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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why People Hate Sonlight

One of my bloggy friends mentioned googling hate sonlight. And I thought, 'Hmm... I should write a blog post about the things that make Sonlight horrible so when people search for it, they hit my blog!' <Bwahahaha ha!>

Of course, those who have swung by my blog searching for "sonlight curriculum bad" only stuck around for 40 seconds.

So, please, before you close this tab, here are 27 Reasons NOT to Buy from Sonlight. The article contains a list of 27 things that make Sonlight a bad choice for your family. If you're looking for reasons to hate using Sonlight, 27 Reasons is the article for you.

What are the reasons I've heard? For your reading pleasure:

3 Reasons People Hate Sonlight:

  1. I once chatted with a homeschooler--my age--who said that Sonlight was way too easy and it bored him. Not sure how that could be true, but I can't really argue with his experience. My guess is that he just didn't have a properly selected Core. If you need help choosing a Core that will best fit your family, chat with an Advisor (yes, it's free).

  2. I've read several blog posts about how Sonlight brainwashes people and feeds them lies. Unfortunately, people on both sides of issues claim this. So Sonlight is probably more in the middle than is comfortable for some (see Reason 11).

  3. Sonlight has way too much to do! This complaint is raised in Reason 6, so you should already know about it..
Bonus 4th Reason: And, of course, Sonlight costs money. That's because you get a hundred pounds of books and materials. And, well, that costs money. So that's not a good reason to hate Sonlight, but it is a legitimate complaint: When you buy lots of good stuff it costs money. I don't like it either.

What are some the reasons you've heard why people hate Sonlight?

Granted, I love Sonlight. But I know Sonlight's not for everyone.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


Sarah at SmallWorld said...

I've never met anyone who hates Sonlight, but unfortunately I've heard people refer to Sonlight as "boxed curriculum." To me that is just plain WRONG!! When I hear "boxed" I think Abeka, Bob Jones, Switched on Schoolhouse, ACE. Sonlight is soooooo far from those, and I always take it upon me to correct that kind of statement.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...


I get searches like "kill all autistic kids" (not to mention goodies like "used underwear"). Sometimes the search says more about the bias of the person searching. Or someone having a little fun with the search engine to see what pops up. :]

Whoops... I didn't mean it that way.

Going home now LOL.

The Reader said...

I don't think I've met anyone who out & out hates SL, but I have heard the "it's too expensive" thing lots of times.

Many years ago (or maybe just 2...) I did a blog post on the cost of hs'ing w/SL, and really, when you break it down by kid (since you are reusing the materials) it's not too bad. I explain that little tidbit often.

Well, I did when in the US. Not so much here in Brazil, where they've not heard of hs'ing and just look at me like I'm crazy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous comments are not displayed here.

Unknown said...

Not really about the curriculum itself, but many, many, many people hate the website and the absolute confusion they are left with trying to figure out what to get (and I wouldn't call an advisor myself because I do NOT call people unless I absolutely HAVE to because I detest talking on the phone, particularly to strangers, so I understand people not wanting to call). In all honestly I think - no, actually I know - that Sonlight is losing a lot of potential customers due to that confusion. If you can't figure out the website or what to buy you can never even give the curriculum a chance.

Working Through said...

Butter: there is an online curriculum advisor, Sonia, and you can talk to advisors online. The Choosing Curriculum Forum is open to all.

Now to answer the original question.

I see most complaints about the price, that it doesn't follow TWTM, or that it is to much work, and it is boxed.

There is not one curriculum that is going to fit everyone. Sonlight comes closest for me, even though I am a secular homeschooling mom. It bothers me that people call it a boxed curriculum, which I agree totally that Sonlight is not !!!! You can pick and chose from Sonlight.

No other curriculum that I have found in 20 years has such wonderful books selected, it also tends to show all sides of an issue. They may not schedule all pages in a book, but they chose those that you can give your child a wide range of exposure to many things.

