If there is one thing that I truly love studying, it is American History, especially early American history. Everything about it is so much fun for me. The early colonial settlements and how the settlers got by. The growing of the nation. And of course the American Revolution!
I was so delighted to get a chance to review Sonlight's updated History / Bible / Literature D: Intro to American History, Year 1 of 2. Not only does Sonlight American History cover my favorite eras of American history, but it also is a beautiful, literature-rich curriculum that brings history to life. It's a complete curriculum for History, Bible, and Literature, with everything Christian homeschool parents needs to keep their children interested in the basics throughout a homeschool year.
Not in the mood to read a post right now? Check out my video review at the bottom or navigate using the Table of Contents.
Note: I was provided a complimentary copy of the Sonlight HBL D curriculum in exchange for my honest opinions. I have been compensated for my time in preparing this review.
What is included in Sonlight HBL D?
I was amazed when I opened up the box from Sonlight! Check out the unboxing video I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago!
We have only had a chance to review the curriculum for a short time, so my daughter and I have not gone through the entire year. That said, she's already snuck into the homeschool mom zone and taken some of the books from the shelf! She seems quite excited for a few of the titles! The following review shows just part of what I see this curriculum providing!
American History & Geography with Sonlight HBL D
I sometimes forget to put Geography studies into my American history, so it is great that Sonlight HBL D has included a number of great write-on (laminated) maps. The foldable, wipe-off America and World map is my new favorite non-book item in our homeschool room!
The Timeline Book Sonlight provides is a ring-bound book that we can use for all other time periods we study as well, and Sonlight sent the timeline figures that we need for early American history.
I really like the books that are used as a spine for the history curriculum. There's the full-color American History Visual Encyclopedia that has just wonderful layouts of different events from history. The Beginners' American History has story like descriptions of various people and events from history. The Landmark History of the American People Volume One goes through the different eras of history in America with a unique perspective. Instead of just describing events that happened, it explores why and how events happened as they did. It's really a great book and I've enjoyed reading throughout myself.
Bible Studies with Sonlight HBL D
Although we have family scripture study every morning, I have never before had a curriculum that had the Bible written right into the schedule for every day. It is a great idea for those who want a ready-at-hand scripture study plan for independent and family study, as well as a weekly memorization assignment.
With the course, Sonlight provides the Discoverers Bible, which is a New International Readers Version (NIrV) of the Bible that has large print with some illustrations. I agree with Sonlight that it is very good for early readers.
In addition to assignments for parent reading and student reading every day and a weekly memorization assignment, sunlight also provides a sing the word CD called Great in Council and Might In Deed, which helps with the memorization of some of the verses because they are set to songs.
Finally, Sonlight includes the American Indian Prayer Guide, which shares some ideas of what you can consider as you pray for the Native American people.
By including bible study in the regular schedule, Sonlight makes sure that bible studies remain an important part of a Christian homeschooler's day.
Literature with Sonlight HBL D
Sonlight HBL D provides so much in the literature department. The long list of books includes the history readers (as mentioned above) as well as living books for both reading aloud together and for my student to read to herself. Living books are books that bring a subject to life, whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction.
Not only does American History part 1 have Newberry award medal winning books and honor books, it also has many books that are fun and familiar to kids. One such book is one of Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, a series that my daughter loves. I see many favorites of mine such as Sarah, Plain, and Tall; books by Elizabeth George Spear; Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (my favorite in 5th grade!); and so many more. I also have to mention The Peacemaker, which is the newest novel by Joseph Bruchac (my favorite Native American author).
Some of the readers are easier to read, and some of them are more difficult, providing yet another dimension of variety.
Sonlight also provides an amazing book of poetry that is included in the weekly schedule. The Child's Introduction to Poetry is so beautiful to me (I love poetry). I love how it is set up, with a section first about types of poetry, and then a section with specific poets. Most poems have an audio available to listen to after we read the section.
Benefits of Sonlight Complete Literature-rich HBL Curriculum
Sonlight American History HBL D is not just an amazing box of books and cool stuff. It provides a homeschool with more than just history, bible, and literature studies. It seems it also gives much more.
Some things for my student:
- extra cuddle time with read-alouds
- beautiful and quality books sitting on our shelf
- a personal, child-friendly bible to explore
- an interest in specific parts of history
There are great benefits for the homeschool parent as well. Here are just a few.
Sonlight Can Save Time
I will admit when I sat and looked at all these books altogether, I began to feel a little bit overwhelmed. There is so much that came with it. That overwhelmed settled when I began looking through schedules for how this curriculum works.
Sonlight provides a detailed day-by-day, week-by-week, four-days-a-week schedule. The weekly schedules tell us just what we need to do each week. I don't have to scramble to plan a week of homeschool. All 36 weeks also have notes for all the books we are reading, so discussions and vocabulary are handy. The schedule puts just the right amount of reading for the age range (9-12).
Sonlight is Complete
All those books. Not only am I saving time with the schedules, but I save time in the scrambele to have the materials together. I don't have to worry about library holds to pick up books because they all came with the curriculm..
I don't always know the best way to tie in geography to our history. I am not consistent at adding in poetry to our literature program. With Sonlight, these peripheral subjects are tied right in to the schedule. All that a homeschool family needs to add is math and science. The schedule pages even have spots to add in those subjects!
The Sonlight History/Bible/Literature D would be great for someone who really wants a scripted schedule to get through a year. With all the main subjects and materials, it is safe to say Sonlight has what is needed.
Kids Love Literature-Based Learning
The best part of Sonlight HBL is the rich variety of books for my daughter to enjoy. She loves to learn by reading "living books," and the books in Sonlight HBL certainly meet that description. Sometimes the hardest part of our morning is stopping our read-alouds so we can do the other work we must do. It's safe to say that reading together is her favorite part of her day: whether it's the history book or the living book. to be honest, with Sonlight, the lines blur between those two. Isn't that how learning should feel?
Watch the Video Review
Below is the video review showing the unboxing, and various benefits I've found from Sonlight's HBL D even using it for just a short time!
Get the HBL D from Sonlight!
As I mentioned, I truly love that Sonlight choses such high quality literature for their curricula. If you want to try it for yourself, make sure you visit the Sonlight site to see samples, book lists, and more!
Want the HBL D curriculum and books for free? Enter to win a free set of the complete Sonlight HBL D American Literature part 1! Make sure you enter before August 31, 2022. Please indicate that Line upon Line Learning sent you!
If the giveaway form does not appear, go directly to the giveaway page to enter!
Get 15% Off at Sonlight
Sonlight always gives 15% off to those who buy the curriculum set from them. It adds up to a few of the books in the set for free. Check out the HBL D set for yourself at the Sonlight site.
Not sure what you want to do yet? Contact Sonlight for personalized guidance with a homeschool advisor.