*This post was written as a review for Sonlight in exchange for compensation. Everything you read in this article is based on my personal experience with using their world history curriculum and is 100% truthful. If you’d like to read my full disclosure, you can find it HERE.
Sonlight World History Curriculum
Sonlight’s intro to world history curriculum is a complete 36-week program.
We are currently using year one (of 2) in our homeschool and are absolutely loving it so far! I opted for the 4-day version to better fit in with our shorter homeschool week and it has been a lovely addition.
This complete world history curriculum includes a wide variety of illustrated books, read-aloud stories, and personal readers — making it a great option for book-loving families, like ours.
Our Love for Literature-Based Learning
All three of my kiddos are huge book lovers and I simply love to build our homeschool library any chance I can get.
With that said, not just any book will do — especially when it comes to teaching history.
If I’m being completely honest, history used to be my least favorite subject to teach until we discovered the beauty of teaching history through literature 2 short years ago.
Most history curriculums can be a tad bit dry and I end up throwing in the towel halfway through.
However, there is just something incredible and different about literature-based curriculum that regular curriculum tends to lack.
I fell completely in love with the entire concept and I will never teach history any other way!
This is the main reason I was beyond excited to try Sonlight’s world history curriculum for my daughter’s 4th-grade year.
Intro to World History Curriculum
I cannot even express how eager I was to get my hands on all the books included in our new box of Sonlight curriculum.
The sheer volume alone had me feeling like I was a small child on Christmas morning.
There are seriously so many wonderful titles included in this bundle!
Not only is this a literature-based world history curriculum, but it also puts a strong emphasis on Biblical history & scripture references — definitely a plus in my book!
While this curriculum is slightly more complex than other history curricula we have used in the past, it’s still a wonderful fit for our homeschool.
I’m actually a huge planner girl, so I thoroughly enjoy a solid plan filled with lots of details — which this curriculum totally has!
With that said, I know some homeschool parents may initially find a structured curriculum overwhelming.
Thankfully, the beauty of homeschooling means we have the ultimate choice on how we use any curriculum in our homeschool!
We can utilize all the resources & helps, or mix things up to fit our own personal homeschool flow better.
Either way, all children can benefit from learning through this literature-based curriculum!
Intro to World History Curriculum Breakdown
I tend to spend an excessive amount of time looking through any new curriculum that enters our home and this world history unit one was no exception.
It may sound silly, but this is actually one of my favorite things about being a homeschool parent.
The entire planning process fills me with deep joy and I look forward to it each and every year!
I seriously spent hours skimming these books, looking over the instructor’s guide, and getting myself excited to start something brand new with my youngest kiddo.
If you are a planner and into all things structure, you will totally love this!
If you prefer to go with the flow and get overwhelmed or stressed by the pressure of staying on track, this may not be a part of the curriculum you lean on every single day, but it’s still a great tool to keep on hand.
I consider myself somewhere in between — I love a good plan, but I also enjoy leaning on the side of flexibility.
The instructor’s guide is definitely something I use and appreciate, but I don’t consider it a set-in-stone plan. If we need to tweak something along the way, we totally do.
With that said, I have incorporated our instructor’s guide into our file folder system instead of using a binder. We have become a somewhat minimalistic family and this just works better in our home on wheels!
I plan our homeschool in 12-week intervals and can easily tuck 1 week’s work of the instructor’s guide into each week’s folder. Then I simply give it a glance over when planning my daughter’s school for the upcoming week.
There are a few different parts to the instructor’s guide that I want to touch on because they are the things I feel set this curriculum apart from others I have used in the past.
With that said there are also lots of little things I won’t go into great detail about, including tips on how to assemble & use the instructor’s guide (for those using the traditional binder method), as well as a quick start guide that help Sonlight newbies — because let’s face it, sometimes new curriculum can seem daunting at first!
There is also a fun certificate of completion included — which can be a big deal to some kiddos.
I’m actually really looking forward to using this certificate at the end of our year because my daughter thrives with little things like this! She’s such a hard worker and a little recognition goes a long way for her.
This colorful map was actually the first thing that caught my eye when I first opened up my instructor’s guide.
Since history and geography tend to go hand-in-hand, this map is a great thing to keep at arms reach. I store resources like this in a separate (non-weekly) folder with my teacher tools.
Don’t worry about not knowing when to pull this out because there are prompts throughout the instructor’s guide that tell you when to lean on this handy tool.
Week Overview & Schedule Pages
This is the stuff I live for in a curriculum — the details.
The week overview is broken into 3 parts (bible, history & geography, read-aloud) and includes a super easy breakdown of all the books you will be utilizing throughout the week, as well as scripture references.
The schedule pages are much more detailed and include lots of important information for parents and discussion questions.
