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Sonlight has rolled out some of the changes....


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I'm so upset about this. I'm trying really hard to be able to convince myself to continue supporting Sonlight, but they continue over and over to make changes that are obviously not for the benefit of homeschoolers, and are about trying to increase their core package sales. We continue to tell them that it's going to backfire, and they continue to say that forum users don't represent their actual purchasers somehow. We're some freakish anomaly that actually wants to have descriptions of the hundreds of dollars of books we're buying instead of a longer fluff-piece about the core as a whole. They took out the Bible and LA portions in response to customer requests, and now they're putting them back and calling it an improvement?!!? I can only guess at what the price increase will be. I really don't see it being any cheaper than having to buy them all separately this year. That alone would add $67 to my Core for next year that I won't be using. They're making it *really* hard for me to stay.

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I'm so upset about this. I'm trying really hard to be able to convince myself to continue supporting Sonlight, but they continue over and over to make changes that are obviously not for the benefit of homeschoolers, and are about trying to increase their core package sales. We continue to tell them that it's going to backfire, and they continue to say that forum users don't represent their actual purchasers somehow. We're some freakish anomaly that actually wants to have descriptions of the hundreds of dollars of books we're buying instead of a longer fluff-piece about the core as a whole. They took out the Bible and LA portions in response to customer requests, and now they're putting them back and calling it an improvement?!!? I can only guess at what the price increase will be. I really don't see it being any cheaper than having to buy them all separately this year. That alone would add $67 to my Core for next year that I won't be using. They're making it *really* hard for me to stay.

 

I know weird isn't it.

 

I have all the cores I'll be using with my youngest. I have all but the really lower cores and 7 and 200, I was able to borrow both of those.

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Not too thrilled with these changes either. We don't use the LA and I don't care for their Bible resources. I like the Bible reading and memorization schedules though. Not happy with having to pay more for things I don't need. I mostly use Sonlight as a supplement to our history studies with SOTW. The Sonlight reading notes come in handy too. I suppose I'll be trying to find used copies of the teacher guide and assembling our collection of books from Amazon from now on. :thumbdown:

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This doesn't appear to be a good change...I've always liked the idea of Sonlight, we enjoy many of the books, but they seem to have the worst customer service and reputation. I have been bitter towards them since the forum "poof," and I don't see how making everything more expensive (when the cores are already out of many people's price range) can be a good move. We've used their LA, and they leave much to be desired...why combine them with the cores? How will that even work in the earlier cores when there are so many different reader packages?

 

I see this backfiring on them in a big way.

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I wonder if they will honor this change for the 2 cores I bought last week. Well, actually P 4/5 already has it in it. So, just Core F. I wouldn't use the LA, but I would like the Bible resources. I guess I will have to call tomorrow.

 

I may be mistaken, but I believe changes are made in April when the new catalog is released. That's why some people either try to buy a Core program before the catalog date and some people purposefully waits until after the catalog date to buy the new programs that have changes.

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I may be mistaken, but I believe changes are made in April when the new catalog is released. That's why some people either try to buy a Core program before the catalog date and some people purposefully waits until after the catalog date to buy the new programs that have changes.

 

You are correct. I wish I could know what the changes will do just to the IG price. I rarely buy my titles from them, I generally get the IG from them and then the titles that can not be found elsewhere. With the cost of shipping from them I find it easier to buy from amazon for free shipping or add the titles to my po to the homeschool store I use. So I likely will not stop buying from them, but I certainly will not start buying whole cores either (I had planned to for cores C, F and P4/5) I have most of my titles for next year already for core B and E, so no worries about extras this year.

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It's been a while since I've actually purchased a new Core, since I am at the point of doing round 2 with Cores that I already own, and have had to buy used for oldest for this year. But I seem to remember that you had 2 options for purchasing: lock-stock-and-barrel Core, or you could just buy the components you needed: History and all it's trappings, LA and readers, Science and it's trappings. Do they not still do this?

