've been going back and forth about what curriculum to use for my family next year, and as much as we love to read great books, one of the criticisms I have read about literature-based curriculums is that they don't go deeply enough. Too many books, just skimming the surface, no chance for depth on specific topics, etc. 

Regardless of the criticism, I do think it's something we would enjoy. I'm more concerned about where Sonlight takes my kids in the long term. Do/did you feel that your children were prepared to do anything they wanted after they finished their literature-based education? Were they accepted to the universities of their choice or able to start apprenticing where they wanted to or become self-reliant entrepreneurs, etc.? Did they develop into young adults who have a love of learning? 

I'm interested in hearing success and not-so-traditionally considered "success" stories!

It will be fine.  Homeschoolers are attending college and getting jobs.

Reading at an advanced level is still a fundamental skill for higher education.  Not reading excellent literature or only reading textbooks does not prepare a student to read, critically think, and communicate as well as a literature-based education does . It just doesn't. 

Not only that, students love to learn with a lit-based program such as Sonlight. It plants the seed and fosters the love learning. And it is that love of learning which drives academic, personal, and professional success.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Merry

You always have the option to read fewer books and discuss them more in depth if you want to (which is what we chose to do). That doesn't mean you can't do a literature-based education. We did Sonlight-eclectic for high school, meaning that I did some picking and choosing of which books we would read--but being literature-based was always one of my core values. We just couldn't read fast enough to keep up with a Sonlight schedule, so we chose from their excellent choices for our literature and also for some of our history. I don't regret it at all, and my oldest loves history and philosophy and does very well in those classes in college. DD is interested in nursing, but I believe that a solid literature-based curriculum increases a student's awareness of different types of people and cultures and helps them to develop empathy--I am so glad that we've used Sonlight, and I feel my children are well-prepared for life. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robin E.
On 1/31/2017 at 0:35 PM, tikkitikkitembi said:

Wow, thanks for that response, Robin. We live in a state that offers community college in 11th and 12th grades, and I would love for my kids to take advantage of that. 

Were you all also using the LA in Sonlight or some other programs?

Sorry for the delay in answering this. I started a response, got sidetracked, and then forgot about it for a while.

My older two kids used Sonlight's Language Arts a lot, but more than any other portion of Sonlight, I find the LA to be something that MUST be used with a pick and choose attitude. If you feel like you have to do every single thing, then SL's LA will not work well at all.

My younger three kids have not had success with SL's LA, mostly because the way we are doing SL right now has them not reading every Reader and possibly not reading them in order. Since Sonlight's LA is directly tied to the Readers and the Reader schedule, if my kids need to take more time for one book and drop the next book to make up the lost time, then the LA doesn't work. My 12 year old is the only one of my three younger that could actually do the Readers as fast as Sonlight schedules him, however if I did that he wouldn't want to read books of his own choosing. I want him read a mix of books I choose (mostly Sonlight chooses) and books he chooses, so SL's LA wouldn't work well for him either.

Edited by Robin E.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my cup of tea & me
On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 0:43 PM, tikkitikkitembi said:

ck and forth about what curriculum to use for my family next year, and as much as we love to read great books, one of the criticisms I have read about literature-based curriculums is that they don't go deeply enough. Too many books, just skimming the surface, no chance for depth on specific topics, etc. 

Regardless of the criticism, I do think it's something we would enjoy. I'm more concerned about where Sonlight takes my kids in the long term. Do/did you feel that your children were prepared to do anything they wanted after they finished their literature-based education? Were they accepted to the universities of their choice or able to start apprenticing where they wanted to or become self-reliant entrepreneurs, etc.? Did they develop into young adults who have a love of learning? 

I'm interested in hearing success and not-so-traditionally considered "success" stories!

I highly recommend Sonlight because it made my children into self taught learners and thinkers.   Dd19 is in her last semester at Community College and then will head to her college of choice with scholarships.   She stands out at cc because of being homeschooled.   She has been told by professors that she is much more thoughtful and intelligent in her class discussions and in her papers.   We didn't use SL for language arts, but used IEW classes that we attended once a week.  

Our weak point is math, but I blame that on genetics not homeschooling. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)   

I suggest that you use SL for the learning, but also for the pure pleasure that this curriculum brings.  It is great when you can share a Core between siblings and make it a family affair.   We truly do love to learn!

