Sonlight Connections Online Homeschool Summit - On Demand
You can teach your kids at home. Sonlight can help.
Join us for this year's Sonlight Connections Homeschool Summit as we bring together veteran homeschoolers, Sonlight Homeschool Advisors, and Sarita Holzmann (founder and president of Sonlight) to provide you practical homeschooling advice, encouragement, tips to enrich your homeschool, and the tools to decide if homeschooling is right for your family.
If you're looking to make the most out of your homeschool, we invite you to join us!
All workshops and sessions are listed below to watch on-demand by simply clicking the "watch now" button under each description.
Join us for more than 20 exciting sessions! From live sessions to panel discussions and breakout sessions you'll:
Learn about real-world homeschooling experiences
Acquire tips, tricks, and strategies for dealing with common homeschool problems— including juggling homeschool and work, and motivating stubborn learners!
Get first-hand advice for customizing and organizing your Sonlight materials
Discover what it’s really like to homeschool
Find the support you need to start your homeschooling journey
Get encouragement from new and veteran homeschoolers
Discover the joy in homeschooling—from pandemic schooling into the rewarding experience homeschooling is meant to be
Discover what it really means to adopt a lifestyle of learning
Receive practical homeschooling advice
And so much more!
During every session, you’ll have an opportunity to engage with these speakers and chat with our Homeschool Advisors to get all of your homeschool questions answered. Can’t make the scheduled event? Don’t worry, all sessions will be available on-demand at the end of the event for 30 days.
Watch all workshops and sessions on-demand in this playlist or find each video separately below.
DAY 1: TUESDAY SESSIONS
All workshop and sessions times are Mountain Time (MT). indicates a live session.
OPENING SESSION: Make the Most of Your Homeschool Journey
Join us for the 2021 Sonlight Connections Homeschool Summit kickoff event. In this live opening session we will set up the goals for the event, the schedule for the day, provide words of encouragement, talk about giveaways and so much more! You won't want to miss it!
Whether you're brand new to the idea of homeschooling, or have been on this journey for some time, you won't want to miss this this session. Listen in as three homeschool veterans talk about managing expectations, setting goals, and maintaining your sanity for the long haul. The best journeys are about what you learn and see on the trip, not just reaching the final destination.
Teach Your Child to Read (Despite Learning Challenges!)
Dr. Karen Holinga and Amy Lykosh discuss an alternative reading program for beginning readers of all ages. Find out why Sonlight founder Sarita Holzmann looked for this program for 15 years, what makes it effective (even if other programs haven't worked for your children), why Dr. Karen is perfectly suited to help your children learn to read, and much more ... including why it's called "Happy Cheetah"!
Join us as we take an in-depth look at all the parts and pieces of a Sonlight education and what makes up our packages. You will walk away with an understanding of how all of the materials work together to provide you with the best, most comprehensive homeschool experience. You'll also get insider tips and suggestions that will help you get the most out of your curriculum materials.
Speakers: Barbara Walsted, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
Skill & Transition Planning for Homeschool Special Education
Any parent knows a student's learning goes beyond basic academics. But, parents of special needs students are even more aware of this truth. Successful post-homeschool transitioning of a special needs student requires planning. In this talk, Peggy Ployhar, the CEO of SPED Homeschool, takes parents of special needs homeschooling students through a plan that helps them be intentional in setting up a transition plan that will ready their student for life beyond homeschool.
Literature-based learning is a great choice for teaching children of multiple ages. There is no better way to create relationships and develop strong bonds between your children that will last a lifetime. In this session, learn how to establish an environment that encourages learning together. Veteran homeschool mom Sheila DelCharco will share practical ideas for planning and organizing your time to incorporate shared learning through the use of good literature.
Sonlight's new science programs will prepare your children to become future scientists by training them to think scientifically. Beyond studying classic scientific topics, Sonlight Science creates a learning environment in which students can gain the skills and practices used by scientists and engineers to answer questions, solve problems, and innovate and improve their own designed solutions. In this session, watch SOnlight curriculum designer Amber Baker demonstrate one of the experiments from our updated Science K program.
Helen Keller once said, "Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much." Community is vitally important to the health and success of your homeschool. Join our panel of veteran Sonlight moms as we talk about the variety of ways that Sonlight provides support to you as a customer, and community for you as a homeschool parent. Join and discover what a difference community can make in your homeschool!
Speakers: Sheila DelCharco, Barbara Walsted, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
Laying a Foundation for Reading Comprehension in the Early Years
In this session, Faith discusses the ultimate goal of reading instruction: comprehension. She also explores various types of thinking and processing skills required for proficient comprehension. Faith shares tips, techniques, and strategies for developing the vocabulary of the very young, as well as good habits of mind in order to lay a solid foundation for comprehension with our wee ones (up to age 5).