 

~coffee~

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It's been a while since I've actually purchased a new Core, since I am at the point of doing round 2 with Cores that I already own, and have had to buy used for oldest for this year. But I seem to remember that you had 2 options for purchasing: lock-stock-and-barrel Core, or you could just buy the components you needed: History and all it's trappings, LA and readers, Science and it's trappings. Do they not still do this?

 

~coffee~

 

The changes announced say they are putting LA into the core programs now. That's a new one for me. I don't recall ever seeing the LA be a mandatory part of the Core program. When I used SL many, many years ago, Bible was already a standard core component. But they took the Bible books out of the core programs, and now they are putting them back in. Science isn't mentioned so I'm assuming they are leaving that separate.

 

Adding LA to the cores isn't smart, IMHO. When I used the lower SL levels, the same level LA never matched where my children were at academically. In fact, I liked how the Core program wasn't any specific grade level so adding in the appropriate level of LA made it customized to your child. Now by adding in the LA, they are making the Core programs more grade level. That's a real shame.

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The changes announced say they are putting LA into the core programs now. That's a new one for me. I don't recall ever seeing the LA be a mandatory part of the Core program. When I used SL many, many years ago, Bible was already a standard core component. But they took the Bible books out of the core programs, and now they are putting them back in. Science isn't mentioned so I'm assuming they are leaving that separate.

 

Adding LA to the cores isn't smart, IMHO. When I used the lower SL levels, the same level LA never matched where my children were at academically. In fact, I liked how the Core program wasn't any specific grade level so adding in the appropriate level of LA made it customized to your child. Now by adding in the LA, they are making the Core programs more grade level. That's a real shame.

 

:iagree:

 

One of Sonlight's strong points is that you could use it for many different children of different ages. Doesn't sound like that will be possible next year. I don't think I'll be able to use them now. Darn.

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I am glad I already own all the Cores I need for 3-100. I think this change will increase the demand for used Cores.

 

I've tried the LA twice, and both times it was a total bust. I adore what I use for LA now, and would never try SL LA again.

 

I have no interest in SL Bible materials, even though we are Christian. I think there are many Christian families who prefer to study religious materials as a whole family, or throught their church, or simply to personally select materials instead of delegate that to a company.

 

I think they will lose some sales due to this new policy. I am glad I already have what I need.

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Adding LA to the cores isn't smart, IMHO. When I used the lower SL levels, the same level LA never matched where my children were at academically. In fact, I liked how the Core program wasn't any specific grade level so adding in the appropriate level of LA made it customized to your child. Now by adding in the LA, they are making the Core programs more grade level. That's a real shame.

 

:iagree: I've been considering SL for dd, but I'm not comfortable with LA being part of the core. I suppose if the IG is not too expensive I might just get that and not all the resources/books. But if they're adding in LA I suspect the price increase night be more than I'm willing to pay.

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The lower LA IGs will still be separate from the Core IG, just like the lower reader IGs are now. The difference will be that to buy a CORE, you'll have to buy the LA IG (and here, I assume people who want different reader/LA levels might run into trouble because I assume the choices for Core purchase will be like Core A with Readers/LA K or Readers/LA 1 or Readers/LA 2 instead of different level options for Readers and IG) and the extra Bible materials.

 

Thinkingabout it more, I am pretty sure the price will be the same because last week Judy was trying to excite forum users by saying how they'll have a new core pricing structure where they'll round down to the nearest $9. So, if a core added up to $468.47, they'd sell it for $459. I expect that's supposed to make up for having to buy LA and Bible to get a Core.

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One of the things they're going to change by changing the definition of a core is to decrease the number of people eligible for free shipping and free forum access. The purchase of full cores is what qualifies people for these things and by expanding the core they will either force people to purchase more than they need in order to qualify for the other benefits or people will piecemeal and then have to pay for shipping and forum access separately.