I’m a super detailed oriented person & a visual learner, so I totally fell in love with the week overview/schedule pages.
Notes to Parents
I absolutely love and appreciate these!
The parental notes are scattered throughout the schedule pages as needed and they are a wonderful addition that helps make parents aware of any upcoming difficult topics or graphics used in some of the educational material — such as violence or underdressed natives.
Personally, I think this is one of the handiest parts of the entire instructor’s guide and I definitely think it is something most parents will appreciate!
As parents, we all have different standards, teaching methods, and parenting techniques and only we know what is best for our kiddos!
I definitely lean on these notes a lot because I know what my daughter is ready for and what she might be more sensitive about.
I had to briefly touch on these because I absolutely love how Sonlight has chosen to separate the readers study guide from the schedule pages!
This is done simply to allow children to read at their own pace, giving parents the freedom to use the readers how and when they see fit.
These pages are actually pretty simple and only include an overview of what your child will be reading, some vocabulary words, and discussion questions.
Love, love love how Sonlight includes so many wonderful readers in this world history curriculum.
Sonlight curriculum has biblical foundations which makes it a great fit for our family!
I absolutely love when a curriculum company intertwines a core subject with Christian values and scripture.
While we still use a separate bible curriculum in our homeschool, I love having Bible incorporated into our history lessons as well.
The Bible portion of this curriculum is simple and light. It includes 1 book title & 1 CD.
Each week there is a scripture passage to memorize, and readings from the book The Ology.
Sing the Word
First, I want to touch on the CD because it is definitely my daughter’s favorite part — it’s so stinking cute, you guys!
This CD includes song versions (sung by children) of the verses to memorize & the books of the New Testament.
I’m definitely excited about this one because we spent all of last year working our way through learning the Old Testament books — making this the perfect follow-up for us!
Bible also includes the wonderful hardback title The Ology.
This is such a touching book filled with life-changing truths about God, important scripture references, and simplistic illustrations.
This book is completed in little bursts throughout the entire course which I totally love. One day your child will read a simple bible truth and the next they will read scripture to back it up.
My daughter is thoroughly enjoying this one!
This is definitely a title that I will keep in our homeschool library for years to come.
History & Geography
Well, you can’t have a world history curriculum without the main event — world history.
There are 6 great book titles included in the history teaching portions as well as my favorite part of this entire curriculum, THUMB.
The absolute coolest thing I’ve learned from this curriculum by far!
THUMB is an acronym to help remember the following groups of people:
Tribals, Hindus, Unreached, Unchurched, Muslims, and Buddhists.
Using this acronym, you are encouraged to pray for a specific group of people on the first day of learning each week.
Such a beautiful, unexpected part of this world history curriculum that I seriously can’t get enough of!
The Usborne Book of World History
This book is such a great learning tool!
It includes many pictures, short facts to read, and a timeline chart in the back.
Perfect for a visual learner.
I personally love these types of educational books because the illustrations become great conversation starters and sometimes even encourage young learners to dig a little deeper.
Plus, we absolutely love anything and everything Usborne in our home!
A Child’s History of the World
While this history book has fewer visuals to appreciate, it’s a great addition to our homeschool.
It’s a simple, story-based read with very few illustrations and short chapters.
Perfect for small attention spans.
Learning in small spurts works best for my daughter so this is a great fit for her.
We are definitely enjoying this one so far!
Around the World with Kate and Mack
Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough about this one!
We have not gotten to this title yet, but I have thoroughly looked through it and I am so excited to share it with my young daughter.
Around the World with Kate and Mack follows a girl and her best friend (a parrot) whose parents are missionaries.
She loves to learn about different languages and this book is basically an A-Z of languages — so much fun, you guys!
Students will learn about 26 different languages, where they are spoken, and other fun facts.
An adorable title filled with lots of fun animations & priceless information!
Speaking of books I can’t say enough about, Time Traveler has always been a favorite in our home!
My older boys enjoyed reading this one during their elementary years and I’m so excited it’s included in this world history curriculum for me to enjoy with my youngest!
Using their magic helmet, kiddos get to be time travelers. They will travel through various times, meet important people, and learn about historical events.
Such a fun title filled with colorful illustrations and lots of important historical information.
This is a title I am definitely looking forward to covering with my daughter!
While it doesn’t follow the ancient history timeline, it sounds like it’s going to be a great way to wrap up our history for the year.
I absolutely love introducing my children to godly men and women who answered God’s call on their lives, and this book delivers just that!
I’m pretty sure this entire book series is going to be a must-read in our home.
The history collection also includes Tut’s Mummy, a level 4 reader. It’s an easy read that will likely fascinate most young kids!
Also, some books contain images that maybe be considered sensitive to some — such as cultural (underdressed) illustrations & views of wars.
With that said, the instructor’s guide does a wonderful job of making parents aware of everything questionable!
