This is apparently a Sonlight tradition – when the boxes of books for the next school year arrive on your doorstep, you drop everything and open the boxes and peek at all the exciting stuff you’re going to be using.
There were zillions of books to unpack and browse...
Head on over to Katie's blog for the full story and tons of fun pictures!
Its official...we're a homeschooling family. I'm super excited and super scared at the same time. Who am I, this publicly trained educator, this professor of future teachers, who plans on keeping her kid out of the public schools? What am I doing?
I started going through the books. Checking them off one-by-one made me a bit nervous about the upcoming year. Really??? We will be reading ALL these books?
Core A Books
For more pictures, insights, and observations about homeschooling, read the rest of Darci's Box Day story on her blog: STEM Mom.
We are in our 3rd year of homeschooling. Currently we have a 6 year old boy and two girls ages 4 and 1. We had been looking a Sonlight for a few years, but the price was higher than the other curriculums we were considering. Our first year we opted to piece a curriculum together. Well, after a year of that we decided that was taking too many hours of our time to plan and still cost us a small fortune in supplements.
The next year we went with a literature based curriculum, and the low price enticed us! The company insisted we could supplement with books from our library. They had a list of a few hundred books! We tried it out and found, even though we have a good interlibrary system, they generally did not have the books at all, or if they did they were checked out already.
We took another look at Sonlight and since we had many of the books already, decided to use the instructors guide and buy the books elsewhere. We gathered the books we already had and went online to look for all the books we still needed. Imagine our surprise when the total came up to more than purchasing directly from Sonlight!! After a good laugh, we ordered the Preschool 3/4 Core! Our 4 year old began rushing to the door every time someone knocked just in case it was her box!
She waited as patiently as she could for everyone to get home so she could open it!
Ready to Start
She was thrilled and wanted to start school right away! We have also found that purchasing duplicate books is so helpful. Our 4 year old is ecstatic to have her own copies of books that we already had. We hear a lot of "I've got Go Dog Go, just like you Billy!" We've also noticed our 1 and 6 year old come running when it's time to read our P3/4 books.
We surprised our 6 year old and ordered him the elementary boys summer readers! He immediately started reading, and is now looking forward to his own box day in a few months when we start him in Core B.
In just 3 days he has finished the Brixton Brothers book.
I was talking to my friend who works for Sonlight, and he told me that I needed to celebrate 'Box Day'. So here I am!
OH YES, AWESOME!!!
I had to put my binder together, it took roughly an hour. During that time I was able to skim through it. Kinda get an idea of what's in store for this upcoming school year.
Instructor's Guide & Binder
Read the rest of the story--and see more pictures--over on Tess's blog: Benson Lane
This is our first year using Sonlight (Core A) and I was so excited for box day to finally arrive. Why does the best box always arrive last? Joshua, my first, grader was helping me open the box and take everything out. He saw the box of science supplies and asked if we would start school tomorrow! He gave me a full day to get organized and we started school today. Nikolas, my kindergartner, is really excited about all the new books for mom to read. It is going to be a great year!
Here is the link to my blog for pictures!
I could not unpack fast enough....and you know it is good if the high schoolers are as excited about the 2nd grade literature as they are their own....and vice-versa!
Carol S. (Mom to 15-year-old triplets and one 6-year-old!)
The day our Sonlight home school curriculum finally arrives is a red-letter day for our family. Being that we're within hollering distance of the "ends of the earth", I've wondered if any other Sonlight users wait as long for their books to arrive. That big white box makes quite a journey....
Our boxes of curriculum finally arrive at our front door via the grocery delivery truck and its friendly driver, Willie.
Willie with Our Sonlight Box
Read the entire amazing journey this box has been on--and just how long it takes to arrive at its destination--on Missy's blog.
I was a little concerned about starting the homeschool adventure. We are missionaries in Malawi and had planned on sending our children to an International School in the capitol city, Lilongwe. However, after a year there, we found God had other plans. So I started homeschooling with not much advanced warning. I used a borrowed hodgepodge of curriculum and had a difficult time that first few months. I knew something needed to change. We explored online schooling options, but heard from so many people about the great curriculum Sonlight offers. After exploring, we took the plunge.
We waited with anticipation as we tracked the package by FedEx: from Colorado, through Kentucky, onto England, and finally arriving in Lilongwe, Malawi in only one week! Everything went so smoothly. And then...
Opening the Sonlight Box
The joy the kids had in opening the box was amazing. They wanted to start right away. I am excited to read these books with them.
The Joy of Wanting to Start School
Thank you so much for the wonderful process so far. I look forward to being able to send wonderful news of excited learning here in Nanjoka, Malawi.
Thank you, Penny
When we began praying over the decision to homeschool our youngest son (11) in November 2011, I was very unsure how to find curriculum. A few nights later, our local news aired a segment about a homeschool family in our home city (5 children – the 2 in college scored 34 on their ACT). The next morning, I called the mother. She immediately began talking to me about homeschooling and how rewarding it is.
When I asked her about curriculum, she invited me over to her house to look at her books and resources. She then began to tell me about Sonlight and how it has been one of the best complete curriculum packages they have ever used.
Sonlight has everything we were looking for. When our boxes arrived, my son and I were at a rehearsal (we love musical theatre). My husband sent us a text saying, “Aaron’s books are here!” I immediately replied, “DON’T OPEN THE BOXES!”
That was one of the most exciting evenings at our home when we returned from rehearsal. Aaron is so excited about all of the readers, science books, Bible readings, history titles, poetry, etc. I told him that he better watch out because I'm going to be smarter than a 6th grader very soon!!
So excited about all the materials
We cannot wait to get our school-year started and are very blessed to have such a wonderful resource with Sonlight. Thank you so much!
Sonlight coined the phrase "Box Day" in the homeschooling community!
I never truly understood the concept behind it until this year with my little ones.
Read the rest of the story--and enjoy more pictures--on the All of a Kind Family blog. You won't want to miss the deal they made as a result of Box Day!
We are a book loving family, but living in Southern Mexico doesn't afford us the luxury of an English library or even and English bookstore, so our first Box Day was like Christmas! The arrival of any package creates a stir and so, the knight and ladies all gathered around excitedly and I opened the box.
As the cardboard castle emptied it's contents onto our living room floor, they kept saying "What else is in there Mom?" and "Are these ALL for us?!!!"
Inspecting the New Treasures
The three of them (ages 3, 5 and 6) were so busy inspecting the new treasures, they could hardly look up for a picture! The markable map and Book of Time have created much excitement over the last few days! And though we're only three days into Core A, my girls are already begging me not to stop reading!
And yes, there is now a Sonlight cardboard castle lovingly colored pink and proudly standing guard over the forgotten toys while close by we revel in our read-aloud adventures together!
If you had asked me ten years ago if homeschooling would ever been in my future the answer would have hands down been absolutely not.
Some Books from Core A
By the time the twins were two years old my husband started vocalizing more and more his desire for our kids to be homeschooled. I thought he was crazy. The thought of being 100% responsible for the education of our children terrified me. Teach them to read? Teach them Algebra? Afterall, I do not have a teaching degree.
Read the rest of Crystal's story--and how she got the confidence to take the plunge into homeschooling--over on her blog: Crystal & Co.
Looking back, I think I felt lead to home school from the time my oldest daughter was born. Staring down at my precious baby I was already thinking about her first day of kindergarten and what it would be like sending her off to school. I just never felt comfortable with the idea. I knew it wasn't for us.
The years since that day seem to have flown by in a moment. One day she was an infant and the next day she was a 4 year old with two younger siblings and I was trying to decide how to get ready for our first official year of home schooling. I was overwhelmed with all the curriculum choices out there. I went to the book fair at a home educators conference and gathered information from many of the different booths. Staring at all the catalogues spread out on my floor made a decision seem impossible.
Then one day I remembered a catalogue my mom's cousin had given me when she learned I was interested in home schooling. It was Sonlight. As I flipped through the pages and read more about the company I started to feel like I finally found what I was looking for. I went to the Sonlight website and the more I read the more certain I felt. Then one night at my daughter's soccer practice I began talking with another mom and found out that she used Sonlight and she told me how much she loved it. That was it. Decision was made. My husband and I saved for a few months and then finally I was able to place my order.
I was so excited I could hardly wait for the boxes to arrive. When the boxes came my kids gathered around and as soon as I opened them up they started looking at all the different books inside. My daughter said, "I want to start school NOW!" and I knew we made the right decision.
"I want to start school NOW!"
Thank you Sonlight!
I remembered looking at Sonlight a long time ago and thinking it was too expensive. As I researched it some more I was hooked. I'm a bookworm and the boys absolutely love having a book read to them.