 

Unless they change all those other things also, that is. . . .

Glad I'm already Heirloom because I can piecemeal to my heart's content.

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Hmm.. In June 2011, SL got rid of the 'for sale' board. I wonder if that was in anticipation of the new 2012 changes.

 

Yeah, I found this out a couple of days ago. :glare: I bought their science K program years ago (2006) and am now wanting to go through it a second time with my youngest two dds. At the time, I had the kids use all the worksheets without saving a set because I figured if I needed more I could always find some on their sale board. I never figured on SL getting rid of it!??

 

Thanks heavens for the for sale board here - I was able to find a set with only one page marked on. Yay!

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Argh! This thread is so disheartening. I wasn't aware of these issues with Sonlight when we switched this year. I'm not sure how I missed it.

 

I was planning on SL again next year but now I'm not sure. I can't stand their LA - I already said I wouldn't buy it again. I have no desire to use their Bible either. Not. Happy.

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:iagree:

 

One of Sonlight's strong points is that you could use it for many different children of different ages. Doesn't sound like that will be possible next year.

 

This is what is so confusing to me. Isn't one of their big perks that you can use it across a span of ages? And what about kids who aren't "grade level" for LA?

 

I think this is a bad idea. It has been several years since I used SL but I remember their LA being abysmal. It would have to have a MAJOR overhaul... I mean, major. I also think Bible is a really "personal" subject. There is a lot of diversity about how Christians like to teach "Bible." For example, there is no way I'd jump into a generic "Bible" program without know that it is Reformed, gospel-centered (vs. moralistic), etc. Sorry, but one Bible program doesn't fit all. Bad move, SL.

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Guest Momsheart
Sounds like the IG change may be good. I wonder how much the price will increase if you have to get the LA and Bible. It seems like most people don't want their LA, so that seems like it wouldn't be for the best.

 

Sonlight has posted on their Facebook page ... please do be aware that we have made our package pricing extremely competitive for 2012 so you can receive the full Sonlight experience at a comparable cost to previous Cores.

 

ETA: the what's new page/video also notes that LA and Readers can still be chosen separately for levels A-C based on student reading level.

 

 

~Judy :001_smile:

Homeschooler of 3 wonderful kids in upstate NY

*1 graduated from both high school & college - now married

*1 graduated from high school and in college

*1 still at home, in high school

Married 27+ years to an awesome guy

Edited by Momsheart
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Am I misremembering that the last big LA change a few years ago took out a lot of grammar and went more to Beechick style. Now they are going back to heavy grammar? Or I wonder if they will finally find a happy medium. I never liked their LA and used one level of the really old style, 2 levels of the "new" and obviously haven't tried this new and improved new style. My kids were always like 4 reading levels above their writing level in SL LA. The readers were absurdly easy if I picked by writing. What kid is learning the alphabet in reading and copying whole sentences for copywork in writing? Not any of mine so far, though they probably do exist.

 

I doubt the bible inclusion in the "core" is going to make the secular users of SL very happy, or the Catholic ones (I fall in this group), but I can't get too upset about it as SL never made any pretense to be trying to appeal to that group specifically. Their changes do seem to probably be in line for their target audience.

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I find the constant changes at Sonlight extremely irritating. I found the emails (after I purchased the IGs I needed from them) from Sarita condescending. I also think it's absolutely ridiculous that they are releasing one video a week for the month of March to announce and outline the changes. How arrogant of them! To string potential customers along during the prime curriculum deciding/buying season is nauseating. I'm so glad that I don't need anything else from them, ever.

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I find the constant changes at Sonlight extremely irritating. I found the emails (after I purchased the IGs I needed from them) from Sarita condescending. I also think it's absolutely ridiculous that they are releasing one video a week for the month of March to announce and outline the changes. How arrogant of them! To string potential customers along during the prime curriculum deciding/buying season is nauseating. I'm so glad that I don't need anything else from them, ever.

