I used Torchlight level K with my daughter this year for her kindergarten curriculum. We started in about October, because we finished the Pre-K level first, when she was about 5.5 years old. We used Logic of English for a coherent phonics/writing program and Singapore standards edition for math.
The book selections in Torchlight are fantastic! We really enjoyed the global perspective. Gluggaveður from What a Wonderful Word has become a word we use in our family frequently in the colder months! My daughter loves to dance, so she enjoyed the frequent videos about the different dance traditions in various countries. She also liked to watch the videos about kids traveling around different countries. We read all of the scheduled books plus many of the extensions because she was disappointed if we didn’t have a whole bunch of books to read each morning.
InitialIy, I only had to buy a couple of the spines and the weekly books. I relied heavily on my library for the books and even juggled the spines between different library cards, so that I could keep them checked out the entire year. I spaced out the hold requests at the library for the entire year, so that the books would be available for me the week that we needed them.
That was a great plan, until COVID shuttered the libraries.
I rushed to move up as many requests as I could before the libraries closed. That gave me about two-and-a-half weeks of books we needed. I also had all of the spines checked. Then I hit the used book sites to order at least the main books for each week. I also discovered that Hoopla was available through my library and had many of the books either in ebook format, audio book, or video. I had avoided electronic versions of books until the need arose, but now that opened up another possibility for me.
I was able to resell all of the books I bought at roughly the same price that I bought them from. The Torchight buy/sell group on Facebook is very active. It is quick and easy to sell the books there, and also to find deals on some of the books for which demand has driven up the price on Amazon to beyond reasonable prices.
There were a few things in the curriculum that I decided to let go. The Cultured Chef recipes did not happen in our house much of the time. The book is beautifully done and has much more than recipes, so we did read it. But I am the only one in my house who is an adventurous eater. I made some of the recipes and had my kids try a tiny bit, and then that became my lunch for the week. When the COVID shut-downs started, just going to the grocery store for our normal meals stressed me out, so I was not going to try to shop for extra ingredients for something only I would eat.
Another thing that only happened sporadically was the art projects. That is entirely on me! I have little patience for the mess and process of art. Some projects I didn’t even tell my daughter about because they were too involved or we didn’t have the supplies. Others, she looked at and then forgot that she wanted to do them. But we got around to about 1-2 of them a month. My daughter constantly makes art projects anyway, so I am not concerned about interfering in her creative process.
We also did not use the student book to its fullest extent. My daughter did the country page at the conclusion of each week. She also did a few of the animal spotlights. We did not do any of the other articles however. They would be great for an older student who can write more independently.