There have been several posts in the past 6 months on this same general subject, but no complete answer to this question. All these post authors would be satisfied IF the excellent Scholar Theme included two additional options.
First, here are the options I recommend for Scholar:
1. An option to turn off Spotlight and replace it with a real right-column where I can add widgets.
2. An option to select an Activity Stream page (as in Settings-Reading) that has a built-in left-column as now exists on the default home page.
Second, lacking the above options, here is my specific request for information:
Question: How can I modify home.php and any associated file (after copying them to the child folder) so I can replace the Spotlight function with a real right-column that can accept widgets?