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For all those all uptight about Sonlight


twinmami01
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Personally, I can care less. I am a Christian and it doesn't bother me in the least. However, seems a lot of people are upset. This may have already been posted, but I figured I would share. The following was posted on the Sonlight forums.

 

 

 

 

In reading questions and comments here on the Sonlight Forums, and other locations on the 'net, there appears to still be some unanswered questions on this topic. I am aware that there is some perception that we have attempted to be less than forthcoming, which truly could not be further from the truth ... so some more information to aid in dispelling any confusion.

 

InquisiCorp is the umbrella (or parent) company for several wholly own subsidiaries. These include AVYX, Sonlight Curriculum, Brightflash Learning ...

 

The owners and managers of InquisiCorp, as of today, are also the owners and managers of the subsidiary companies listed above.

 

As is common in the business world, the owners and managers of these various companies do not set the same goals or make the same decisions for each company. Each company has its own vision and intended audience, and thus is presented to the public in its own unique way. Thus, products and services for each company may well be distinct and different, even if owned and managed by the same individuals.

 

Those in leadership wear multiple hats, and do their best to make independent decisions for each company, as each company was created to be independent. At the same time, this enables employees and resources in the umbrella company to work with or in any of the various companies as needed. It creates an "economy of scale" for resources, while maintaining separate and distinct identities for each company within the family of InquisiCorp.

 

While this distinction is clear to us internally, it is obvious that it isn't as clear to Sonlight customers. Again, for that confusion, we apologize and are moving forward to make that distinction as clear as possible. I do appreciate the input from those who shared what they felt was confusing ... it is helpful for us as we strive to be as clear as possible.

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Yes, they are separate companies, but from what I had read, they have the same owners. My dd's ballet school is separate from the ballet company, but they are the exact same people who own both businesses. Personally, I don't really care if they offer a secular curriculum at all. I think the big problem here is that it comes off as extremely hypocritcal after some of the comments made by Sonlight (Sarita, et al ) over the last year or two.

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Wasn't it last year that everybody was in an uproar about bible being part of the core again? Now this year it's the flip of that. I feel for them. There's a weird thing with Sonlight where people really seem to feel some sort of ownership over that company. Gosh, remember how everyone flipped out when they decided to stop paying for internet boards for the whole freaking world and instead provide them just to their customers? I always felt it was a really strange entitlement thing to demand that one company pay for boards for the whole homeschool community.

 

Now they can't even expand into different markets with a whole different company without everyone melting down. So strange.

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I don't think it's that one company has subsidiaries with the same owners. I think it's that one of those owners has declared, often and publically, that they have a mission to provide a certain type of materials to a certain type of person. And now they are offering the complete opposite.

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People don't like Sarita. She comes off as a hypocrite. This is just another example of that.

 

What I don't get is why, if they can come up with this to make money off the public schools, they can't offer the same secularized version as an option for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers have been asking for that for years and have been told that secularizing Sonlight would be going against their values. If they will now sell to charters, why not sell to homeschoolers?

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I don't have a dog in this fight either; I don't buy from Sonlight, nor do I care to delve into the history of the company.

 

That said, I can see both sides to this 'fight'. For all we know, their secular division may be what is floating their "Christian" division to be able to offer materials that homeschoolers can afford. I don't have a problem with that.

 

One of the (many) reasons we chose to homeschool was to instill Christian values. Public school doesn't offer that, so we do. *shrug* Public schools are lacking in quality materials, and I think the Sonlight book lists ALONE makes it a solid choice for public school students. If the parents of those children want to instill their own religious/political beliefs in their children, they can still do that without some hidden agenda being peddled to their kids.

 

It's like those people who get bent out of shape because they find out a Christian band performed at a secular event - who cares? These people have to pay bills too. And truly, if it's a matter of someone appearing hypocritical, only God knows what is going on within. It's not my place to judge them. Jesus didn't hang out with the righteous.

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I don't think it's that one company has subsidiaries with the same owners. I think it's that one of those owners has declared, often and publically, that they have a mission to provide a certain type of materials to a certain type of person. And now they are offering the complete opposite.

