Torchlight curriculum is a secular literature based homeschool curriculum. I love literature based curricula. Tie that in with thematic learning and I am all a-flutter.
This is my unpaid, unsolicited review of this homeschool curriculum. I know that everyone wants a faith based curriculum, which are the predominant style of homeschool curriculum. (This is due to being led by the faith based community for many years). Finding a secular or a non-faith based curriculum was fantastic.
The key focus of Torchlight is “Emotional Intelligence Education. Fostering Inquiry. Engaging a love of learning.” These words were enough to draw me in to fully and deeply look at this curriculum. To pull from their website, these are the subjects and focus of each level:
- Pre-K: Curiosity & Character ages 4-5: Literature, Poetry, Pre-Literacy, Emotional Intelligence, Math, Science, Art & Inquiry (Note: Pre-K Curriculum is written for 32 weeks)
- Worldly Wisdom (Level K) ages 5-7: Includes a science component recommended for ages 4-7, Literature, Poetry, Character Building, Science, Social Studies, Art, and Cultural Studies & Cooking
- Myth & Magic (Level 1) ages 6-8: Literature, Pantomime Poetry, Vocabulary, History, Mythology, Science, Art & Music
- Logic & Legend (Level 2) ages 7-9: Literature, Pantomime Poetry, Vocabulary, History, Mythology, Science, Art & Music
- Innovation & Inquiry (Level 3) ages 8-12: Literature, Poetry, Vocabulary, History, Science, Intro. to Writing, Arts & Innovation
- Ideas & Identity (Level 4) ages 9-13: Literature, Poetry, Vocabulary, History, Science, Arts, Writing, Philosophy & Game Logic
SECULAR HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM
Also from their website: Torchlight is an eclectic curriculum that includes hands-on learning, game-schooling, car-schooling, media, and bedtime story recommendations into our curriculum to spread out the learning and make it more of a lifestyle.
Torchlight takes a distinctively secular approach with Humanist underpinnings. They support kindness, exploration, questioning, and scientific thinking. Torchlight provides flexibility, allowing you to mold the learning experience to the learner. A list of alternate and extra materials is given which facilitate expansion of a topic without the added pressure to “get it all in”.
For some, they might be worried about “humanist underpinnings”. I think that this term can get a bad wrap. But when you look into the key points of exploration, questioning and scientific thinking, that is a not a bad thing! And kindness?? That is something we say is our superpower at home. I love that a curriculum has a focus on kindness.
PROS OF TORCHLIGHT CURRICULUM
- Literature Based
- Covers Literature, Poetry, Vocabulary, History, Science, Arts & Innovation
- Follows the Socratic Method of education
- Flexible – allows you to mold learning to the learner and their learning style
- Provides extension activities for those who want to go deeper
- List of alternate/replacement books for easy tailoring of the program to suit each family’s needs
- Inexpensive in that you purchase the curriculum and can draw on your library for the literary resources. You do not have to purchase the books.
CONS OF TORCHLIGHT CURRICULUM
- Only up to level 4. Does not include highschool (or middle school depending on your child)
- It is not complete in that you will have to add your own math curriculum but that really is not a big deal.
- Some families say that there are inconsistencies on how much reading you have to do each week. Some weeks are reading intense. Others are lighter.
- For some, it takes longer to work through than originally designed. This can depend on your child and how many “rabbit holes” they might like to take.
- You are not purchasing all the books (about 100 of them for the year) therefore you will have to borrow them or purchase them on your own and this will take extra time.
Is this a curriculum that I would use? Absolutely! I am a “picker and chooser” and don’t just go for one complete curriculum package. But there is so much about this that I love and I will certainly be using parts of it for my girls. I encourage you to check it out for yourself to see if it might be a good fit for you.
Check out my other homeschool review: Abeka