Wednesday, September 10, 2008


If you haven't already figured it out, I unabashedly adore the curriculum that we use. There are other companies out there that fill a similar niche ... but they just don't compare, in my experience. No--Sonlight is an original. Using Sonlight, I've been able to provide my children with an astoundingly well-rounded education that continues to stretch and challenge our entire family. Could I do this on my own? Yeah, probably. I have access to TWO world-class library systems, the ever-handy internet and a network of adults whose areas of expertise are vast and varied. My resources are about as broad as I want them to be at this point--and I do call on them when I choose to do so. But ... I don't have to. I can spend my time, instead, enjoying the process. Learning alongside my children. And building relationships with our family.

One thing that drew me to SL back in 2002 was its focus on non-Western cultures. As our family has become increasingly involved in worldwide missions, I've found this aspect of the curriculum to be an integral part of the process God has orchestrated of opening our eyes, one step at a time. The scope of a SL education takes you to places I never knew existed. Lest you think I crawled out from under a rock at the turn of the century and am delighting in this newfound place called Namibia, let me set your mind at ease and reassure you in the same tone I used on our postmaster yesterday: "Yes, I meet the minimum requirements in this state to homeschool my children. Actually, despite the fact that our state's qualifications are among the strictest in the nation, I actually exceed them. Thanks for asking. Now, can you kindly mail our letter to the country formerly known as South West Africa?"

This big picture view of God's creation has led us on amazing journeys. As we begin our school year with with Core 5 (Eastern Hemisphere) I anticipate nothing less. Sonlight has never let me down. Indeed, it just continues to amaze me.

So I really shouldn't have been shocked when I opened my mailbox the other day and discovered a letter outlining SL's joint venture with Mission India. Talk about timely
(ie, Eastern Hemisphere) ... and real.

Seriously. How many homeschool curriculum providers ask you to come alongside them as they work to fulfill the Great Commission? What kind of a company does that?

The kind I want to give my money to, that's who.

Over the years, Sonlight has given us many, many reasons to feel affirmed in our choice of school materials for our children. Not only have we been blessed with amazing literature and outstanding customer service, we've also been wowed by the little things-like a personal note from Sarita last fall when Logan was recovering from his tonsillectomy. Talk about speaking to a mother's heart! But this newest endeavor warms my heart in ever greater ways. Sonlight shares our goals. It is a company that takes its corporate identity and puts it to work. It's a body of believers moving, like the early church, to create ripples all over the globe. Sonlight is real.

We're all signed up for the rice bag project. We have an ongoing "rice bowl" that we've filled for years in much the same way, allowing the children to take the lead on vetting charities and donating in their own names. This project promises to continue the tradition of learning and doing that we value so much. And who knows? Maybe it will inspire our children to take yet another step. As we watched the Mission India video online this morning, Jo mused that perhaps she ought to let Sonlight know about our nonprofit and see if they would be interested in learning more about the projects we run.

"Have John and Sarita ever been to B*rma?" she asked. "They could use some rice bags!"

Great Commission, here we come.


Benny said...

Hey, how long has your picture been up on your personal profile? I never noticed that before.

Oh, and that's so great that you have had sucha fulfilling experience with Sonlight. I just hope that I can either find my groove with it the same way soon, or that I can find another curriculum that fits our family to a Tee.


SmallWorld at Home said...

Sonlight SO rocks, and so does Core 5! Only 1 more year until I get to do it again!

Kindred Blessings said...

I thought this was awesome too!

Laura Lee said...

You've encouraged me through your enthusiasm to extend God's Kingdom and the way you involve your children in learning and doing. I will be "thinking" about your family and B*rma.
Every morning at Sonlight, we pray in small groups for our customers, each other, and the world, and Sarita was in my group today. She truly helps paint a picture for us of the great need in that nation.
Lifting up these families in India has been a powerful experience for me as well. I'm so glad your family is taking part! Thanks for taking the time to share.
Laura Lee Ellis (from Sonlight)

Luke said...

I am so excited when I read posts like this. Seriously: Tears in my eyes.

Thank you!


Tree Climbing Mom said...

This is our first year doing Sonlight and I can't get over all the warm fuzzies I get about using it. The rice thing is awesome.

Laura Lee said...

Hi there, it's me again. I think what you've shared about the Rice Bag project and Sonlight could really be inspiring to other parents. Do you mind if I share some of your comments in our catalog or with other "rice baggers?" Thanks :)

mary grace said...

Go right ahead, Laura Lee. :-)