 

 

But a different type of person might like the concept of Sonlight: using good trade books, instead of mostly textbooks, to teach all subjects, but who is not a Christian. I don't understand why people are upset that Sonlight might write instructor guides and a book list that would work for non-religious people. Has Sonlight quit selling its Christian materials and whatnot? If not, why can't they sell both? What's the big deal?

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My issue with this however comes with the fact that it is a financial decision - and it makes me ask the question - what else has been a financial decision alone in this company - because when they started it made financial sense to be a Christian company and to sell Christian products - the market was big for this. Now that suddenly the market is becoming more secular, suddenly it makes financial sense to have a secular version. So if all decisions by this company have been financial then how important was the Christianity in the first place? Are they a genuine Christian company who have added a secular version or are they purely financially driven and was the Christianity put in to sell the product at the beginning?

 

I know this sounds harsh - they have very good products and the curriculum is great, but their motivation is incredibly important because it determines whether they have been lying to their customers or not. Religion is not really something that should be played around with in order to make money. I am pretty sure any of the other religions would want a curriculum written by someone who genuinely believed what they were selling rather than were just saying what people wanted to hear so that they could make money.

 

I am not accusing Sonlight of doing this - I do not know whether they have or not. What I am saying is that their decision to provide this curriculum to the public schools does make me question their other motives if this one was purely financial. And it would be good if they could respond and explain.

 

My other complaint is this:

" It’s difficult to have a fifth-grader, a second-grader and a kindergartner working on a science project it can take two to three days to prepare for." - but this is what Sonlight sells products for and says it can be done, but their own people do not do it. How can you push things on purchases saying that it works if you cannot use the product that way yourself?

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But a different type of person might like the concept of Sonlight: using good trade books, instead of mostly textbooks, to teach all subjects, but who is not a Christian. I don't understand why people are upset that Sonlight might write instructor guides and a book list that would work for non-religious people. Has Sonlight quit selling its Christian materials and whatnot? If not, why can't they sell both? What's the big deal?

 

 

This. And honestly, if you don't "have a dog in this fight" then why bother? I use SL for their excellent curriculum, not because of the Bible being included in the core (or not). I am an Apostolic Pentecostal and buy my own Bible materials from another source. We do read the Bible stories in some of the cores, but not doctrine.

 

There are other companies that provide materials to both the secular and Christian world, and they don't get torn to bits. There are secular companies that would not *dream* of "Christianizing" or "Catholocizing" (my created words) their materials, and no one expects them to. It's almost as if because they are a Christian company they are attacked by the masses (super general term, not intended to offend anyone) for trying to make their curriculum available through other venues, which they are required to modify because taxpayer dollars cannot pay for religious materials. I wish I could decide what my taxpayer dollars go to because frankly, I don't particularly enjoy having to pay for public education when I do not utilize it.

 

Yes, I am a Sonlight user and lover. No, I don't doctrinally agree with everything Sarita says. I don't have to. I also use HWT (among other non-SL materials) and I have no idea what Jan Olsen's religious beliefs are and do not care. I use it because it is what works for my dc. Can we stop beating a dead horse now?

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Sure everyone has a different view, and we're all entitled to have an opinion, whether it meshes with another persons opinion or not. SL does offer many good materials, but there are practices that will cause people to lose customers. Here it seems as if it is NOT the fact that they are offering secular guide/materials, it seems more as if most people are upset buy their less than desirable choices. Everyone has a right to question a company, after all, if you don't agree with a company you have the right to not have to buy from them. I absolutely agree, that someone must choose, what is and is not worth worrying about.

 

Nothing is perfect, but each of us need to determine what is and is not important to us.

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I was most upset by the fact that Sarita and John, Sonlight and InquisiCorp, tried to deny their relationship and distance themselves from one another, they denied their own employees. They hadn't distinguish the two companies from each other up until the press article, but they expected their customers to. All of this information was on the web for people to put together. Denying the obvious wasn't taken well. A statement covering the details listed below, which they finally released after being questioned, could have eliminated all of the "misinformation". I have no problem with a secular version of Sonlight. It is something John talked about for years, and I think the benefits could be great, but please just come right out and say you are producing a secular product from the onset, "own it" already as someone else said. They didn't, and that was what I had a problem with.

 

The following was already linked in another thread:

 

Is either Sarita or John serving as one of the owners or managers of Brightflash Learning (sister company to Sonlight Curriculum)?

