Sonlight Spotlight - Fiedler Family

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Each month the Sonlight team will choose a current family to highlight by sharing their #sonlightstories. If you'd like to shine a light on your family, apply here for a chance to be featured.

Meet the Fiedler Family!

Felicia and Tim, with their three sons, Jonathan (10), Artemus (8), and Mattix (6), have homeschooled since 2013 using Sonlight. They have used levels T, P, K, B, C & D, and are currently using A and E. Felicia tells us about how she always wanted to be homeschooled as well as homeschool her own children. She and Tim did not want their kids to get lost in the crowd but have a strong foundation in their faith, as well as a love of reading.

When Felicia was little she asked to be homeschooled and was for 6 months during a move mid-school year. She would line up her stuffed animals and her brothers, and play homeschool with them. It was something she always wanted to do and feels blessed she is able to homeschool her children. "It's just something God placed on my heart from a very young age", she tells us.

Homeschool curriculum research started while their oldest was still in the NICU as a micro-preemie. While reading a Sonlight catalog, the nurses reminded her she had a long time before needing to think of school. As an avid reader, Felicia loved that Sonlight uses literature to teach and was determined to educate her children using great books.

"It's a really fun way to learn history in a way that I didn't learn it!" ~ Felicia Fiedler

Fiedler Family Foundation

The Fiedler family prioritizes their Bible time first thing. Their days start with Bible memory and scripture, even before they have breakfast. Currently, they are doing both HBL A & HBL E, but they work on the memory verse for HBL A as a family and do the reading from both levels. Jonathon, the oldest, still does his Starting Strong, and the additional student readings from level E on his own.

During breakfast, Felicia starts reading their history and literature. After they clean up, they start their table subjects. Most days they are able to finish by 11 or 12 o'clock and hang out, play with Legos, or swim in the afternoons.

"I really like the idea of doing Bible as a family because God’s inspired word is for everybody. It reaches a two-year-old to a 100-year-old." ~ Felicia Fiedler

Fiedlers Find Flexibility

The Fiedlers have done all the levels from preschool - D, but Felicia says she has learned to balance her expectations. She loves her IG (Instructor's Guide) especially for scheduling what she needs to accomplish each day. Felicia modifies it to suit her family's needs. Sometimes she uses it for the added discussion questions, sometimes they omit books to fit their schedule, but no matter what, she knows they are getting a full and rich education.

"When my oldest went through I felt like I had to stick with every little thing. Now I've learned I can relax." ~ Felicia Fiedler 

Felicia says she is able to breathe a little more because they know the boys are reading more books now than most kids probably read in their entire childhood.  She lets us know that books she didn’t like initially, she absolutely loves when they read them again. "Tastes change, and you better understand the purpose of the books as you go along."

This year has been a really rough year for the family, with the loss of a grandfather, and a great-grandmother as well as moving and building a house. With all this and Tim being deployed a few times, they have had a lot on their plates. Felicia's perspective has shifted, and it's okay to step back and re-prioritize what needs to happen. The IG has given her the ability to balance what needs to be done for school.

Tim and Felicia intend to homeschool through high school, but they want to follow God's plan for their lives. Felicia is a planner and had all the years planned out, but now feels like she needs to wait each year to see what is in store for them. Their goal is to remain flexible in what needs to happen.

Tim's flexibility was put to the test when Felicia brought up homeschooling. He thought she was crazy because it was so different from what he remembered from his traditional school upbringing. Now he knows homeschooling was the best decision. He trusts her, she keeps him up to date on all they are doing, and he can not complain. When she needs him to take over, he knows how to follow the IG and what to do. Sonlight is simple to use and flexible.

"Not everything can be planned out exactly how you want to it to be, so I try to be flexible." ~ Felicia Fiedler

Fiedler Family Favorites

The Fiedler family says their favorite things about homeschooling are spending more time with family, and not having to do school all day long. While the boys love being homeschooled because mom reads to them, they enjoy reading their books and making lunch together.

The Fiedler boys' favorite book recommendations:

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

The Great Turkey Walk

Boxcar Children

Ergermeier’s Bible Storybook

George Muller

You can learn more about the Fiedler family’s Sonlight experience by listening to their full interview on the Sonlight Connections podcast.

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