John and Sarita Holzmann come from widely divergent backgrounds--she, daughter of 8th grade educated Christian Reformed immigrant parents in Grand Rapids, MI; he, son of college-educated evangelical/Congregational mother and Ph.D.-educated immigrant father in Northern California and upstate New York.
They met at Michigan State University where they earned their undergraduate degrees (both with honors), Sarita in Dietetics, John in Philosophy. Both were involved in The Navigators, though John also hung out with the Campus Crusade for Christ group and, to a lesser extent, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
The Holzmanns married in June 1977, the day after John's last final for the spring semester.
You can read about their relationship in John's book Dating With Integrity.During their first two years of marriage, Sarita finished her dietetics traineeship, then became deathly ill with her first pregnancy (she lost 30 pounds before she gained an ounce) . . . while John worked selling mimeographic, spirit duplication, and early word-processing equipment.
In 1979, the Holzmanns moved to Glenside, Pennsylvania, to attend Westminster Theological Seminary from which John graduated with the M.Div. in June 1982.
After seminary, the Holzmanns served for a year and a half in an assistant pastoral role (evangelism) in northern New Jersey, then moved to Pasadena, California, where John worked as associate editor of a Christian magazine dedicated to international evangelism and church planting.
In 1989, largely due to financial pressure, the Holzmanns began homeschooling. They started Sonlight Curriculum in 1990.
Almost right from the start, the new company became more than a full-time occupation for the two of them. Happily, the leaders of Caleb Project, the agency with whom they were working at the time, granted John permission to work on Sonlight even while he officially remained on staff.
But in 1992, almost a year after the agency had moved to the Denver Metro area, the president of Caleb Project asked John when he thought he could return to work for the agency. John had to admit he had no idea. All he could see was further demands on his time from Sonlight.
At that point, Caleb Project and Sonlight had to go their separate ways. (For more on the history of Sonlight, see How did Sonlight begin?)
Sarita is and has served as president of the company and head of product development since the start. John has served more in the areas of writing, editing, marketing, and finance.
John resigned from regular day-to-day operations of Sonlight on April 1, 2008. Since that time, he has been participating more as a company owner-consultant so that he can pursue other projects and brand development, such as Sonlight's umbrella company, InquisiCorp, and sister companies Avyx, StrategicInheritance.com, and others.
The Holzmanns have four children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and six grandchildren.
Their oldest child, Amy, who went to private Christian school and then was home schooled beginning in sixth grade, attended a public high school for the first half of ninth grade. By mid-year she pleaded to return home.
In tenth grade Amy returned to public school where she remained and maintained an A+ average. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the spring of 2001 with a BA in English and Humanities.
Amy, her husband and their five boys now live on the homestead/farm they started from scratch in Virginia. Amy works on the farm, homeschools the boys, and works part-time as a curriculum developer for Sonlight.
Luke and Jonelle used Sonlight Curriculum from first and K through eighth grades, respectively. They followed their older sister at a local public high school where they both maintained A+ averages.
Luke is now married and working as part of Sonlight's media team after graduating from Biola University with a Motion Picture Production degree. You can read his posts on the Sonlight blog at http://www.sonlight.com/blog/category/luke.
Jonelle graduated from the Columbus College of Art & Design with a degree in Design and Marketing. She is now married, and her husband Dave works at Sonlight as the lead illustrator. After working with a local advertising agency focused on serving non-profit agencies, Jonelle spent a year helping lead the Sonlight Product Development Team. She now works from home as a part-time curriculum writer and editor. Jonelle enjoys being a stay-at-home mom for their two young daughters and has started homeschooling the oldest.
The Holzmanns' youngest son, Justin, after three and a half years of home education with his older brother and sister, spent a year and a half at a local Christian school, then begged to return home. He then attended a public high school and later graduated from Grove City College with an Industrial Engineering degree. He now works in sales for a high-end components company.
The Holzmanns are grateful that they were able to homeschool their children. It permitted them to lay a solid foundation from which the children have been able confidently to launch into the world around them.
At the same time, while the Holzmanns are committed to homeschooling, and believe far more parents should pursue the option, they want parents to carefully and prayerfully consider all educational options.
Their prayer: "May God bless you as you seek His best for you and your children!"
Are you interested in having Sarita Holzmann, Sonlight's co-founder and president, speak at your local homeschool convention? Find everything you need to request for her to speak at your event.
Sonlight is more than just a preK-12 homeschool curriculum supplier.
Find out what motivates and guides us in all we do.
The idea for Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. was first sown in February 1990.