Opening the Box
For the first time in my homeschooling experience I feel like I have made some really good moves to make our homeschool experience better. I use to be so scared to pick and choose from different curriculum. I think a good bit of parents are. You have concerns about them not "meshing" well together, or making it more confusing on the children (and yourself). I want to confirm to anyone struggling in this area that it can be done. You just have to put enough trust in yourself that YOU know what is best for your children.
Having a Blast in Their Space Shuttle
Emily shares much more about her homeschool history, encouragement, as well as her Box Day (with more pictures) on her blog.
Read the rest of Emily's Box Day Story here.
It was big step for us to choose Sonlight. Coming from India where education is considered a status symbol, when God called us to homeschool we became "the weird family who is destroying their kid's future". At that time I had only two kids. I knew Sonlight was the right choice because my kids devoured books but fear of no accreditation and "what ifs" pushed me to become a "Jonah" mother. After running away from God and wasting 6 years of my kid's future with accredited homeschools (result - a stress-filled and irritated mother) this year I have decided to obey. So we went ahead and ordered Sonlight.
I checked the shipping everyday and was surprised when it took less than a week to reach us. When the boxes arrived we had "butterflies in our stomach". The first thing we did was put the two boxes in the centre, sat around them, held hands and prayed. Then the kids opened the boxes - taking out the books, I could see the joy in their eyes for which I thanked God and Sonlight many times.
My third kid (I have four kids now) loved the packaging paper that came with it. No, he did not use it to draw ... He pulled the paper out and played with it like confetti. I had no idea paper could bring so much happiness and joy in a 5 year old! (later my 1 year also joined in) Today is day 3 and he still plays with the boxes and paper. We have not had a chance to cut it out into a castle.
The best part of box day is when he came and told me that he is ready to do school.
I am still scared but learning to trust my Lord whom I believe will be faithful to lead me through.
Bless you Sonlight for bringing such joy and peace to my home.
Box Day is a big deal.
It's like Christmas in July... or, May.
Of course the books look so good that you have to stop and look through each one. My daughter was fascinated with a number of them and spent the next hour reading or looking at pictures.
Read the rest of the Box Day story here...
Want even more? My Heart Song has posted several times about her family's love of Sonlight on her blog.
Seeing the FedEx man come to the door with two boxes of goodies was so exciting!
Emma with the packing paper
... Of course they both wanted to play with the books immediately. Emma, because she was excited to see new books to look at; Jack, because he likes to do every.single.thing. his big sister does :-)
Read the rest of Heather's Box Day story (and see more pictures) on her blog.
We live in South Africa. Since my husband introduced me to homeschooling, I have researched homeschooling and curriculums for the past two years.
Examining New Books
My hubby is very open minded and sees everything in a positive and completely different way from me. I am more the "reports, exams, strict schedule" kind of gal. Well, at least I was!
I have been so stressed. I've run my poor family up the walls not knowing which direction to go with schooling. My kids are 7 and 4 years old and I'm still "old school" when it comes to strict schedules and exams.
Totally Excited for Homeschooling
Exhausted, I told my husband one night after more research and still having reached NO decision, "I feel like I have to go according to the book."
Hubby turned around and said, "Love, to whose book are you working towards?" I was blown out of the water by that small sentence!
Luckily, I had joined a homeschool group with moms who used Sonlight, so I obviously asked thousands of questions! What kind of scared me about Sonlight was the price. But strangely enough, you pay R1500 more for government schools. Plus, you only get three gray books and one reading book which the child has to draw his own pictures and write his own story! With Sonlight, we chose the Core B package and we paid R1500 LESS and look at ALL the books you get!!! Not to mention the instructors guides and the online tutor help.
Showing Off the Instructor's Guides Binder
Our box day arrived on the 18th of April 2012! That was truly one of the best days ever and it was like a mountain was taken off my shoulders!
I am still waiting for two back order items, so I have given my two kiddies a taste of what is coming and packed the books away until official school starts when we receive the other items!
A Taste of What's to Come
That night when the box arrived, my two kiddies were asleep. Hubby and I could not help ourselves!!!! We sneaked the boxes in, opened them quietly and quickly browsed through the books!!! Are we cruel parents or what?!?
Hubby Opening a Box
I just wanted to thank my loving husband first, for believing that I can home school and for pushing me in this direction. Secondly, I want to thank Sonlight for being the best curriculum so far for me!
Don't forget Mommy!!
Granny and Great granny and grandpa were also included! They are all so happy we found the right curriculum for Arjay and Saskia!
Granny Inspecting the Science Kit
- The B. Family
"WOW! Can this be mine?"
"I'm going to read ALL these books!" (Fun Tales)
"Can we do this right now?"
"Oh, I have my OWN timeline book like (my brother's) now????"
"Mommy, Can I read this one NOW? (pause) I CAN????" (our 1st grader with a huge smile, running to the couch)
(from my 5 year old, wide-eyed at all the books for his Kindergarten year, in a whispered voice to no one in particular): "This is going to be SO fun!"
"Can we watch 'the purple one DVD' (Discover & Do DVD for Science D) now? OH! This one doesn't have 'the scientist guy' (Justin) on it! It has a scientist MOMMY!"
"Wow! Look at my Math book! It has a K on it for KINDERGARTEN!"
"Mommy, where's MY Math book! I want one with a shark, too!" (repeated by my 3 year old at least 15 times until I searched my shelves and boxes for an outdated book he could call his very own, which he proceeded to write in for an hour AND A HALF, stopping often to show me his "school work.")
"I want to read this one....and this one...and this one..." (Me)
"I could have used this in college." (Me, in reference to interpretative notes in a Core D poetry book!) :)
I just asked my husband, "Hmmm, what did you say yesterday that I can include in our quotes?" He laughed and said, "It was a thought....'Just let me read through this history book already!'" (directed at ME because I interrupted him no less than 18 times to show him MY favorite books while he was planted in the floor studying our son's new Landmark book)
I loved hearing my husband go through the books, stopping to say, "Hey, listen to this!....." (as he read about New Amsterdam and Broadway and Wall Street, among other things)
While I checked the invoice and organized, my guys read the entire Curious George book, listening along with the CDs. (What a great book with notes about the Reys that make us want to head for the library to find his children's book about the stars!)
Thank you for such great selections once again! We are thrilled with our purchases and are so excited about diving into a new year with our guys!
The boys and their favorite picks with "Angry Bird faces" :)
-The C. Family
My daughter and I were eagerly awaiting our first box day. We're starting our first year of homeschool soon and we compulsively checked the Fedex tracking at least four times a day. Finally, the day came and Deanna (7) helped toss the paper out of the box - until she saw a book that interested her. She grabbed "Archaeologists Dig For Clues", sat on the couch and only moved to get more books. She read all of "Archaeologists," all of "Why Do People Eat?", all of "What Makes You Ill?" and most of her readers before we distracted her with dinner. She refused to take any of the pictures I'd planned ("Mom! I'm reading!") or make the castle ("Not now, Daddy. I'm reading!"). All she wanted to do was read, read, read!
Deanna reading on the couch.
So instead of a picture of Deanna surronded by books on the floor, we took one of me.
I'm so thankful for Sonlight and all of the amazing books. We can't wait to start reading them (again, in Deanna's case!)
PS. She did get excited about building the castle two days later - after I'd put all the books away!
Our Sonlight books arrived today!!
My daughter was very impressed that the box had a castle printed on the inside!
See more pictures and read the rest of the story from Brooke's Box Day on her blog.
The kids love Box Day, almost as much as mom does!
We're not even a third of the way through P4/5, but we needed the next set of readers and language arts books, so I decided to go ahead and order the next core so that I could get a core membership. It would give me plenty of time to pre-read the books and plan out what activities I'd like to do. So we had a *very* early box day, in which the girls got to open the box and look at all the wonderful books, and then had them packed away. They didn't mind. They loved getting to see what was in store for next year, and the books will be new and exciting again when we unpack them in nine months or so.
The girls eagerly watch as I open the box. Jenny (the toddler) is so excited that she's just a blur!
Emily looks at her new books with delight--and there are still more in the box!
Emily (the older) can't read yet, but she loves looking at the pictures in chapter books and trying to guess the story from them. Jenny is pulling out books by the dozen and exclaiming over each one.
Emily spends a few quiet moments "reading."
"Look at this one!'
"I looked through the peephole and saw the truck in the driveway and almost ripped the door off the hinges."
It doesn't get much more enthusiastic than that <smile>.
We were having the usual box day excitement...children anticipating the moment that the tape peels from the top of the Sonlight box.
Our books were layering the floor.
Sisters were oohing and ahhing over new text books and readers.
