Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A love for Sonlight

Yes, everyone its that time of the year again! The new homeschooling catalogs have been making their debut in my mail box this month and its time to get awed and confused all at the same time over which to chose and who to buy from.

When I first started homeschooling 8 yrs ago ,I will admit, there was not this many options for homeschoolers. We had gotten our first computer, and the internet was not as wide and vast as it is today. I knew of Calvert, Bob Jones, Moving with Math , and Alpha Omega. I'm sure there were more, but again, in my limited knowledge of the internet , and plus you have to pay to use AOL , there just wasn't much out there.

By the time Marilyn was 6yrs old all of a sudden a boom of homeschooling curriculum became available( not quite like the boom there is today though). I learned about more when I no longer had to pay for dial up internet. By this time I had been using Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons ( 100 EZ Lessons for short) and Marilyn HATED reading. We bounced back and forth with starting and shelving the book, trying it again, hitting a wall and then again shelving it. So I began to believe that we just didn't have the right program. Then I learned about Sing, Spell , Read and Write. I bought it used and it was terribly, horribly, boring and Marilyn hated it. It was nothing like it looks today. To this day I wonder if we had all of the program but I'll never know. Then I learned about Rod and Staff, she hated it with a passion. It wasn't colorful, no bells and whistles so to speak. So it wasn't until I refound Ace School of Tomorrow did Marilyn's reading start to take off. I'm not sure it had to do with the program itself or if she finally matured a little more and it started to click. Whatever the reason was it worked. During that curriculum hoping I found my oldest child refused to pick up a book and read it. If you've ever been to our home we have lots and lots of books. Not to mention we go to the library on a consistent basis. So it was a very horrible experience to see my now 6.5 yr old refuse to even pick up a book let alone look at one.

So if your wondering what this has to do with Sonlight, well I'm getting to the good part. I learned about this curriculum, I don't remember how, but I found it and it looked great. So many books, history, science, read alouds. This curriculum was to good to be true. I felt like I was in book heaven. We could never understand why Marilyn didn't like reading in those early days. I read to her since she was a baby, she always saw us reading the newspaper, books etc. She even loved her Dr. Seuss books so much that she committed them to memory. So in desperation I pulled together the curriculum , because it was way to expensive for us to buy from the company. I pieced mealed Sonlight and began on our journey. To be honest to this day I thank Sonlight for Marilyn's now love of reading. I catch her reading books all of the time now, and even at the ripe 'old' age of 14 she still loves to be read to. It was a rought start at first. Marilyn wasn't interested in any of it, but I stayed the course and I'm happy I did. In the end of my persistence we prevailed and Marilyn began to pick up books and beg for me to read more.
Thankfully I never had this problem with my middle two girls. I think it was because they listened in on the stories that we read everyday from Sonlight.

Of course Maggie wasn't born then though and I'm finding myself drawn back to Sonlight once again to give her that same love that her sisters now have. Granted Maggie is VERY advanced and she reads VERY well, but she really doesn't seem to have that love of books. I think to her at this time its all about learning to read and it seems cumbersome to her. I'm not sure, but there's something about Sonlight that makes them LOVE books if that makes any sense.
I remember those early days with Sonlight. That was the time I fell in love with homeschooling, and I feel that I need that back.

Granted I did have my quirks about it, the IG was tough for me to follow because my girls LOVED the stories and just wanted MORE. So I found I had to readjust what I was doing with them with the lessons. I never did get the hold of their LA. It just never made sense to me and there was no real flow for us. I still wonder at times if it would work for us now that I'm a 'seasoned' homeschooler. It just was a different way of learning. and honestly my girls learned from Sonlight.

The pros were obvious. We had plenty of sitting down and cuddle time. We learned so much , even from the K level (they didn't have a Prek level back then). My daughters developed a love of reading they still have to this very day. What more can you ask for?

So now for about the third time this week since my catalog game a few weeks ago. I'll be cuddling up in my sofa chair. Drooling over the magazine, and wishing we could afford to just buy all those wonderful books, and not ever have to step into the library to get them. I'll dream of those early days when we just sat on the couch and just cuddled and read. Amiss all the stuff going on here right now with preparing for Maggie's surgeries and fundraising. I still know that life goes on and we need to get ready for another school year.

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