What About Tests and College? ( . . . and More) Sonlight FAQ Part 2

My last Sonlight FAQ post has been a huge hit with my readers, so I figured it was time to do a Part 2. This time around I’ll be answering questions about testing, college readiness, and a really big one lately . . . what if you aren’t starting from the beginning with Sonlight?

Sonlight FAQ Part 2 ThouShallNotWhine.com

Sonlight doesn’t include testing for their curriculum?


More important than the ability to take a test is the ability to find information, solve problems, and actually learn how to learn. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, and because we are with our children every day, we can readily see if they are mastering the material. No test is required when we are having daily conversations about what we’re learning.

We are doing so much more than teaching our children the difference between a subject and a predicate or how to divide fractions. We are preparing them for adulthood. We are teaching them life skills like researching, being able to comprehend and narrate what they’ve read, making contrast and comparison with things far beyond a book report.

By giving our children a living education, we eliminate the need for tests. In lieu of testing, we are nurturing a love of learning, forming lifelong emotional ties to literary characters, and bonding through meaningful conversations.

One of the many benefits of Sonlight is that you can move at your child’s pace. If they need more time than is scheduled to get through a book, that’s okay. If your high schooler needs some extra practice with their writing, fine!

Sonlight is designed to be flexible in that you can take as much time as you (or your child) needs to fully understand the material.

What about college?

So here’s the thing about college, the only college requirements you need to worry about are those of the university your child wants to attend.

Let’s take my older kids for example.

My oldest, Oscar, just finished his first year at a state college. He met the general requirements of 4 years of math, 4 years of English, 3 years of science, and x number of electives in high school (yes, he graduated from our homeschool.) That works for him.

Now, my freshman, Julia, has much higher aspirations. This girl wants to attend MIT, UC Berkeley, or some other Ivy League school. Her bar is set a bit higher. She has to have math through AP Calculus done. Advanced Physics, computer programing, and tons of volunteer work is on her agenda.

She aims to land her dream job of designing anti-cyber terrorism software OR something to do with writing code for robots. (I have no idea where these ideas came from – just sayin, but the girl’s got moxy!)

My point here is that you can adequately design your student’s transcript using Sonlight. In fact, I’ve heard from many Sonlight moms that after completing the upper grades, their children took the CLEP exam for that course and aced it! That’s actually my plan with Julia for American History this year. We’re trying to CLEP as much as we can these next three years!

Can I jump in anytime with Sonlight?

Yes! Sonlight is designed to be used with a range of ages. Look below to see what I mean.

Sonlight FAQ ThouShallNotWhine.com

Their different levels make it easy to jump in any time. That’s what we did! Julia started Sonlight for the first time ever with Level 100.

My first graders are finishing up Level B and will start Level C in the Fall. They never did anything below Level B, and that’s okay.

Do you see how they have combined levels for first-time Sonlighters? Those are exactly for families who are coming to know Sonlight later in the game.

If you’re concerned with where your child is with reading or language arts, Sonlight has placement tests for that.

What about math and science?

Most of the levels have corresponding science packages, so that’s easy enough. The math is picked on an individual basis. There are placement tests for Saxon, Math-U-See, Singapore, and Horizons Math available on the website.

I hope this encourages you and makes your decision to step into Sonlight an easier one!

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