I have, now that we’re well over half done with our first year, one major beef with Sonlight. (And really, if that’s all the problems I have with it, I guess I’m pretty fortunate!).
The way memory work is set up drives me crazy. Let’s put aside the fact that I’m very particular about Bible translations for a moment (read: I can’t stand translations such as The Living Bible, which is used quite frequently). The number one thing that makes me insane is the way they jump around from translation to translation…you know, if you’re going to go with an “easier” translation, then just stick with it. Use it for all of all of the memory assignments. Jumping from translation to translation (which is a *huge* pet peeve of mine in Bible studies for adults, as well), just smacks of trying to get the verse to say what you want it to say, instead of letting Scripture speak for itself.
I had already planned to use my ESV Bible (can’t wait for The Lutheran Study Bible to come out this fall, by the way–shameless CPH plug!) to write down our verse every week, so it’s not a huge deal to me that I can’t just copy it out of the teacher’s guide. But, I have discovered that some of the verses just don’t make sense in the context they’re given outside of The Living Bible. And this is where I see a major fault of that translation. If that is the only translation out there where a half of a verse by itself makes sense, I don’t think it’s very good (or accurate).
I get that the good people at Sonlight are probably trying to find a child-friendly way to memorize Scripture, especially in the lower cores. But, I think (actually, I know, from personal experience), that children are way smarter than we tend to give them credit for, and I also think consistency is crucial. Have all the memory verses come from the same translation, so they become familiar with one translation. I may not like the one you choose, but at least I’ll respect you for being consistent!
So, I’ve had to substitute verses a few times, which may mean we overlap a few by the end of the year, but that’s OK, right? It’s not like you can learn a Bible verse too many times…