Homeschool Review: Sonlight

I figured as long as I’m already reviewing books, I might as well review homeschool products, too.  I’m hoping to branch out a little more here–I’m sure I’ll review a lot of books, but I also plan on reviewing CDs, DVDs, materials, kits, and whole programs.

And what better place to start reviewing than with the product we have used the most–our Sonlight curriculum!

Having survived our first of homeschooling, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on what Sonlight is, what they provide, and what the company is like.  And I have to say, I couldn’t possibly give them enough stars!  Did I like every single item in our curriculum for the year? No. I can think of two things in particular that I didn’t like, one to the point that I abandoned it altogether.  But did I like almost everything?  Yes!  Both the children and I found many, many books that we just loved, and never would have read were it not for Sonlight.

To really explain how great Sonlight is, I need to delve a little further into the specific things that make me love them, and that make them stand apart from any other companies out there.  So, without further ado, the:

10 Reasons I Love Sonlight

  • Great Customer Service–The few times I’ve had a problem with an order, it has been taken care of immediately, and with no fuss.
  • Similar Values–Because Sonlight is a Christian company, I know that they share my values, and I don’t have to worry about the materials I’ll be using when teaching my children.
  • Honesty–Sonlight gives you a list up-front of reasons you may not want to use their curriculum.  I appreciate their honesty in admitting that Sonlight won’t work for every family.
  • Free Shipping and Discounts–If you purchase a Core from Sonlight, you receive free shipping for a year, which comes in handy when you realize you need more handwriting paper, or you decided to upgrade you Language Arts package before you start the next Core.
  • Book Selection–I love the books Sonlight uses.  It’s the perfect mix of books I loved as a child, books I’ve heard are good but never actually read, and books I’ve never heard of before.  Nice and diverse.
  • Easy to Use–The instructor’s guide plans (almost) everything out for me.  I don’t have to figure out what to do when, or worry that I’m covering all the right things.
  • Online Community–Sonlight has a good set of forums (membership is another perk of purchasing a Core) where you can connect with other parents having the same experiences in their schools.
  • Personal Phone Calls–I received probably two or three phone calls in the last year just to check on our schooling experience and find out if I had any questions or problems.  That helped remind me that I’m not alone in this adventure!
  • Time Saver–Not only does having the curriculum planned out save me time from having to do that on my own, it also frees up time for me to plan special units for use through the school year, which is a fun extra that I really enjoy (but I would never want to have to plan out our entire curriculum!).
  • Internet Presence–In addition to the forums, Sonlight also has a great website that makes ordering super-easy, and several blogs about homeschooling to read.  I’ve even received comments on my blog from Sonlight–talk about customer service!

And, a Bonus Eleventh Reason I Love Sonlight:

  • Tackling the Hard Issues–I love that Sonlight does not shy away from things some Christians would just avoid altogether (from evolution to mythology, and books that just contain secular situations).  I think that my children need to learn about these things, learn why they believe what they do, learn what is appropriate for them and what is not, and I think they should be doing these things at home with my guidance.  Sonlight allows that to happen by including the tough stuff, and a way in which to discuss it and learn from it.

    3 thoughts on “Homeschool Review: Sonlight

    1. Yay! Your eleven reasons are really encouraging [smile]. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      And congratulations on finishing your first year of homeschooling. May next year be even better [smile].

      ~Luke

    2. C. Clarkson says:

      Thank you for your review. I've read so many great reviews of Sonlight's cores, but I'm having trouble finding feedback from those who have used their language arts or science matierals. Do you have any insight on these programs, especially for young learners (K-2)?

      • I’ve really liked the L.A. we’ve used so far. We blew through L.A. P 4/5, did L.A. K at an accelerated rate, and now we’re working on L.A. 1. I’ve never used anything else, so I don’t know how it compares, but I’ve found it to be very useful in challenging my children, the book selection is good, and the activities planned out are fun *and* useful for learning.

        So far we’ve only read through the Science P 4/5 books, so no experiements, but those books were wonderful! I think science was my children’s favorite subject over-all in Kindergarten, because the books were so interesting, and also humourous. And I can’t believe how much information they picked up!

        I have the Science K materials waiting for our next school year to start, and I’m impressed with what I’ve seen, but I can’t give advice on how it worked quite yet. But the experiements look really good!

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