 

Yes. As they are owners of InquisiCorp and InquisiCorp owns Brightflash Learning, they are owners of Brightflash Learning. John serves as the President of Brightflash Learning. Sarita serves as the President of Sonlight Curriculum. As appropriate, they hire [additional] managers as they see fit.

 

Is either John or Sarita developing a similar version of Sonlight without Christian material/references for secular audiences and marketing it under Brightflash Learning?

 

Yes. InquisiCorp has granted certain rights regarding Sonlight Curriculum’s intellectual property to Brightflash Learning. Brightflash Learning may use that property as they seek to reach a market apart from Sonlight Curriculum, a secular market primarily. Since the intellectual property is being shared, they do expect some similarities. Differences will likely become more evident over time as Brightflash becomes more established.

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I don't see how Sonlight is now offering something completely different- they are a literature-based program, which I believe is top-quality. All children should have access to quality, literature-based curricula, IMO. Now they are making it possible for those children who rely on curricula purchased with public funds to receive a quality, literature-based curriculum.

 

It would be wonderful if other public schools would purchase the secular program from Sonlight. In my mind, the bigger Sonlight becomes, the more exposed literature-based education will become.

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Public schools are lacking in quality materials, and I think the Sonlight book lists ALONE makes it a solid choice for public school students.

 

???

 

This material is not for public school students.

 

The other thread went over this.

 

I don't see why we need two different threads on this topic. Nothing can be gained by rehashing the same information again.

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My issue with this however comes with the fact that it is a financial decision - and it makes me ask the question - what else has been a financial decision alone in this company - because when they started it made financial sense to be a Christian company and to sell Christian products - the market was big for this. Now that suddenly the market is becoming more secular, suddenly it makes financial sense to have a secular version. So if all decisions by this company have been financial then how important was the Christianity in the first place? Are they a genuine Christian company who have added a secular version or are they purely financially driven and was the Christianity put in to sell the product at the beginning?

 

So what if it's a financial decision? Why is it wrong to make a financial decision as long as it is ethical? Sonlight "invented" something that there is clearly a need for: literature-based learning using trade books instead of textbooks. If there is a market for it, why is it wrong for a company to fill that need? Aren't its owners allowed to make a profit? And they're providing a good product, one that is morally sound and academically strong. Haven't we had discussions about how badly written and revisionist and all that so many public school textbooks and curriculum are? Sonlight has written something that is just the opposite. I would commend them for it, not condemn them.

 

I know this sounds harsh - they have very good products and the curriculum is great, but their motivation is incredibly important because it determines whether they have been lying to their customers or not. Religion is not really something that should be played around with in order to make money. I am pretty sure any of the other religions would want a curriculum written by someone who genuinely believed what they were selling rather than were just saying what people wanted to hear so that they could make money.

 

Where does the "lying" come in???

 

I am not accusing Sonlight of doing this - I do not know whether they have or not. What I am saying is that their decision to provide this curriculum to the public schools does make me question their other motives if this one was purely financial. And it would be good if they could respond and explain.

 

The truth is that they don't owe anyone an explanation. It is their business--literally.

 

My other complaint is this:

" It’s difficult to have a fifth-grader, a second-grader and a kindergartner working on a science project it can take two to three days to prepare for." - but this is what Sonlight sells products for and says it can be done, but their own people do not do it. How can you push things on purchases saying that it works if you cannot use the product that way yourself?

 

I have no opinion about this. :-)

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This. And honestly, if you don't "have a dog in this fight" then why bother? I use SL for their excellent curriculum, not because of the Bible being included in the core (or not). I am an Apostolic Pentecostal and buy my own Bible materials from another source. We do read the Bible stories in some of the cores, but not doctrine.

 

There are other companies that provide materials to both the secular and Christian world, and they don't get torn to bits. There are secular companies that would not *dream* of "Christianizing" or "Catholocizing" (my created words) their materials, and no one expects them to. It's almost as if because they are a Christian company they are attacked by the masses (super general term, not intended to offend anyone) for trying to make their curriculum available through other venues, which they are required to modify because taxpayer dollars cannot pay for religious materials.

 

I have no issue at all with a company providing religious curricula. Our chosen history program is RC History and they're not talking about the cola. :D It seems to me that some people are annoyed because they've wanted a secular program from Sonlight and were told it wasn't an option and now, when public funds are involved, it suddenly is.

