We experienced our first wonderful year with Sonlight. I'm sold completely. I loved all the rich books we read (both readers and read-alouds). I loved that all the lesson planning was done for me. I loved that Sam loves it. I loved that I never felt guilty for not doing the suggested crafts because there were very few. I loved the emphasis on learning about the whole world- histories, countries, people groups, religions, geography, missionary experiences, etc.
I'm going to switch gears here a second and say that while I was growing up, I always thought missionaries were very cool. Wow. To be called by God and be brave enough to go. I was in awe of them but, for some reason, I never thought there was a chance that I could/would become one. I was too normal. Now, a teacher or a nurse or a social worker- those were things I could be. Even now, if I was called to the mission field, it would rock my world. It just always seemed foreign to me.
Enter Sonlight. My kids are hearing stories of missionary journeys (two excellent books are Gladys Aylward and And The Word Came with Power) just like they hearing stories of inventors, apprentices, and scientists. My prayer is that the idea of being a missionary won't be so foreign to them. You know- just in case God calls them down that "career" path. I honestly can say that I would be over the moon if that happened down the road for any one of my children. Over the moon and flat on my face in prayer for their safety- but over the moon, nonetheless. Hence, one of the major reasons I love Sonlight. End gear change.
We've been done school now for a good week and, this year, instead of just letting our schedule go all willy-nilly for awhile (willy-nilly schedules are hard to break free from), I decided to do something different this year. Mornings are still for chores- baking, laundry, freezing peas, meal prep (if I know what's for dinner). But I decided to structure our afternoon time (while Miriam naps) right off the bat. So, now, once she's off to sleep, Sam, Sadie and I begin our new afternoon routine (in this general order)...
Spanish. We purchased Rosetta Stone's Latin America Spanish program and are starting with Level 1. Jamey and I took Spanish in high school and college and spent four months studying in Mexico. Jamey has kept his Spanish up through continued study. Mine has lapsed terribly. Level 1 is proving to be too difficult for Sadie, so while Sam completes his lesson (or two), she and I practice her reading.
I jump on and work on my lessons when I have a few extra minutes. It's so easy to use and navigate and each person has their own homepage that guides them through their own lessons, marking off the ones they've completed and showing their score (this helps me know when to ask Sam to repeat a lesson if he needs more review).
Sam thinks Rosetta Stone is like a computer game. He loves it. My goal is to get him in such a good pattern with it over the summer that it will become second nature to continue with it once school starts. Our hope is that he will use Spanish one day- this is not an attempt to make his manuscript more appealing. Our vision goes way beyond that.
Read-Alouds. Sam has read through the Little House on the Prairie series several times on his own, but Sadie has never heard them. We're almost through the first book and Sadie adores it. I'm loving it too because the last time I read them was when I was a girl.
Outside Time. Sam prefers the indoors. Sadie prefers the outdoors- but only when her brother is outside with her. She actually asks me to "make" them go outside. So, I do. Sam wears a watch and he's told what time they may come back in and Mommy gets some much needed alone time- to weed, read or lie down and enjoy the peace and quiet. Oh. Except for when they burst through the back door to get a drink, go to the bathroom, request a band aid or tattle.
By the time we've accomplished all this, Miriam is waking up, dinner needs to be thought about and Jamey will soon be home.
I'm loving our new summer routine. In spite of the heat and all the work that's yet to be done, I'm so glad summer has only just begun. Pin It