- "I'm looking for a curriculum, but Sonlight seems so overwhelming! I can barely get everything done now. The book list is intimidating!"
- "I just got my Sonlight order, and while Box Day was fun, I feel totally overwhelmed!"
Ah... the yucky feeling of being overwhelmed. It's a common concern about Sonlight’s comprehensive, book-based homeschool programs. Is there truth in the claim that Sonlight is overwhelming? Yes, in some ways, perhaps, Sonlight is overwhelming. But in other ways, Sonlight is the farthest thing from overwhelming—once you understand how it works.
Okay, Sonlight Can Seem Overwhelming
1. Sonlight Takes Up Space
Yes, it is true that a 60-pound box of materials is physically impressive and can be overwhelming. Box Day is like a fantastic Christmas Day that ends in satisfaction but also requires finding space for all the new gifts.
The sheer physicality of the product can be overwhelming.
2. Sonlight Takes Time
Yes, you are going to be present with your children more. Sonlight parents read to their children often between one and three hours a day, and do math, spelling, handwriting and other one-on-one tutoring besides that.
The reality is, if you spend two extra hours a day reading to your children, that comes to ten hours a week, or about six percent of the total hours in your week. A sacrifice, yes, but so very worth it in terms of academic achievement and parent-child bonding.
Where can you find those ten hours for reading to your kids? Here are a few places you may be able to carve out extra time. Added together, you can find your 10 hours per week to fit in Sonlight Read-Alouds.
- Spend less time on social media. (Regain 30 min. per school day = 2.5 hours a week)
- Relax your housekeeping standards, assign cleaning as schoolwork, or hire a house-cleaner. (Regain maybe 4 hours a week)
- Ask your spouse or a grandparent to read to the children before bed. (Regain another 30 min. per school day = 2.5 hours)
- Watch one fewer movie, or three fewer television shows, per week. (Regain about 1.5 hours)
There’s your time to read! Of course, your list will look different. The point is: six percent of your week is not that much time. Most people can find it, even without cutting back on sleep.
So, yes, Sonlight can seem overwhelming at first on Box Day and especially if you aren't used to so much one-on-one reading time with your children. But in several meaningful and wonderful ways, Sonlight is not overwhelming at all.
But Really, Sonlight is Not at All Overwhelming
1. Sonlight Requires Zero Planning
No, Sonlight is not overwhelming because there is zero planning required. Open your Instructor’s Guide and do the next thing.
This is the prep work each week: the parent calls the children to come. As the children are gathering, the parent locates the one or two new books for the week and opens the Instructor’s Guide.
2. Sonlight Requires Zero Preparation
No, Sonlight is not overwhelming because you don’t have to assemble anything or gather anything.
- You don’t need to go to the library or make inter-library loans. (No late fees, either! The books are yours.)
- You don’t need to print worksheets.
- You don’t need to locate copywork passages.
- You don’t need to sift through hundreds of books to find the ones that will appeal to your family.
- You don't need to crowd-source resources in Facebook groups.
All that’s done for you. <Insert huge sigh of relief.>
3. Sonlight is Truly Enjoyable!
No, Sonlight is not overwhelming because you spend your time and energy doing meaningful things:
- reading beautiful stories
- talking with your children
- discussing new thoughts
- making connections
It’s not spent grading endless papers or enforcing busywork.
Basically, you can choose whether you’d rather spend your time grading, assembling, planning, seeking, or spend that time reading, laughing, talking, learning.
For Sonlighters, there’s no comparison.