Incorporating Literature into your Homeschool

[Disclosure of Material Connection: Sonlight has provided me with curriculum in exchange for my guest posts.]

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be contributing articles to the Sonlight Curriculum blog regularly throughout the 2017/2018 school year, writing about homeschooling with a global perspective, why real books about real people matter, how geography isn’t just about maps, and more. I’ll update this page as each post is published, and I’ll post a link on the Oaxacaborn Facebook page, too.

Enjoy — and, if there’s a topic you want me to tackle in an upcoming article, leave a note in the comments, or drop me a line at gina [dot] munsey [at] gmail [dot] com.

3 Ways Biographies Enlighten Your Children 

“In Psalm 119, the psalmist prays, “[Lord,] order my steps.”  When we read biographies, we get a glimpse into that glorious ordering. In the course of our own lifetime, we will encounter trials and suffering. We may even endure days and years which are so achingly painful, we might even feel as though they are a waste. But someday, when we no longer see through a glass dimly (I Corinthians 13:12), when the arc of our life is viewed in light of eternity, we will see how God has woven it all together—the agonizing twists and turns we didn’t understand, the seemingly unfulfilled prayers, the untidy ends, the tangled threads, the knotted mess—into a beautiful tapestry beyond compare.” [Read more about homeschooling with biographies]

3 Things to Remember When You’re Teaching Worldview

” While it is admirable to wish to tell history from a Christian perspective, this attempt to smooth over the mess can be problematic. As our children get older, we must be careful to resist the temptation to paint rough patches of history in a purely positive light, or whitewash history to the point of inaccuracy.

If we take this paraphrasing too far, for too long, we do our children a disservice. The powerful triumph of victory over evil is lessened if we continually downplay the extent of evil. We need to be carefully not to accidentally narrow the gap between good and evil, between right and wrong, between light and darkness, or between truth and deception…” [Read more about why sheltering isn’t the answer]

Using Your Sonlight Instructor’s Guide as a Morning Time Schedule

“There is a welcomed familiarity in …expected pattern [s]. God created nature to run cyclically. It’s no wonder, then, that we’re drawn to the idea of an intentional habit at the advent of day, one which will settle our hearts, direct our eyes upwards, and set a positive and nurturing tone for the day. Even the most spontaneous and free-spirited among us partake in ritual, whether we realize it or not, through the necessary and life-sustaining patterns of sleeping, eating, and personal hygiene. Circle time—or symposium, if you will—constructs a sturdy scaffolding around which to train the wandering vines of our mornings.” [Read more about simplifying your homeschool morning]

8 Ideas for Nature Study in Urban Areas

“If you’re a city-dwelling homeschooler, it can sometimes feel like you’re the odd one out, especially as the rural homesteading movement continues to grow in popularity. But would it surprise you to know rural homeschoolers are actually the statistical minority in the United States? Recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows us that of the homeschooled students from which data was gleaned, only about 40% live in rural areas.

Forty percent! That means the rest—the majority—of homeschooled students in this country are based in cities, suburbs, and towns across America. While the reality of urban and suburban homeschoolers is a far cry from the folkloric ideals of prairies and pioneers, it’s no less valid—just perhaps much less represented…”[Read more homeschooling in urban areas]

5 Reasons to Read Books with Difficult Topics

“Books which deal with difficult topics are important because they cause us to look up and away from ourselves, and give us a little nudge out of any selfishness which might have settled down around us. When we read books in which the main characters combat grief, hunger, or other struggles, our gaze is lifted outward. It’s almost impossible to maintain a self-centered or entitled point of view if we are consistently being challenged by ideas and experiences—literary or real-world—which encourage us to look beyond ourselves…” [Read more about choosing to read difficult books]

Zooming out and in: Global-minded homeschooling

“The six-foot map above my desk continually puts things in perspective for me. Somehow, the larger I see the world stretched out before me, the smaller the selfish world orbiting my own head becomes. (It’s remarkable how quickly first-world complaints evaporate when viewed in light of not only history’s timeline, but geography’s expanse as well.)  And as I look at the map, I can’t help but notice what a narrow swath, both chronologically and geographically, United States history has carved out. And I think to myself, time didn’t start here. History didn’t start here. Geography doesn’t stop here — the ocean stretches out so much further. There’s so much more to know…” [Read more about why a global perspective matters in homeschooling]

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