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Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

It seems the more I think about it, the more confused I get!

I'm thinking of HSing my 1st & 3rd graders next year. Early on, I picked MOH for our history program. Everything is together in one spot, with questions and activities.

My friend uses Sonlight, and I love all the readers and read-alouds. Without a schedule telling us to read, I know we won't do near enough. I'm not sure I like the thought of doing history every day, out of multiple books either. Seems like overkill.

Then I found Beautiful Feet. The history portion seems a bit less reading and less books a day. I've heard that it skips around a bit though and isn't as chronological. Would prefer to do Ancients and the K-3 program is early american. Not a deal breaker.

Has anyone used 2 or more of these and can compare them for me? I'm thinking of keeping the Read-Aloud & Readers portion of Sonlight even if I switch out the history books portion. (I bought a used Instructors Guide, so I have the schedule.) So, Sonlight only, MOH with Sonlight Lit, or BF with Sonlight Lit?

Thanks!

This post was edited on Jan 21, 2012 04:56 PM

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

This is just a thought - for the ages of your kids, American History for a couple of years might be a good choice only because it's a lot gentler history as far as history goes. If you were to start history chronologically at such a young age, you'll be reading through some brutal times in history during the ancient/middle age time periods,not to mention lots of false religions, etc.

Another thought on the whole chrono, world history thing is to maybe try Child's History of the World - narrative in style, geared for children 1st-4th grades. The book would cover one school year. I think there's even a notebook journal to go along with it.

Another program to think about might be Queen Homeschool American History. http://www.queenhomeschool.com/productpages/History/livingworldhistoryframe.html

As for BF, I've used their geography guide, and while the books we read were lovely, the guides were lacking. I ended up finding a great supplement to the Paddle To The Sea book which enhanced our study tremendously. Not sure if the history TM are laid out any differently than the geography ones.

This post was edited on Jan 21, 2012 06:08 PM

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

Well I have used Sonlight but not the other two programs. Sonlight has some great books. In the early grades the readers and read alouds are not tied to the history. Its not until core c that they start to tie in. I did up to their first year of ancient history. I will tell you, a lot of the history was over my kids head. We switched to Heart of Dakota which has less readers and read alouds but includes activities and different things. It seems more on their level. With Sonlight you will be doing history 4 to 5 days a week and eventually the readers and read alouds will also be history so you are looking at a few hours of just history.

Sarah

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

I agree that ancient history isn't always best for littles. I like the idea of chronological history, starting at the very beginning, but I've resolved myself to the idea that we'll do that in our second history cycle, starting in 6th grade.

I haven't used any of the curriculums you're considering. I did order the kindergarten core of Sonlight years ago and never used it. The "living books" just weren't living enough for me. I didn't like the amount of Usborne books they used. I also didn't like the idea of reading Wizard of Oz to my little ones. I'm not the most conservative when it comes to literature, but that was outside my comfort zone.

We use Ambleside Online, which is pure living books and no extra activities. The only activity we do after reading is narrating.

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

We are SL users, so keep that in mind. :)
I love SL and so do my kids. History has really come to life for us with their program. I like having everything scheduled in the IG, yet I "tweak" it when I need to adjust something for my family. The IG's are wonderful. You can view samples at their website, so I encourage you to check them out. We are very happy SL customers!

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

Thanks to everyone so far! Very helpful opinions. I have looked at HOD quite a bit. It looks like a great program, but not sure it's the right fit either. I've already picked a LA & science, and don't plan on doing the bible portion, so it's a bit much for just the history side. (Ugh - after looking at it more, now I'm back to thinking about R&S english!)

I looked at the history from Queen Homeschool. I am planning on using their LA, but the writing in the history book would have been painful for me to read every day. I wanted to like it though!

For now, I'm thinking MOH with reading lists from Sonlight. (With Queen's LA, R.E.A.L Science, and Math Mammoth)

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

I've used both SL and BF. I haven't used MOH.
BF: I used American History (elementary level) and History of the Horse (a must do, if you have a horse lover in your home).
SL: I used SL5 (which was the 10/40 Window; not sure what they call it now) and middle school American History (again, not sure how it is labeled, now).
Just reading through your original post and responses, I think you would probably enjoy BF. It is literature based HISTORY. SL is a little more complicated.
With BF, you get a very inexpensive guide with short, daily lesson plans. You read good (memorabale) books together (nice!) and you have a little bit of hands-on activity (mapping, coloring, writing), which you glue into a "keepsake" notebook.
For young elementary, it is a nice amount of work and it is inclusive (since you have your other subjects already chosen). Plus, many of the books are available at the library. (Keeping it inexpensive. I bought the books and resold them, just so I'd have everything on hand, but I know that isn't affordable for everyone).
If you want to use parts of SL's program for reading and do some of the read-alouds, why not?
I **do** like SL and highly recommend it, as well. It just seems to me reading through your specific situation, BF would be a nice fit, not overwhelming and not "taking over" your other selections.
I especially LOVED SL5. The books selected were EXCELLENT and many of them are NOT TO BE MISSED! (The Master Puppeteer & House of Sixty Fathers, for example). The reading that year was HEFTY. It takes ones voice a little while to get used to it.

re: Sonlight vs. Mystery of History vs. Beautiful Feet

Since I have used all 3 I'll give my 2 cents. I agree with a pp that BF sounds more like a better fit for you right now. We did the Early American BF guide and LOVED it! A bit of reading and then some activities to make that keepsake notebook. MOH was 'okay' but I never felt it actually delved too deep into the history and the activities actually became onerous. The timelining alone was quite a task. SL is the one program we have consistently used since 2005, though. It IS a LOT of reading---every day. And the read alouds can take a while too. But we love reading here. In fact, I tried one year of HOD with my son thinking it was going to be a great fit and he ended up bitterly complaining every single time there was any sort of activity---he is NOT crafty or artsy at all! It sounds like you might be a better fit with putting your own eclectic program together rather than a complete all-in-one. We definitely found BF to be richer than MOH.

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