It’s a Wrap!

This is our first box day and first time homeschooling. Our boys have previously attended the local public school but were not happy there. After much prayer and discussion, we decided to start homeschooling this year using Sonlight.

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Opening the box and discovering the paper

We have been waiting for the shipment to arrive since we placed the order, keeping an eye out daily for the FedEx delivery truck. It seems the packing paper was a bigger hit today than the books--leading to much creative play and "mummifying" each other.

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Paper mummies

Looking forward to a great adventure in learning!

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The B Family

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Learning Doesn't End at Graduation

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There are days when I look back with longing at the days when we were homeschooling, and wish for those days again. Especially when the current part of my journey is difficult. Surely it was "easier" in those days! The grass is always greener ... right?

What struck me especially the other day, as I observed my now grown children wrestling with their own trials and decisions, is that I am blessed to watch the fruits of our homeschooling play out in their lives.

I remember how often, in those long days of parenting and homeschooling, that I would wonder if I was making any lasting impact at all. Were they getting it? Were there "holes" in what I was teaching them? Was I failing them?

The answer was, of course there were holes! And yes, I definitely did fail them ... many times. But let me tell you about the view from this spot on the path.

  • All those concerns about the ones who struggled with Math? They are all holding jobs, balancing their checkbooks, and not getting cheated at the checkout counter. If their jobs have required some aspect of working with numbers that they didn't master at our kitchen table, they've figured it out and learned as they go.
  • All the worries about the one who was a late reader? He's now an intelligent, well-spoken young adult who is planning to get married soon. Does he love to read today? No, it's not a passion of his. But he is a good reader and has no difficulty learning what he needs to learn by finding an appropriate article or publication to read.
  • And the one who wrestled her way through Chemistry? She's a married, happy mama to our grandson, and performs Chemistry every day in her kitchen as she practices her love for cooking for her family.

More importantly than even the academics we covered in our homeschool, were the character qualities we tried to instill in their young lives. Just like everyone else, we battled apathy, lack of motivation, and poor attitudes along the way. And those were just my issues! But watching my kids today, as they demonstrate tenacity, loyalty, and courage in the face of the various challenges that life has to offer, I am again convinced that heart training was even more important than drilling addition facts.

Lest I paint too pretty a picture, let me be honest. They would be the first to admit they are not "perfect" (nor is their mother). But the foundation we were privileged to lay has given them a desire to keep learning, and the knowledge that we are some of their greatest cheerleaders.

So as you consider and plan for yet another school year, let me encourage you to see this year with "future vision". As you wrestle with the daily struggles of parenting and educating your children, don't lose sight of the bigger, long-term picture. And remember ... your children's learning won't end at graduation ...

Still on the journey ...
~Judy Wnuk
Homeschool mom and student of life

 

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We know you're talking to your friends about Sonlight

As long as Sonlight has been in business, you, our wonderful customers, have talked to your friends about the Sonlight experience.

THANK YOU!

We are so grateful for this friend-to-friend sharing.

But did you know about our referral program?

Since you're already talking about Sonlight with your friends, did you know that you can get them a code for $5 off their first order?

And that you then get a discount off future Sonlight purchases? We want to say thank you for doing the sharing!

This referral code is easy to share.

On the Sonlight homepage, note where you access your account.

When you're logged in, your referral code shows up right by your name.

So if you've had a nice conversation with a friend about Sonlight, send them a text or email with your unique letter and number code. When they register for the first time, there is a place to input that information.

Five dollars off for them (on orders over $50), and benefit for you.

Warmly,

Thank you for spreading the word about Sonlight.

Amy's pic

Amy Lykosh
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Second-generation Sonlighter
Homeschooling mom to five

Sonlight Curriculum
www.sonlight.com

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Top 12 Toddler Learning Activities

"Homeschooling with toddlers is a delight, because they have a lot of energy and want to be involved. For those same reasons, homeschooling with toddlers can also be a challenge."

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Some ideas you might like to try:

  1. Give them an inexpensive or used workbook to scribble in (and "check" it just as you do with the older kids);

  2. Let them play Cuisenaire® rods, counting bears, or some other math manipulative, or with Legos®;

  3. Give them picture books to look at;

  4. Let them sit on your lap while you read (and point to the pictures or words you are reading to keep them involved);

  5. Have a special school box for use only during school time that includes quiet activities (puzzles, play-dough and cookie cutters, lacing toys, crayons and coloring books, Duplos, etc.);

  6. You might want to offer sensory activities, such as shaving cream in a gallon zip bag to let the children "write" with a finger on it and erase by squishing it around (or use finger-paint);

  7. Have a big Tupperware container filled with rice or beans and let the children use scoops or measuring cups to pour from one container to another;

  8. By about age 2 1/2, children might enjoy albums of nursery rhymes, while looking at board books;

  9. Have your read aloud time with your older students right outside the bathroom door while the children play in the tub;

  10. Put several sheets of paper and a pair of scissors in bag. On each piece of paper, draw one or several lines, some straight, some curved, some zig-zaggy, across the paper in big marker. Put smiley or star at the end. Let them try to cut along the lines;

  11. Create a pile of several small, random things (toys, bottle caps, raisins and peanuts), and allow your children to sort . . . by color, shape, material, size, etc.);

  12. Take 10 index cards and number them 1-10. Glue that many pennies on each card, or draw that many circles on each card. Put pennies, poker chips, etc. in bag, too. They put pennies on card to count up to each number.

