Today just became our "Box Day." My kids rushed to the front door as the truck pulled away, and we crowded around our box to pore over the contents inside. It was almost like Christmas morning. After the excitement died down and my kids went in different directions to look at their new materials, I sat in a moment of reflection. I am sure you've read many "stories" from other customers, but I really wanted to share ours with you.
Two years ago, my 4 children and I found ourselves in a brand new life. One that we didn't want and had no control over. I became a single mother, and my children faced the reality of being "divorced kids." I know we are not the only family to experience this, and unfortunately we won't be the last. But it was really hard for us, nonetheless. I leaned on the Lord for strength every day and truly learned what it means to "give it all to Him."
I will spare you the details of our journey, but I want to share how we became homeschoolers. Specifically, Sonlighters. :)
I had attempted to homeschool 3 years ago, when my oldest was in 2nd grade and I was expecting my 4th child. I pieced together my own curriculum, and it was pretty rough. She was bored, I was worried I was missing something. I pored over your catalog and dreamed of what it would be like to use your materials, but we just didn't have the money to buy a curriculum. When my 4th child was born, I was overwhelmed and ended up putting my daughter back in public school. I was heartbroken. I felt like I was supposed to be homeschooling, but it felt like more than I could handle.
When I came out of my fog after my husband and I separated, my prayer every day was (and still is) that my kids could have the best childhood in spite of our circumstances. I didn't want to be overwhelmed and stressed, losing my patience all the time. I didn't want to miss out on their childhood because I was struggling just to get through every day. I believe the Lord provides us with strength beyond our understanding, and I prayed for that strength. And His favor and blessings upon myself and the kids.
About a year and a half ago, I felt Him encouraging me to homeschool again. I felt it strongly. But I was scared. How would I homeschool 4 children as a single mother?? How would I afford it? How would I not lose my mind trying to put together a curriculum every year?? One day, I was flipping through one of your catalogs. Even though I was not homeschooling, I still looked through your catalogs and dreamed about how amazing it would be to teach my kids with your materials. :) It might sound funny, but it's true. I just knew it was perfect for our family, but it seemed impossible. As it is, we live with my parents and live simply so that I am still able to stay home with my children. My youngest is only 2 years old. I'm willing to make financial sacrifices to stay home with them, but this means that our budget it tight. So I laid out a fleece...
"Lord," I prayed, "I feel you asking me to homeschool. I want to be obedient. Please be patient with me and my fears. And Lord...if this is really what you want me to do, I pray that you would provide Sonlight materials for the kids and I to use. I pray that it is obviously from you."
Not long after, I was standing in line at an event at church. My best friend and I were chatting about homeschooling. The woman behind us in line interrupted and told us she was new to the church and that she homeschools her 4 children. She had been wanting to meet other homeschooling families at our church. She asked me what curriculum I was using, and I told her I didn't have one. I still wasn't sure what I was going to use. She told me that she had children older than my own, and I was welcome to use her materials for my own children, since they were just sitting on the shelf in her basement. What curriculum did she use?? Sonlight. I was speechless at how the Lord provided.
That was last year. Your materials are everything I had hoped they would be. And since we became homeschoolers, and I have my children home with me instead of away at school (two would be in school full-time), we have been able to move past the pain of the divorce.
We've grown closer as a family, and my children are "absorbing" the Holy Spirit in ways they couldn't do if they spent every day at school.
They are happy and at peace, even if they are growing up in unfortunate circumstances.
This year, since I was able to plan ahead, I ordered everything that was not loaned to me. I wish I could own each Core for our own use, but I'm beyond grateful that we get to experience Sonlight every year, even if some of the books have to go back in June. :) I ordered workbooks and consumable materials this year, along with things like Ruth Beechick's "The Three R's" and all of our elective materials. I can't wait to open up the schedules and put them in our shiny new binder. :) My kids are super excited to start school. :)
Thank you for your company, and the curriculum. Thank you for what Sonlight does for families. Thank you for bringing so many homes the excitement of "Box Day."
And from this simple single mother...thank you for your impact on my babies' childhoods. They love school, and the time we spend together. They are happy, content children. And part of that is due to Sonlight.
Thank you more than you know.