A big sister was giving insight to her younger sister from one of her past workbooks.
My toddler decided to sneak in on the scene.
Notice the pink pants lurking in the background-that would be her!
Meanwhile, the older siblings and I were having a grand time snapping pictures.
She was lurking quietly. Until we heard a crash...
Followed by an "Uh-Oh!!"
And then, just as quiet and simple as one could be, she sat and picked up the mess she had created.
Oh! And then I remembered-this is what it's like to homeschool with a toddler around! We continued on, as usual, cleaning up messes, and snapping pictures :-)
Today just became our "Box Day." My kids rushed to the front door as the truck pulled away, and we crowded around our box to pore over the contents inside. It was almost like Christmas morning. After the excitement died down and my kids went in different directions to look at their new materials, I sat in a moment of reflection. I am sure you've read many "stories" from other customers, but I really wanted to share ours with you.
Two years ago, my 4 children and I found ourselves in a brand new life. One that we didn't want and had no control over. I became a single mother, and my children faced the reality of being "divorced kids." I know we are not the only family to experience this, and unfortunately we won't be the last. But it was really hard for us, nonetheless. I leaned on the Lord for strength every day and truly learned what it means to "give it all to Him."
I will spare you the details of our journey, but I want to share how we became homeschoolers. Specifically, Sonlighters. :)
I had attempted to homeschool 3 years ago, when my oldest was in 2nd grade and I was expecting my 4th child. I pieced together my own curriculum, and it was pretty rough. She was bored, I was worried I was missing something. I pored over your catalog and dreamed of what it would be like to use your materials, but we just didn't have the money to buy a curriculum. When my 4th child was born, I was overwhelmed and ended up putting my daughter back in public school. I was heartbroken. I felt like I was supposed to be homeschooling, but it felt like more than I could handle.
When I came out of my fog after my husband and I separated, my prayer every day was (and still is) that my kids could have the best childhood in spite of our circumstances. I didn't want to be overwhelmed and stressed, losing my patience all the time. I didn't want to miss out on their childhood because I was struggling just to get through every day. I believe the Lord provides us with strength beyond our understanding, and I prayed for that strength. And His favor and blessings upon myself and the kids.
About a year and a half ago, I felt Him encouraging me to homeschool again. I felt it strongly. But I was scared. How would I homeschool 4 children as a single mother?? How would I afford it? How would I not lose my mind trying to put together a curriculum every year?? One day, I was flipping through one of your catalogs. Even though I was not homeschooling, I still looked through your catalogs and dreamed about how amazing it would be to teach my kids with your materials. :) It might sound funny, but it's true. I just knew it was perfect for our family, but it seemed impossible. As it is, we live with my parents and live simply so that I am still able to stay home with my children. My youngest is only 2 years old. I'm willing to make financial sacrifices to stay home with them, but this means that our budget it tight. So I laid out a fleece...
"Lord," I prayed, "I feel you asking me to homeschool. I want to be obedient. Please be patient with me and my fears. And Lord...if this is really what you want me to do, I pray that you would provide Sonlight materials for the kids and I to use. I pray that it is obviously from you."
Not long after, I was standing in line at an event at church. My best friend and I were chatting about homeschooling. The woman behind us in line interrupted and told us she was new to the church and that she homeschools her 4 children. She had been wanting to meet other homeschooling families at our church. She asked me what curriculum I was using, and I told her I didn't have one. I still wasn't sure what I was going to use. She told me that she had children older than my own, and I was welcome to use her materials for my own children, since they were just sitting on the shelf in her basement. What curriculum did she use?? Sonlight. I was speechless at how the Lord provided.
That was last year. Your materials are everything I had hoped they would be. And since we became homeschoolers, and I have my children home with me instead of away at school (two would be in school full-time), we have been able to move past the pain of the divorce.
We've grown closer as a family, and my children are "absorbing" the Holy Spirit in ways they couldn't do if they spent every day at school.
They are happy and at peace, even if they are growing up in unfortunate circumstances.
This year, since I was able to plan ahead, I ordered everything that was not loaned to me. I wish I could own each Core for our own use, but I'm beyond grateful that we get to experience Sonlight every year, even if some of the books have to go back in June. :) I ordered workbooks and consumable materials this year, along with things like Ruth Beechick's "The Three R's" and all of our elective materials. I can't wait to open up the schedules and put them in our shiny new binder. :) My kids are super excited to start school. :)
Thank you for your company, and the curriculum. Thank you for what Sonlight does for families. Thank you for bringing so many homes the excitement of "Box Day."
And from this simple single mother...thank you for your impact on my babies' childhoods. They love school, and the time we spend together. They are happy, content children. And part of that is due to Sonlight.
Thank you more than you know.
I have really enjoy the advent of the internet. It has really added to the anticipation of receiving my box. I eagerly watched my boxes progress accross the globe and was so surprised at the speed and efficency of Sonlight.
Last friday (5 Aug) I placed my order online in Australia just after lunch and my box arrived here on Tuesday morning (9 Aug)!
"Mommy can I open it NOW?"
Read the rest of Sir N's Box Day story on Chareen's blog.
We're beginning our 13th year of homeschooling, the 9th (I think) with Sonlight. I was out of town on Box Day, so guess what? Mom was left out of the excitement. I got a call saying, "Our Sonlight box is here! Can we open it?????" Being the unselfish mom that I am, I said yes. And because I wasn't there, that's the end of my story--and there are no pictures. :-(
P.S. When I got home, all the books were sorted and arranged for me to check them against the invoice, and the girls were telling me all about the ones they could hardly wait to read and asking when they we could start school. My oldest student (the oldest child is heading for college in a month) has already started into her high school program, Core 300, as she can't wait until August! She was sad that her IG didn't arrive with the books in May as she wanted to start on Box Day! Thank you Sonlight!
After spending a year and a half struggling to "make it work" with my oldest boy, soon to be 9, I admit to almost giving up. We are members to a very supportive group of local homeschoolers who, thankfully, did all they could to support and encourage us both during the last days of our rough period. I had ordered a Sonlight catalogue very early in our endeavour, but due to my stubbornness I felt that I could do it just as well all on my own. Oh, how wrong I was!!
I finally caved in, and in March, when the new catalogue and website was launched, I spent hours going over what I wanted to order for this coming September. I ordered and expected to wait until August to receive the goodies. Oh, how wrong I was-yet again!!
We had our very first box day - three times!! And only three weeks later!!
I ordered two core programs, I also have a 4 yr old boy, and all the items came in three boxes on three different days! On the last day I re-gathered all the boxes and looked over them all at once and was pleased with the selection. But, when I opened the packages for the IGs that is when it hit me, that is when I realized how special this program is, that is when the tears came, that is when the tears couldn't stop. All the frustrations that I had been going through to make it work came gushing forth and finally left me for good!
We did not wait until September. I took a few days to organize the IGs and all the books. We started in mid April. We have a slower scehdule than the five- or four- day schedule but it is getting done even if it is summertime!
I wanted to thank you so very much for helping my son love learning again. I never knew how much he would love history, but thanks to your World History program, he is teaching me things that I never knew!
What does the shuttle launch have to do with Box Day? Read Kenan's Box Day Story to find out!
Excerpt: The girls were really excited.
Just look at their faces!
Read the whole story on Kenan's blog.
We have three kids and every year we've prayerfully considered how to educate them. So far the right answer has been a wonderful private Christian school. Before the most recent school year was over, we knew that next year will be different. Our oldest will continue at the school in grade 8, but our grade 5 daughter and grade 3 son are going to be schooled at home. We know lots of homeschooling families so we already had a lot of ideas on what we would like to do and what we wouldn't like to do! The family I admire above all others has used Sonlight for all five of their kids. I researched it and everything else on the market anyway. :-)
We bought Sonlight (Core D).
We know that we know that we know that we've made the right decision to homeschool these two.
We know that some days next winter we'll need to remind ourselves of this.
We know that not everyone will think this is a great idea.
This week has been one of those weeks...
One day people we love and respect told us that maybe it's not such a great idea.
I had to tell my employer that I won't be able to carry on with my position. (I teach adults with low literacy skills.)
At the end of this heart-wearying day our Sonlight cirriculum arrived!
So. much. fun. Opening the boxes was a high equal to the lows! The whole family was immediately engrossed in wonderful books. I admit I sat in the middle of the mess and laughed and cried. And then stayed up late reading the IG (as a teacher, I'm thrilled with the brilliant organization)!
Sorry that I don't have any cool pictures. My nose was stuck in a book. :-)
Looking forward to being part of the Sonlight family...
We had our first ever box day this year. My little girl (Mikayla) is only 2 1/2 but she loves books so I thought I would get a head start and order Core P3/4 for her.
