The K family, Sonlighters from Waco, TX
Sonlight is the original literature-rich curriculum. We pioneered this style of learning in 1990, and have been thrilled and privileged to provide top-quality education to homeschooling families for the last 27 years.
Although all of our products are available for purchase individually, the true Sonlight Experience are our literature-based, History / Bible / Literature packages.
This flagship product includes:
The Sonlight Instructor's Guide: 36 complete, weekly lesson plans. (Planning to attend a co-op one day a week? We offer a 4-day version in many of our HBL packages.) All your reading assignments, activities, notes, questions, all scheduled day-by-day. All you have to do each day is open the Guide, see what's scheduled, and do it!
A complete library of books for History, Bible, and Literature: All of the books you need to complete your children's year of school. Books you will read aloud to your children (the Read-Alouds), books that your children will read on their own, when they're old enough (the Readers), books that bring History to life. Books that your children will want to read … repeatedly! Even better? As much as possible, the Sonlight schedule interconnects the History, Read-Alouds, and Readers, so your children get an immersive experience in the historical period you study.
The History / Bible / Literature program comes with a 10% discount included, and a variety of perks, including:
- Sonlight's famous full-year "Love to Learn, Love to Teach, or your Money Back" guarantee. Use Sonlight for 18 weeks over the course of a year, and if you don't love it, you can return it and get your money back — with no hassles.
- Access to the Sonlight Advisors. These curriculum consultants offer free, personalized help, suggesting a course of study tailored to your family's needs. And if you need additional support, once you've begun, Advisors are ready to help you enjoy your best year yet. Independent consultants charge hundreds of dollars for a similar service. For Sonlighters, this is included in your purchase.
- An amazing, supportive user community of like-minded people who love to learn by reading. From free forums to Facebook, emails to webinars, you do not have to walk this road alone. We have a vibrant community of people caring for and encouraging one another.
- SonlightCares™. This collection of benefits includes, among others, college scholarship eligibility, an Instructor's Guide repurchase discount, year-round discounts, free shipping.
- Unmatched customer service. When you need help, we are available, through email, phone and chat. We get you the answers you need, offer the support you require, and care for you like family.
But the History / Bible / Literature program does not include all subjects. Starting with this as your base, you can add Language Arts, Science, Math, Handwriting, Electives, and any Required Resources you need. For a complete course of study, and the deepest discount, order (or build) a Sonlight All-Subjects Package.
This complete homeschool curriculum includes everything mentioned above in History / Bible / Literature, as well as:
- Sonlight Science. Not just engaging and age-appropriate science content, but an Instructor's Guide, activity sheets, and all the supplies you need to complete your experiments. (And if you inadvertently become a member of HENSE — "Home Educators Neglecting Science Experiments" — you can watch the video that walks through the experiments, so your children can at least see the experiments.)
- Sonlight Language Arts. The thorough, easy-to-use Instructor's Guide walks you through how to teach your children all the vital skills they will need: from phonics, letter formation, and reading in the very earliest grades, to grammar, writing instruction, and all of the other skills that college-bound students might require.
- Your choice of the best math programs on the market. Sonlight offers all the top math programs on the market, including Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, Horizons Math, Singapore Math, Saxon Math and Miquon Math. Choose the one that works best for you.
- Required Resources. Those extra things, like a map and Timeline book.
An All-Subjects Package is the absolute best package for a first-time Sonlighter and comes with a 20% discount included.
And when you're ready for some extra enrichment, Sonlight also offers:
- A wide variety of quality electives. From art and music to computer programming and foreign language, we have vetted scores of products and programs so you don't have to.
And now, having read all of that, this is just a list. Sonlight is not a list. It's an experience, a lifestyle.
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Why Sonlight does what it does:
Two values integrated into Sonlight's curriculum
Sarita Holzmann, founder and president of Sonlight, strongly believes in the benefit of reading and helping students see how they can make a difference in the world. These two values permeate every Sonlight program. Sarita says…
I think back to when I was growing up and going to school. What inspired me? What taught me? Where did I learn?
It was not entirely in the classroom!
My fifth grade teacher was very strict and unapproachable . . . except for one thing. Every day, she set aside time to read to us from wonderful books, like The Horse and His Boy, Follow My Leader, and Beautiful Joe. I loved that time. It brought me to other places and moved my soul. The books made me think and feel in new ways. That time every day actually redeemed that year at school for me.
I did not learn just in the classroom. I learned by reading.
Because I loved reading so much, every week I would ride my bike to the library and check out the 50 book limit. I would load them into my saddle bags, ride home, read them all during the week, then bring them back the following week and refill my saddle bags and my heart once more.
And when I think about all those books, I realize – I learned a lot.
No one was cramming anything down my throat. I wasn't being forced to memorize pieces of information that I would then have to regurgitate on a test. I knew the information because I had lived the stories. I had seen them, felt them, experienced them. I had been there.
- When my classmates were studying the Revolutionary War, I was already ahead of them because I had read Celia Garth.
- I had confidence I could take care of a rattlesnake bite (if that ever came my way) because I had read Trixie Belden and had actually experienced dealing with such an emergency because Trixie's younger brother had been dying from such a wound before Trixie helped him.
- I knew about longitude, not because I had made a formal study of the subject, but because I had been there, experiencing what longitude was all about right there beside Nathaniel Bowditch in Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.
I think about my kind of learning and put it up against what my classroom teachers often did: make us memorize "facts," spelling and vocabulary lists, grammar rules, and so forth.
There's simply no contest. Give me the books any day. I will read them. I will learn (painlessly). I will remember what I have learned. I will be able to tell and teach others.
Education – real education – is so much more, so different from memorizing and organizing data! I want children to know not only facts, but the reasons for things, the stories behind the facts, how the facts fit together.
I want them to gain discernment and wisdom. I want them to acquire the ability to place current events – their lives – in the context of today and of world history. I think learning by reading uniquely fosters this, in a way that memorized lists do not.
2. Inspiring Stories of People Who Made a Difference
Right from the start, I wanted to focus on books that place heroes in front of students, people who made a difference in the world.
I don't care if they are people who touched the lives of thousands, like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, or touched the lives of two, like the mother of one special-needs child, who ministers to her husband as well.
I want children – students – to understand that they can make a difference.
I want to inspire them: "God has given you a special role in this world. You can make a difference. Follow Him, find your special place, and fill it."
And so I focus on biographies and the stories of people who make a difference in the lives of others.
Because this is so central to what Sonlight is all about, you will find a dozen or more such books in almost all of Sonlight's programs. That's why the main books in each history program (the "spines" that support the rest) rely heavily on the stories of people. That's why we include missionary biographies in every program, and additional biographies.
People can make a difference. That includes you, and that includes your children.
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