I have heard Sarita Holzmann, founder and president of Sonlight, speak many times. One of the things I have heard her say more than once is that when she started Sonlight, she wanted to gather the best of the best books and curriculum and develop an easy to use guide so that families on the mission field would not have to leave the field in order to give their children a great education. Her goal was to keep missionaries on the field "one more year." She thought this was something she could put together in the afternoons while her son Justin was taking his nap. And, thus, Sonlight was born.
Recently, I was at a homeschool convention talking to families who came to find out more about Sonlight Curriculum. A smiling mom came into my booth and introduced herself as having talked to me a couple of years before. She said she was about ready to quit homeschooling and came to the convention as a last ditch effort to try to get motivated enough to teach her kids one more year. I showed her how Sonlight would work for her family and she was coming back to thank me and to tell me how Sonlight kept her homeschooling.
I shared Sarita's story and she said, "That's me! She kept me on my mission field one more year!" And that's when it hit me.
We are all on a mission field. Some of us live as ex-patriots in foreign lands as missionaries doing God's work in all its various forms. Some of us are living in the land of our birth, maybe in the same town, but we have a mission field too. It starts with our families then radiates out to our neighbors, communities, states and countries. We are ambassadors for Christ when we make a sandwich for our husbands, teach our children, go to the grocery store and beyond.
Wherever we are is our mission field.
As homeschooling parents, most of us find that our mission field at this season of our lives is our family and educating our children is part of our job. It can be tough going day-after-day, year-after-year. I know after seven years of using various curricula I was burnt out and ready to throw in the towel. Then I found Sonlight and I was able to stay with it till our youngest graduated ten years later.
I pray that you will find, like this lady and I did, that Sarita's vision of keeping missionaries on the field one more year can apply to you no matter where you live.
P.S. Here are some ideas for a simple summer schedule and some summer boredom busters.