Mikayla and Her New Books
She has such fun unpacking all the books and just wanted to look at all of them!
Enjoying the Beauty of Stories
The first book that truly got my son's attention was "The Usborne Time Traveler". So much so that he could not get himself to sit down, instead THIS is how he read it for the next 10 minutes.....
Read the rest of Elinette's Box Day story on her blog.
I have been tossing around the idea of homeschooling my daughter since the day I found out I was pregnant with her. I finally made the decision that starting in Kindergarten I would be a homeschool mom! I researched for months looking for the right curriculum and I found that I loved how Sonlight had packages with instructors guides and tons of really cool books. This will be my first year homeschooling, so I really felt that I needed a curriculum that not only taught my daughter but also helped teach me how to homeschool.
Curriculum that Teaches Me How to Homeschool
My daughter is an extremely curious little girl so when I opened the boxes up she was right there with me going through each book. She meticulously placed each book in a pile according to size and told me which ones she was going to read first!
Looking Through the Books
She is so interested in animals that we immediately had to look through the Frogs and Tadpoles book. After being able to go through the boxes and get everything organized, I sat down with the instructors guide and read through it. It was so wonderfully laid out and I love that I have everything I need to get her started and loving school!
Ready to Start School
We are taking some vacations and "school" won't be starting until September but my daughter is asking everyday if it's time for school yet. I am taking the summer to read all of her books and even I am excited with the wide range of literature that is covered. I do not remember learning any of this when I was in Kindergarten so I am excited for my daughter. I finally feel like I CAN do this and it will be a wonderful journey with the help of Sonlight!
Since we have to watch the exchange rate with the dollar quite closely, we decided to jump in and get next year's K curriculum in advance since the rate was quite good for us in May! And this year we got TWO boxes!! Oh the excitement. The boxes came while we were on our way to choir practice and I almost turned the car around when my Mom called to say the boxes had arrived. I just told Isabel there was a surprise waiting at home when we were on our way back.
The sight on her face was too precious. Quickly the first box was opened and slowly she started unpacking the most amazing story books! And then came the science and biology books (which she adores!). I had a quick peek into the science boxes but thought we'd wait until next year to show her the things we are going use for our experiments. Need to leave a few surprises!
Only after I had a chance to show everyone all the amazing books and materials, was the latter carefully put away in one of the boxes to be stored safely (I hope!). The books have been placed in a special spot on a bookshelf. I actually started reading A Hundred Dresses yesterday and was sorry to be interrupted because I haven't finished it yet! Today, lunch time, I'm going to do it!
Thank you Sonlight for making schooling an absolute pleasure! I'm a little bit daunted by the size of the parent's guide, but I know not to worry!
The G. Family
(Jhb, South Africa)
PS: Three weeks later they're STILL playing with the castle box!
We had so much fun going through all the books and materials on box day. I told my girls we could open the box as soon as they were ready for bed. That was a great motivation. Once we opened the box they just wanted to stay up and look through every book!
Opening the Box
This is the first year I will be homeshooling my three little girls. I did a lot of research looking for the optimal curriculm and found Sonlight was the curriculm of choice (Core B+C). Ordering and receiving the materails now will give me all summer to get acquated with the material. I can't wait until September to start learning with my girls. Thank you Sonlight!
Looking Through the New Books
I just had to write--today was Box Day at our house! We just received our curriculum for next year for our two children--7-yr old Benjamin and 6-yr old Hannah. It took all the discipline we had (me included!!) to finish up our chores before opening the boxes to explore all our new books!! Now that the boxes are opened, packing list checked, and books spread out to be explored, my house is QUIET!! Both kids have found a book and a comfy place and they are engrossed in new adventures!! If we weren't having company tonight, I would be joining them myself!
Thank you for providing such quality resources for us to use to educate our children. What a blessing it is to homeschool with Sonlight!
Thank you also for the care that is taken in packing our orders. This upcoming year will be our fourth year to use Sonlight, and never has anything been missing from my orders, and it is all packed so well and arrives in PERFECT condition. I appreciate that so much!!
Many blessings to all of you at Sonlight,
Mark & Karen M.
Our homeschooling journey has taken a few twists and turns, but it was with the arrival of our big boxes that the reality of what we were going to do set in. Since our children were little, my husband and I have wanted to help them experience the world. It saddened me to think of them going to school and being away from me. But I had always thought that was the way things go. Children grow (as much as they can be considered grown at 5 years old) and go off to school. There they will spend many hours learning and then I would get them for a few hours at night before starting the bedtime routine. I didn't like the idea of seeing them for only a few hours a day that would also be taken up with homework. After much thought, we come to decision to homeschool. It seemed a natural fit: I loved being home with them and we were already schooling them at home. So why not just call a spade a spade and homeschool them?
And that is what we did. Ever since they were babies we taught them. We took hikes, played counting games, sang the alphabet song, and traveled. They were learning so much and we had not even cracked open a textbook; not that preschoolers need textbooks to learn. But as the "official" school year approached, more and more people asked us where my daughter would be going. I began to doubt my ability to teach her. Voices of other people crept in saying that "school was what was done," and, "how would she be socialized," and, "didn't I want to send her to school so I could have a break?" I knew in my heart that I could homeschool her and she would do wonderfully, but I still doubted. We looked into schools and my daughter started to ask to go to school. She was 5 at the time and we found a wonderful private school for her to go to.
Her first day of school is one I will always remember. She was so excited with her new backpack, which was almost as big as she was. I looked around and thought "OK not homeschooling but it's not so bad." And for a few months it was great. But then the reality set in. So much time was devoted to repetition and busy work. My daughter was already asking for more things to do but the teacher needed to make sure that the whole class was ready to move on before starting new subjects. My daughter loves science, but the class didn't cover that. I found we were still homeschooling to make up for the things she was missing out on.
After much thought again, we decided that after the school year ended we would homeschool. The situation was not so dire that we felt we had to pull her out, but we knew that we wanted her home. It meant a lot to make that decision, but then the work began. I started to research curriculum and Sonlight was one of the first ones I saw. I loved all the books. I had worked at a bookstore while pregnant with my daughter and my love of reading and being surrounded by all the books since her beginning has made my daughter a lover of books. We read every night and love to drag blankets outside to read under our big tree.
But even when I decided this was the curriculum for us, it still took me a while to order. The day my package arrived was very exciting. We came home from dinner at my parent's to find two big boxes. My two kids knew what it was right away and begged to open them. Even if they had been able to wait till morning I don't think I would have. It was so amazing to pull out all these books and realize that I would be the one guiding my children through them. Some of my old favorites were there along with some that I am sure will become new favorites. My son and daughter were so excited for the science kits. My son wanted to start "science school" the next day.
But as we unpacked the boxes it seemed like something was missing. I realized that the Instructor's Guide was not in the boxes. The next day I called and the matter was sorted out. I was told that I would receive it in a few days. Looking back this was such a blessing. I was drawn to the Sonlight curriculum for its wonderful schedules and guides to help the parents. If I had gotten my Instructor's Guide the first night I would have sat up looking over the weeks and months to come trying to figure out our schedule. But as it was, all I had in the beginning were the books. I was able to really look at the books as books, not as how they fit into the schedule. I could see the course of our year and all the places we would go together.
Now our box day is done, but with the books on the shelf we will have "shelf day" every morning. I feel so blessed to have found this wonderful program. It has given me confidence that I will be able to teach my children. But more importantly, it has shown me that the education I will give them will be enriching to them as people.
mom to Autumn (6) and Dash (4)
I'm just going to come out and say it:
I have purchased some homeschool curriculum.
Yesterday our box arrived.
Book after book was pulled out and exclaimed over.
Read the full story about Erin's decision to try homeschooling... denim outfit and all!
We came to homeschooling late -- pulling my triplets out of public school in mid-6th grade. Selecting curriculum for their first full year of homeschooling was scary and though I spent a large amount of time in the Sonlight booth at our local convention, I had no idea where to plug my kids into the curriculum.
But the idea of Sonlight made so much sense to me -- and made ME excited about school. So the following year, I decided to "dip a toe in the water" and have my now-8th graders use the Eastern Hemisphere curriculum for their Social Studies component. From day one, my students were invested in the people groups they were learning about; able (and eager) to discuss their studies and the books they were reading.
So, this year as I prepare for the trio to begin 9th grade and our littlest to begin 1rst....I didn't even wait for the convention. I called Sonlight and ordered the Multi-subject First Grade curriculum for my little one....and the Core 100 for my older kids -- adding the Biology component.
