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Sonlight Reviews

Sonlight Curriculum provides quality, literature-rich K-12 Christian homeschool curriculum and related educational products, resources, and programs. Sonlight is a Christian company specializing in literature-based homeschool curriculum programs which selects engaging books and readers that cover topics such as Bible, history, language arts, handwriting, math, science, and more. They provide complete homeschool curriculum packages and individual resources and materials so you can build the preschool or K-12 homeschool curriculum that best meets your family’s needs.

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  1. Sonlight Review by Jan
    Pros: Complete curriculum, great books, adaptable
    Cons: Hard to separate if you are looking for just one subject
    Grades Used: K-8

    We have been very happy with Sonlight. Living overseas without access to an English language library, Sonlight has been the best curriculum in terms of books, completeness and price. We have tried other subjects, like science, but there are hidden costs with most curriculums: additional books or supplemental supplies. With Sonlight there will be no overdue library fines or an missing ‘supply’ for an assignment.

    It can be overwhelming if you try to do everything in each core. We have taken a relaxed approach and will drop assignments or alter them to fit each child. I think you can combine all your kids with each core until high school without a lot of additional work.

  2. Sonlight Review by Amanda
    Pros: Great for smaller families!
    Cons: I had a hard time using it for our larger family and it is expensive.
    Grades Used: 5, 3, K and preschool

    Sonlight just isn’t working for my family. I like the schedule and it does save me time. But I’m struggling with getting everything done! I’m currently doing 2 cores-D and A.

    Some of the books are wonderful! Some are not so good IMO. I stopped reading one of the Children’s Bibles all together. I found that while I was reading it I had to change the wording a few times. It was very graphic. Especially the part about Sodom and Gomorrah.

    I think Sonlight would be perfect for a smaller family that didn’t want to spend a lot of time planning. Just be careful when you are reading and make sure there isn’t anything YOU find objectionable!

  3. Sonlight Review by Wendy
    Pros: GREAT for a first year homeschooler!
    Cons: Wish it were cheaper
    Grades Used: K

    This program is wonderful if you are just starting to homeschool and have NO IDEA (as I did) what you are doing. It is very easy to use and takes no prep time. It’s all laid out for you. We chose to do the Four Day Core and we were able to spend time on Fridays to expound on some of the LA and catch up on any science experiments we hadn’t had time for during the week. We had a lot of fun this year with this program and I would highly recommend it to anyone. However, if you know what you’re doing, I suggest you save yourself the expense and put together your own. We are going to try it on our own this next year and see how it goes.
    I do wish it was cheaper, but for all that it offers, I can’t really complain.

  4. Sonlight Review by Jennifer F
    Pros: Easy direction to fallow
    Cons: LA too vague
    Grades Used: 1/2

    Very good program to start off with (its all in one). Directions are simple to follow except for the LA, which I felt was lacking sustance. My daughter loves it and looks forward to school everyday. I would highly recommend this program with a supplemental LA program.

  5. Sonlight Review by Stephanie

    We love Sonlight, and would highly recommend it, especially if it’s your first year homeschooling. Their IG’s make it very easy to teach, and the bonding time that the read-alouds provide for is invaluable. The only negative, IMO, is the language arts program. It is a very natural, loose approach, which did not work well at all with my child. We ended up returning it and using something else. However, because of their learn to love guarantee (if you buy a complete core or a whole package), I was able to return it for a full refund a couple months into the school year, used. Pretty amazing customer service! They really care that you do not waste money on items that aren’t going to help your child learn.

  6. Sonlight Review by S Cordner
    Pros: Wide world view taught, strong on global missions, literature based learning, great books
    Cons: Not so easy to combine kids together if more than 2 years apart in age
    Grades Used: P3/4, P4/5, A, B, C, D, D+E, F

    I have four children and have used this curriculum for four years. I love it. My kids are learning a ton. The curriculum is challenging and easily, even without their LA program, can encourage great language skill simply from all the reading. All the scheduling is done for you. To take full advantage of the curriculum does involve a good deal of parental involvement. The IG notes are full of great information that is more than most can or want to wade through regularly but is a great resource. The IG is easy to follow. Some aspects (like vocabulary words) aren’t easily compiled for the parent but are listed in the IG. Other than that, it is very easy to follow.

    I found after our first year that combining wasn’t the best for my kids. They needed to be challenged at their own levels and I didn’t have the time or brain power to tweak the program myself. Many do and are happy, but for us it wa more work to tweak than to do separate cores. I have three cores working now (youngest two are twins). It can be hard to get all the reading in but it is doable. You have to be flexible, adjust your expectations and maybe spread the core out over more than just 180 days in order to complete everything . . .or just not do everything.

    The LA program is sound, but you have to be willing to actually do it. I have chosen not to and realized it was due to my need for something predictable and more spelled out. The lessons are easy to follow but often don’t provide enough instruction for parents who are unseasoned or simply prefer to have it broken down more (like me).

