How Can Sonlight Expect Us to Read So Many Books at Once?

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How Can Sonlight Expect Us to Read So Many Books at Once?
"So thankful we tried Sonlight 6 years ago!" —Jennie W. of Puryear, TN

Like many homeschool programs, Sonlight comes with a teacher’s guide (called an Instructor’s Guide) that lays out a daily schedule for parents.  It breaks the yearly books down into manageable, daily assignments.

Because of this bite-sized daily approach, Sonlight has parents reading from multiple books each day:

  • one or more Bible passages or Bible study books
  • a history chapter
  • a poetry passage
  • a literature or Read-Aloud selection
  • science portions

It can seem intimidating.

Parents may worry how they or their child will be able to keep track of so many books and characters and themes at once without getting confused. It can seem like an onerous task, especially to someone used to reading one book at a time.

You Read More Than You May Realize

Adults who love to read read far more than they are aware of and yet don’t seem to get confused among the different topics.  

For example, today I have read 4 different news articles on my phone.  I’ve poured over one Bible devotional passage and looked over 3 recipes.  I’ve read 4 books to my children and glanced over the notes in the Instructor’s Guide. I’ve browsed through a few dozen Facebook posts, read a chapter in a book on my ereader, and had to look at the instruction manual on a new appliance. All that reading, and it’s not even noon yet! I am sure I will be reading much more as the day goes on.  

We are capable of reading a lot of different items and keeping them straight. There may be times when plots seem to merge together, or someone might have trouble keeping track of the characters for a particular book. But overall we are quite good at handling multiple topics without confusing them.

Consider the Television Analogy

To realize just how adept people are at juggling multiple stories at once, consider television viewing.

My brother, for example, loves watching NCIS.  He regularly watches NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, and other CSI-style shows. He is able to keep track of new episodes and reruns, always has a general idea of what’s going on, and knows which show is which at a glance.  He never struggles to remember what happened in each individual series, and he never gets them confused.

Another example is my mom's habit of watching multiple soap operas each day.  I would never know which show was on or who each person was, but she could go a few months without watching and pick up where she left off without ever getting her stories confused or forgetting which characters belong to which program.  

That's because each television program has a different storyline, different characters, and different plots.  Our brains are wired to keep track of multiple storylines when the stories are varied, engaging, and memorable. 

Think of Your Sonlight Books as a Day of Television Viewing

If we compare Sonlight’s books to a lineup of television programs, it’s pretty easy to see how they are different and thus easier to keep track of. 

  • Bible Reading: Think of this like watching your favorite church service from home.
  • A History Book: This is akin to watching a documentary on the History Channel or National Geographic
  • A Prayer Book or Bible Study Book: Often these books provide information about a people group or a country, so it might be comparable to watching a brief news segment.
  • A Poetry Book: These are short, light, and fun. Let's think of it as a YouTube video.
  • A Read-Aloud: This is a meaningful story that draws you in. It's similar to your favorite program. You binge watch and can't wait for the next season ("Just one more chapter, please!")
  • A Reader: Your child reads it to themselves. It's parallel to a television show just for kids.
  • Your History / Bible / Literature Instructor’s Guides: An IG is full of practical advice and how-to information, just like an HGTV program on restoring houses, beautifying the garden, or cooking a delicious dish. 
  • Science Books: These books are akin to a show from Discovery or Animal Planet channels

Because all the parts are so different from each other and have different topics, it’s usually easy to keep them straight.  Plus, the more you get used to it, the easier it becomes. 

You Can Always Change the Schedule

If you truly don’t like the idea of reading small portions each day, try a different method. Perhaps a loop schedule might suit you better.

Sonlight is great when you use it as written, but that doesn’t make it any less great if you use it your own way as well.  

Whichever method you settle on, you will still have a lot of books to read with your children throughout the year, each with a variety of topics and a plethora of information. Looking at each new book as a new adventure makes keeping track of multiple book sat once less overwhelming.  

Tools to Save You Time

Learn more about Sonlight's time-saving Instructor's Guides and download free samples.

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