Sonlight: A Literature-Based Approach to Learning


I have never personally used Sonlight curriculum but everyone that I know who has used it has always told me how much they love it.  In my quest to help you make informed choices concerning your home-schooling adventure I thought I would ask some home-schoolers who use Sonlight to tell me why they use it and then pass that knowledge on to you.

 So…I put out a tweet on Twitter asking for anyone who has used Sonlight to DM me and we would connect so that I could get the 411…okay you get the picture.

 I had two people respond with answers to my questions and I found their responses to be enlightening.  I think you will too.

  1. The first response in my inbox came from Brooke McGlothlin who blogs at:  Brooke has been using Sonlight with her two little boys for pre-school, and is starting the kindergarten program this fall with her five-year old.  The draw for Brooke was Sonlight’s literature-based approach.  She also loves the Instructor Guides which mean less prep time for her.
  2. The second response I received came from Luke Holzman who was actually one of the “guinea pigs” for the Sonlight curriculum being that his parents are, in fact, the creators of Sonlight.  (Nothing like going to the source!)  According to Luke, Sonlight was the first home-school curriculum provider to use a literature-based approach.  Luke’s brother and two sisters also cut their teeth on Sonlight so he feels it can work with any learning style.  You can contact Luke and learn more about Sonlight at  Luke does point out that Sonlight is not for everyone and recommends parents read the article “27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight.”

When I was first starting out as a home-schooler, I found my best resource to be other home-schooling parents.  Even those who had only been home-schooling a couple of years had information that turned out to be very valuable to me.  I would encourage you to peruse the Sonlight website AND talk to other home-schoolers you know who have used Sonlight to find out their perceptions and what they feel are the pros and cons.  I will note that, as you may notice if you glance at my sidebar, I am a Sonlight affiliate.  I chose to become an affiliate because of the positive things other home-schoolers had to say about this curriculum.

Finally, readers, if you have used Sonlight would you take a minute to tell me why in the comments?  What were your considerations when choosing this curriculum and has Sonlight met your expectations?  What would you tell other home-schoolers who are thinking of using Sonlight?

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  • Thanks for posting! You can find me on, but if you really want to get in touch with me, my blog is your best bet:


    • Anonymous

      Thank you for helping me out, Luke! Hope everyone pops over to take a look.

  • Jewleeknapp

    We gave been using Sonlight for three years now and most of all we love the books that Sonlight has chosen. My kids can’t get enough of them and beg for me to read more. The teacher’s guide makes it so easy for me everyday. I also love that Sonlight allows me to combine my kids into the same core, which is a lot less teaching time for me. I have recently had friends use other curriculums, but as they watch the ease of Sonlight for me throughout the months, they too, have switched to Sonlight.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I have read others commenting about the books that Sonlight uses for their curriculum and saying how much they, and their kids, love the books. As a book-lover myself I can see how that would be a huge draw. And if you can teach more than one grade level at a time that is also a huge advantage. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Anonymous

      Hey Jewlee, Did you find my friend’s site (this site) by something I Facebooked or some other way?  I’ve know the author of this blog and her children, all of my life! 🙂  And its been a blessing that long too! 

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the kind words Ariele!  It’s been a joy to know your family too.

  • Aytgim

    We used Sonlight last year and I loved it. We did not make it through the entire curriculum, yet my son still learned so much. He is 6yrs old with a 5th grade reading level, so I was definitely looking for a curriculum that was literature based and this completely fit the bill. We loved it.
    The only problem is the expense and it is not something that we could continually afford in these hard economic times.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for commenting (and coming over from the Goose Tribe. I commented on your blog too!)

      Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job. Just a suggestion, but perhaps you could purchase a year’s worth of Sonlight and make it last two years by supplementing with other materials (including free materials from the library).

      I just mention that because, for example, I will purchase a Reading Text and Workbook that is a couple of years above my child’s grade level and then use it for two years. Things like that can stretch your home-school dollars.

      Keep up the good work with the home-schooling AND with the blog!

    • Aytgim

      Oh….i forgot to mention that I am from the Goose tribe. =)

  • Hi there, Anne!

    Looks like you’ve got a wonderful space to encourage and equip homeschoolers! While I don’t homeschool myself, I do have several friends who I cheer on in their efforts to do so. I think it’s a wonderful choice. I am thankful to have found a school very close to us that so closely mirrors our family values, but I know that is not always an option for many.

    Keep up the good work!
    ~Heidi (fellow SITS goose gal)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! I really appreciate it. And who knows, maybe we’ll make a convert of you yet! 😉

  • Brook (Matt5verse6)

    Hi there. Great info. Thanks! Currently, I am schooling through a virtual school however I am always keeping my eyes open for any curriculum or teaching approach in which I might be interested… for when we decide to branch off. I personally like the idea of a literature based curriculum. I feel reading is very important in that if you can read, you can learn just about anything… Anyway. Dropping by from SITS to say, “Happy Saturday, SITSta!”. Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

    Kindest regards,

    • Anonymous


      Thanks so much for stopping by! So true: “if you can read, you can learn.” My kids have learned so much just by reading good literature, history, etc. They all love to read, and I have to admit, I’m a book addict myself. Nothing quite like the smell of a bookstore to get my blood flowing! 😛

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Anonymous

    I figured I’d weigh in on Sonlight.  I started home schooling with Sonlight because my children (twin 3-yr-olds at the time) LOVED listening to me read.  We’d read for hours…literally.  I would go horse and have to tell them I was done before they’d leave the couch.  They now are avid readers, which for a seven-year-old boy is saying something.  My daughter does out read him.  I believe Sonlight contributed strongly to their passion for literature.  Although I did not stay with Sonlight exclusively as they got older.  Every year I have ordered from them different books (especially their books about Missionaries) and this year Rosetta Stone.  We basically use Sonlight’s book list as our reading guide.  I prefer a different Math than offered (but they do offer three different choices for Math).  I love that this organization also gives back through Mission India and challenges kids to raise money while teaching them about India, its culture, its children and the need for God’s love there. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m glad you weighed in.  Reading opinions of those who have actually used Sonlight confirms to me what a valuable program this is.  I love curriculum that uses “living books” (one of the reasons I love Greenleaf Press) and it sounds like Sonlight gives kids a great foundation in literature which has always been key to me as a part of our homeschool program.  Thanks for sharing!