    The science program is (IMO) one of the most thorough on the market. Each year covers a topic of focus but also reviews at deeper and deeper depth basic science concepts.

    Overall a highly rigorous and academic program that does both support and challenge a
    Christian worldview (they purposefully don’t shy away from the tough topics). We love it!

  7. Sonlight Review by Carla McDaniel
    Pros: Great concept. Lots of great books to read, and a wide array of interests.
    Cons: Expense exceeds the value. Some of the pictures in the book used for History were very inappropriate for the eyes of children. Needless nudity that distracted my sons. The spelling words are found in the IG in paragraph form, and had they been presented in a list format, the child could actually do somethings independently. The entire curriculum was too parent intensive. It was not a time saver as it claimed.
    Grades Used: B+C (about 3rd grade level)

    I bought this with high hopes. I had even explored it at a homeschool convention. I was impressed by the great reading books my child would read. I was pleased with the layout of the schedule and how the lesson plans were already created. Sonlight boasted a Christian worldview, that I really did not find when it arrived to my home. We ended up sending the core books of the program back. I am still hopeful to salvage some of my investment.

  8. Sonlight Review by Pam
    Pros: great books
    Cons: too time intensive
    Grades Used: Core F

    Sonlight has wonderful books but is very expensive and time intensive for the parent. We did the first 13 weeks of Core F this year. I bought the Instructors Guide and all of the books that couldn’t be found at the library. I really enjoyed the books to read aloud to my kids but the reading load is very heavy and we couldn’t possibly get all of them read. It was frustrating to me and my child. I called Sonlight to return the books and guide per their “Love to Learn Guarantee” and I was told it was too late. ( It was 8 months since I bought it.) The website is MISLEADING as it states that you can return the IG, or Core or multi subject packages within one year of purchase if you use only weeks 1-18. When I called Sonlight they said that the guarantee only means that I can return the IG only! (Not the books.) Poor, misleading return policy.

  9. Sonlight Review by Nicole De Yarman
    Pros: Christ centered approach, scheduling is done, excellent education!
    Cons: None
    Grades Used: PreK-10th

    I have used Sonlight for years! I did try Bob Jones and Abeka, but I found these curricula dry, and boring. I have done multiple cores at once, and, in fact, continue to do so. My kids LOVE it and I would never switch. The Language Arts has changed and they do offer supplements if you wish to use them. Initially, it is expensive, but as I have 5 children, it costs me less every year because I can keep the books and re-use them. My oldest daughter will be a senior in high school. She was asked to skip two grades when she took a placement test. Sonlight is an excellent homeschool investment!

  10. Sonlight Review by Nicole
    Pros: Great Literature Base, Worldview, MIssionary Biographies
    Cons: Language Arts a little weak for teaching reading
    Grades Used: P3/4, P4/5, K, 1

    I have been very happy with all of Sonlight except I also fill like the Language Arts has holes. Although with that to say, I still use it and supplement with Kumon workbooks. My kids love all of the Sonlight books, and honestly I don’t understand when people say it’s expensive. Their books are already discounted and overall you always spend less than if you ordered them all on Amazon. Also, for missionaries they have a subsidy which is a huge help! We are so blessed!

  11. Sonlight Review by Jen
    Pros: History heavy, easy to organize, extremely thorough
    Cons: Tons of reading, which could also be a pro
    Grades Used: 4th-5th

    We pulled our son out of 4th grade midway through the school year and had no idea what we were doing. Sonlight made it so easy to organize the lessons that my husband and I both felt very comfortable with what we were doing. All 3 of our kids now use Sonlight, 4th and 5th grade, and they are learning at a pace that I would never have imagined. Not only are they learning daily, they are enjoying the learning process.
    The best part of the Sonlight curriculum is how thorough the American History is in their 4th grade curriculum. The history coincides with all of their daily reading and read alouds, their language arts and writing, as well as their science (as long as you stay true to grade with science). We have been extremely happy and will continue to use Sonlight in years to come.

  12. Sonlight Review by Sally
    Pros: lesson plans, lots of books for book-lovers
    Cons: price, difficult to manage several levels
    Grades Used: P4-6

    For my book-loving kids, they loved the Sonlight method of reading a lot of books. However, many of the secular books need edited, and with having 5 children in school at the time, I could not keep up with pre-reading all of the material. Probably for smaller families, this would not be a problem. I did not care for their language arts program, so did not do many of the pages. My children still enjoy watching the math and science dvds.

  13. Sonlight Review by Sara
    Pros: Easy Planning, Good Scope & Sequence
    Cons: Sometimes like institutional education
    Grades Used: 2nd

    I have used only the Language Arts program, and I did not purchase the books from them, which helped me keep the cost down a lot! I bought a few from Amazon after checking the list against my library’s availability. I got Sonlight because I was looking for a program that would help me plan and make sure I covered a wide variety of literature types and writing assignments. I have liked what we have done so far. My son doesn’t enjoy reading/writing much, but he has been able to handle the manageable assignments and learn from them. He is making great strides in reading and writing. I think we will continue to use them in the future. The spelling program that comes with it is okay, but if you really need help in this area, I would look for something else.