 

To me, it looks like poor customer service. If you couldn't provide that program for individuals because of your beliefs, how can you provide it for tax payer funded groups with no issues?

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As a Catholic, I don't really have a dog in this fight. It seems to me, though, that it basically boils down to this: If you're paying for our materials yourself, our philosophy is X; if someone else is buying, our philosophy is Y.

 

People don't like Sarita. She comes off as a hypocrite. This is just another example of that.

 

What I don't get is why, if they can come up with this to make money off the public schools, they can't offer the same secularized version as an option for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers have been asking for that for years and have been told that secularizing Sonlight would be going against their values. If they will now sell to charters, why not sell to homeschoolers?

 

Yes! Yes, exactly to these! This is what is irritating me right now. I would even expand Michelle's post to say that if an organization is paying for our materials, our philosophy is x. If an individual is paying for our materials, our philosophy is y. If a secular individual is paying for our material, our philosophy is we will not take the Christ out of our curriculum. We don't believe in that. Why, that would compromise our principles!

 

As a secular, long-time wisher, I honestly do feel like I have a dog in this fight--the underdog (aka the holy grail of a really good, open and go, living books secular history curriculum). As long as Sonlight's policy was that they were a Christian organization and did not feel they could morally separate out Christianity from their cores, I could respect that, totally respect that. But now? Now it appears that they are trying to divide and conquer while hoping no one notices. It doesn't bother some Christians. Fine. People see and understand the financial POV. So do I. But there is something really stinky about it.

 

So maybe their philosophy is actually that if a secular individual is paying for our material, we will not take the Christ out of our curriculum because it would be too great a risk to our Christian customer base or that it's too small a piece of the financial pie to bother with. At any rate, something they have claimed as a value-based decision all along almost certainly is NOT.

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I guess I view it no different than I would the restaurant group that owns both Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Yes they are both owned by the same company, but the restaurants are vastly different. SO WHAT?

 

It doesn't seem that they are going to stop selling the current Sonlight cores/sets, so I just don't get what the big deal is.

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To me, it looks like poor customer service. If you couldn't provide that program for individuals because of your beliefs, how can you provide it for tax payer funded groups with no issues?

 

Maybe they realized that they were losing out on a certain market, and this is their attempt to break into it. Maybe putting it out there for individuals would be too much of a risk. I know after the core changes last year there was a big uproar, and many said they would be leaving Sonlight because of it, so maybe things aren't as peachy as they used to be and they are looking for a way to turn that around.

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Ellie - I have no problem with them making a financial decision. That is what businesses do. They are allowed to make a profit - they have been making a profit as Sonlight. This however is similar to the meat crisis in Britain - they sell a product (lets say beef) and advertise it as beef and then you find that is not what they are selling you. Then you are upset because they have lied to you - maybe they haven't even lied to you, maybe there really is beef (and lamb and donkey and camel and goodness knows what else in it) But you have been sold a product by being led to believe that it is something it is not. That is marketing that is questionable. I have not ever condemned the Sonlight product - I think it is an excellent product. I am questioning their marketing and advertising and I am questioning the honesty of their advertising and marketing.

 

Sonlight (both John and Sarita) was advertised as Christ-centred. Much of their advertising was about including Christ in everything. It was aimed at the Christian homeschooling market which was the largest homeschooling market at the time. What I would like to know is when the parent company came to be - after Sonlight was already up and running but before BrightFlash? When did they buy into the Sonlight product? This is critical because of motives.

 

Why are motives so important in a company? It all boils down to honesty. No one likes to be sold a product based on twisted facts - yes it happens all the time. If you state that your products vision is to be Christ centered and then you take Christ out to make more money then the question becomes: why did you put Christ in in the first place - was it also to make money? And there comes the true question in all this: can we use anything to make a profit? Is it ok to advertise something by swaying it to someone's beliefs or emotions or whatever to sell something - where is the line? And then: was that line crossed in this particular case? Was this all about money, or was it about God or was it about both? Can it be about both?

 

I do not know. I just like to ask the questions. I want the company to be straight up about what they are doing and explain themselves - and I want them to stop separating two companies that began as one or at least to explain what happened to make them two companies under one parent company? I believe there is a third company involved too and would be interested to hear about that too.