This world history curriculum also includes a number of awesome read-aloud books.
I’m so excited about some of these titles, you guys!
Reading with your children is such a beautiful thing and I’m definitely a fan of any curriculum that encourages it.
The instructor’s guide includes discussion questions and vocabulary words that go along with these incredible read-aloud titles and I absolutely love some of the fun conversation prompts!
They definitely get the student (and sometimes even the parent/teacher) thinking.
Most of the read-aloud books are to be completed in 6 – 10 days, with the exception of 4 titles.
There are 14 awesome read-aloud books and I wish I could touch on each one of these of them!
With that said, I would love to share a few tidbits about our favorites so far & the ones we are looking most forward to
Charlotte’s Web is the first read-aloud you will encounter with this curriculum and it is a wonderful classic that all kids should read.
I seriously loved this book as a child and have had such a great time revisiting it with my 10-year-old daughter!
What a blessing it has been to watch her eyes light up while reading a classic book from my childhood.
Book of Animal Poetry
This is the only title that is spread out over the entire 36-week course and is read alongside other read-aloud books.
To tell the truth, I was actually already in love with this book before I even knew it was included in this curriculum.
We have checked this one out at our local library multiple times over the years and It feels incredible to finally have our very own copy!
National Geographic’s Book of Animal Poetry is filled with beautiful animal poems and photography — it will be a title we cherish in our home for years to come.
While there are 12 other great-looking titles in this stack of read-aloud books, the ones my daughter is most looking forward to this year are Ways to Grow Love & Year of the Baby.
Both of these titles look adorable and right up her alley!
I on the other hand am excited to introduce her to Understood Betsy. Not only is it a wonderful title, but it has some of the most in-depth vocabulary words out of all the read-aloud books — something that is incredibly important to me as a homeschool mom.
Building my daughter’s vocabulary through wholesome literature is a must.
The extra readers cover a wide variety of topics.
From historical figures such as Marco Polo to sweet titles like More Stories from Grandma’s Attic.
There are also a number of popular titles from Beverly Cleary.
Most readers are to be completed in 1 – 2 weeks, with the exception of 3 titles.
With that said, this curriculum is designed for parents to use the readers portion at their child’s pace. If that doesn’t match up with the scheduled plan — it’s totally ok!
However, if you have kiddos like mine. They will likely fly through these readers at an accelerated rate instead.
My daughter is definitely excited to get through these readers and I don’t see them lasting us all year long — which I am totally fine with!
Either way, this curriculum includes plenty of books to keep youngsters busy and reading.
One Final Note:
Even though these are considered independent readers, simple vocabulary words & discussion points are included, just like with the read-aloud books.
Reasons to Love This World History Curriculum
There are 2 main reasons I love, and you should too, this world history curriculum!
Not only are there detailed schedule pages, a ton of amazing book titles, and biblical foundations included, but there are important milestones being reached and priceless memories being made.
Learning History Together
Yes, yes, yes!
There is just something beautiful about enjoying history lessons together!
Plus, it doesn’t matter how many history books I read, or lessons I teach, there will always be something new for me to learn as well — I absolutely love that aspect of using literature to teach history to my own kiddos.
There’s seriously nothing better than snuggles, a warm cup of coffee, and a good book.
Man, oh, man — this is a big deal for me!
Encouraging kids to work independently and take responsibility can be a daunting task, so leaning on a curriculum that helps alleviate some of that pressure is an absolute must.
While this curriculum is mostly parent-led, there is a ton of independent reading as well — and I absolutely love it!
There is a great mixture of parent involvement & independent learning.
As a busy, introverted, homeschool mom, I need a little time to myself each day — which is why I absolutely love anything that promotes a little independence.
World History Curriculum Final Tidbits
While the price point may seem high at first glance, the actual value of Sonlight’s homeschool curriculum is priceless.
So many history curriculums out there are lacking in rich story-based learning, leaving children bored and struggling to remember important facts.
This curriculum, however, has a high emphasis on vocabulary, encouraging parents (or teachers) to challenge their students to define unfamiliar terms found in the context of their history books.
It also opens up a whole new historical world to students by learning through literature-based lessons & puts a large focus on biblical perspectives.
I seriously can’t say enough good things about this world history curriculum!
Switching to Sonlight’s World History Curriculum
Ready to start something new and wonderful in your homeschool?
Consider making the switch to Sonlight’s world history curriculum, learning alongside your children using wholesome literature.
Still on the struggle bus when it comes to history curriculum? Find out why choosing Sonlight could be right for you!
Sonlight Deals & Giveaways
If you aren’t looking to replace your history curriculum, but love all things Sonlight, I encourage you to check out their current discounts and promotions!
Don’t forget to enter to win your very own butterfly unit!!