Sonlight curriculum is probably one of the more well known literature based Christian homeschool curriculums on the market. Many homeschoolers also think it’s a more expensive option. I’ll admit, I was one of those skeptics when it came to the cost of Sonlight curriculum. That was until, I did some digging. With the heavy boxes full of books that arrive with a curriculum purchase I wondered if it really was all that expensive. I had a hunch that it was actually worth the cost.
For the sake of this post, I will be making comparisons to Sonlight Introduction to American History Part 1 – Level D 4 Day Program
My Purchase Habits
Before we dive into this post, there are a few things you should know about me. First, I am a pretty budget minded person. I’m not one to pick a curriculum unless we can pay for it up front (no credit cards). With any big purchase I make, I will always analyze it, consider alternatives and determine the best value.
Another thing you should know is that I try to avoid purchasing “cheap” products. While I love a good deal, I always look for value in a purchase rather than just the cost. After all, like the saying goes “you get what you pay for”. So, while I tend not to purchase the most expensive option out there, I also won’t purchase a cheap alternative that will not live up to expectations.
Purchasing Sonlight Book Titles Individually
The Sonlight catalog does something that is pretty unique, they list out the individual book titles for each of their packages. I love that they do this from a mom’s perspective because it really gives us a chance to see what exactly we’re purchasing. From a business standpoint, I’m surprised they offer such detailed information simply because it makes it easy for us to simply get our hands on the books from outside sources. That being said, I’m not the one making these decisions and I’m sure they have a solid reasoning behind it. Maybe it’s because they know if someone like me is looking through it, they’ll find the value in ordering directly with them. Whatever the reason, I hope they continue to do this.
Being the budget minded value hunter that I am, I listed out every book in the 4 Day Level D Package and did some online shopping. To make this the best comparisons for nation wide purposes, I searched both Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. Surprisingly, I needed to shop both sites in order to get every book on the list. Neither of these retailers carried every title on Sonlight’s list.
At first it was looking like purchasing the books online would be the best value. That was until I factored in the cost of the Instructor’s Guide and Timeline Figures. If you’re going to do Sonlight to it’s fullest potential, I feel that these products are a must!
So, the end results? After purchasing your books from the other online retailers, the instructor’s guide, and timeline figures the cost difference was less than $10. I don’t know about you, the the extra time it takes to shop for and purchase each individual title is not worth saving less than $10! Our time has value too, and it is certainly worth more than this tiny price difference.
Getting Sonlight Curriculum Books From the Library
But what about the library? Like every other homeschooler, I love the library. We go once a week to find books either just for fun, or to supplement something we’re currently studying. So, like any budget minded homeschool mom, I thought I’ll just get all these books from the library!
You want to know what I found? Even when going through our library’s book sharing program with other libraries in the area, I wouldn’t of even been able to check out half of the books on Sonlight’s list. That means over half the books we would either have to skip, or I would have to purchase anyway.
Another pitfall with choosing the library route, is that you will be using some of these titles for an extended period of time. Unless your library has a very generous policy on re-checking out books you might have a hard time cramming in all of the lessons.
This method will also require thoughtful planning to make sure you have the right books at the right time. Of course you’ll always be taking the risk that the book will be unavailable when you need it.
Not to mention, once again you are still purchasing the Instructor’s Guide from Sonlight anyway.
In my opinion, this theory takes a lot of extra planning and work to maybe get your hands on less than half the books you’ll need. My time proved to be too valuable for this option.
The Value Of Sonlight’s Instructor Guide
Ok, so what’s the big deal about this Instructor’s Guide I keep referring too? In a nutshell, this is your planner/discussion guide/scheduler all in one. The Instructor Guide will essentially guide you through your homeschool year. It lays out which books to read when, and how many pages or chapters to read each day.
In addition to scheduling your homeschool year for you, the Instructor’s Guide is also full of discussion question to guide you through the content of the lessons.
As an incredibly busy work from home mom, I can assure you the Instructor’s Guide is worth every penny!
Perks to Purchasing Sonlight Curriculum
Many companies offer incentives to order their products directly from them. Sonlight is no different. Some perks to purchasing your curriculum directly from Sonlight include:
- Rewards Program – If you refer someone to Sonlight for the first time, they will recieve $5 off their order of $50 or more. Plus, you will receive 5% of their purchase in the form of points to apply toward future purchases!
- Payment Plans can be arranged on qualifying orders.
- Love to Learn, Love to Teach Guarantee gives you a whole year to use up to 18 weeks of the curriculum for a full refund if you decide Sonlight isn’t a good fit.
- Sonlight prays for all the homeschooling families using their curriculum. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any prayer I can get. It’s a nice additional touch that makes me feel like I’m more than just another customer.
- Access to a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor – There is a team of specially trained Sonlight moms to help offer support and answer any questions you might have.
- You’ll build a pretty amazing home library!
My dad was always self employed. He has always owned and operated a small family business. I know first hand the value that comes from supporting businesses that provide a quality product. Through my upbringing and spending time working for my dad, I learned the value of working hard to provide a quality product. I’ve also learned it takes time and resources to create quality products.
My background has given me a greater appreciation for companies like Sonlight who pour so much time and energy to ensure they are producing quality products to help homeschool families.
When you combine all of the information provided above, I believe that yes, Sonlight curriculum is absolutely worth the cost. I believe they offer an amazing product at competitive pricing. It may not be the cheapest product on the market, but it’s a product with high quality and a great value.
Ready to purchase Sonlight Curriculum for the first time? Use code AM20418854 for $5 off your first order over $50!
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