Where Are They Now: Heather and Autumn Lopez

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This post is part of the Where Are They Now series in which we hear the stories of long-time Sonlight users who are now thriving young adults.

Heather and Autumn embrace at Autumn's graduation.

Former Sonlighter Autumn L just graduated summa cum laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Industrial Technology (in the college of Business).

Her proud father, Rusty L of CA, wrote to tell us about the graduation: "Autumn used Sonlight curriculum from 2nd grade all the way through high school, and I've got to tell you it was a big part of her success academically!"

Where Are They Now: Heather and Autumn Lopez

Heather and Autumn adventure together as Sonlight homeschool students growing up.

When Ronda and Rusty watched their little toddler first realize that words had meaning, she was hungry to learn. Afraid she might be bored in traditional school and at the encouragement of another homeschooling family, they starting looking into homeschooling and eventually found Sonlight.

"We didn't want to quench their natural curiosity," says Rusty. "Autumn had such a love for learning and we wanted her to keep that. So many kids get that sucked out of them and they lose themselves in devices. Our girls are curious and love to read. The research skills, critical thinking, and just the love for good books and learning has stayed with them and we give a lot of credit to the Sonlight education for that love of learning.

"We used Math-U-See, Sonlight Science, Real Science for Kids, but their love of reading and learning came from all the wonderful Sonlight books. We also really appreciated the focus on critical thinking and also the research skills the girls developed through Sonlight."

Although both girls are studying science-related fields in college, they have both developed strengths in art, poetry and photography as well.

Autumn says "Sonlight curriculum gave me a solid background in English language and literature that allowed me to excel in college."

Autumn (22) actually works as the photographer for Cal Poly College of Business and does her own photography as well.

Heather (17) graduates from high school in June and she already has extensive college credit that she earned from junior college while continuing to homeschool.

She scored in the 99th percentile in most standardized tests, is a National Merit Commended scholar, and is looking at majors in computer science or applied computer science.

Heather says:

"My favorite thing about Sonlight has been and will always be the books. Each grade provided me with dozens of new, exciting stories. For years, my mom would read to me, bringing characters to life in my mind. I loved listening to her so much that I would beg for ‘just one more chapter!’ It didn't even have to be me she was reading to—I would sneak into the living room and listen to her read to my sister. Many times I would remember plot points or certain sentences, recognizing them five years later, when she finally read them to me. I've kept many of those books, remembering and loving them even now.

“Yet Sonlight was more than just plot twists, the smell of new books, and the joy of reading. They used the books I loved to teach me spelling, grammar, literary analysis, syntax, foreshadowing, poetic structure, alliteration, and much, much more. Last year, I took the SAT and ACT, and English was by far my best subject. I also took the AP English Language and Composition test, scoring a 4. Since Sonlight contains the only English courses I ever took, I think it's fair to say that they taught me well. More than that, though, they made me enjoy learning.”

Do you have a story about your grown Sonlighter? We love catching up with long-time Sonlight users who are now thriving young adults. Email your story and photos to stories@sonlight.com.

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