Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Teach Them Diligently

Monday, November 02, 2009

Stories from South Africa - Driving on the "wrong" side of the road.

Stories from South Africa
Driving on the "wrong" side of the road.
 February 7, 2009

I drove to Menlyn Mall (photo on right) today for the first time.  The director Clint and his wife Becky let us take their car to the mall to get away.   It is a stick and since - my dear husband hasn't had a chance to practice on a stick - he can drive one, it is just he is not as skilled - since I drove a stick for years in college - up Duluth, MN hills. - which are very steep!  Think four times as high as the over pass in Aberdeen, SD (where there are only two hills in town and they are both overpasses,) - and I am not kidding!  

Even though I can drive a stick it would be on the left of me instead of the right and the driver's wheel is also on the right side instead of the left - which is why the stick is on the left.  I thought that a left handed stick would be the hardest part.  That and then driving on the "wrong" or left side of the road with traffic coming at you from the right.  It was quite strange.  

 I was kind of nervous about it.  I prayed yesterday off and on all day that God would just protect us and that it wouldn't be a problem.  Then as I was falling asleep I realized- "Hey, if I was in the Amazing Race they would have no problem letting me drive!  So I thought - I can do this!"  

 I did just fine.  Tony only had to tell me once - "Other side of the road!"  That was only because we were a little turned around and I was turning right to turn around and go the opposite way.  We got to the mall and back just fine.  

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sonlight - our staple for homeschooling

Sonlight is our core for homeschooling.  

Personally even if I wasn't homeschooling I would get their cores to supplement what my children were learning.  If anything it is a great resource for what books to buy or  borrow from  the Library.

Each core has a is based on a theme - once you get to Sonlight 3 everything in the core threads back to the theme.  Which means the readers and read aloud books will all be related to American History.

This year we are doing Sonlight K  an Introduction to World Cultures -

We are using it for first grade and preschool.  (Wesley gets different things from the core than Irina.)

It will provide a good overview that will give us a good base for Introduction of World History Sonlight 1 and 2.

(Sonlight 1 is pictured at left with Intermediate 2 Readers. Below is Sonlight 2 with Advanced 2 Readers )

As a certified Social Studies teacher - Sonlight makes sure that my children will understand the context that everything falls into.    Don't be mislead to believe that Wesley is doing a Kindergarten program his first grade year.  The packages just recently were labeled K,1,2,3 but the curriculum is really designed to be used within a family and their are ages and grades that are appropriate for each package - up until recently they were called Cores and a lot of Sonlight uses still use that terminology.

Over the years I have learned how important it is to read to our children about topics above their level.  Reading comprehension is helped when students have a base understanding about what is being read.  It is really surprising how much history is in a Nursery Rhyme and we have found out what some of those connections are this year.   Sometimes as parents we assume that our children know certain facts about the world because we know it.  A great book to read related to this is Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch

If children don't have a foundation of concepts then when reading looses the contextual photos that aid in comprehension students fall behind their peers in reading.  The more you read to your children and the more you read about variety of topics and subjects.  The better your children will be able to comprehend whatever they come across.

The other great feature of Sonlight is the Instructor Guides that come with each Sonlight Core.  They lay out what to do each week for the Core subjects.

You can also add on your choice of Math - they have four to choose from and Handwriting program.  You can also add in their matching Science for each Core and other electives.  We do use a different Language Arts program but many people use the Language Arts program that ties with with the Core's readers.  I get the readers because they are good for the level of the core but choose to use a different reading and language arts program.  I'll share about those another time.

The best thing I like about Homeschooling is that I get to choose the best of what is out there for my children.

Check out their website and if you do decided to purchase a Sonlight Core let them know that I sent you.  I highly suggest getting their catalog it really explains everything in depth and will help you know if Sonlight is for you or not.