:iagree:That's how I feel as well. I feel like they're playing with me.

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I haven't used SL for several years because their book selections are too "edgy" for my family. But I LOVE the Sonlight model of reading aloud LOTS! So I'm hoping that part of the changes they've made would be a taming some of their book selections. (They mentioned in their video that they've re-evaluated every single book in their younger cores.)

 

I also think that the IG will be much more user friendly when you don't have to flip all over the place. I'm often nursing a baby when I'm reading aloud, and flipping around is not easy under those circumstances!

 

I'm happy with what I'm using now (HOD), but I miss the times just reading for a very l-o-n-g time together everyday.

 

Sigh ... I just LOVE the SL model, but we haven't been able to use it for years.

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This makes me glad I left SL. It sounds like the changes to the IG itself are positive, but integrating the LA is an awful idea. I hated their LA and if I was still using SL I wouldn't be happy with it being part of the core. And as far as the Bible changes, I can only say that I hope they rethought some of the passages they selected for the lower cores. There were some really inappropriate readings in Core 1 (B).

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I posted to their facebook page about my disappointment in the changes. The response I got was the prices will be good this year so order anyway essentially. :001_huh:

 

I have been drooling over TOG for a couple years now, maybe it is time for me to give up my love of SL titles and switch to TOG for next year. Hmm but then were to start?

Edited by swellmomma
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One of Sonlight's strong points is that you could use it for many different children of different ages. Doesn't sound like that will be possible next year. I don't think I'll be able to use them now. Darn.

 

I agree. Does anyone remember when the catalogs had yellow covers and all the pages were newsprint without pictures? The IGs were VERY simple then, which I liked. I could read all the book descriptions in the catalog, and then get the math/science/LA which I thought would work (and most times it wasn't Sonlight's). All the books could be read aloud to all the children.

 

Is progress really progress? :confused:

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I haven't used SL for several years because their book selections are too "edgy" for my family. But I LOVE the Sonlight model of reading aloud LOTS! So I'm hoping that part of the changes they've made would be a taming some of their book selections. (They mentioned in their video that they've re-evaluated every single book in their younger cores.)

 

I can't remember which core it was, but when my ds was younger, I bought the whole package, only to discover that many of the books were just plain depressing. OK, maybe they can't all be happy books, but for crying out loud, I wanted my kid to enjoy reading, and even I didn't enjoy a lot of the Sonlight selections.

 

Some of their book choices are excellent, but I learned very early on that it was important to pre-read them before springing them on my ds.

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The changes announced say they are putting LA into the core programs now. That's a new one for me. I don't recall ever seeing the LA be a mandatory part of the Core program. When I used SL many, many years ago, Bible was already a standard core component. But they took the Bible books out of the core programs, and now they are putting them back in. Science isn't mentioned so I'm assuming they are leaving that separate.

 

Adding LA to the cores isn't smart, IMHO. When I used the lower SL levels, the same level LA never matched where my children were at academically. In fact, I liked how the Core program wasn't any specific grade level so adding in the appropriate level of LA made it customized to your child. Now by adding in the LA, they are making the Core programs more grade level. That's a real shame.

 

Way back in the Dark ages LA was included. I started with SL in 1995. I don't remember when LA became a seperate component

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Yeah, you always had to preread SL selections. I never had to do that with Elijah Co. or Greenleaf Press. Gosh, I'm showing my age... :lol:

 

Can anyone list some of the more depressing selections? I have a dd with bad anxiety and we just switched to SL B for this year for her. We haven't started yet. My older kids are doing G, but they are tougher and like things like The Hunger Games.

 

I actually like the sound of some of the SL changes. I wonder if they'll have one at the Cincy Convention for me to look at? I like the idea of the notes behind the booklists and I'm curious as to the book and LA changes.