When the boxes arrived this weekend, we could not open them fast enough! My 14-year-olds were drooling over the first grader's curriculum -- wishing they had started school with so many amazing books! My husband was taking apart the dissection kits and getting the boys very excited about Biology. As my 14-year-old daughter finally just sat down in the middle of all the books and boxes with a stack of books in her lap to read, my 5-year-old looked at me and said, "Do I get to start first grade TOMORROW?!!!!"
Can't Wait to Start School
When I finally needed to get the books organized and put on the shelves, Dad took the boxes and made the castle printed on the inside. Four days later, my Cate is still asking if she can go play in her castle periodically throughout the day!!
Sonlight Box Castle
Thanks, Sonlight! We are eager for our school year to begin!!
On Saturday before Easter we were eating our normal traditional cinnamon rolls when truck pulled into our driveway. The driver proceeded to unload THREE BIG boxes all marked Sonlight Curriculum!
I was on the phone with my Mother-In-Law and got so excited. "It's here! It's here!!"
I got off the phone and the kids and I tore into the boxes like it was Christmas! The 4 year old found a Magic Schoolbus book and curled up on the couch looking through the human body book. Not 10 minutes after everything was tucked back into the boxes my 10 year old pulled out a book and said, "Can I start reading this one?" We are all so excited to begin our Sonlight adventure!
I've read other 'Box Day' stories and, admittedly, thought "Really?" Now I can say to anyone thinking about it that YES!! Box Day is just like Christmas...and will be exciting the whole year through!
Thank you Sonlight for a wonderful way to bless my children with the knowledge they will need to do what God has created them for!
mother of four new Sonlighters!
We had an extra special surprise this Box Day. My son, age 7, received his Grade 3 Readers with Core B. The next day I found him for the first time on his stomach for an hour reading a chapter book!
Thank you Sonlight! This is our fourth Core with Sonlight and my son really has learned to read, love books, and to love Jesus.
Even though we still have about 14 weeks left of our current Sonlight Core (Core D), I went ahead and purchased our next Core (Core E)! I did this to give me time to pre-read all of the books, as well as make sure things are nice and organized... and also to take advantage of Sonlight's Time Payments option (a great option for those, like myself, on a tighter homeschool budget!).
Boxes of books hiding wonderful treasures inside!
See more pictures and read the rest of the story on A Full Heart blog.
We love Box Day! Due to the snow storms, our box reached us later than we thought. I picked it up on Tuesday and had plans to open it the next afternoon with the kids.
Read the rest of the story and watch a 3 minute Box Day video on the Hayes Happenings blog.
The excitement level was about equal to that of Christmas morning! Paper was flying! Books were were being pulled out of the box.
Box of Books
Boys were smiling and exclaiming over each treasure!
This was our very first "Box Day". My five year old, Caleb, asked to read each book and soon dove into reading the Science books. He's doing Core K this year. My two year old, Nathan, was just as excited. He doesn't know that these aren't really his school books. And I'm not planning to tell him because I know he will learn so much right along with his big brother.
Books from Box Day
Thank you, Sonlight, for helping to make learning fun and exciting!!!
We just love Sonlight (going on 4 years now!). Box Day is such an exciting time around here!
My children love box day and they had so much fun looking over their next year's schooling! Mommy was excited too (though a bit overwhelmed...)
My daughter is three, turning four very soon. I decided to order both the P 3/4 & P 4/5 curriculums because I wanted all of the wonderful books from both. We are going to do the 3/4 over the Summer for some educational fun and then start 4/5 in the Fall. I anxiously awaited the arrival of our boxes from the moment I placed my order! I shared the news of what would be coming with Ava and she was just as thrilled. She LOVES books (She get is from me!). She also can't wait to "do school" with mommy.
When the boxes, totaling 59 lbs., arrived during my sons nap time I let her unpack the contents all by herself while I checked everything off on the packing list.
Ava Unpacking the Box
She wanted to read all of the books immediately, she was just so excited!
I can't thank Sonlight enough for all the wonderful book selections and the effort they put into making homeschooling so simple.
I only JUST ordered on Monday the 21st so imagine my total SURPRISE when my neighbor knocked on my door holding my BOX O' FUN! Thankfully, the FedEx man left it with her and not outside!
I am so happy to receive it so quickly.
Just one of the MANY reasons I love you all! Now, I'm going to go play on the forums! YAY for free access!
Blessings to all! In Him,
The box came in just before bedtime. The kids looked through them for a bit, and went off to bed. I wish I could have hidden it until the morning. But the moment they heard the FedEx truck, they were jumping up and down. ;-)
23 Year veteran secular homeschooler.
Our books have arrived! I have been tracking the two packages since a week ago and finally FedEx man came to my aunt's place. I think I am more excited than Reese! :) After checking the contents... I knew the decision to homeschool him is right. The materials are wonderful. This year's theme is 'An Introduction to the World: Culture'. What is nice about this program is that learning is through life books and not text books! Instead of reading from boring text, we get to read stories and more stories related to the theme and learn in a natural way with some supplementary worksheets.
Reese was so excited when I took out all the books!
Checking what else is in the box
'Reading' a map in the box
Our loot for the year!
Checking out the books...
Can't wait to read! This was taken when it first arrived at my aunt's house
I was like a child waiting for Christmas for the Sonlight box to arrive.
We were away on an errand and when we got home, there it was! The look on Isabel's face was precious. She was shivering with excitement to get that box open! I let her unpack and kept on saying, "Surely that must be it! Are there more!?"
She loved it.
Dr Seuss's ABC book is a favourite and I have to read the whole thing to her about every second day.
The other science books also seem to be a hit. I wonder: Could there be a little genius in the making? Of Course!
impatiently patiently waited on that special day to arrive.
Though it seemed to take ages, the delivery was prompt and complete.
The girls had been asking all summer about when we were going to start school. Getting our school material first was a definite requirement.When it came, I am certain you would have thought it to be Christmas morning, with all the excitement and paper flying through the air.
Why, one of the girls even had on their Christmas attire... it's a normal thing for my "bunch" to be in dress up mode.
They are girly girls after all, through and through!
This was our first experience with "box day".
I love how Sonlighter's use the term so lovingly.
It really is a very, very, very delightful day indeed.
I always enjoy a visit from Fed Ex!
I also rather enjoy planning things. And so I started organizing things way before the boxes actually arrived. I still have tons of things I want to do for the school room. But for now, I am pretty happy with what we have accomplished.
As I began looking through the material and reading some of the books I realized this was going to be a productive, eventful, and very fun year! Optimistically speaking.
I also spent some time discovering how to use the teachers manuals and figuring out how to plan my daily schedules in a way that fits our family the best. I like the sound of that! Such flexibility is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing! (I often say things in threes to get my point across... it works with my girls!)
Anyway, I am beyond thankful to Sonlight and all it's makers for putting together such a complete program for our first homeschooling year.
I've always wanted two Christmas's... And now I have it.
We give Sonlight an: A+
The long awaited box day has arrived and we couldn't be happier. Grandparents came to share in the fun because frankly they wanted to see what I've been yammering about for the past few months!
Waiting to Open the Boxes
We had one box Wednesday and one box Thursday. It was awful waiting until the last box but we did and we dove right in!
"OOOH, we got movies too." (It's the Mathtacular and the Science DVDs)
Owen isn't wasting any time either...
Owen can't get over how many books there are!
Why'd we get a ping pong ball???
Had to rest a minute, Mommy, I'm excited.
Ian discovered Miquon Math....
And this is what he did for the next while...off to the side doing math!
But Daddy lured him back with more books
And then it was castle time as Mommy checked off the list. Whoever thought up the castle on the inside of the box was a smart person!!!
Ian's castle needed decorating
Then it was time to get in it.
This is our loot!!!
I have no more doubts that we have made the right choice with Sonlight. We are all excited and impressed. I cannot wait to get some down time to go through it all and take it in. We have a daunting task ahead of us, a 4 year old and 6 year old doing the same core, but we are well prepared! Thanks for making the books and all the materials so inviting and interesting.
I simply cannot imagine that public-school children share the same thrill, excitement, and sheer JOY that my children experience when receiving new school books from Sonlight on Box Day!
The Big Box of Books
The entire family slept in this morning and missed the FedEx guy at the back door. But during breakfast, the box was discovered: "MOM! School books are HERE!!!!!"
School Books Are Here
The children could hardly contain themselves! I only wish I hadn't been just as eager and excited. I may have taken better pictures!
Shepard (Age 6) says, "SONLIGHT ROCKS!"
Selah (Age 7): "I can't wait, Mommy! How 'bout I just read one right now?"
Our start date this year is August 23rd. We are doing Core 1 Introduction to World History - Part 1.
Also: Language Arts 1 and 2-Intermediate, Singapore Math, A Reason for Handwriting, and Apologia Science [Botany].
