I am so glad that I found Sonlight for our school year. After 2 weeks, I’m already in love. I love how it’s laid out for me and all I have to do is pick up my IG and the books we need and go. And I love how the subjects work together. It makes the lessons flow instead of feeling like we’re shifting gears between each subject.
We’re using Core A with Language Arts 2. The history seems a little light but I think it will pick up. Core A is made to work with K-2nd grade so I figured it might be a little light but everyone I talked to said not to skip Core A if your child fell within the age range. And I hate missing out on stuff so we went with it.
Core A History starts at dirt. By that I mean creation. But since it uses Usborne’s Children’s Encyclopedia and The Usborne Book of Living Long Ago it presents an old earth, “dinosaurs before man” and evolutionary version of history. The Sonlight IG does a good job of helping you navigate these topics if you’re unsure of how to do it. This is a topic I’ve discussed with BigG often so it was just a normal discussion to him. He knows why we believe they way we believe.
One of the first history lessons discusses “cavemen”. And while we don’t dispute the fact that people used caves as shelter, we don’t believe that they were unintelligent neanderthals. One of the things the section on cave people discussed was cave paintings. It suggested making a cave painting of your own but it was about putting your hands on paper and blowing paint around it to make a handprint. That sound messy and not fun.
So I improvised!
Make a Cave Painting
In the lesson it talks about how they made their own paints and used twigs, feathers, reeds, etc as “paintbrushes”. So we went outside and gathered some things that we thought might make good paintbrushes.
We came back in and got started. Ideally I would’ve used a brown piece of construction paper to paint on but apparently we’ve had a run on brown in the house and there wasn’t a piece to be found anywhere. Orange made a good substitute.
We discussed how mixing paints and making cave paintings actually pointed to intelligence and creativity bestowed upon man by our Creator.
We talked about things that might be easy to paint using the tools we had. He decided on water, a boat and mountains.
About halfway through trying to use a stick to paint mountains he decided that it would just be easier to use his finger to finish them. So he did. And he thought that was AWESOME. Apparently I’ve never let him paint with his fingers before.
Here’s what else we’re doing to go along with our Sonlight:
Vocabulary Notebook – This is coming in handy. When we come across one of the vocabulary words in our read-aloud, we write it down with the meaning. Plus any other words that are new to BigG. We review them everyday before we read our next chapter in our read-aloud. He always points out the word if it comes up again. I have no plans to test him formally on these words. I think reviewing them each day is sufficient at this level.
Busy Activity during Read-Alouds – BigG is no stranger to chapter books but the first read aloud, The Boxcar Children, is lacking the pictures he’s used to in our newer chapter books we’ve been reading. We have an older edition of it, I don’t know if the newer ones have better pictures. I don’t mind that it doesn’t have exciting pictures – I think it’s good for BigG. But I have allowed him to sit with his Legos or Play-Doh during read-aloud time. The only stipulation is that what he makes during that time has to relate to the story somehow. When our chapter is over he has to tell me about what he’s made. This works as a check to see if he was really listening. One day he made a boxcar out of Legos. Another day he tried making the children out of Play-doh.
That’s all for now! Can’t wait to share more with you as we keep going through this year!