Favorite Reads of 2017 {Sonlight H}

Here is Anders’ favorite book from this school year (Murder for Her Majesty received his top-honors, too).

Anders, age 11

     If your friend was arrested and you knew that he was not guilty would you take on a scary magician to save him? The book Detectives in Togas, by Henry Winterfeld, is an exciting mystery story. It is filled with danger and peril as the boys from the prestigious Xanthos School in ancient Rome try to find a way to save their friend.

Mucius, Antonius and the rest of the boys didn’t believe it when they were told that their friend Rufus had desecrated the temple—a crime deserving death. They were sad that he had been arrested for what they thought was a false accusation. They decided that they where going to try to prove him innocent.

The schoolboys could have given up at many different times. When they found their teacher bound, gagged and stuffed in a wardrobe, they were scared. But they pushed through their fear. While they were looking around the desecrated temple for clues, they found a chain lying on the ground. They thought it might belong to the real criminal. They took the chain to a soothsayer to find out to whom it belonged. The man got really angry and threw snakes at them, which surprised and scared them. They ran away afraid. But, then the pieces started falling into place.

I think this book in an exciting mystery story. It is also a story of how friends never give up on each other. This is why it is my favorite book this school year.

A Fresh Approach to LA H {Seventh Grade}

Are you needing a little inspiration? Are you struggling to get your kids to write, or simply to complete their LA assignment independently?

I have been there! And with 7 kids to homeschool (and another in diapers) my children have to be able to complete work independently each day.  The past few years I have crafted LA worksheets/printables for each Sonlight core that I was teaching. This year, we are trying something a bit different…


I think you are going to LOVE IT! Take a look at how we approached the first week of LA H {Seventh Grade}:

Our approach to dictation hasn’t changed (we use this). But, we are working on grammar and literary analysis a whole different way. h1

Let’s start with Mechanics Practice (on the right I’m showing you the blurb from Sonlight’s Activity Sheet for Week 1). This week, the focus is nouns. Since it is week one, we have included a bit of a review.


And now we’ll discuss common and abstract nouns with a little cutting and pasting–just to make sure they understand the “abstract” category of nouns.


Then the difference between compound and collective. Your kids will write in the answers for this exercise (i.e. snowflake is a compound noun, a bushel (of apples) is a collective noun).


Now for the application.  They’ll identify the types of nouns in this week’s dictation passage–right in their notebook.h5

This week’s Creative Expression is a Character Sketch of a character in The King’s Fifth. Excerpts from Writer’s Edge along with the Character Sketch Interactive Bookmark will help your kids accomplish this task with only a little guidance from you!


The Character Sketch Interactive Bookmark will help your kids take notes as they read. They will note their character’s personality, physical characteristics and interactions with others on the front of the bookmark (tagging each reference with a page number).

Inside their Writer’s Edge your students will find a detailed description of the components of a Character Sketch and what to look for as they read this week. It also will help them decide an approach for writing about their character. They will work out their approach on the back of their Character Sketch Interactive Bookmark.


h8Finally, we they’ll jump into their writing notebook to organize/draft their paper. I’ll bet your kids are typing their papers at this point in their school career. But, it will help them be better writers if they organize their thoughts before they type :).


Here the assignment is laid out and they are given visual reminders of the components of the essay. No matter what approach they take to writing their sketch, they’ll want to incorporate the descriptions they noted on their Character Sketch Interactive Bookmark along with their own interpretation/explanation.

What do you think? Hopefully you LOVE it! We’ll be working in our notebooks this school year (for Cores B, E, F and H) and share the results with you this summer. Hope your year is off to a great start!


God’s Smuggler and the Royal Way

Our Sonlight Core H year was filled with great books, but “God’s Smuggler” was the highlight for me. It is one of those books that, if you are a believer, will move you to a deeper relationship with Christ. Brother Andrew is a present day Paul, with a faith and prayer life that harkens back to George Mueller.

He could have written a whole book about his childhood, a boy growing up in Holland during the German occupation in the 1940s. His antics will endear him to your children’s hearts (especially if you have boys, like I do).  And his love for his older brother Bas will touch your sweet mommy-heart.

But, it is his walk with the Lord, his calling and desire to glorify God that is especially awesome.  Brother Andrew truly learned to live in tune with the Holy Spirit.  That is something that eludes a lot of us here in America where we want for so little and have so much.  He also learned to be a servant of the King.  In becoming His servant, he had to be subject to Him. But first he had to truly know and trust Him. What was He like?  In what ways could he trust Him?  In the same way he trusted a set of impersonal laws? Or could he trust Him as a living leader, as a very present commander in battle? That question is central for all of us.  Is Christ a King in name only to you?  Or is He a Person–does He communicate to you, care for you, love you and lead you?

And so began Brother Andrew’s journey on the Royal Way–the path of God providing for him.  Providing in a kingly manner, not some groveling way. This book is a great  read and a wonderful call to young missionaries’ hearts.