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Literature based Curriculum: Where to start with Sonlight or choose a reading list

So Sonlight’s Literature-based curricula provide an excellent resource for reading material, whether grade level reading or read-alouds for the whole family.Number 3

When we were starting out, Sonlight was a great fit for my little family.  Aaron was around 5 years, and Emily was 2 years.  We did read-alouds every night before bed.  In addition, Aaron was picking up reading like the genius he is. (Only a mom-brag.  Just ignore me.)  When we started, we used an old Sonlight schedule for a One-Year Intro to World History, now called Core B+C.  In order to get all the books, my lists are divided by the individual Core lists.  You can see my Intro to World History Part 1 list here.

So what I wanted to discuss, is the change in the grade level of the Sonlight reading.  So originally, the Intro to World Cultures (Core A) was Kinder, and is now listed for 1st Grade.  World History Part 1 (Core B) was 1st grade, and is now listed as 2nd grade.

SSRWIn addition, they have changed the reading level of their suggested reading books.  I have to say, I’m not a fan (just a personal opinion.)  As a pre-kinder and Kinder, we used Sing, Spell, Read, and Write.  Amazon’s prices are outrageous, so I recommend buying the Kinder/Level 1 Combo Kit from either or  Aaron was reading their 1st Grade list in Kinder, and then we moved through the Sonlight 2nd grade reading levels (regular, advanced, beginning chapter books, and longer chapter books).  These have been swapped across the 2nd and 3rd grade lists over the years.  I’ll have a future post about those reading books in the near future.

Teaching phonics will be another post entirely.  Teaching phonics completely relies on the student.  In my opinion, each child is so vastly different, I always recommend changing curricula from student to student.  SSRW did not work for my daughter, or as well as it had for my son.  My own stubbornness and determination did not make for a happy learning experience for my daughter.  So don’t be afraid to try something different.

So with all that in mind, without making an entirely new chart on books and their past grade levels, I’m including my personal preference for completing the reading material within Sonlight.  If you’re not sure where to start, send me an e-mail, and I will be happy to help!

  1. Kinder          Intro to World Cultures
  2. 1st Grade     Intro to World History Part 1
  3. 2nd Grade   Intro to World History Part 2
  4. 3rd Grade    Intro to American History Part 1
  5. 4th Grade    Intro to American History Part 2

There are so many great books, but if you feel you cannot spend 2 years on World History, I recommend using one of the One-Year combinations.

  1. Kinder         NEW Exploring American History
  2. 1st Grade    Intro to World Cultures
  3. 2nd Grade  One-Year Intro to World History

I have not researched the entire New Exploring American History.  However, many of the read-alouds have been on the World Cultures list.  All great books, highly recommend.  As the list is brand new for 2020, I have not reviewed all the books.  If you choose to do this new study, please let me know what you think!  I would love to hear from you!

Lastly, Sonlight’s literature-based curricula contain plethora of books.  Don’t be afraid to make your own list.  I always recommend doing what is right for your family.  And during these times, if you just want to spend more time reading books, or supplement your child’s history lessons, you can choose from any number of books.  If you need help, please contact me!  I would be happy to help!

Thanks so much for your time!




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