1. My 12 year old wasn't independent with her day, and it wasn't her fault!
2. I needed to be able to spend more time with my (then) 7 year old.
So, has Sonlight helped us meet those goals?
|Sweetheart with her shipment of books for the year.|
First of all, Sweetheart (12) starts her day here:
In her room, at her desk, she is able to accomplish a lot right away without my help. Here she does handwriting, Bible reading, reading, a math practice sheet, a history lesson, and sometimes part of her writing assignment. ALL in the first hour or so of school and ALL independently. Now, at the beginning of the year there was a lot of coming to ask me questions, which I had prepared myself for. That has gone away. Also, in the beginning she would beg to come sit at the table with Little Bit and me but I only allowed it a few times. We all worked better separated for the first hour. She adjusted quickly and this part of the day flows now. It's nice to get so much done so soon.
So while Sweetheart is in her room working, Little Bit and I use our time to work on her reading lessons. I am pleased to say she is now a real-live, full-fledged reader. That was one reason I protected our first hour of school (i.e. kicked Sweetheart out of the room). Little Bit needed to be able to work with me on this. We still spend that first hour reading, but now....she reads to me!
Little Bit and I also do Bible, read-aloud, and history during this time. Then she gets a play break while Sweetheart comes to me for narration on everything she has read that morning.
So right there, in our first hour of school, BOTH of my homeschooling problems have been solved!
There is another thing Sonlight has accomplished which I would not have classified as a problem actually. I never had a real plan for Sweetheart in reading. She reads so much we have to practically slap the book out of her hand to get her attention. We joke about who would be responsible for going to get her should the house catch on fire because she's sure to not notice.
So I have never worried much about "assigning" books to her to read. But since Sonlight comes with nice little ready-made, well-thought-out assignment sheets, she has been reading some GREAT books! This comes at a super time in her life. The better a reader your child becomes and the more they out-grow the "younger kid books", the more problems you run into! The content of many books in the juvenile section of the library is questionable. I can't tell you how many books I've picked up that deal with messy divorces, or eating disorders, or other things that my daughter doesn't deal with or need to worry about. Let's not even get into the dating, boys, or the really sick vampire love genre, OK?
Sonlight offers us good literature that teaches history at the same time. Does that mean there is nothing controversial? Of course not, but honestly we haven't come across anything that shocked me or that we couldn't discuss together. We have loved the read-alouds so much that we often can be found reading ahead just because we can't stand to wait! (And she has caught me reading ahead too!) And that sitting on the couch together and reading thing is WAY better than sitting at the table all the time. Which is why I'm glad we got rid of the homeschool room. My pregnant body agrees the couch is better too. :)
|Little Bit has a few things she does on her own each day.|
So yes, it's working for us very nicely!
Next time: The Tweaks (there are always tweaks)