Certainly one of the highlights of today at NCHE was the chance to talk for a few minutes with the founder and president of Sonlight curriculum, Sarita Holzmann.
In all the years that we have been going to conference, this is the first year that she has attended. Interestingly enough, when I mentioned that fact, she answered that this conference is her fourth one …. EVER. I was surprised to hear that. She mentioned that when her kids were younger, she wanted to be home with them. Time since then has been spent on the development and improvement of Sonlight materials. (On a sidenote: This year, Sonlight is introducing a new round of improvements, the first major ones since 1997.)
To begin, I inquired what Sarita is reading these days. She mentioned just starting a book about God and politics, which sounds very timely for this election year. The other book that she mentioned was one called Truth in Transformation (Mangalwadi). As she described it, the book is about an Indian author’s view of Western culture and how we view Truth, all told from a Christian perspective. It sounds like a fascinating read!
My second question was “What do you enjoy about coming to conferences?” She mentioned that getting to meet the families that are homeschooling and using Sonlight is definitely a highlight.
I continued by asking, “What do you wish young homeschoolers knew?” “Read aloud to your kids!” She quickly answered. “Read any style, any material!” Sarita suggested that we read every subject with our children. The second thing that she recommended was to look at alternative views and learn about them. There are some critics of Sonlight who have criticized their use of some books with controversial subjects. Sarita encouraged home educators to take these books and use them as a platform for discussion and instruction for their children on difficult subjects.
I wrapped up our talk with the most difficult question for any reader, “What are some of your favorite books for children?” Between us, we decided to go ahead and limit our span to the elementary years.
Her favorites include:
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (Taylor)
The House at Pooh Corner (Milne)
Twenty and Ten (Bishop/Joly)
Sarita impressed me as being down to earth and genuinely interested in both the quality books that her company promotes as well as the people who read them. A great combination for any homeschooler!
Click HERE to hear from Sarita herself about the heart behind Sonlight.
If you haven’t had the chance to learn more about Sonlight, I can highly recommend their quality living books. Click HERE for more information.
If you want to read one of my recent posts about reading a Sonlight book together as a family, click HERE.