New for us this year: ARTistic Pursuits. (The Supply-Backpack is securely hidden on a top shelf in the laundry room lest anyone including mommy feels the needs to sample supplies before opening the accompanying textbook.)
And Dad CAN'T WAIT to open up the missionary books! ...Pretty sure "George Muller" will be read long before week 26!
Our box arrived unexpectedly the day before yesterday while our daughter had two friends over to spend the day and night. Of course, I had to open it and take a peek, but I didn't want our daughter to know because I knew there was considerable likelihood that she would desert her friends so she could peruse her materials for this year (which starts next week). I also was somewhat concerned that her two friends who are not homeschooled might consider such behavior to be unusual or even freakish, so I did the only thing I could do - I hid the box in my bedroom.
The next day, even though her friends were still at our home, I could stand it no longer and disclosed the information to our daughter. She immediately deserted her friends, plopped down beside the box and began to inspect the contents - most with great excitement, such as India's People and some with less than enthusiastic response, such as her math curriculum. She also began to look at her brother's material and asked why she had not read some of those books when she was his age. She was most indignant until I explained that she had been able to skip the level 2 intermediate readers at his age and had gone directly to the level 2 advanced readers. Nonetheless, I suspect that I will find her reading some of his books in her spare time this year...
I have yet to reveal the box to my son because he also had a friend over during the past couple of days, but his moment to explore the books is coming. I am sure he will try to start reading one of his readers immediately.
As for me, I immediately installed the World Book Encyclopedia on our computer and began looking through the Eastern Hemisphere Explorer to see how best to guide my daughter through it using the World Book Encyclopedia. I am really excited about delving into Core 5 this year! I am sure we will all learn a great deal, as usual.
Box day is the best!
I was not expecting the curriculum today, so when we saw a FedEx truck pull in the drive we all got excited! This was our first box day, so we didn't know what to expect when we opened our box. My son pulled out each item 1 by 1 and made a pile. I said STOP! I have to take a picture for Sonlight.
First Box Day Books
After that, they opened the books immediately and started asking me questions and wanting me to read everything to them. We even called daddy who is a pastor at the 1st Baptist Church down the road from our house, and told him to hurry home and see all our books. My husband walked in and said wow that's a lot of stuff!
He started looking through all the books and saying oh i love the Boxcar children, oh I remember reading this a kid, etc. This made the kids more excited because their daddy read all of these.
Excited to Start School
We enjoyed our first Box Day and look forward to many many more!
Standing on the Box
We knew the box was coming, we got pictures of the kids standing on it, we opened it and the boys helped me check off everything on our packing slip. Then we settled in to read a few books. I made it clear to the boys (almost 4 and almost 5) that they would be allowed to look at everything for one day, and then I would pack it all away until the fall. Throughout the day, we read several books in between the times that the boys went outside to play in the sunshine. As they played, I looked through the books myself.
Checking the Contents
After the boys went to bed, I continued to read. I had been reading the first few pages of each book, but when I got to The Apple and The Arrow I couldn't put it down! I intently read from start to finish. The last sentence read, "Switzerland was born." What a story! I had know idea! Though I got straight A's in a private Christian School, I don't really know anything about history. My classmates were lazy, my history teachers were lazy, and somehow I knew how to study for a test and forget. Anyway, I was so excited to learn something from my sons' kindergarten history, and it wasn't even borning! All I wanted to do afterward was research more about the birth of Switzerland! My husband, who loves history, saw my excitement and congratulated me on doing a great job picking out home school curriculum. When I went to bed, I closed up the box, but left it sitting on the table.
5:43 the next morning my alarm went off, time to get ready for church.
The house was quiet, I stumbled down the hall, thinking I was the only person awake, and what do I see? My two boys sitting silently on the couch looking at the books! I had to laugh and grab my camera! Those kids are usually at their loudest when they first wake up, but instead they looked at me and said, "Will you please read to us?" Of course, I rubbed my eyes, smiled, and said, "Yes, but not for too long." Needles to say, we were a few minutes late for church that morning...
Absorbed in the Story
Kindergarten with LA and Readers 1
My very first box day was in late June 2002. I was waiting for "a box"
from Sonlight containing what is now called P4/5. I had NO idea what was in store for me. I am a planner, and we were going to start preschool with our oldest child (4) in September. I wanted to get all the books organized, on the shelf and figure out what I was doing. I thought three months was long enough to do that, considering I had a toddler and newborn to care for as well.
Well, guess what? School began on July 5. There was no way I was going to let those books "just sit there." They demanded to be opened and enjoyed. So that is what we did. It started our family tradition of beginning the new school year on the Monday after July 4.
We've now had 7 more Core Box Days, with smaller ones in between. Each one is met with anticipation, excitement and rejoicing.
Here is the much-awaited box
Last Wednesday, after checking a certain shipping confirmation email, I did not spend all morning peeking out the front door waiting for the FedEx man. Nope, not me! Ok, who am I fooling? Of course I did! And the old adage about the pot boiling goes the same for the FedEx truck - it didn't come until mid-afternoon! Oh, the torture!
Ready more here.
I've been waiting for this day for almost an entire year...and it has officially begun! Abby has fallen in love with all of her "school" books.
Abby checking out one of her new books.
Read more here.
Today was our very first "Box Day"!
I could not believe what all you get for the money with Sonlight...what a great deal!
Sonlight Core 3 + extra science and math
Jack is almost 11 and has Asperger's Syndrome. He had a tough time in middle school, but was doing better when our family was transferred with the Army to a different state in October. He did not want to start a new school in the middle of the year, so I started homeschooling him using another program. The program was very difficult and he was not interested in it at all. I started searching for a different curriculum, and I kept coming back to the Sonlight website. I ordered a catalog, and when it came a few weeks ago, my daughter picked it up and started looking through it. Katelyn is 10 and decided to go to public school in our new state. She adjusts to change very easily, so it was not a problem for her. She came to me a few weeks ago and told me that she decided to homeschool with Sonlight because it sounded like more fun than public school!
I ordered Core 3 for them to share and placed an order for an extra Science Kit and Math Kit for the additional student. I believe that Sonlight will work very well for Jack because he will be learning through the stories and not having to memorize facts that have no meaning to him. He learns better when he is entertained and Sonlight fits the bill! The math curriculum is very colorful and easy to follow, so I believe he will enjoy that more, too!
Thank you, Sonlight!
Normally, we love box day around here just as much as the next family. All the new books to look through and read, such excitement.
A Regular Box Day?
Well, not so much the day the pre-Algebra came. We had already had our big box day with core 5 and all the books that come with it (and there’s lots). For some reason (and now I don’t remember why) pre-Algebra was ordered separately. So while there was semi-excitement, because it was a Sonlight box after all, Whitney only reluctantly opened the box to pull out her new math books. Can’t wait until she gets Algebra this fall! :)
And apparently there was something good in the box, seeing the look on her face in the last picture.
Something Good from Sonlight
The box came while my son was taking his nap. I had to fight with every ounce of my being not to open it and tear through it myself. I did, however, yank out the parent's companion with closed eyes, but replaced everything around it carefully and perfectly, then closed the box back up for when the boy awoke.
And thank goodness I did, otherwise I might have missed the screeching, "A BOX FOR ME?!" moment and this look:
Ben and His Box
Unfortunately, this was the only picture I was able to take. One moment after I got that look, the paper started flying and he wanted to read every.single.book in the box. Right then and there.
I do believe he's a fan!
As my 12 year old and I trekked up to our schoolroom with armloads of all her WONDERFUL new books, my little ones were busy with the box! You never know what will come in a Sonlight box... : )
Enjoying Box Day
We are using cores K, 5, and 7 this year. We love it!
The S. Family
So after a year with a different curriculum, with pleas of no more homeschooling, I went looking for a new program and found Sonlight! The kids still weren't convinced that it'd be a better school year and they'd have more fun and more time with mommy......
But BOX DAY came!!! They got so excited to see all the books mom would be reading to them.
Needless to say they dug in pulled everything out. And they showed me the map, they carried it around to show Grandma and Dad all day, they loved it. Also they got to playing with the box before I could tell them there was a castle inside!!
And then they found the Science Supply kits and were so ready to start school!!! My second grader, who had been the one who did not enjoy last year, actually asked me if we could start Science, and maybe a little of the other books!! I couldn't believe my ears and if I had been prepared I'd of dug in! It gave me so much hope for this new year!!
But before any of that I had to figure it all out. So I got to checking my order and getting my Instructor Guide setup, it was a little overwhelming but not as much as I thought!! After getting it all put away it didn't look so complicated and the Guides are awesome!!! And I can't wait to read Charlotte's Web to my kids... the one book I remember enjoying so much in school.... now I am confidant they won't only love that book but so many more!!!!
