Pros and Cons of Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

by Kaye

Interesting, Trustworthy Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

Interesting, Trustworthy Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

We have been using Sonlight homeschool curriculum for seven years now, going into our eighth. I have not found anything that excels it for interesting history. My daughter knows more facts than I ever did and often gets comments that she knows so much, she must be home schooled.

I know I can trust the content of the books (very important to me!) because Sonlight has already read and reviewed them. I feel the books chosen provide a well-rounded introduction to the world. They often have Christian over-tones but don’t cocoon her, starting her on a balanced Christian world-view.

I have found the English portion of Sonlight's curriculum to be a little hard to keep up with, but I think it is more that it doesn't fit with our style. I have extensively used outside curriculum for our English.

Science relies heavily on Usborne books and, if you get the Sonlight guide, you get some very good comprehension questions. We have had some great discussions that have resulted from some of the science readings.

Sonlight is a bit pricey, but it is because of the numerous books you get. I love the fact that all the organization is done for you and everything is scheduled so you don't feel lost. It saved me as a beginning home school mom when I didn't have a clear feeling of the direction I was going. I give it an A-1.

Kaye, thanks for sharing what you like and dislike about Sonlight; clearly the pros outweigh the cons! Every curriculum has it's shortcomings, but I like how you make the best of what doesn't work for you and your daughter. Blessings, Heather :)

Learn more about Sonlight: Read 27 Reasons Families Love Sonlight!

You can order Sonlight products directly from their website, or find used Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum on ebay.

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Comments for Pros and Cons of Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

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Aug 03, 2009
we love Sonlight too!
by: Kim

I totally agree with the post on Sonlight. We LOVE Sonlight! We use it exclusively for history. It's so helpful to have it all laid out for me. We don't read every single book and I don't feel like we are missing out for skipping some books. Even with skipping books, my kids read, on average, 10 historical fiction books a semester along with finding the places they are reading about on maps, doing timelines, and answering questions. We've recently added lapbooking/notebooking to coincide with our history and my kids really enjoy the lapbooking/notebooking.

Getting a program that lays out the entire year of history study using real books, maps, and timelines along with discussion questions and answers and summaries for moms to busy to read every book, is a perfect fit for us!

We buy the teacher guides and then borrow 90% of our books from our well stocked local library. It's a very inexpensive program when you borrow the books from the library. Even if you decide to buy the whole package, the resale value is very high.

Aug 12, 2009
Sonlight at Conventions
by: Luke Holzmann

Sonlight does not offer curriculum for purchase at the conventions we attend. We do this because we don't want you to feel pressured to buy on the spot and then lug around two huge boxes of books [smile]. Conventions are a great place to get answers to your Sonlight questions, peruse the great books and Instructor's Guides and get a feel for what the year ahead with Sonlight could be.


Aug 12, 2009
Updated Sonlight Info
by: Heather

Hi Luke,
Thanks for stopping by and giving us more insight into your company. Home educators can often feel overwhelmed at conventions, especially "newbies". Thank-you for being sensitive to this, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity; makes for happier customers, I'm sure!

Your concern over our physical well-being is appreciated too - no heavy books to lug around will eliminate potential back pain, stress, and fatigue for convention-goers! :)

Wishing you and Sonlight continued success,
Heather Gneco
PS I updated this page re: purchasing Sonlight materials at conventions; thanks for the clarification.

Aug 12, 2009
Another Sonlight fan
by: Heather

We love Sonlight too! This is the first year we've used it and I'm so relieved that I don't have to lay out my own curriculum like in previous years. The literature is wonderful.

Sep 17, 2009
My Kids Love Sonlight!
by: Jennifer

I totally agree with the comments! I have used other curriculums with my kids, they hated them! They were too restrictive, too many workbook pages. I love this curriculum because of the great literature and even my non-reader is enjoying all of the books. I agree that the language arts moves a little fast, especially for my kindergartener who is just grasping reading but, like some of the other comments we just utilize what we can from the books and other resources moving at our own pace.

It is also a great curriculum if you are traveling since it gives them plenty to read in the car during the trip! Adding field trips that are pertinent to what is being studied is fairly easy, too. We are just now finishing up year 1 of using the sonlight curriculum and we love it!!

May 16, 2011
by: momofthree

I just recently purchased the Sonlight curriculum for my kids, 3rd and 1st grade. I will be submitting my grades to a PSP group to keep our records. How did you grade your kids with this curriculum? There doesn't seem to be any testing.