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I find the constant changes at Sonlight extremely irritating. I found the emails (after I purchased the IGs I needed from them) from Sarita condescending. I also think it's absolutely ridiculous that they are releasing one video a week for the month of March to announce and outline the changes. How arrogant of them! To string potential customers along during the prime curriculum deciding/buying season is nauseating. I'm so glad that I don't need anything else from them, ever.

 

Thanks for the laugh

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I agree. Does anyone remember when the catalogs had yellow covers and all the pages were newsprint without pictures? The IGs were VERY simple then, which I liked. I could read all the book descriptions in the catalog, and then get the math/science/LA which I thought would work (and most times it wasn't Sonlight's). All the books could be read aloud to all the children.

 

Is progress really progress? :confused:

 

I remember those, In fact I have them all but one year, since 1995.

 

Loved reading the book descriptions too.

 

I didn't have issues with book choices.

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Yeah, you always had to preread SL selections. I never had to do that with Elijah Co. or Greenleaf Press. Gosh, I'm showing my age... :lol:

 

I'm there with you. I still have my Elijah Co catalog with all those great articles in it. Couldn't bear to toss it out. Still can't. I think I need to go back and read them again.

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This is all so depressing to me. I was excited to do core 5 with dd12 next year. I did part of it with my boys but was forced to have them finish it without me. They both said I UST do it with the girls. I was so excited.

 

Now the cores are letters?

 

I am so disappointed. I do NOT want their bible or LA. The materials are so expensive to begin with.

 

I am left wondering if I should buy the IG and take a chance I wont find a used core 5 at the homeschool book fairs. I was hoping to buy the IG, buy as many used books at sales as kpossible, utulize the library for most of the rest, and buy the remainder through SL.

 

I was shocked enough tomsee I would have to pay $675 just for social studies alone.

 

I hate it when companies do this. Yes, the bottom line is GREED.

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I am left wondering if I should buy the IG and take a chance I wont find a used core 5 at the homeschool book fairs. I was hoping to buy the IG, buy as many used books at sales as kpossible, utulize the library for most of the rest, and buy the remainder through SL.

 

Don't forget that these changes won't take effect until April. If you know you're going to need the IG at some point in 2012, maybe you can go ahead and buy it now. Well, that would only work if you were planning on piecing the core together. Otherwise, you would have to buy the entire core right now.

 

I was shocked enough tomsee I would have to pay $675 just for social studies alone.

 

Well, it also includes literature. Did your Core 5 have the LA in it?

 

I understand the Core programs look expensive. I'm looking at Core 100 for myself.

 

ETA: I just did a full side-by-side comparison of every item in the Core 100 w/o the Hakim books. SL offers it for $519.98 and if I bought only what I needed from SL and everything else brand new from Amazon I would pay $543.79. That means SL is cheaper $23.81. Now, I made an exact comparison, new books to new books. I might spend less for used books but that shouldn't be compared to SL's new books. Ugh! And if I piece it together and get some of the books from the library, I'm still spending almost $400. I might as well buy the SL Core! *sigh*

Edited by Night Elf
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I have been drooling over TOG for a couple years now, maybe it is time for me to give up my love of SL titles and switch to TOG for next year. Hmm but then were to start?

 

You may find that you don't need to give up the SL titles. TOG uses many of the same titles, and TOG has many options of titles you can use. You don't just get one book, you get a topic and can use one of the suggested books, or pick your own.

 

I used SL for several years, but got to the point where I couldn't combine my dc anymore. I switched to TOG, and it was wonderful because I was still using the books I liked from SL, just in a more integrated and in depth way. TOG had already done the work I had to do with SL to make it work for my family.

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You may find that you don't need to give up the SL titles. TOG uses many of the same titles, and TOG has many options of titles you can use. You don't just get one book, you get a topic and can use one of the suggested books, or pick your own.

