Homeschool

UPDATED – Sonlight A vs. Bookshark K Comparison

Last year I was undecided between Sonlight and Bookshark. I had been expecting to use Sonlight Core A but then Bookshark came onto the homeschool scene. It is often described as the secular version of Sonlight. They are sister companies but it appears that describing Bookshark as a secularized Sonlight isn’t as straight forward as it implies. There are some differences outside of the religious aspect of the two programs. Last year, in order to help me decide between Sonlight and Bookshark, I did a side by side comparison of their book lists for Sonlight’s Core A and Bookshark’s History with Reading K. You can find that post here. Since then, Sonlight has made some changes to their Cores so I wanted to update the information.

First let’s compare the new Sonlight A offering to their previous 4 day and 5 day Cores. They dropped the name “Core” and renamed their base package as “History, Bible and Lit”. All of their programs are now scheduled for 5 days. It appears that their new program (at least level A) is a compromise between the old 4 and 5 day options. The package has more books than the 4 day option but less than the 5 day.

Sonlight – New Titles in History Selections
The Good News Must Go Out (religious), replaces I Heard Good News Today
Return of the White Book (religious)
Adventures in Greece
Out of Darkness

Core A Tips, which was a CD with ideas for additional activities, was dropped.

Sonlight – New Read Aloud Books
Capybobby
The Apple and the Arrow
Family Under the Bridge
Adventures with Waffles
Winnie the Pooh

Sonlight – Discontinued Read Aloud Books
The Story about Ping (was in 5 day program)
Five True Dog Stories (was in 5 day program)
Complete Adventures of Curious George (was in 5 day program)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (was in 5 day program)
Little House in the Big Woods (was in 4 and 5 day programs)
Beezus and Ramona (was in 4 and 5 day programs)
The House at Pooh Corner (was in 4 and 5 day programs)

Bookshark Changes
There was only one book change in the Bookshark Reading with History K program since my original post last year. Winnie the Pooh was moved to their Pre-K program. The House at Pooh Corner was added in its place.

Spring 2016 Bookshark K and Sonlight A Programs

Now let’s compare the new Sonlight History, Bible and Lit A program to the Bookshark Reading with History K program. The Bookshark program remains a 4 day schedule. With any program, families are free to work at their own pace.

Sonlight Bible Study Books not in Bookshark
Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
Sing the Word From A-Z (CD)

Bookshark is a secular program so the Bible section of Sonlight is not included.

 

Bookshark K History and Geography
Bookshark K History and Geography

Sonlight History Books not in Bookshark
Adventures in Ancient Greece
The Good News Must Go Out (religious)
Return of the White Book (religious)

Bookshark History Book not in Sonlight
The Story of Exploration

 

Bookshark K Read Alouds
Bookshark K Read Alouds

 

IMG_5649
More Bookshark K Read Aloud Books – note that Winnie the Pooh has been replaced by The House at Pooh Corner

Sonlight Read Aloud Books not in Bookshark
In Grandma’s Attic
Least of All
Capybobby
The Apple and the Arrow
Family Under the Bridge
Adventures with Waffles

Bookshark Read Aloud Books not in Sonlight
Little House in the Big Woods
Beezus and Ramona

This year, I added the Sonlight Read Aloud books from their 5 day program that were not included in Bookshark’s program. I plan to do the same next year when we move on to Bookshark’s Reading with History Level 1.

 

Bookshark Science K
Bookshark Science K

Sonlight Science Books not in Bookshark
Under the Sea
Caterpillars and Butterflies
Tadpoles and Frogs
Eggs and Chicks

Sonlight also discontinued their offering of the 4 day schedule for Science.  Their book list is the same as the 5 day option was last year.  Bookshark’s Science is still a 4 day program and the book list is unchanged.

It has been fairly common for people to spread out a Sonlight 5 day Core over more than a typical 9 month school year especially when using more than one Core in a family. Perhaps, this sent a message to the company that their 5 day programs were too intense to fit into a 9 month school year. The amount of material covered was actually something that caught my attention and drew me in. However, I am still a novice homeschooler with two young kids so I can’t speak to how fitting in all those books works with older kids and a bigger family. For us, doing Bookshark Reading with History K has been a great fit for our kids this year with just the right amount of reading and discussion.  We are looking forward to continuing our journey next year with Bookshark.

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4 thoughts on “UPDATED – Sonlight A vs. Bookshark K Comparison

  1. This is exactly what I needed to see, I had already ordered my bookshark K complete curriculum (and adding my own Bible curriculum as well as some hands on STEM from Timberdoodle)

    I was hoping to add the SL read aloud books in to our schedule or maybe have that his reading with daddy time, and I also knew I wanted the book on Ancient Greece (science & history are things he is very curious about, and he loves to be read to, for a SPD kid you play up what they like)

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  2. This was exactly what I was looking for!! Thanks for the update! We did p4/5, took a break from Sonlight and now wanted to come to Bookshark K (with a 5&7 year olds) but wanted to make sure that was the best choice over Sonlight A and I think it is! Thank you!!

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