 

Edited by my cup of tea & me
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
home4learning

Following. We love SL and I definitely know my kids have gained a lot from this approach. But we aren't done yet so I can't speak to the overall outcome. I can say that it seems for college entrance exams the mechanics of math and writing/grammar matter. SL will address the process of learning but math is a separate subject and the LA component may or may not give your child the kind of support/direction he or she needs. And I am finding some kids don't test well no matter what, so you have to gauge it by your goals and how you feel your kids learn best.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moxie1

Oldest dd only homeschooled for a year or so with SL.  But she is now finishing up a great books (classical) education at one of the most difficult schools in the country with an A average.  Her goal is to get a PhD in math.  Go figure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KimberlyNC

We have used SL for many years, detouring a little into other curriculums but always keeping a foot in SL's door in some way! My oldest has done cores 100-400 in high school, and as much as I fretted over the "Christian enough" aspect when compared to other companies, she has loved it and has learned so much. She just received her first college acceptance letter the other day from a small private liberal arts school nearby, that would give a great education and enable her to live at home, which is what she wants to do, but the amazing thing is that they offered her a scholarship that actually makes it affordable. I had set a price in my mind, thinking there was no way they could come down to that price with scholarships, and they did! I was amazed. So, we're thanking the Lord even if she chooses not to go there, it was incredibly affirming! She's interested in nursing also, but is wondering if she'd like to just start with community college because it would be even cheaper. So, she has some decisions to make and we're still waiting to hear from another local college. (we're blessed to have several good ones close by!) Regardless of where she goes, I am so thankful for the literature based education my kids are getting with SL. It's interesting how many articles I come across about the value of reading good books in developing empathy and character in children, and I've seen it borne out in my own. That aspect is critical.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dcubed

Both of my girls did Sonlight from early elementary to (or through) high school.  My oldest was accepted to 3 of the 4 colleges she applied to, with scholarships for each.  Her first choice, unfortunately, was the one she did not get into - but I think that's less homeschooling or Sonlight than a low acceptance rate and severe social anxiety that made extra-curricular activities nonexistent.  She's been taking community college classes for her senior year and getting straight As.  No problems whatsoever with her English composition classes and often at the top of her class in other subjects also.  No problem going to tests, note taking, essay writing, though she does not do terrific with timed essays.  That's due to a personality quirk, not a slam at SL LA.  She got a 32 on the ACT, so a great score with a perfect 36 on reading and a 35 on English.

My youngest is at a special needs school for a math LD and anxiety.  Sonlight worked wonderfully for her until high school when her anxiety rose too high to complete her work.  But she's doing terrific at school and will be in the humanities honors program next year.  Her first try at the ACT brought a very respectable 27.  She'll be retaking it in June after completing geometry at school.

Neither girl has had any issues with any perceived SL weaknesses.  They are often praised for insight and knowledge, as well as writing mechanics especially grammar knowledge.  We did mostly SL LA with a few other things along the way until high school, when I felt out of my comfort zone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tania

My oldest daughter used Sonlight K-12. (Cores k-400) She attended a state university and graduated last two weeks ago with a degree in mechanical engineering. She starts works On June 5th as a mechanical/nuclear engineer.  We did us the Sunlight LA.  She feels that she was very well prepared for college.

 

My middle daughter used Sonlight for K-8 (Cores k-h) at which time she went to college full-time.  She graduated last year with a math degree and is just finished her first year as a math graduate student.  She also felt very well-prepared for college and plans to use Sunlight with her own children someday.

 

My son is still in high school and we are homeschooling him to college using Sonlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the geographer

Both my girls were always homeschooled and used SL pretty much all the way. They both applied to four colleges and got into all of them. Big Sis loves learning and is really frustrated with some of the other students at her college that they don't care or are too busy with their social lives to focus more on school. She had no problems with the transition from homeschool to college. Little Sis will start college in the fall. She took two classes at the local cc - Spanish and college composition. She took the comp class because that was one area I felt she would do better learning from someone else. So far she's done excellent in the transition to college, getting As in both those classes. We'll see how things go this fall when she's in college full time but I expect the transition to go well. She doesn't have the love to learn that her sister does but she does have the drive to do well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alexandra

The main thing I would mention is a story dd told me. She is a rising junior in college and told me this story from her freshman year. She was discussing some books with her suite mates (shared bathroom with them, but not her actual roommate) and they looked at her a little confused when she mentioned "beowulf." They had never heard of it! So then, she continued to list a couple of other books from her British Lit sonlight package- Sir Gawain, Canterbury Tales, and she said "Sophie looked at me and said 'never heard of any of those!'"