 

I used SL for several years, but got to the point where I couldn't combine my dc anymore. I switched to TOG, and it was wonderful because I was still using the books I liked from SL, just in a more integrated and in depth way. TOG had already done the work I had to do with SL to make it work for my family.

 

:iagree:

 

Many of us with home libraries full of Sonlight books have found that we don't need to buy or borrow much to switch to TOG, at least for the younger levels. TOG even schedules SOTW as an alternate source, so I like to use SOTW as a spine according to TOG's schedule and fill in with SL books and a few extras from the library.

 

I've found SL to TOG to be a fairly smooth transition.

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I'm glad I own just about every SL core I will need. There are only two I might consider buying in the future, but I would buy them used, or as an heirloom member, I can buy them piecemeal and still get the 10% discount and free shipping and leave off the Bible and LA.

 

The one thing I'm waiting to see, is if they're including the Bible and LA materials without a price increase. If the price hardly increases, then I think that's fine if they want to include it. But I think it's a bad move if they charge a lot more for the cores now, because no one wants to pay for something they won't use.

 

But I'm sad about what's happened with the company in the last few years. I've had nothing but excellent customer service from Sonlight, and they are what revived my homeschool after a bad start with other things. I still love the books and will always have special SL memories of reading with my oldest teen, and maybe some day my baby will reuse our cores, but I won' t be buying much new from them anymore.

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This is my second year of homeschooling and my second year of using Sonlight Cores. We love Sonlight, but I've already been agonizing about the cost of two Cores because my dh has been unemployed. If they add the LA, which I won't use because I use and like PR, and raise the price even a little, I may have to choose something other than SL for one or both of my children. Don't they listen to their customers?

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I agree with the few that have said that their prices are not unreasonable for what you are getting. Yes, the cost is high, but it includes like 40 books or something. When I compared cost about half the time the books were cheaper from Sonlight (even without the core discount) than from Amazon. There are only a few that were cheaper on Amazon. So even buying it piecemeal, rather than as a whole Core, you save money over other places. Personally, I'm lucky because my library carries about half the books we need for Core H, and I'm buying a few from Amazon, and the rest from Sonlight because their non core price was still better than anywhere else. If I was exhausted and pregnant I could shop for used on alibris and paperback swap to make it even cheaper.

 

That said, I understand the concern about LA, but it doesn't effect me as H and up already have LA and Bible included in the Core. The IG will have the instructions for them, but I don't plan on buying the Bible books and there are no books for LA, so it isn't much of a problem or cost. And I'm still buying enough to qualify for the free shipping and free forum access, even without buying a Core.

 

I do agree though that taking the book descriptions out ruined the catalog. I don't think i'd be using them if I had never seen one of the old, good catalogs. I get why they did it (and it isn't why they said). Too many people were just using the catalog to plan their own curriculum, and never buying anything from them., I get that that sucked. But...I think more people DID buy from them because of the catalog, and it will backfire on them.

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I'm glad I own just about every SL core I will need. There are only two I might consider buying in the future, but I would buy them used, or as an heirloom member, I can buy them piecemeal and still get the 10% discount and free shipping and leave off the Bible and LA.

 

The one thing I'm waiting to see, is if they're including the Bible and LA materials without a price increase. If the price hardly increases, then I think that's fine if they want to include it. But I think it's a bad move if they charge a lot more for the cores now, because no one wants to pay for something they won't use.

 

But I'm sad about what's happened with the company in the last few years. I've had nothing but excellent customer service from Sonlight, and they are what revived my homeschool after a bad start with other things. I still love the books and will always have special SL memories of reading with my oldest teen, and maybe some day my baby will reuse our cores, but I won' t be buying much new from them anymore.

 

They have said that for 2012 prices will stay similar to what they are now, but I suspect since they have specified the year repeatedly that for 2013 there will be a price jump. They are keeping it low this year to get people to go with it with the hope that in 2013 they *want* the changes and be willing to pay more for them

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