In this session, learn more about Lee's 12 keys to high school success, including the key to gaining confidence, the key to the love of learning, the key to choosing curriculum, and finding success even with ever-changing situations. If you are feeling stress about the many responsibilities you have as the parent, teacher and guidance counselor through the high school years or you need to recharge, this session can help! Join us as Lee Binz, best selling author, conference speaker and homeschool consultant, provides tips for navigating homeschooling a high schooler as well as advice to become a better educator.
Where does a parent place a child in a math program that does not have grade levels? How do you figure out where to begin, and how? If a mastery program appeals to you, then Math U See might be the answer for you - if you are seeking to create a mathematically confident student who can ultimately take charge of their mathematical learning.
Homeschooling is not the only â€œjobâ€ you have as a mom. Whether you have a full-time job, volunteer for an organization, or have a sideline that takes your time on a regular basis, the stress can add up in a hurry. Balance is the key to successfully pull off the juggling act between work and homeschool. Join Rhonda as she helps you set goals and establish boundaries that make it possible to do both well.
Does the thought of creating your student's high school transcript make your head spin? Do your eyes cross when someone asks you about credits and GPAs? Plan to join these veteran homeschool moms as they unpack the mystery of creating transcripts—and find out that it's really no mystery at all!
Many families shifted to pandemic schooling in 2020 and parents found themselves exploring their new role of teacher. As families around the world still grapple with the next steps for their child's education, a number of families have embraced the homeschool journey into full-fledged, long-term homeschoolers. Join this session to hear from two transitioned homeschoolers, Katie and Nicole. They will share their homeschool journey and how they discovered the joys of homeschooling with Sonlight as they went from being pandemic schoolers to official homeschooling families.
Speakers: Nicole Vails, Katie Bly, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
All workshop and sessions times are Mountain Time (MT). indicates a live session.
Teaching History from Multiple Perspectives
Teaching history from multiple perspectives ensures that a child is exposed to opposing views through a worldview lens, and provides diverse perspectives for an education without indoctrination. That's why our homeschool curriculum is based on great books, sometimes called living books and not textbooks. With Sonlight, you and your children will read books by multiple authors from multiple perspectives so they can appreciate the complexities of history.
A phrase we use a lot at Sonlight is â€œeducation, not indoctrination. We created a curriculum that gives your children the ability to hear more than one side and to be respectful of others' opinions while not losing their own beliefs. Join this session to learn more about how Sonlight's educational philosophy fosters curiosity and naturally develops critical thinking skills.
Speakers: Sarita Holzmann, Rhonda Helmreich, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
Schedule vs. Routine - Building a Lifestyle of Learning
Both a schedule and routine in your homeschool are essential to building a lifestyle of learning. A schedule is a tool you use in your homeschool to keep everything on track and help you to tackle all the school subjects. A routine is something ingrained into the fabric of your family and may happen more naturally than you think. Both are critical to accomplish daily tasks. In this session, we discuss the difference between a schedule and routine, why both are necessary, and how you can use them to build a lifestyle of learning in your home.
Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD - There is Hope for Change
Do you suspect Dyslexia/ADD/ADHD or other learning labels? Many labels come from a list of symptoms not a disease or brain abnormality. Dr. Jan will guide you through some root causes of these symptomatic labels and give practical skills for training your child's brain to eliminate the symptoms. Parents can be the key to breaking free of labels and reaching beyond their limiting, negative effects! Open a brilliant future for your child through understanding how the brain works . . . or why it doesn't currently seem to be working so well. This workshop will start you on a path to unlock your child's full potential.
Speaker: Jan Bedell, PhD M ND - President, Little Giant Steps/Brain Sprints
When My Child Doesn't Want To - How to Motivate Stubborn Learners
Every homeschooler has experienced a day when it was particularly hard to focus. Maybe it was you, maybe it was your child, maybe it was the sunshine. Whatever the reason, these days are normal. But what if your child just doesn't want to learn? What can you do to motivate those kiddos that don't want to learn? Join this live session to get tips and encouragement to motivate those stubborn learners. Come prepared with your specific challenges to be answered live!
Speakers: Amber Severance, Christie Cook, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
Math can be one of those overwhelming subjects to choose, let alone teach. Sonlight carries a wide variety of math programs designed for different learning and teaching styles. Join Sonlight Curriculum Consultant Lisa Fountain in this breakout session as she demystifies each of the available math programs and provides an in-depth look at the approach of each one. Her insights will be invaluable as you make math curriculum choices for your students.
Managing All the Books: A Practical Perspective for Organizing Your Homeschool Materials
A place for everything, and everything in its place. Yes, an orderly homeschool environment does matter. But how do you create such an atmosphere when using a literature-based approach to learning (or really any approach to learning)? There are books and school tools everywhere! Whether you're using a literature-based, or classical, or traditional, or unit-study curriculum, this workshop will offer practical tips on keeping track of your materials and creating a peaceful learning environment. Come join veteran homeschool mom and Sonlight Consultant Sheila DelCharco as she shares steps to reaching the goal of reclaiming an organized homeschool.
