This post is part of the Where Are They Now series in which we hear the stories of long-time Sonlight users who are now thriving young adults.
“Not another new school for my children…”
It was the early 90’s. My mom and dad were church-planters who moved every 1-2 years—from Illinois to Colorado and then to Oregon. They had three children at that point, and the stress of switching schools was taking a toll on my older brother. He would be going into third grade, but it would be at a new school… yet again.
My mother was heartbroken over the impact the constant transitions had on her children.
But wait. My mom’s cousin had been telling her about homeschooling. She said she used and loved Sonlight curriculum because it was well done and comprehensive. It offered everything you needed to succeed as a first time homeschooler. The Instructor's Guides would walk you through each day of each week.
This seemed like an answer to the frequent school switching!
My parents prayed about it and decided to give homeschooling a try after moving from Colorado to Oregon. She ordered the third grade and Kindergarten Sonlight programs for my brother and me.
We all loved it! My mom’s cousin was right—Sonlight provided us with everything we needed to succeed! I loved the books my mom read to us, and so did my brother. The Instructor's Guides (IGs) gave my mom confidence to teach us because she knew she was covering all the subjects we needed.
Homeschooling Was a Comforting Constant
Soon my younger sister was old enough to start Sonlight preschool. Then along came my fourth sibling, and we were moving again. But with all of that change, we had three secure constants:
- our faithful God
- our close-knit family
- our homeschooling with Sonlight curriculum
Five children, at least six moves (three to different states), and Sonlight curriculum were a great combination! I loved learning!
Getting our Sonlight box was like Christmas all over again. As I got older, I would help my mom prepare our order and served as an informal school librarian. I knew all the books that belonged with each History / Bible / Literature (then called Core) that I had completed. When new books were added to my younger sibling's programs, I was eager to devour them.
I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to homeschool my children using Sonlight, too.
At age 15, I graduated from high school. Then in the fall I turned 16, I enrolled at our local community college, seeking an Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies. I had to take only one remedial math course—Algebra. I scored very high on the English and reading comprehension sections of the assessment test at the community college, so I was able to go straight into the college-level English course my first semester. I felt very well prepared for college and enjoyed most of the courses.
Sonlight helped my mom lay the foundation for a life-long love of learning and provided excellent educational footing for my siblings and me when we pursued further studies.
Fast-forward 15 years from my high school graduation. I now have four young children of my own with six moves under my belt since my marriage almost 11 years ago. Just as I envisioned as a young girl, my children use Sonlight! Here are the top four reasons I continue to choose Sonlight as a second generation homeschooler.
1. Sonlight Provides Structure and Preparation
I work 25 hours a week as the Registrar at Christian Leaders Institute, administering the Degree Programs which provide free, online, high-quality ministry training to people all around the world. At the same time, I'm homeschooling my third grader, Kindergartener, and Preschooler.
I need the structure of Sonlight!
I work in the morning and do schooling in the afternoon. I don’t have time to prepare lesson plans myself. And fortunately I don't have to. Sonlight’s IGs are clearly laid out by week, day, and subject. I can work part-time and homeschool, thanks to Sonlight! And I have peace of mind, knowing that I am providing my children with an awesome foundation. Which brings up the second reason I choose Sonlight…
2. Sonlight is Comprehensive and Customizable
Sonlight’s is comprehensive and has multiple options for subjects so that I can tailor the curriculum to each child’s learning style and interests while ensuring that they are learning what they need to know. One of my daughters struggled with Singapore math in first grade. We switched to Saxon—a great fit for her and no more tears! Sonlight strives to pick the best of the best and give you options to fit your family’s needs.
3. Sonlight Holds a Christian Worldview
While Sonlight has a strong Christian foundation and worldview, it also provides information about different perspectives from cultures from around the world. This combination of different worldviews shared in the light of our Christian foundation teaches my children both discernment and compassion.
Sonlight isn’t a narrow-minded curriculum that overly shelters kids from reality. No, our children will go into the world, and so they need to know about and be prepared to interact with different worldviews and cultures while keeping centered in the Lord and His Word. Sonlight prepares my children for this kind of lifestyle.
4. Sonlight Means Excellent Books
Sonlight introduces us to so many excellent books!
- Books with substance.
- Books that tackle difficult topics.
- Books that are fun, whimsical, thought-provoking, or historical.
Sonlight does a wonderful job of selecting books that are both age appropriate and connect with the history and/or science topics. Again the word comprehensive comes to mind.
Many of my Sonlight Readers and Read-Alouds are still some of my favorite books, and now I get to re-read them again with my children. And since Sonlight is always looking for and adding fresh books, I get to discover new adventures and stories, forming new favorites, as I read these new selections with my children.
Sonlight is a curriculum that has it all— everything I needed as a child and now everything my children need to have a life-long love of learning, a strong Christian foundation, and a solid academic base. Sonlight makes teaching and learning an exciting adventure. From childhood as a student to adulthood as a teacher, Sonlight has been a blessing in my life!