I love the literature approach, and it works wonderfully for my family. I will purchase a core every single year. The Language Arts, Science, and Electives sometimes fit into what I want to teach.

I love that Sonlight gives me the choice. If only they had a highschool Ancient history... then it would be perfect, but almost perfect is plenty for me.

se7en said...

Hate is a very strong word!!! I have had folk tell me they didn't like Sonlight...

because they have to read to their kids all day: Not really, a couple of pages of Bible, science and history and a read-aloud... Surely every homeschool mum reads eight to ten pages of stories to their kids everyday - surely!

because it isn't hands on enough: I love that the projects are not dictated and there is plenty of time for my kids to create their own hands on projects... can you imagine the guilty burden of having to tick off craft projects...

because they spend half their lives sourcing materials... these are the folks that are the least happy and the most gripey about Sonlight: they haven't actually bought a core - bits of it yes but not the whole thing, the idea being they can grab the most popular books from the library when they need them (they are popular for a reason) or they haven't bought the IG, i couldn't survive without the schedules. Imagine language arts without the IG is a couple of disconnected books and a pack of go fish alphabet cards - this wouldn't work for me either!!!

I will stop already - I obviously am a bit passionate about Sonlight - can you tell!!!

Grateful for Grace said...

Luke- I love Sonlight. I think it's awesome. That being said, number 7 in the list applies to me. Sorta.

I think you all (meaning the collective group, SL) are cheating by putting two totally different reasons in number 7. You seem to be trying to tackle Tapestry of Grace in just that one reason.

I don't really like the four year cycle idea. I'd rather do topics like SL has arranged their cores around, BUT I do want my kids on the same time period. I want us all studying the same thing.

I agree that digging deeper is more important for older students in certain topics, but I'm not willing to sacrifice us having two (or more) different historical periods to do that.

Because of the age span in our homeschool, my desire to have us all on the same time period, and my desire to have discussion about the Biblical worldview each week, I had to switch from SL. TOG isn't perfect and we may not stick with it. For sure next year we are going to do Core 5 with all the kiddos. I will buy more books for my oder student to keep us all on the same subject. It won't be as hard to do as a historical period is to do.

Anyway, I still think SL is amazing and I love it. If I had only two kids, it would be practically perfect. The only thing I wish SL had (and I"m sorry I haven't remembered you asked about this until now!) is Biblical discussion questions. For time periods. Even dreamier would be for books.

I don't have more time because I need to get ready for church, but one of the things that appealed to me in TOG is the thinking questions and discussion questions each week that discuss the historical information but also include Biblically derived questions.

Luke Holzmann said...

SmallWorld, thanks! Of course, Sonlight does come in a box, so perhaps that's what they're thinking of <laughing>. I think many people who dislike "boxed curricula" dislike anything packaged at all. In which case, Sonlight won't be a good fit for them.

As per usual, Mrs. C, you make me giggle.

Heather, <smile>. Well, thanks for doing your part to demonstrate the value of Sonlight. ...even if people around you think you're nuts <smile>.

Good stuff, Anonymous! I know those complaints are out there. And you're right: There are people that just dislike "boxed curricula" as SmallWorld noted. Sonlight is not for everyone.

Butter, I know. Totally. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go with making the website and the product more easy to understand. But, you don't have to talk to an Advisor on the phone! You can Chat Online if you prefer! <smile>

Jana, thanks so much for your kind words and props <smile>. And if you haven't submitted the idea of an Ancient History high school program, you should. We've got a ton to do here, so it may not come out for a long, long time... but we do try to meet needs!

I am so happy you're so passionate about Sonlight, Se7en <smile>. Love it!

Grateful for Grace, thanks for the feedback! And we may be cheating, but I think the segment on Reason 7 is still strong. Despite our four-year gap, my younger siblings and I often participated in the same Core, so I understand wanting to keep everyone together <smile>. As for discussion questions for time periods and Bible questions, I'll be sure to pass that along! We're always open to ways we can better serve homeschoolers!



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Luke Holzmann
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