"We suffer the brain pain so you don't have to."

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[NB: This post has been modified from original publication. I have attempted to remove all offensive terms. All comments remain.]

That's the mantra I've been repeating here.

Choosing a Sonlight program can be incredibly difficult. You can choose everything from a one-package-with-all-subjects-included all the way down to just buy-only-the-titles-you-need. That makes for a lot of options. As you know, we've been working on improving choosing. We want selecting your homeschool curriculum to be exciting not daunting; fun not grueling.

But with the Core level changes (from numbers to letters) and the addition of Multi-Subject Pacakges (not to mention the general craziness of our annual season launch), it's been a tad maddening. We need to try to figure out all the possible combinations of programs, what goes with what, and where you would expect to find them. Plus, if you have Core A with Grade 2 Readers... which Language Arts do you need to be shown? Why, 2LG, of course. But if you wanted the Grade K Readers, then you would need KLP.

This kind of craziness leads to some fun chat messages. I received the following from Mike while he was trying to debug the Chooser:

so on fir st ig la 1 klg?


Good times. But the answer is "no."

Speaking of brains: This delightful site alerts us to misconceptions we have about ourselves. By the end of each post you will discover what the truth is. You will also discover how your self-delusion "keeps you sane."

If you're feeling a little crazy, take a few minutes to learn something new about yourself. And think about all the people who have suffered brain pain so you don't have to, like the friendly guy behind youarenotsosmart.com who takes the time to help me understand just how much craziness I have. <smile>

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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  1. littlehouseofpenguins

    I really like the variety in how you can choose a package, as you've said, everything from buying the multi-subject package to the individual books. I hope that it will continue to be easy to do so, as you say, like choosing K (now A) with the set of readers you want, and being shown the LA that would match the reading level first.

    I do hope that it will continue to be possible, for instance, to buy a core with readers and an LA that don't necessarily match. This may sound like it makes no sense. But, for instance, I discovered that we happen to already own almost every Level 1 Reader. So when I buy A, I won't want to get the Level 1 Readers, I'll probably get the Level 2 ones and just save them. But I'll want to get the Level 1 LA (or possibly both 1 and 2). Yes, it's an odd situation, but I'm sure others have other odd reasons for wanting to do things like that.

    Can't wait to see the new website! I'm sure you all will breathe a huge sigh of relief once it's up.

  2. Dana

    My dad has experienced 2 major traumatic brain injuries in his life time, with a seizure disorder and a life of medications that impede his ability to think clearly. When I was 10 years old, we attended a Christmas party where each adult was supposed to read one page of a touching story. He struggled, and I took the book from him and finished his page.
    I am shocked with the adolescent way you refer to brain damage in this post. This sounds like something out of a middle-school locker room, not MY homeschool curriculum's company.
    It is hard enough to be a contributing member of society when you have brain damage. The "intellligent" people need not add insult to literal injury.

  3. The Reader

    Luke, before I decide what I think of this post (because my first reaction is shock and a bit of offense), I'm wondering if you coined this phrase yourself or if you pulled it from some other source that might shed some light on using this term in this manner....?

    Maybe it comes from some bit of pop culture with which I am not aware.......?

  4. Kristin

    Why the change from numbers to letters and why in the color coding area of each core, does it have so many grade levels and ages?
    For example...in Core 2. Could a second, third or fourth grader start with this core if you were just beginning to homeschool with Sonlight?
    Thanks, Kristin

  5. SonlightBlog Reader

    I think a different choice of title for this post is in order. The one you've chosen is quite offensive.

  6. Luke

    Penguins, you will still be able to purchase a single IG if you like. The new Chooser tool doesn't have that built in, but if you go to the individual IG page you can add it to your cart from there.

    Reader, I thought it was a common idiom. It seems that for some it is, others haven't heard it before, and still others have heard it frequently and find it offensive. I apologize for any pain I caused. I meant no offense. I use the phrase from time to time, like in the story I started this post with. I've learned now of one more phrase I must be more sensitive about. Again: I am sorry for any pain or offense I caused.

    You are absolutely correct, Kristin. Up through this weekend, many people would purchase a Core based on the number we used. But Core's are not tied to Grades. You can use a Core with multiple children and pick the one that best matches your family's needs. That was the main thrust behind relabeling: We wanted to encourage you to find the program that is best for your family!


  7. The Reader

    Luke, thanks very much for clearing that up. I was certain, from what I've seen here of your character, that there was no intended offense, I just wasn't sure where on earth that phrase came from. I've been out of the US for nearly 4 years, so sometimes things "read" differently to me than they do to others.

    Brain Pain is much better. I appreciate the edit - says much about you as a person.

  8. Carrie


    Thank you for editing your post.

  9. Luke

    Thanks for encouraging me to move forward, friends. I learn new things every day.


  10. mary grace

    Thanks for the change, from a momma of a little boy who has taught me to reconsider sayings which I once considered "normal usage."

  11. Luke

    "Normal usage"... that's a really good term, Mary Grace. Thanks for the encouragement.