Often as parents when we see a child struggling mathematically, we think, well, they are just "right-brained", or "better at the language arts side of the equation." What if I told you that is not the truth, and if your child is not enjoying mathematics, it is up to us to become parental detectives to figure out what the struggle is, when it began, and how we might correct it? Not every child has to have a love of math, but in order to be successful in high school and college, they do need to have confidence and competence with it. Those are not mutually exclusive - any child can have both.
The beginning years lay the foundation of a lifetime of learning. Everyone has to start somewhere and Sonlight's pressure-free preschool and pre-k programs are a perfect way to embark on an adventure of learning! Join us for this session as we discuss the importance of laying the foundation for education in these early years, the benefits of starting early on certain pre-academic skills, and take a deep dive into all of the educational components of Sonlight's preschool and pre-k programs.
Join this session as Katie Hesser and Joe Sims from Oral Roberts University talk all about college admissions, specifically what ORU looks for in potential students. These two also deep dive into the benefits of dual enrollment as well as how to enroll in ORU's online program. This is a great listen if you are homeschooling high school or thinking about it so you can be prepared for the post homeschool experience.
Let Them Play! - The Value of Play in Early Education
In many European countries, formal learning does not begin until age six or seven. Before then the focus is on making friends, creativity, and exploring the great outdoors. Join Jill and Judy in this session as they talk about the value of play for laying a solid foundation for later learning, and why running and jumping may be more valuable than workbooks and coloring.
Do you remember the groans in math class when the word "fraction" was brought up? Well, there is a better and less painful way of teaching fractions! Fractions are, dare I say, fun when they are taught the right way. What's the right way to teach them? Come and find out! Find the beauty and simplicity of fractions using RightStart Math.
Speaker: Dr. Kathleen Cotter Lawler - RightStart Math
Join this session for live motivation and encouragement to stick with the hard journey of homeschooling. Bring your questions, grab a cup of something and join these veteran homeschoolers and expert Sonlighters for advice on anything homeschool related.
Speakers: Amber Severance, Ann Kuebler, Judy Wnuk, Stephanie Rose
When your children were young, you taught them to speak as you spoke to them. In the same vein, children learn to write by learning from good models of writing. Learn all about this natural approach as Sonlight Curriculum Consultant Rhonda Helmreich shares a detailed look at and explanation of the philosophy behind Sonlight's Language Arts. From phonics in the elementary years to literary analysis in the high school levels, Rhonda will give you a clear understanding of the progression in this breakout session.
We invite you to join us as these homeschool veterans—real homeschooling moms, Sonlight homeschool Advisors, and Sarita Holzmann herself—discuss everything from beginning to homeschool, to graduation and everything in between.
Homeschool Questions? We Have Answers!
Every family’s homeschooling journey is unique. This online event is designed to enrich and encourage your homeschool or help you make the transition to homeschool. Whether you're just thinking about homeschooling, have just started, or are a seasoned homeschool veteran, this is THE EVENT for you!
You’ll discover how a well-planned, literature-based curriculum makes it so easy to homeschool, and you can trust that you are giving your kids all the academics they need. And best of all, you can savor these fleeting years of their childhood with more quality time as a family!
You’ll walk away from the Sonlight Connections Homeschool Summit rejuvenated. You’ll learn what it’s really like to homeschool from real homeschooling families, get personalized advice, plus we can help you choose the right curriculum.
Sonlight is the best decision I've made; it's what I envisioned homeschool to be, but
even better." -Ashton B of Granbury, TX.
One of the best things to happen to us in 2020 is Sonlight curriculum." -Jen B. of Brandon, MS.
My kids aren't just getting an education with Sonlight. They are learning how to learn and they are being equipped for every good work; that is something you can't put a price tag on." -Corina H of Blaine, WA
Homeschooling with Sonlight has been one of the best decisions we have EVER
made. Words could never express how grateful we are for Sonlight and all it has taught our
family ... not only the lessons from books, but also the lessons in LIFE." -Christie W of
Homeschooling with Sonlight has been one of the best decisions we have made for
our family. It has brought our family closer, and has allowed us great adventures together."
-Sennu K of Vero Beach, FL.
B5. The 'fun' of homeschooling left us when we switched to textbooks. We returned to the fun, educational, life-giving books of Sonlight this year and aren't looking back." -Heather M. of Bulverde, TX.
Switching to Sonlight was the best decision we could have made. We struggled
through K-5 with a worksheet based curriculum so we knew a change was needed. My sister
recommended Sonlight and it didn't take me long to realize this was the curriculum for us.
Sonlight has given us a love for homeschooling!" -Carrie S of Bay Springs, MS.