Sonlight Curriculum

I am a new Catholic (almost) and I am also a homeschooling mom. I looked at Seton and wasn’t sure I would care for it. I’d really like to get the Sonlight curriculum (which is evangelical Christian) and just toss their religious education and substitute appropriate Catholic materials. As far as evangelical references in the teacher’s manuals, I think after living that life for 30 years, I can ignore what doesn’t apply. I love their books and the curriculum in general. And actually their church history books include many of the books I read that brought me to the Catholic faith. My son will be in second grade. I have been doing my own curriculum and I am just not cut out for that task! Any input would be helpful!

Danielle

I think in the early grades it wouldn’t matter while you are there to serve as a filter or explainer, but when he gets older and does more independant work you might want to consider switching to a more Catholic curriculim.

Bring this before God and allow Him to guide you and be at Peace.

I homeschooled for 4 years of highschool after attending 6 years of parochial school and 2 years of public middle school-- all that was available to us. I do not see so much of a problem with actual secular materials for things like mathematics and grammar as I do with openly protestant material because there is no subversion there. I designed my own highschool curriculum and found that it is essential to study history especially from the Catholic point of view because so much of history really hung on the Church, which is minimized by our anti-Catholic society. In choosing my textbooks, I am not ashamed to say that I used secular mathematics texts, some secular grammar texts, and read a wide variety of the classics of literature in order to better compete academically.

If you need guidelines, you might want to check on Laura Berquist and her “Designing Your Own Catholic Curriculum”.

I’m new to the Catholic Church, but not to homeschooling. I homeschooled for about 10 yrs, then had to go back to work part-time and decided to go the parochial schhol route for my two youngest (the other is in college and one is in a non-denom. high school). I used Sonlight during my last few yrs, and it is easy to use without it seeming too Protestant. The church History books from Sonlight 8 were a huge part in our coming into the Catholic Church. Just don’t order the Christian ed. part of the curriculum. The science, history, math, language are just that–math, science, history, and language. The only other thing you might want to do is see if any of the suggested reading books are ones you would want to change out. Now some of the discussion questions in the curriculum guides will be from a Protestant slant. I didn’t use them even when I was still a Protestant anyway. I always thought they rambled on too much–the kids and I did our own thing for discussion, or I wrote out some of the better discussion questions on a piece of paper and had them write their answers. Good luck and God Bless.

We are using Sonlight for my son. I have choosen not to include any of their religious content and incorporate a Catholic perspective into that area. I have seen other do that and have liked the results I have seen.

Thank you for your input! I thought I could probably adapt it, but I’m glad to hear from other Catholics who have been able to use it.

Danielle

I hope I don’t offend anyone, but this is my personal opinion about using Evangelical Christian or Protestant homeschool programs.

It just makes sense to me that if you want your children to have a Catholic educational curriculum, you should use a Catholic program. If you wouldn’t send your child to the local Evangelical Christian Academy (and just make up the missing Catholic teachings on your own) as opposed to the local Catholic school, then why do the same with homeschooling? There are other Catholic programs besides Seton (we use Kolbe Academy).

Furthermore, by supporting a non-Catholic program, it seems to me that one would be denying much-needed support to Catholic homeschool programs that are trying to nurture the true Faith during a child’s most formative years. Kindergarten isn’t too early to begin teaching a child about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist or about our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross.

Perhaps I feel this way because my in-laws have owned a Catholic books and gift shop for over twenty years and have watched with chagrin how, over the years, more and more Catholics went to the local Christian (read: “evangelical” and “protestant”) gift shop to purchase First Communion sets and Miraculous Medals because the stores were “closer” (in a town of 30,000, how far is far?) or cheaper (they’re a chain, they buy in bulk). If they ever have to close down for lack of business, who will be to blame?

Anyhow, those are my thoughts and I hope everyone can see my point of view, if not necessarily agree with it!

In Christ’s peace,
BlueRose

It just makes sense to me that if you want your children to have a Catholic educational curriculum, you should use a Catholic program.

Very good point.

I think it depends on a family’s reason to homeschool their children. My own reason is not based primarily wanting my son to have a Catholic education, it based on the fact I do not like the schools in my area teaching from the standarized tests and the children the schools are popping out are not thinking for themselves or think beyond what they were taught. Unfortunately I would need a small fortune to send him to the Catholic school.

I’m also an ecclectic homeschooler that does not use a set curriculum package (although the majority of the LA and Math came from Sonlight), I used Sonlight materials and then by my Catholic items to round out our curric. I think if one wants a total Catholic packaged curriculum then it makes sense searching out a Catholic homeschool program.

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