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But from what I can see they aren't changing the curriculum one would buy as an individual from Sonlight. So how is it not getting what they say you're getting?

 

If the secularized version is being sold as Brightflash or whatever, and they haven't changed the product going out the doors in the big white Sonlight boxes, what's the big deal?

 

Maybe after being bombarded with requests to make a secularized version they finally decided to jump into that market which hasn't had a whole lot of things to pick from in the curriculum arena.

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But from what I can see they aren't changing the curriculum one would buy as an individual from Sonlight. So how is it not getting what they say you're getting?

 

If the secularized version is being sold as Brightflash or whatever, and they haven't changed the product going out the doors in the big white Sonlight boxes, what's the big deal?

 

Maybe after being bombarded with requests to make a secularized version they finally decided to jump into that market which hasn't had a whole lot of things to pick from in the curriculum arena.

 

Sonlight has been asked many times over the years if the company would produce a secular product. The answer has come back time and time again that it will not because of the company's mission, which was supposed to be inseparable from their product. Even if you read back through this thread, you will see references to Sarita putting Bible back into the Core IGs because it is so important to her conscience. The big deal is that they have now essentially done what they said they never would do, according to conscience and all-encompassing Christian beliefs...except wait, they are, and just pretending they have no hand in it. Meanwhile they are not making the product available to individuals who have repeatedly asked for it, just to charters.

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Now THAT is something that they need to explain. That is a lynchpin for me.

 

I doubt they will explain that, ever. They are going to give more doublespeak about different businesses, and repeat that Sonlight does not produce secular materials, and that Brightflash is a separate company that produces material for charters. Now, if they do not want to sell secular materials to individuals, for whatever reason, that is obviously their choice. Honestly, it would be an enormous PR problem for them. But what they do not seem to understand is that they have already created a PR problem. Pretending that they are not already responsible for the production of the secular materials (that used by the charters) would be laughable if it were not so hypocritical.

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What I would like to know is when the parent company came to be - after Sonlight was already up and running but before BrightFlash? When did they buy into the Sonlight product? This is critical because of motives.

 

 

This was discussed in the other thread. I believe it was 1991 according to the profile here. That is the most common listing. One profile actually lists 1998. I'm not sure anything was released by John and Sarita. Colleen asked about it in 2006, but I now get a database error when I try to access that thread.

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Ellie - I have no problem with them making a financial decision. That is what businesses do. They are allowed to make a profit - they have been making a profit as Sonlight. This however is similar to the meat crisis in Britain - they sell a product (lets say beef) and advertise it as beef and then you find that is not what they are selling you. Then you are upset because they have lied to you - maybe they haven't even lied to you, maybe there really is beef (and lamb and donkey and camel and goodness knows what else in it) But you have been sold a product by being led to believe that it is something it is not. That is marketing that is questionable. I have not ever condemned the Sonlight product - I think it is an excellent product. I am questioning their marketing and advertising and I am questioning the honesty of their advertising and marketing.

 

 

Can you still buy the *Christian* Sonlight?

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But from what I can see they aren't changing the curriculum one would buy as an individual from Sonlight. So how is it not getting what they say you're getting?

 

If the secularized version is being sold as Brightflash or whatever, and they haven't changed the product going out the doors in the big white Sonlight boxes, what's the big deal?

 

Maybe after being bombarded with requests to make a secularized version they finally decided to jump into that market which hasn't had a whole lot of things to pick from in the curriculum arena.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

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Meanwhile they are not making the product available to individuals who have repeatedly asked for it, just to charters.

 

I still don't see that they are making a product they swore to never make. SONLIGHT said they wouldn't make a secular version, they have now licensed their product to Brighflash Learning who will tweak it and make it secular. They may be owned by the same parent corporation, but SONLIGHT isn't the company putting out the secular material so they haven't gone back on something.

 

Maybe they've decided to market to charters to see just how it will do in that market, and eventually they'll release it to individuals. Just because many have said they'd buy Sonlight if it was secular doesn't mean people actually would. This may be there way to see just how popular it will be without having to take quite a big a risk.

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I guess I view it no different than I would the restaurant group that owns both Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Yes they are both owned by the same company, but the restaurants are vastly different. SO WHAT?