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Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Has Great Books, But...

by Stacy
(Hadley, PA )

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Pitfalls

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Pitfalls

First year homeschooling mom points out a couple pitfalls of Sonlight homeschool curriculum...

Sonlight has great books, but it just may not be for you! I am a first year homeschooling mom who is trying to not overbuy curriculum, so that is why I chose Sonlight homeschool curriculum for our first year of homeschooling (kindergarten).

The curriculum is great because it is all put together in one box with Sonlight offering all of the books required to complete the school year.

However, I felt that the instructors guides were way too big and intimidating. There was just way too much flipping here and there to complete a day's lessons.

The language arts was also not the best program that I have come across (we switched to using Phonics Pathways in the middle of the year). The books were great to read, but if you are a person who does not like to wade through a three inch thick instructor's guide, then you should search for another curriculum to use.

Stacy, I appreciate your honesty about Sonlight homeschool curriculum. Your comments will be very helpful to those considering Sonlight, giving them a good idea of what to expect when using Sonlight with their family. Thanks! Blessings, Heather :)

Considering Sonlight? Don't buy yet! Read 27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight first.

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Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Veteran

by Amanda
(Marengo, IL, USA)

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Benefits

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Benefits

Veteran Sonlight mom shares why she chooses Sonlight homeschool curriculum for her family, year after year, after year...

This is our 10th year using Sonlight homeschool curriculum. We love it because we get to read excellent, real books, both fiction and non-fiction, not textbooks, and the teacher guide has everything planned out for me.

We started with Sonlight when my oldest was starting 3rd grade and he's in 12th grade now. My youngest is in 6th grade and is using all the books my oldest used and I get to read them again, and I like it!

I thought it might be boring reading the books out loud a second time, but it's not. Sonlight books are well chosen and I can say that with 10 Sonlight Cores under my belt, there are only a handful of books that I didn't like, out of hundreds.

A Core includes Bible, Reading, History, and Read-Aloud books, plus the teacher guide, which has the schedule plus comprehension questions and answers, as well as literature, and history, and creative writing guides for the high school levels.

Sonlight is kind of pricey, with packages costing between $300 and $550. However, the books are awesome, numerous, and well-loved, plus they resell fantastically, if you can bear to part with them. I fully recommend Sonlight homeschool curriculum.

Wow, Amanda! I would say you are one happy Sonlight customer! If your review/testimonial doesn't convince those who are considering Sonlight homeschool curriculum for their family to try it, nothing will! What a great story! Blessings, Heather
PS You definitely have quite the collection of books! :)

Sonlight Money-saving Tip
Check out Sonlight's Love to Learn Guarantee on their website. You can test drive Sonlight homeschool curriculum for 18 weeks. If you or your kids don't love their programs, you get your money back!

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Pros and Cons of Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

by Christina
(Ft Sill, OK)

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum  Review

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum Review

Your family is unique. What works for you, may not work for others. Find out why Sonlight homeschool curriculum doesn't quite make the grade with this homeschooling family...

I have used Sonlight Core 3 this year. My children are 8 & 10 and using one set for both of them is nice.

I really like that the books all tie together when you follow the IG (Instructor’s Guide). My children are excited when they hear the same things happening in each book, even though each book will have different plots.

I didn't like the Bible, I need something more than just reading out of the Bible for my children. Also, the science does not flow together.

The spelling is easy to follow, but I do not think this is helping my child who is a weak speller. She needs to learn the "rules" of spelling, and I don't feel she is learning them now.

Sonlight math was very basic, it went very slow for my 8 yr old. I moved her onto Aleks and she has finished the entire 3rd grade math in only 2 months and is now going onto 4th grade.

I do not know if I will use Sonlight next year. I believe I want something that has some testing to prepare my children more for the way things work in college.

Sonlight does not have any "testing". I do not want them to be scared to test later in life; tests are needed for driving, finding a job, and a weekly part of life in college. I wished they offered a testing option with their curriculum. Then I would feel better about using certain parts. I could make up my own test, however I feel I am paying for full program I shouldn't have to make up my own test.

One other note, you will need a lot of space to store the many books that go with this program. My children are still reading books in their "free" time, so the reading isn't overwhelming, split between two children. It is just A LOT of books.

Thanks for taking the time to review Sonlight and sharing some insight into how it's working with your family. I like that you include both the pros and cons of the curriculum; it helps others know some obstacles they may encounter.

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