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If my kids don’t beg for school, can they still love to learn?

"What drew us to Sonlight most was the focus on missions. We enjoy adventuring alongside missionaries on the pages of the books we read. Our hearts have been captivated and inspired."

"What drew us to Sonlight most was the focus on missions. We enjoy adventuring alongside missionaries on the pages of the books we read. Our hearts have been captivated and inspired."

You’ve probably heard it: Love to Learn, Love to Teach, Guaranteed.

I get great joy from helping families love to learn together.

But you may wonder – what does it actually mean to love to learn? What does that look like?

Do I really think your child will suddenly want to just stay home and read the encyclopedia? Do I think your kids will spontaneously break out in this hilarious "studying, studying" spoof?

Well, no. There’s nothing wrong with reading the encyclopedia or rejoicing at the chance to do hard math. Some kids are really into that. But it doesn’t have to look like that. And for most kids, it doesn’t.

So don’t worry. Your kids can love to learn even if:

  • They don’t sit still for seatwork every day.
  • They would rather play outside with friends than do their math.
  • They don’t want to compete in Spelling Bees.
  • They’ve never asked to do school on a weekend.

I’m sure you’ve read stories of Sonlight kids absolutely begging to do school – choosing to do Sonlight over playing outside, watching Saturday morning cartoons or even opening Christmas presents! Those stories are real and they happen with surprising frequency. (OK, I doubt the Christmas one happens often, but it has happened at least once.) But even if your kids don’t wake up and beg you to start school, they might still have that precious desire to learn. So celebrate it where you see it!

Here are some potential clues that your kids are gaining that crucial love to learn:

  • Your wiggle worms might not sit still as you read, but they will eagerly put on their superhero costumes and jump on their mini-trampoline while they listen.
  • They might happily accept an invitation to help with your “grown-up” tasks – letting you teach them to cook, fix things, sew or build.
  • Your kids can enjoy a museum once they’re there.
  • They ask you to read another chapter in your Read-Aloud even though you’ve finished the day’s assigned reading.
  • They ask you for a nightlight so they can stay up reading before going to sleep.
  • You notice they’re asking more thoughtful questions and making connections about how the world works.
  • You check on the kids in the backyard and overhear them re-enacting history, “No, I get to be Harriet Tubman this time and you be the person I’m helping escape.”  
  • Their faces light up when a Science experiment works.
  • They often ask you to help them look something up online or in a book.
  • If they’re old enough, they can spend a few hours working on something of their own – whether art, computer code, a novel or a Lego masterpiece.  
  • You find them tinkering with mechanics or electronics, figuring out how things are put together.
  • They generally see the world as a fascinating place!

In other words, kids who love to learn look a lot like normal, rambunctious kids. They ask questions, they like to figure things out, and they have confidence that they can learn new things.

When you use Sonlight, be ready for this excitement about learning to rekindle (if it’s gone away), to blossom and to grow.

And if your kids love to learn … watch out! There’s no stopping them. They could very well grow up to do whatever God calls them to do.

And isn’t that what we all want? I’m thrilled to help you in the journey.

Blessings to you and yours,

Sarita


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First Year for a Sonlight Full Package

My son, David (4 ys old), is too excited about his new books to have a nap today. So, I allowed him to assemble the Instructor's Guide with me.

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My eager and excited helper

My daughter, Lisa (2 ys old), is interested in her brother's books too.

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David with one of his books while Lisa finds more treasures in the box

~Tao E.

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The new 144-day schedule: What about the Readers?

"The Sonlight books have cracked wide open a love for literature in the hearts of my children.  –John F of El Paso, TX

"The Sonlight books have cracked wide open a love for literature in the hearts of my children.
–John F of El Paso, TX

In Sonlight programs A, B, C, D, and E, the 144-day schedule will have Bible, History, and Read-Alouds all broken down into a 4-day schedule. Science and Language Arts do not change--they are usable whether you plan to do Sonlight 4 or 5 days a week.

One subject is scheduled every day: the Readers.

Why?

When children are learning a new skill, daily practice makes a huge difference. And reading is easy to tuck into the moments of a day. Driving to co-op, or waiting for an appointment? "Sweetie, read this chapter aloud as we go."

So all Reader packages stay the same.

Want to know what program will work best for your family? Check out our new SmoothCourse to walk you through the process.

And remember: if you order a Full-Grade Package, or $799 or more, you can use a payment plan of your choice.

Thank you!

Amy's pic

Amy Lykosh
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Second-generation Sonlighter
Homeschooling mom to five

Sonlight Curriculum
www.sonlight.com

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