 

It doesn't seem that they are going to stop selling the current Sonlight cores/sets, so I just don't get what the big deal is.

Olive Garden and Red Lobster are owned by the same company? :svengo: I feel like I've been lied to!

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I still don't see that they are making a product they swore to never make. SONLIGHT said they wouldn't make a secular version, they have now licensed their product to Brighflash Learning who will tweak it and make it secular. They may be owned by the same parent corporation, but SONLIGHT isn't the company putting out the secular material so they haven't gone back on something.

 

Maybe they've decided to market to charters to see just how it will do in that market, and eventually they'll release it to individuals. Just because many have said they'd buy Sonlight if it was secular doesn't mean people actually would. This may be there way to see just how popular it will be without having to take quite a big a risk.

 

Due to different philosohies, I think that the people who see wrong in this are destined to keep talking in circles with the people who think it's a perfectly defensible move, so I will just say I strongly disagree with Sonlight's handling of all this and call it a day. :)

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Due to different philosohies, I think that the people who see wrong in this are destined to keep talking in circles with the people who think it's a perfectly defensible move, so I will just say I strongly disagree with Sonlight's handling of all this and call it a day. :)

 

That's why I said what I said in the other thread. :)

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I guess I view it no different than I would the restaurant group that owns both Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Yes they are both owned by the same company, but the restaurants are vastly different. SO WHAT?

 

It doesn't seem that they are going to stop selling the current Sonlight cores/sets, so I just don't get what the big deal is.

 

As a former Olive Garden employee, my duties were never delegated by management in Red Lobster. Major corporations aren't going to be as intertwined as a small business. Businesses within my family have created parent and sister companies. While they are separate legal entities, they are the same people making the same decisions. Sonlight is much closer to the businesses in my family than it is to Darden.

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I understand that they aren't exactly the same as my restaurant example, but the parent corp of Sonlight has said that they and brightflash are free to hire their own management.

 

I still don't see the uproar if it's not affecting the Sonlight cores that are being sold, why would a Sonlight user care that they are branching out? I could see the problem if they suddenly said that all Sonlight cores would now be secular only so that they can be sold to PS charters as well as the homeschool market and that any bit of religion would no longer be available at all, but that is NOT what they are doing.

 

I know I'll never get you to change your mind, just like you'll never change mine. It just seems that things have been blown way out of proportion when it comes to Inquisicorps actions.

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I'm not worried that Sonlight/Inquisicorp sold a secular version to one program. I'm not actually upset at all. (Or a Sonlight user.) I just find the whole "it wasn't us, it was that *other* company owned by our parent company" spiel to be terribly disingenuous. If I was a customer I'd be saying, "Seriously? You expect me to believe that?"

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why would a Sonlight user care that they are branching out?

 

To put it bluntly, because it gives the impression that Sarita is either a fraud or a sell-out. For many people who buy faith-based materials, the ethics and values of the companies which receive their money matter a great deal.

 

I think it is fine if you don't see it this way or disagree, by the way. But certainly no one can tell others what should and should not offend them. Different people value different things, and that is going to figure in to reactions here. That is OK.

 

(not doing a great job calling it a day :lol:)

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I haven't read the big thread and haven't bought from SL in several years. I love John. I dislike Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. I dislike people who are so into being Christian that they bash other people and their companies for not being, in their minds, Christian enough. I wish John all the best. I hope he is personally emotionally in a good place and that he finds a market that appreciates his hard work and pays top dollar away from the home school market and Ken Ham and the like. Yay, John Holzmann! Go, John, go!

 

I do, however, wish that John would sell to me!!! His guides with their thought provoking questions made SL.

Mandy

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I guess I mean that John was emotionally in such a bad place over all the SL-Ken Ham crap but I know he finds deep joy in putting together educational products. If he can now years later look at the whole situation and decide that he can find joy in creating products for charter schools and can work it out legally with SL (since some of his material is still in use by SL), then I hope he is healthy, happy, and does well in his endeavor.

 

Sonlight can continue to beg for a share of the YE homeschool market that sought to destroy its founder and John can do what he loves and share it with a different market. :)

Mandy

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I wonder if this is just the very complicated result of a fundamental difference of opinion between Sarita and John about how to proceed with their business. As far as what curricula to offer to whom, ultimately they are probably just doing the best they can here and find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place due to how vocal Sarita has been in the past about how she feels on this issue. I do completely understand that. But when they deliberately tell half-truths in an effort to save face, and when they seem to think their customers are a bunch of idiots who can't put 2 and 2 together...

