The idea for Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. was first sown in February 1990 with one family's journey.
In 1989, stateside missionaries John and Sarita Holzmann realized they couldn't afford to put three children in a private Christian school. Sarita reluctantly started homeschooling and found that she loved it.
She soon realized that what came naturally to her, many others found difficult. At that time, there were no complete curriculum programs available; moms had to assemble products piecemeal. Talking to missionary friends, Sarita learned that this problem was far worse overseas. In the days before the internet, it was difficult and time-consuming to locate useful materials, without an English-language library nearby.
This was such a problem, that many missionaries were forced to leave the field of service, because their children's education was suffering.
Through the encouragement of a friend, Becky Lewis (fellow homeschooler and back-fence neighbor at an evangelical Christian think-tank in Pasadena, California at the time), Sarita decided that she could help. She would gather, create and compile the best-of-the-best educational materials for those overseas, and here in the States, too.
Over the previous six months, Sarita and Becky had begun to realize that they held a similar, low-stress philosophy of homeschooling that centered on good books. They realized how uniquely pleasurable their approach was when they found themselves in the presence of mothers who would burst into tears over their homeschooling experience. "It's just so overwhelming!" these moms would cry.
Sarita talked the idea over with her husband, John. They decided it would be a wonderful service to so many of God's people living around the world who do not have access to the kinds of resources those of us living in the United States do. And so the three decided: Sarita would pick books with Becky's help; Becky would write the guides; and John would fill in the gaps, editing, typesetting, and providing whatever additional help the two women might need.
By 1991, when the Holzmanns moved to Colorado, the business became a full-time concern for both of them. In July of '92, Sonlight Curriculum became Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. It was in the summer of 1992 that Sonlight Curriculum hired its first employee. Today, we have more than 30 dedicated people in full-time, long-term staff positions. During the summer, our ranks swell into the eighties or low 90s.
Sarita's innate gifting at scheduling, her love for great books, and her passion to support those on the field grew Sonlight into a leader and trend-setter in homeschool education. From her kitchen table to our state-of-the-art building today, what she began is a testament to stepping out where the Lord calls.