Wow! So Many Books
I can only thank God for the friends he brought to me to keep me going last year though I thought we'd never get through it, and helped me find a better program that is so better fit for my kids!!
Exciting stuff happened last weekend...the FedEx man delivered two important boxes!
Reese's 1st Grade curriculum arrived and we couldn't wait to dig in and see what Mommy had ordered!
Lots of exciting books, instructor guides, manipulatives, experiments...
Overwhelmed with all of the items? Me? *cough cough* Nah!
I have to keep reminding myself that these are the supplies for our entire year
and that if I laid out the supplies from my 1st Grade Teacher Days it would have looked just as massive an undertaking.
Luckily, Hubby always reminds me to eat the elephant one bite at a time & it does help me to remember that this isn't all for Day 1! :)
I've sorted through all the Instructor Guides and placed everything in the notebooks for Mama. We will begin our school year on August 17th & I can't wait...this curriculum from Sonlight is heavily literature based which makes me so excited!
And...it is a little less intimidating once everything is put on the bookshelves, in the cabinets, organized in the binders, etc.
But don't even get me started on the fact that my baby boy is a 1st grader...I remember when I taught 1st grade that the students seemed so independent and "big" by the end of the year. Don't even get me started I tell 'ya....
This is our first year using Sonlight and we are super excited! My son CJ has been anticipating this day all week! I ordered it on Monday, it shipped on Tuesday and we received it Friday. (It probably helps that we aren't too far from Colorado) We tracked it through the FedEx website so he would know when it was coming. When the doorbell rang he started shouting "It's here! It's here! Box day is here!" He was so excited to see the two boxes out front.
As we started pulling out the books he was getting more and more excited.
He couldn't help himself and had to stop and look at the Science kit and then he ended up reading one of the Magic School bus books....then he told me that I had to read them to Nicholas his little brother.
I had to stop several times from assembly of my Instructors Guide to help cut out the castles from the 2 boxes. What a fun day! We are very excited to start school and I know that this year is going to be fantastic! Thank you Sonlight!
North Las Vegas, NV
Boy! Did our box get here in a hurry. We ordered before heading to the beach for a week or so and the box was here when we got back.
Opening the Sonlight Box
The curriculum was for our oldest daughter, Amelia. The youngest, Michelle, uses her big sister's curriculum from past years.
Admiring the Books
After opening the box Amelia asked if she could start reading the books. She really likes the books you select.
Ready for a New Year
Michelle, 2nd grade
Amelia, 7th grade
Our new Core is here!!! The excitement we feel cannot be contained! Thank you Sonlight for the opportunity to homeschool using such a wonderful array of amazing literature. We LOVE Box Day!
My Daughter Leaping Over Her Core
Using Fed-Ex to deliver books sounds so easy and simple, but believe me it took more than one stop to get our books here far out in the bush! Our box reached Maputo, Mozambique in early July – only a few days after ordering! Now, it needed to get way up north - a journey of three to four days by car!
A lift was arranged and we went to town to pick up the long-awaited box …… but the visitors hadn’t yet arrived and so we had to go home empty handed! (This is Africa and all things take their time!) But as all good bush dwellers, we networked and planned lifts again and so this morning our boxes were door-delivered by fellow-missionaries passing our way!
Missionary Delivers Sonlight
Quite a few stops later but the books made it in, I think, record time! God has His own special delivery system using His people across the world!
Our official box day was months ago, but I let the kids dive in today and take a peak at what the year has in store for them. We are trying Sonlight this year. We have the Core K program (Introduction to the World: Cultures) with First Grade Readers since Pumpkin is in Pre-K4 and the boys are in First grade.
I'm not usually a fan of a packaged curriculum. I prefer to piece together our own curriculum following our own scope & sequence. However, we have 4 children in our home, 3 in our homeschool, and are nearing the end of a 2+ year construction project that will culminate in a complicated move and move-in. In other words, Mommy needed a break this year. I needed something I could just open and follow without a lot of prep work on my part. Thank goodness homeschooling allows us some flexibility, both in our scheduling and curriculum choices.
I chose Sonlight because of their great reputation, wonderful literature, and because their curriculum is most compatible with my teaching style and personality. I'm looking forward to spending the year exploring Sonlight with my children. Everyone found several books in the box that they wanted to start reading right away---Mommy included!
I'm so glad that my children are so enthusiastic about starting school. They cannot wait until we finish each book so that it can come out of Mommy's school box and onto their personal bookshelves.
After much schedule arranging and profuse pleading from the short people who live in my house, we finally found an afternoon to open the coveted box sitting on our living room floor...
I attempted to get some good pictures, really I did, but there was much frenzied activity! Protective paper was flying every where, books were being admired and soon I, too, was mesmerized by the treasure in the box!
We carefully went through every thing we ordered talking about all the great books we couldn't wait to read. I carefully stacked them all back into the box and had my husband carry them downstairs for safe keeping. Yesterday I found Isaac (12) half way through one of his science books! He was excitedly telling me some amazing facts about tornadoes. I began to tell him that he needed to put the book back downstairs, because it was for next year and he hadn't completely finished core 5 yet. Then I thought better of it. Why stop him. He's learning and enjoying it. And in the process he is teaching me and his younger brothers when he shares what he has read.
Thanks Sonlight it looks like another awesome year of learning is ahead of us!
I always put in my order after the catalog comes out so that we can receive our box toward the end of May. The girls (12 and 9) get excited about the Fall books which seems to rejuvenate our spirits and allows us to finish strong.
Because we've always homeschooled, I own every Core.
My five-year-old was initially sad because he only got a couple new books to add to Core K UNTIL he noticed the inside of the box. Here he is with his finished product:
Sonlight Box Castle
BTW, the fuzzy balls are cannon balls and he painted the entire outside and inside by himself. He has played and played with his special Sonlight box for the past two months.
Ms. Lynn S.
Jayden didn't really understand what Box Day was since this was our first experience. I kept telling him, but he just didn't get it until those two big white boxes showed up on our doorstep.
I couldn't believe the excitement and glimmer in his eyes as we started unpacking and opening up his new school supplies for the fall. The photos I took doesn't begin to show the excitement he had.
First he had to pull out all the brown paper before he could start taking out all the goodies. As he kept pulling out book after book, Jayden got more and more excited. He couldn't believe all the new, beautiful books that we got!
After we unpacked the boxes, he of course had to go through and open all the packages and look through all the books. I then reorganized and cleaned out the school shelf. Doesn't it look beautiful and inviting?!?
Jayden asked me when we would be able to start with his new school stuff and I told him I was planning for September. "Momma, that is not right. I want to start tomorrow." =)
I am so glad that he is showing so much excitement about doing school at home. I love that he has such an awesome love for learning. With a newborn at home and it already being mid-July, I have a lot of planning still to do, which is why I was shooting for September.
With Jayden's excitement and mine, we shall see if we last that long.
I am one of those moms who never thought I would homeschool. I didn't have anything against homeschooling, I was just certain it wasn't for me.
But then we started looking into Kindergarten options for our daughter, and I wasn't very happy with what we found. So I emailed a few homeschooling moms that I knew and asked them a bunch of questions. Their answers were so enthusiastic I knew I needed to look at this option more closely.
I sat down with a mom who has six kids and has used Sonlight with the two oldest that she homeschools. After looking at all the great materials she uses, I left saying, "Maybe I could actually do this!"
After a few weeks of researching various curriculum, we decided to use Sonlight's Newcomer Kindergarten Package. We placed our order and the wait began!
I knew our "Box Day" would be exciting, but I had no idea just HOW exciting it would be!
The delivery man rang the doorbell and there on our doorstep was a huge box with the Sonlight logo on it. "Thank you!" I called out after him. "That's not all!" he laughed, and carried another huge box to our door.
Sonlight Newcomer Package Boxes
As my daughter and I pulled books and materials out of the boxes, she kept saying, "Mom! Look at this!" over and over. At one point, I was fighting back tears as I thought about what a great year we have ahead of us using these fabulous materials. I never dreamed that I could be this excited about homeschooling!
Sonlight Box Day: Better Than Christmas
Thanks to Sonlight for making Box Day far better than Christmas morning!
I was agitated all day today. Every time a car went by, my ears perked up to see if the engine was rumbly enough to be the FedEx truck. Several times, I muttered to Jeff, "Where is my box?!"
Together, we speculated about its location. Maybe it was accidentally delivered to the church office. No, the office manager was still there. She would have called. Maybe it went to a house up the hill. Last month, we got someone else's FedEx package. Maybe this time, that someone got ours.