 

I can respect not wanting to take the Bible out of Sonlight. I can respect trying to expand the business and taking advantage of a gap in the market. I can respect a lot of things, when they are said openly and honestly. If Sarita says she's had a change of heart, fine (although I know many people would have a problem with that). If she says that she hasn't but that she and John have a different vision for the business and have decided to run things in a way that is agreeable to both of them, fine. But just say something besides half-truths and double-talk. Any way they go about it, they are going to lose customers. But I believe that being open and honest will eventually gain more customers for them than it would lose.

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If she says that she hasn't but that she and John have a different vision for the business and have decided to run things in a way that is agreeable to both of them, fine. But just say something besides half-truths and double-talk.

I guess I feel like Sarita and John do not owe it to us to share the intimate details of their relationship, but after reading the statement in the OP I feel like it clearly says that Sarita is doing what she wants and, since John doesn't feel welcome in that market, John is doing what he wants. By maintaining both companies through a parent corporation I would think that it lessens the legal issues that would occur due to John using portions of Sonlight in whatever he develops.

 

:) Mandy

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I am the one who started the other thread, and I am not feeling uptight about Sonlight. When I originally posted, it was due to a local article stating that SONLIGHT was going secular for the homeschool enrichment program, funded by the public school system. Because I live so close to both Sonlight and the enrichment program in the article, I knew that it was Sonlight that was being used by that program this year. I knew that it was Sonlight that went to that district fair last year, because I received flyers in the mail, and an e-mail from Sonlight saying that it would be an opportunity to see the curriculum in person. I never knew how the 2 could work together, and I was shocked when I saw that Sonlight was going secular. The thread evolved in many ways, with Sonlight denying they were a part of the program, to tiptoeing around answers, until more info was found on the net. When they were first saying that it was a parent company and not Sonlight in the school, I have first hand knowledge that it was SONLIGHT in that program, and felt they were being deceitful with their answers. Finally someone finds the Brightflash name and Sonlight finally gives an answer that makes sense.

 

So- do I have a problem with Sonlight (Brightflash) offering a secular curriculum? Not really, I guess. It will be under a separate name, and I know other curriculum companies have done similar things. It does seem counter intuitive to what I believe the Sonlight corp. is about, so that comes as a surprise to me. I realize that it is financial and in order to have public dollars purchase the curriculum it has to be free from religious content. Will I stop using Sonlight because of it? I can't answer that right now. I think our homeschool is moving in a different direction anyway, and while I have loved the years we have spent using Sonlight, it may be time for something new. Partly because that is just where we are, partly because of the bad taste in my mouth from all the bad PR and not just being up front and honest. I mean, the first response to the article in question was that it was wrong, misinformed and Sonlight's name was used when it shouldn't have been. That the man quoted in the article didn't even work for Sonlight. But no further explanation that that, other than it was a parent company issue.

 

Anyway- that thread certainly went through a lot of different "shocks", but I realize that the original statement about the article is kind of old news by now :)

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I guess I feel like Sarita and John do not owe it to us to share the intimate details of their relationship, but after reading the statement in the OP I feel like it clearly says that Sarita is doing what she wants and, since John doesn't feel welcome in that market, John is doing what he wants. By maintaining both companies through a parent corporation I would think that it lessens the legal issues that would occur due to John using portions of Sonlight in whatever he develops.

 

:) Mandy

 

I agree that they are not obligated to share that info, if it is actually true. I just think that it would have cleared up a lot of unnecessary confusion and that this parent company stuff would have turned out much better.

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Wasn't it last year that everybody was in an uproar about bible being part of the core again? Now this year it's the flip of that. I feel for them. There's a weird thing with Sonlight where people really seem to feel some sort of ownership over that company. Gosh, remember how everyone flipped out when they decided to stop paying for internet boards for the whole freaking world and instead provide them just to their customers? I always felt it was a really strange entitlement thing to demand that one company pay for boards for the whole homeschool community.

 

Now they can't even expand into different markets with a whole different company without everyone melting down. So strange.

 

 

So true.

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