Last year I ordered the five day Sonlight program for both Core B and Core D. Mostly because, I will admit, I was afraid of missing anything. Last year's Sonlight's catalog, while it made it clear that the four day was an option, definitely seemed to favor the five day option: for even more great books!! The five day option was the "regular" option and the four day was the "abbreviated" option, or at least that's how I read it.
This year, I just assumed I would do the same-order the five day. But the other day I watched a video about the changes to Sonlight this year. It seems that they are changing the Instructor Guides so that the four day option is the "regular" option and the five day program is just the four day program with a stand-alone fifth day. I requested a free sample of one of the Instructor's Guides to try to figure out if this was the case.
I was only able to look at a sample for Core C because the Core E sample isn't up yet....but the four day is definitely looking more attractive now. In the sample I saw, the read-alouds and history readings are no longer spread over five days as in our current Instructor Guides. Instead, they are spread over four days, and on the fifth day there are extra readings from other books.
My Core C sample would have us reading The Usborne Book of World History on days 1-4, but on day 5 we would read two pages from Medicine News. Our read-aloud for the same week is Red Sails to Capri for days 1-4, but on the fifth day we would read chapter 1 of Sir Lancelot the Great. We wouldn't read either Medicine News or Sir Lancelot again until the following week on the fifth day.
This strikes me as a little odd. The five day science program is already set up this way- the fifth day is entirely unrelated to the rest of the week- and we generally end up skipping those books or just using them for free reading.
So- we will be doing the four day program for next year. I am excited about this because I feel like we will have a little more wiggle room in our schedule. I like to reserve Fridays for art, Spanish, and nature study, and it will be easier to fit those in with the four day program. I also like the idea of having Fridays be catch-up days, for whatever we didn't get to during the week. Maybe we would even finish a Core in a year.
Four day it is!!