I went online and checked the tracking info again. "On the truck for delivery." Same thing it said two hours ago.
Had it been on the FedEx truck that went by around 10 am? Maybe, maybe not. Those packages would have been of the 'guaranteed by 10:30am' variety. Mine was FedEx Ground. NOT guaranteed by 10:30. Or noon. Or 2:30. Or 5:00. Or today.
But I had been waiting for this box not just all day, but all month. Its delayed arrival accounted for our extra week of summer. Its appearance at our door would mean the long-anticipated beginning of my very first year as a homeschool mom.
But the hours ticked on. 1:30pm. 3:00pm. 3:30pm. Such a long, long day.
Finally, around 4:00pm, I surrendered the arrival of the homeschool books to the Lord, assuring Him I would be fine if they didn't come today after all.
After ten more minutes of pacing, I resolved to put my mind on something else, and I headed for the front door to get a bit of fresh air (and watch for the FedEx truck).
Just as I reached the door, through the window I saw an unmarked FedEx-looking van brake as it drove past our house. But it kept going. I yanked the door open and trotted off the front porch and down the sidewalk in my bare feet.
My excitement grew when I heard the truck's back-up beeping noise. As the van came into view, the driver, amused at my wild wave, poked his head out the van window and grinned, "I have a box for you?"
I nodded vigorously. He jumped out of his truck and headed around to the back, asking over his shoulder, "How are you today?"
I said, "I'm very excited about my package."
He carried it to the front porch for me and I dragged it on into the house. James pulled out one of the books and sat reading it, entranced, for forty minutes. Good sign.
I pulled out the instructor's guide and began to frown at all the pages, unsure of what to do. There was a handy brochure, giving me all kinds of confusing instructions. I'd ordered the 4-day, but I found instructions for the 5-day. There were so many readers, and I wasn't sure if they were too advanced for James or not. I looked at the fifty or so books strewn about my living room floor and went numb.
By the time Jeff and the boys left for karate, I was in a bit of a panic. But I was thankful I'd have a few minutes alone to sort everything out.
I remembered an email I'd received from Sonlight. "Click here to see three nifty videos about 'Box Day'."
The nice homeschooling moms on the screen were so pleasant and reassuring that I just burst into tears. Then I chuckled. Just before Jeff headed out the door, he'd said, "Do something girly..."
Well, crying over homeschool materials definitely fits into the 'girly' category.
So, alone in the house and free to be as girly as I pleased, I just let myself cry tears of relief and hope and fear and anticipation, all the way through all three videos.
You see, I've been so excited to homeschool that I forgot all about the rest of my emotions. Beneath my all-encompassing excitement lurked something else: sheer terror. Good gracious. What was I thinking? What if James hates it? What if *I* hate it?
Can I even do this? Abba, HELP!!!
Then God reminded me that I was not alone in the house at all. He wrapped His loving arms around me and covered my soul with His incomprehensible peace.
And I had my answer:
No. I can't do this.
But God can.
We have used 8 Sonlight Cores so far with our 5 children. My 12yo daughter was supposed to take two years to complete Core 7 before beginning the high school Cores, so I did not order new books for her this year.
My 17yo son will be doing Core 530 for his senior year and was not too excited--he would rather not do school at all!
Everything changed on Box Day.
My dear daughter saw all the great books that are in Core 530 and eagerly asked how long she had to wait to read them. When I told her probably 11th or 12th grade, she was visibly upset. She pleaded with me to allow her to read them with her brother NOW and has spent her summer finishing up Core 7 so that she can dive into British Lit!
My son is happy to have someone to discuss his books with and is now ready to conquer this final core! Thank you Sonlight for teaching me I can be flexible and for providing a curriculum so wonderful that my kids are chomping at the bit to get started.
I checked Sonlight's website for the tracking info this morning. Our package was in the Big City, on the truck for delivery. Well, I had an appointment today, so I called to see if it needed to be signed for. They informed me that home deliveries do not happen on Mondays. Well, someone should train them..... because that big beautiful truck pulled up to my driveway just after 1pm today!!!!!
I can't wait to really look at them all, once the children are in bed!!! Mr. Q. is hogging them all ;-)
This was our very first box day!
My son Dylan, 8 and daughter Mandy, 5 had no idea what to expect from the word "Box Day." I pitched the idea and struck out for about a week. Dylan was so not interested in books. Actually, I bought Sonlight because it pitched, Love to Learn, and boy, did we need that!!! The day finally arrived and Dylan cautiously approached Mandy and I digging into this huge box. He casually asked where the castle was, and I told him where it was in the box... and then it happened....
He looked at a book, and another, and another, and another.....
Pretty soon he was digging in and helping sort them out. He even read <--- I did ask him to read the packing slip for me.
We are on our way now, Week 3, and he has had a blast with it...
Belinda, Dylan and Mandy
We ordered Sonlight Core 3 this year for the first time for our 3rd grade son. In my excitement, I built up how much fun it would be to read all the new books that come with it. He is always saying that I don't have enough books for him to read (uh...not true - it's just that he reads them too fast for me to keep up)! However, each day that I said this, his response was, "Yeah right, Mommy....sure."
So when the "package man" brought us a huge white box, the kids were excited to see what it held. Sure enough, they ripped out the books and poured over as many as they could. My son had to admit that all the new books did looked "pretty neat!" Then he wanted to read them all NOW! I had to tape the box up again so that he wouldn't read them all ahead of the school year! Sheesh - what a problem to have, huh??
SO excited to begin our first Sonlight year!
Last week was
Taxmas Time like Christmas at our house. New books arrived daily from the UPS man, or the Fed Ex guy or the Spee-Dee delivery truck because of our annual curriculum buying spree. We watched the tracking numbers online and followed the packages from their destinations to our doorstep. The longest leg of the journey seemed to be "On truck for delivery".
History suggested that we'd be the last drop off of the day, so we'd sit with our noses pressed to the windows perking up at every diesel sound for blocks. All day, not accomplishing much but waiting.
Because, you know, if you step in the shower, there will be a delivery needing a signature. Or, if you run to the gas station, you'll find a note on your door return stating delivery confirmation was needed........
This year, our biggest order arrived at 8AM! We had hardly finished breakfast when we heard the truck out front. (As evidenced by the uneaten bagel in the midst of packing material.) In the past, I have been know to hog all the box opening fun for myself, wanting to make sure everything that was supposed to be there was, was my excuse This year I thought I'd let the kids have the fun IF they would follow
a few simple rules. No books were to leave the living room. I let
them empty all the boxes and paw through all the new books while I finished my breakfast.
Then and only then did I get out the packing slip and sit down to separate the books into their appropriate piles. The older boys helped me sort...
...while I shooed the little boys into the bedroom to watch TV.
Hey, I've come along way with my BDD (Box Dominance Disorder) and plus...they ASKED me to tape the boxes shut. Honest!
Soooo, that is where I've been. My creative energy has been channeled into turning the massive piles of books into a meaningful year of learning for 5 children. And I am trying to get a head start on all their reading...
...but as you can see, I'm already behind...
Need I say more? :)
When the FedEx man arrived with our first shipment of Sonlight books, I'm sure he was taken aback by my two eager helpers. Liam grabbed the 4 lb box and ran it to the school room. Emily immediately went for the other box, which unfortunately weighed 55 lbs!
Emily pushing a large Sonlight box
Undeterred, the two of them insisted on pushing it from the doorstep to the floor of the schoolroom all by themselves, then danced with glee until I got the boxes open. Liam was especially impressed that the boxes could be recycled until he saw the castle print inside; then he begged me to keep them! Not only were the boxes cool to play in, but they had awesome books and maps inside!
My son was just beside himself over the science books, asking me over and over again if they were his and if he could keep them in his room!
And my daughter was so excited with her new Bible that she sat down to read it immediately.
To see more of our first box day pictures, feel free to look around the gallery.
Thanks for letting us share our story; we can't wait to start school!
Amy S. of Covington, GA
My family went over to the M. house for a cookout & play time. When I walked into my friend's kitchen, there were two Sonlight boxes stacked on the floor. Since I hadn't yet ordered for next year, I said, "O, did you get an order in?"
She said, "Yes, and you can look at them, if you want."
I quickly picked up a box and put it on the table (I love books) and then had to ask for some scissors. She said, "I had to tape it back up after I looked at them or I knew I'd just want to sit down and read them all. And, if the kids saw them, I knew we'd not get anything done!"
We love Sonlight! We are 4 year Sonlighters (I just ordered our 3rd Core for this year!) I have 4 kids: 8, 5, 4 & 2 who will all get a taste of Sonlight throughout the year.
Nate & Jill W. of Hugoton, KS