Sonlight as College Prep?

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C.S. Lewis once quipped, "Books on a shelf are only potential literature" (An Experiment in Criticism). In other words, unless they are actually read, books really don't do much to stimulate the intellect or the emotions. Sonlight's literature-rich focus means children are always engaged in reading great books, instead of leaving them on the shelf or struggling to get through tedious textbooks.

In addition to my work developing curriculum at Sonlight, I recently taught a grad course on the philosophy of C.S. Lewis. As we made our way through the semester it occurred to me that Sonlight's literature-rich approach is a great help in preparing children for college.

We didn't use any textbooks, opting instead to read several books by C.S. Lewis. Granted, not all college or grad school courses follow this model, but when they do Sonlight students will excel (even when they don't, Sonlight users can still apply the Sonlight model of education to any area of study). After all, Sonlighters are already quite familiar with reading and understanding books, as well as following a set schedule. Sonlight also prepares children to interact with lots of different ideas, encourages critical thinking, and helps children to fairly and charitably understand and engage competing perspectives.

In short, Sonlight's approach to education not only prepares children for college studies, but it prepares them for life. None of us live in isolation from the world. Ideas and differing viewpoints permeate cultures and subcultures whether we agree with the perspectives or not. Being able to intelligently and courteously engage those ideas is a wonderful benefit of Sonlight's approach to education.

How do you see Sonlight helping your children prepare for college or life in general?

Robert Velarde

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