22 August 2008

Reasons I'm Not Buying Sonlight.

I've been following Luke and his story for some time now. He's an expectant adoptive dad and a real nut for Sonlight Curriculum. He posts a lot about it on his blog. I mean, here he doesn't even have children yet and he has plans that THIS is going to be the educational method they'd use. Sounded pretty interesting to me, so I went to check out the Sonlight website and see what it was like. I don't remember seeing Sonlight for sale through CBD (where I get all my other homeschool stuff) and have heard of some of the ladies on the MOMYs board using it with mixed reviews. (FYI, usually the people who don't like it seem to have several children of very different ages and they like the "Tapestry of Grace" stuff.) Well, I like browsing through the CBD website before buying anything because usually I can see a "sample" of what the curriculum is like.

In any event, I browsed the Sonlight website so I could see their samples and it *looked* like some of the outlines in the material was comparable to Bob Jones. But I appreciated the disclaimer:

"Sonlight Curriculum is not for everyone. We have never pretended it could be.
If a Sonlight Core program is inappropriate for you, we believe you will be far happier to discover that now, while you’re reading our catalog, rather than later, after you have become frustrated and wasted time trying to use a program that’s not 'you.'"

And reading through some of the reasons it might not be "for me," I realized that this would be a purchase I don't want to make. I'll stick with the Bob Jones stuff because I like having my scripts. I also like everything only presented from a conservative Christian worldview, at least when teaching this age group. I also came away thinking that if I had a friend who was just curious about how to do homeschool, that this would be one of several sites I'd send her way to investigate.

Hey, I really appreciated the heads-up!! I almost thought of emailing them a thank-you, but then thought the better of it. Who wants to know that the website convinced a potential customer NOT to buy their stuff? They really seem consumer-friendly on their website, though. They even have a little clickable "bug" so that you can tell them if something on their site "bugs" you LOL!

I wish all schools and school programs would do that. Or imagine the local public schools having to REALLY compete with homeschool and other programs and advertise? Wouldn't that be fun to read those "send your kid to our school" ads mixed in with your other homeschool fliers?


  1. I gotta say that we switched to Sonlight this year. We love it! The kids like this type of emglish the best.

    We use some unit studies for science.

    I do realize that it isn't for everyone. But it works great for us.

    On the flip-side we used Bob Jones the entire time I was homeschooled. While it was good, I didn't really enjoy it. So that is why I changed to Sonlight for the kids.

  2. I actually looked into Sonlight too but with Monkey's ADHD I felt that it was just not for him. I think the structure of Abeka is the best thing for him at this point.

  3. Zimms, it looks like customer service is awesome!!

    cc, I love the website's honesty. It looks like social studies in older grades would be great.

  4. I must admit, when your post popped up in my Google Alerts I was a wee bit terrified! [smile] What did I say wrong!?

    I am a Sonlight nut, and with good reason. When our kids arrive, we're going to be jumping into homeschooling right away with our six year old. It's going to be crazy!

    Thanks so much for your post--even if you did almost scare me to death this morning [smile]. Your kind words warmed my recovering heart.

    Honestly, I'm glad to hear that the 27 Reasons Not to Buy helped you make your choice. I would, of course, love it if Sonlight could fill your needs, but I care far more for what is best for your family.

    You are still welcome to email in a thank you (we'd like it), but my manager already emailed a link to your post to a bunch of people [smile]. I wasn't the only one who got the Google Alert.


  5. lol, we're Sonlight, as you would know from my blog. Can't say Ditz is all that wrapt but there was never any hope Ditz was going to like anything *school* so I went with my gut & for me this is brilliant....um, I should say I really mong the IG too. However Ditz is a visual/spatial learner & a very good reader so this works very well for us. We started with just the English but are doing history this year too.

  6. I am in such a tizzy about what curriculum to go with. I tend to drive myself nuts about this stuff, which is why I came really close to saying, hang it all, and putting my kids back in public. I am looking at... well everything... and Sonlight is one of them. I really the looks of their science. I'd probably use 20 different things if I could. However, I'm in grad school and time is of the essence. I really need something they can be somewhat independent with... at least parts of it.
    Yes, I'm rambling. Got to get it all out.
    breath in.... breath out... breath in.... ok, that's better.
    I am also looking at ACE b/c it stresses independence.
    thanks for your blog.

  7. Bless your heart, momalot. But I don't think Sonlight is for you. They specifically tell parents who don't have a lot of time to do lessons with their children to avoid their curriculum. Click the link above and look for reason #2.

    In your case, I would highly recommend Alpha Omega Lifepacs and their Horizons math. We have used it for science and were VERY happy with it. Then I tried to switch to Bob Jones for science and I am UNhappy with that. BJU is great stuff if you have a lot of time in the humanities, but science?

    I wasn't impressed.

  8. I thought the Sonlight Science looked hands on, but I hear some saying it is not. They recommend an entire science kit for experiments, etc. so it surely seems hands on. I like to have something hands on for science and math.
    Unfortunately I've missed all the homeschool fairs in our area. We used Math-U-See and Teaching Textbooks for math this year and were pretty happy with them. We had a wedding the weekend of the CHAP homeschool fair.

  9. Ah! If you are saving your energy for hands-on activities, it might be good. Or I think there are DVDs that go with it, that show the experiment being done.

    Maybe the best idea is to go to the Sonlight website and find the "curriculum advisor." Someone will really email you in a day or so and answer your questions. :]

  10. I know this is an old post, but I just saw it. I'm so glad Luke posted. I believe he's one of the sons of the Sonlight creator.
    Personally, I gathered various books for core topics and sort of created unit studies. But I quickly realized this was too much work and with the advanced work, I wouldn't be able to do this for long.
    I'm only hs'ing one child of an advanced level and did MUCH research. I chose the core based on his Math, Science and reading level. Science was review, reading level was too easy and Math was spot on, because we had already been using Horizon.
    Both ds and I didn't care for the Sequential spelling and I found another curriculum to use.
    The one thing I find frustrating about Sonlight, is the box the children are kept in based on age instead of ability. So I do what any caring parent would do; ignore their advice and go with my knowledge of my child and make my decision on the Core based on that. We have already received the curriculum for next year (this fall) and we are SUPER excited to get started.
    My ds will ask me if he can take books off the shelves and go through them.
    All that being said, there are as many different ways to homeschool as their are children. And we as parents need to find their best way to learn. We obviously want learning to be fun and not a drudge.
    I'm off to check out some more of your posts. =)


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

So Much Has Happened...

The smaller children and I always took our neighbour Karola out for the day about every other week, as well as needed appointments and so ...