 

And that was a girl who graduated with honors from public high school, so its not like she wasn't smart at the school she attended!

 

I would also say that Dd notices that there is a very large difference between her and her friends/class mates. The way she puts it is "I am not smarter than them, in many ways they are better at memorizing course material and taking tests than I am. But I can research a topic I am interested in, and have actual conversations about course materials in ways they cannot." The way she has explained it is that her SMART (not the c-average college students who just want to graduate) classmates are indeed better at "school" than her- the tests, knowing how to repeat information presented in class back to the professor, but she finds that they quickly dump that material after the test or don't make many connections with it. They really know how to "study for the test" where as she is very interested in the material and does much better on research papers and essays than actual multiple choice tests.

 

I will also note that Dd is the only college student i know who has filled both her college summers so far with summer classes- because she simply wants to take classes from so many different disciplines (picking a major was so hard for her) and can't fit everything she wants to learn about in to each semester. Thats the biggest thing she got from homeschooling and Sonlight - the LOVE for learning. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dwilterd
2 minutes ago, Alexandra said:

The main thing I would mention is a story dd told me. She is a rising junior in college and told me this story from her freshman year. She was discussing some books with her suite mates (shared bathroom with them, but not her actual roommate) and they looked at her a little confused when she mentioned "beowulf." They had never heard of it! So then, she continued to list a couple of other books from her British Lit sonlight package- Sir Gawain, Canterbury Tales, and she said "Sophie looked at me and said 'never heard of any of those!'"

 

And that was a girl who graduated with honors from public high school, so its not like she wasn't smart at the school she attended!

 

I would also say that Dd notices that there is a very large difference between her and her friends/class mates. The way she puts it is "I am not smarter than them, in many ways they are better at memorizing course material and taking tests than I am. But I can research a topic I am interested in, and have actual conversations about course materials in ways they cannot." The way she has explained it is that her SMART (not the c-average college students who just want to graduate) classmates are indeed better at "school" than her- the tests, knowing how to repeat information presented in class back to the professor, but she finds that they quickly dump that material after the test or don't make many connections with it. They really know how to "study for the test" where as she is very interested in the material and does much better on research papers and essays than actual multiple choice tests.

 

I will also note that Dd is the only college student i know who has filled both her college summers so far with summer classes- because she simply wants to take classes from so many different disciplines (picking a major was so hard for her) and can't fit everything she wants to learn about in to each semester. Thats the biggest thing she got from homeschooling and Sonlight - the LOVE for learning. 

Your daughter sounds a LOT like my daughter. She just finished her junior year in high school, but is very much looking forward to learning from professors at college. She LOVES to learn and she has great interest in a variety of disciplines and also is struggling to know what she wants to major in in college (makes it sort of difficult to narrow down the college choices, too).

I'd love to know where your dd went to school and if she likes it, if you feel comfortable sharing of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alexandra
On June 1, 2017 at 4:58 PM, dwilterd said:

Your daughter sounds a LOT like my daughter. She just finished her junior year in high school, but is very much looking forward to learning from professors at college. She LOVES to learn and she has great interest in a variety of disciplines and also is struggling to know what she wants to major in in college (makes it sort of difficult to narrow down the college choices, too).

I'd love to know where your dd went to school and if she likes it, if you feel comfortable sharing of course.

My dd goes to a small liberal arts public school. Id be happy to tell you the exact name in a private message if you'd like! 

As far as her liking it goes- she does enjoy college. There are some ups and downs to it, of course. If I were to sum it up quickly- she LOVES the academic aspect of college. She has, however, struggled a bit with the emotional/social parts of it. She isn't someone who has ever struggled to make friends so she quickly started making friends at school, but she has found in the past two years that she has had a hard time finding a "tribe"- she just isn't a cliquey type person. So she has friends from here, friends from there, etc. which can sometimes be frustrating. She is on her schools rowing team which she also loves. I know she especially loves the freedom- she seems to be struggling with being home all summer. She loves having her owns space in her dorm and can't wait to be back on campus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites