Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Pleasure of Books

The boxes are waiting...

Opening the first box

Look at that beautiful binder!

Pulling out the books

I am unusual, I suppose. Most stories I hear about 'Sonlight Box Days' involve the children and the mom opening the boxes, oohing and ahhing over the books all together.

Me - I invite my friend Barb over for the momentous occasion. While my kids are gone, and someone's home to watch her son. It's just the two of us.

We oooh and ahh over the books as we go through the packing list. Wonder that yes, I will read all these books by next summer. She exclaims over books she's read about online, but hasn't seen in person. I get excited when I see titles I've always wanted to read, but haven't - like What Ever Happened to Penny Candy? - or when I see beloved books from my childhood - like Star of Light or King of the Wind.

We hole punch the stickers to help me, and the children, identify school books and take the time to painstakingly peel those backings off and stick them on the books.

I empty the shelves of last year's books - putting away Core 4 in a plastic container until the younger children are ready for it and packing Core 1 into the empty Sonlight box to take to a friend for her to use this year.

Opening the container with Core 2 is almost as exciting as pulling the brand-new Core 5 out of the Sonlight boxes. I comment on which books I loved most, pointing out to Barb which books she should read to her son this year, and telling her which books we will for sure be listening to instead of me reading aloud. (I love The Little Princess, but I cannot read it aloud. I have to listen to someone else read it.)

Two hours later, the books are on the shelves, complete with stickers. I've not put together the Instructor's Guide yet - still trying to figure out exactly how I want to organize it this year. But oh, did I savor the moments with the books. These books I will read aloud to my children, creating memories, learning things I never knew before. These books I'll read for the second time to my younger two - the books that are so delightful that my older two will happily sit and listen to them again.

Then, the children rush in. My niece is here this week and asks me, "Aunt Michelle, why are they acting like they've never seen these books before?"

"Well, Priscilla, because they haven't! At least for a long time."

My nine-year-old asks, "Hey Mom! Can I read A School Story? Please?"

"Yes, but please be sure to return it to the school shelf when you're done."

She finished it before bedtime. Her 11-year-old brother has already reread Amazing Bible Facts, and perused the shelf with his school books.

They're already asking, "When does school start?"

I'm itching to start too.

I love Sonlight because my kids love school. And so do I.
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