The IG: Schedule, Notes, and Love

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Yesterday I mentioned our Instructor's Guides. And it turns out that our IGs are super important.

We've been asking for feedback from customers about how much they've enjoyed using Sonlight. So far the results are stellar: Homeschool families love being Sonlighters.

Which is awesome.

What's even more telling, however, is that there is over a 10 point difference between the satisfaction level of those who use our IGs and those who don't. Those who get the whole "Sonlight experience" with an IG--the schedule, notes, answer keys, activities--absolutely love using Sonlight. That's because Sonlight is so much more than a very large pile of books. It's an entire package.

Those who forgo the Instructor's Guide and only buy books and materials from us tend to be highly satisfied, but not nearly as much. With our current data it looks like they rate us 13 points lower than their friends who purchase an IG.

The message is clear: One of many incredible aspects of Sonlight is the Instructor's Guide. You just don't experience Sonlight without it.

We want families to be thrilled with their homeschool journey, and so we're trying to get the word out: You will have a better time if you get the completely Sonlight experience with an IG.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. Becky

    I agree. The IGs are my favorite part.

  2. Renee

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, 2 Peas in a Pod. Have a great rest of the week!


  3. Wendy

    I don't know how I'd survive without the IG. It's what will make tomorrow's school happen, even though I'm up late with kids after a busy night of ball games & karate class. Zero planning! I don't even utilize the IG in all the ways I could and I still would never do without it.

  4. Ann

    Yes and yes again! I had Sonlight books with no IG handed down to me, and I struggled through the year. The next year we just bought it all ourselves and the difference was beyond words. I wouldn't go back to doing without the IG's for anything!

  5. AllyJo

    She's a Sonlight graduate, did you know (in 3 weeks)? We've been Sonlighting since 5th grade. It was the best thing to ever happen to us.

  6. Annemarie

    If anyone were to tell me that they "did" Sonlight without the IG, I would tell them that they have never done Sonlight! That's like saying you ate enchiladas without the tortillas. The IG is what wraps it all up into a comprehensive program.It causes the books to work together to bring out the richness of history, broadening your view to see events from different perspectives, examining sevaral angles and how they intersect.

    Sonlight without the IG is not Sonlight.

    ps. I think you already know that this family LOVES Sonlight!

  7. Jill in Kentucky

    Sonlight without the IG's?

    Just a pile of books!

  8. Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings

    I can't imagine trying to do Sonlight without an IG. The IG helps create the whole Sonlight experience.

  9. SaraJane

    ditto. there is no possible way to do Sonlight without the IGs - it wouldn't be a Sonlight experience. Just a good book experience. I have no trouble at all believing these results.

  10. Luke

    Becky, glad to hear it! <smile>

    Renee, you are most welcome. Thanks for returning the favor <smile>.

    Wendy, preach it! <laughing>

    Ann, that is a great story. Thanks so much for sharing.

    AllyJo, I didn't know that she was graduating in just 3 weeks. I hope you post about it so I'll remember to cheer with you <smile>.

    Annemarie, I love that: enchiladas without the tortillas. Brilliant <smile>.

    Jill, I completely agree <smile>.

    Jenn, absolutely. <smile>

    SaraJane, I believe them too. It's just been really nice to have numbers to prove it <smile>.

    Thank you all for stopping by and sharing your love of Sonlight. It's very encouraging.


  11. Sheri

    What? Doing SL w/o the IG? Well, I for one love the IGs cuz without em, all I would be doing is spinning in a circle trying to figure out what do and when. Those puppies are most helpful in deed. You just wouldn't get the whole SL train without em.

  12. se7en

    I have known people who have "saved a fortune" by buying the pile of books from all sorts of sources and then they kind of end up wandering through the books aimlessly and battle their way through school... and their school lives are so stressed.... You know why they are battling... They are trying to drive a car without any wheels... We all love our books but I couldn't do a couple of cores without those fat files to keep my head straight!

  13. Amy Bayliss

    While I admit that I am not a fan of the way the IG is organized and I do take mine apart and completely reorganize it, I will also say that I could not function without it. I love Sonlight and I just can't imagine how reading all of the books could be called an equivalent to the Sonlight experience. It's not.

    We get to start Core 3 next year with my youngest and frankly I can't wait to get my hands on the whole thing because we have heard so many great testimonies about it. The funny thing is that we read about 1/4 of the books on the list already but I know that with the IG it will be a much better experience.

    Sonlight is just the best curriculum hands down and yes, I have tried many. Sonlight (and a reorganized IG) makes me happy! :)

  14. Luke

    Sheri, I definitely want people to get the whole Sonlight train and not spin in circles. Love the imagery <smile>.

    Se7en, I like that too: Trying to drive without wheels <smile>. Good stuff!

    Amy, I know putting together the IG can be confusing and annoying, so I helped put together some videos to help. And we're always open to suggestions for how to make things better! If you haven't already, please include your ideas with your feedback form from the IG. I know every one of those is read. Thanks for helping us serve you better!


  15. theheartofachild

    IG's are great!!! The grid makes it easy for me to see and for my kids to know what is expected of them each day. Check out Sam's new found reading places this week! This is my child who before this year, didn't enjoy reading! Thank you Sonlight!

  16. Luke

    I love that post, Jennifer. Great pictures!


  17. Renee

    I have to agree. I don't think we'd enjoy Sonlight as much (and I'd be LOST) without the Instructor Guides.

  18. Luke

    Renee, thanks for adding your voice to the cheers <smile>.


  19. Heather the Mama Duk

    The reason we love Sonlight so much is because of the IG. Isn't doing Sonlight without the IG just reading a bunch of books? That's not truly doing Sonilight at all!

  20. Luke

    Heather: Yes, without the IG Sonlight is just a bunch of books... really great books, but just books <smile>.


  21. Jill

    We buy an IG, but mainly for the reading schedule. I really want to use the questions and enrichment activities, but honestly...the binders are so huge, that I don't have room to leave them open for the other activities. I wish I had a solution, but I really don't.

    I've tried thinking of ways to break it down for ease of use and the best one I've come up with that may or may not be possible for SL to do is to offer a "booklet" or something that I can take out of the IG (or something that I can buy in addition to the IG) that is focused on just one book. I would simply LOVE to give my son his book to read and just have a small booklet for ME to hold as we go over the questions. I could easily carry that type of booklet in my bag if we had to do school on the road. Can you imagine a family doing 3 cores packing up 3 big blue binders to take with them on a road trip that involved schoolwork? :)

    In the past there were rumors of an electronic IG. Something that users could manipulate to their liking. Something that was "editable"? Is that still something we could look forward to?

    • Jill, eIGs are certainly something we continue to explore. How fancy, how soon, how awesome? I don't have answers yet, but we do appreciate continued prayers as we move forward in this "digital age" [smile].

      I know people have "working binders" where they have just three weeks at a time in a slim 3-ring. There are so many different ways to organize content, it's been something we've worked hard to refine over the last 25 years. We'll continue to work toward creating useful tools and resources going forward.

      Thank you for the suggestion!