Sonlight does not pretend the world is perfect. We always remain rooted in the hope of Christ, but we don't shy away from books and curriculum that deal with tough situations.
The stories we use present a real look at the world, but the characters never crumble in the end (except for a few literary classics in the upper high school levels, such as The Grapes of Wrath in Core 400). Sonlight books and programs instead show that trials are a normal part of life, and that with God's help we face them, maintain hope, and grow.
Brock, Tucker and Holly P enjoy a Sonlight adventure of perseverance and triumph in Medieval Europe
Children should be optimistic about life, but they shouldn't think it will be all rosy and light. Even in their appropriately sheltered worlds right now, things aren't perfect. They face disappointments: when a sibling breaks a prized toy, when the flu keeps them from a friend's birthday party, when they don't make the baseball team, or when they don't get their own way. Unfortunately, children can face even bigger disappointments: when a best friend moves away or a beloved grandparent passes on.
If children expect life to be easy and carefree, they aren't prepared for when things go wrong. When a truly tough situation comes along – whether now or in college and beyond – they can think God has abandoned them. They can think they don't know how to handle the situation.
If we help children see that the world is tough and they can be tough too, we can actually empower them. When hard times come, we can help them to think "You know what, I'll get through this. Because kids in stories get through tough spots as well."
Fortunately, our imperfect world is not the end of the story. God is working things toward an end point where he will redeem all his people and we will live in harmony in the New Jerusalem. Oh, how I look forward to that day!
For now, the world can be a beautiful and tough place. I pray that Sonlight children will grow up with their hope and trust in Jesus Christ. I pray they see that people need a Savior and that they will share their hope with others. May our children make a difference in this world that God loves so dearly.
P.S. For a longer article related to this topic, I highly recommend "Why Sonlight Uses Certain Books Some Homeschoolers Won't Touch."