  14. Sonlight Review by Cheri Burt
    Pros: Lots of living books
    Cons: Expensive
    Grades Used: 1st-5th

    My oldest started out with another program for Kindergarten but she needed more for 1st grade and when we found Sonlight we knew it was perfect. She loves to read and has 2-3 books going at the same time not including the “assigned” reading in the Sonlight program.

    When we started, we had everything from Sonlight. I was not impressed with the Language Arts so we went with something else but still do the read-alouds and readers. I have since heard that the LA has improved greatly but I do not have personal experience.

    We used their Bible and Science until this last year when finances deemed that we find something else to use. We loved both of those parts of the program and pray that God will allow us to come back to those soon. The science encompasses both writing, observation and hands-on which is great for all different kinds of learners. The Bible was broken down into bite-size pieces to read and ponder. I believe that Sonlight had some influence on my daughter becoming a believer and has a desire to share the word with other near and far. They have a strong emphasis on missions which has really touched our hearts.

    Over and above, our favorite has and always will be the reading and history. I like that we are not using textbooks with small snipets of history. We are reading biographies, true history and historical fiction books that make us feel like we are right there in the action. My daughter’s imagination is amazing and I have Sonlight to thank for that.

  15. Sonlight Review by Emily
    Pros: No planning needed, can make it secular or Christian, could be used for multiple children
    Cons: Price, not a lot of book work for those children that like book work
    Grades Used: Pre-K 4/5

    I have only used Sonlight for the P 4/5 year so far. I love it. We will be getting it for K also. It is all set out for you with the IG. For Pre-K, you can easily use it for a 4 OR 5 day a week schedule. Most of the books are incredibly interesting and fact-filled. Even the ones that are a bit drier (for my child specifically) are still enjoyable. Sonlight is perfect for those parents that do not want to put any work into putting a curriculum together. The IG also has some optional activities you can do each week that corresponds to the books read each day. Those activities work well for the more hands-on children.
    Pre-K does NOT have a lot of book work. There is only 1 set of 4 books that are written in. I also bought their Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K book, which did not come with the ready-made P 4/5 set. It adds some fun crayon book work. We are done with Sonlight in less than an hour. For children that want to be working longer than that (like my child), you may need to supplement. I’m sure that the work load gets harder in K, and thus lasts longer.

  16. Sonlight Review by Andrea Halstead
    Pros: Great books, easy to follow instructor guide
    Cons: price
    Grades Used: K-4th - so far

    I have used Sonlight for the majority of our homeschooling years. I love it because it has an instructors guide that tells me exactly what book to read and how much to read. Sometimes we follow it exactly and sometimes we do not. As a college graduate in Elementary Education, I found that I would search around for stuff online for my kids and waste time that I wanted to be doing things with them. Sonlight was the answer for us. With the laid out instructors guides I do not have to spend hours planning. If I do have some time and want to supplement I can do that.

    We use Sonlights History, Reader, and Read-aloud schedules. We tried their Language arts but found that it had “holes” in it that we did not like. They use more of a whole language approach and we like a more phonetic approach. We also do not use their Science because we found a different curriculum that suits our family so well. I have not tried their science so I really can’t comment on it.

  17. Sonlight Review by Julie Scott
    Pros: great literature, master schedule, great materials
    Cons: a bit pricey, could be hard to juggle for multiple students (esp. if not too close in yrs)
    Grades Used: 2nd - but not a full curriculum

    I had toyed with going with Sonlight for several years & a good friend of mine uses it. I was even in an online discussion group of Sonlight users for some time. I finally got a “trial” version – not a full Core, but the schedule, the Science DVD, timeline book and got the books from the library. I love the idea of Sonlight because they do use really great books – and a lot of them! (we’ve read all the reader & read aloud books that are available at our local libraries, plus have gotten some on inter-library loan, for grades pre-K thru 2nd or 3rd). It is a pretty pricey curriculum, but it really is a complete package, with master schedule and all. I’ve decided if you want to be sure your children will be well prepared for an accredited college, if you yourself have set the bar high for your own education, then Sonlight will make you confident your children will excel (not that they couldn’t otherwise). I fit those criteria (having graduated from the Univ. of Mich. and having had a successful 10yr career in Software Engineering before becoming a mom), however, for me (a more relaxed homeschooler) I realized it was going to be too stressful. Also, having 4 children 2 & 3yrs apart (so far), we would have to use several different Cores, which would make for a very busy household! Not that families with many children haven’t used Sonlight successfully. I just wasn’t sure I was up to the task with my own personality & scheduling skills. :)

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