Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sonlight VS Beautiful Feet and another option tossed in for good measure

Amy asks:
Hi Sheri, I have twin 12 yr. old girls and am undecided between Sonlight's Eastern Hemisphere core (which has been overhauled this year) and Beautiful Feet (probably the Medieval Period). I just stumbled on BF. Seeing that you've done both, do you have a suggestion? 

Here are the programs she is asking about:


Sonlight Core F: Eastern Hemisphere*

FCG
(image from Sonlight website)


*I am basing my opinion on the older version that I own.
The updated one offers 3 weeks to look over and appears to easier 
to read/use.  I won't have access to the updated version until late June when
it is available. Please keep this in mind when pondering this info.

VS


(image from BFBooks website)

Sample pages can be seen by scrolling 
thru the cover image on that page.

*I do not have the updated version so all of my opinions are
based on the old one but by looking thru the samples,
I see they have vastly improved the look/layout and
it is much more appealing to the user

And just for giggles-let's toss into the bunch the 


   
(images from Heart of Dakota website)

*I have not used either of these two guides, but am currently using the
HOD Creation to Christ one. The layout is the same, the subjects 
covered are the core plus a few extra just like the C to C guide.
I tossed these two in because they hit the era that you mentioned
you'd be interested in for the Beautiful Feet choice. On each page
with the description you can download a sample of the pages for a
better look at what they offer.



There are obviously many more history program choices, but the reader asked specifically about the SL or the BFB so that is why I am focusing on them.  I added the HOD because the layout and coverage is quite similar.  Remember, it all depends on what best suits your family and their current interests. We use them all-mostly because of the eras they touch on and sometimes due to the amount of time I have to put into preparing the material and teaching it.  

Factors to consider:

*The era you want most to cover 
*The manner in which your child(ren) best learn
*Literature vs textbook or unit learning-which best fits your family's style and preference
*Your pocket book-these can be spency unless you do what I do (I will write another post on how to save money on books later)
*Your life right now-is is crazy busy?  New baby?  Family situations that are demanding more time that usual?  A recent or soon to be move?  Any big events that can change the amount of time you have to invest in the planning/gathering and subsequent tutelage of it to your student(s) should be taken into consideration so that you choose a program that is easiest for you and your students to work through without causing undue stress and possible burn-out (for/in you or your students)


Now that you have pondered those factors-you can turn your attention to the program's strengths and weaknesses.  Mind you-this is my opinion and experience noted from this point on.  What worked for us may not for you and vice versa. You ultimately need to decide on what you know will work, take a bit of a risk to test something you never have tried before and just roll with it.  Some of the programs I thought would never hold my kids' attentions or work for them-did. Others I thought were just "perfect" for us went over like a lead balloon.  The nice thing about the above programs is they all hold good resale value and some even offer money back guarantees....so take it with a grain of salt and for those who believe in this-PRAY about it first.  It will make a huge difference in how things go.

They are all good programs in their own right.  All use literature as the foundation of the program and all have some type of layout to follow (which remember-you do not need to do everything!).  All adequately cover an era/time frame so that the child will have a good grasp of basic history in those areas.  Some include additional subjects already figured out in the plan (math, science, lang. arts, writing, etc.) others have a bit of it and some only offer the history with some vocab/writing assignments (BFBooks).  It all depends on what you need and are looking for.  I strongly suggest going over each site and reading through all their information to get a better grasp of what they offer. I also strongly suggest downloading the samples, and asking your dear daughters to look over it too so they can see which program best matches what they like.

Here is the chart you can go over. It is not extensive in all areas-but a brief (personal) overview of them.  I am basing this on my guides and how they worked for us. Right now we are using HOD's Creation to Christ program so I am basing the info on what I see on the site and what we have experienced by using the C to C guide.  I hope this helps by offering some 'real world' opinion/advice.

You'll find the chart of comparisons
on my Homeschool Launch page:








2 comments:

Mary said...

I love the SL Eastern Hemisphere Core - it is the only one I plan to use again.

Sheri said...

Mary-it is for us too. That is why I have saved it since buying it like 10 yrs ago...so all the kids can use it. Some of the books tho-actually brought tears to my kids' eyes and they begged to not have to read them further-so I chucked em. But this is a good program and can be tweaked very easily. :)