Tuesday, August 6, 2013

S is for Sun

Well, we started Kindergarten, and someone is pretty excited!

Besides phonics and Right Start Math, we learned all about the sun and studied how Jesus is the light of the world. Here are a couple fun highlights...

We practiced the letter S in shaving cream, to make the boys smell good and clean my patio table, which was a fun and non-frustrating way for him to practice writing and re-writing a tricky letter. It was the first time he's been able to consistently make his S's face forward instead of backward.

We had a hands-on activity or lesson each day and one of my favorites was the orange activity as described in Sunshine Makes the Seasons. It was a great visual showing how the earth's tilted axis affects our sun exposure and gives us the seasons. He was able to conclude on his own that days would be longer in summer and shorter in winter, and how the tilt of the earth combined with our position to the sun makes our seasons. 

Along with reading How Do You Know What Time it Is? and learning about how people have measured time through the ages, we made three forms of sundials. The fancy schmancy one that I thought would be best was a gnomon, and it was OK but really the one where we stuck a pencil in the ground through a piece of paper then traced the shadows each hour was simpler and in my opinion better because the shadow moved a LOT more. The funnest sundial was when I had him stand in the same position each hour and traced HIS shadow. Of course this gave the most drastic results and it was neat because it related the most to him and he was able to understand why his shadow changed through the day.

We joined up with a friend (who's doing the same Kindergarten letter units as we are from MFW) made suncatchers by melting pony beads.

One day he thought up all sorts of words that started with the letter S. He chose "seal" to draw a picture of, and I have to say that I think it's a pretty good seal :) 

We also talked about how Jesus is the light to the world. After having him try to navigate with a blindfold on, we talked about the importance of the sun to see where we're going and avoid stumbling blocks, and related that to how Jesus is our light and if we follow Him by obeying the bible what a better life we'll have.

I wanted to do something to the effect of "the same sun that melts wax hardens clay" so we made a ball of wet mud (our "clay") and set it on a plate all day next to a wax crayon to see what they did after a day in the sun. We also read most all of Exodus 7-12 and related how God's shown his power and love to all of us, but we have to choose how to react (and Pharoah, of course, hardened his heart). Some people harden their hearts and others soften them when they hear the word of God. God is like the sun, and He's shown His love to everyone, but it's up to us to keep our hearts soft like the wax and not hard like Pharoah/ the clay.

Here's his ABC notebook page for the letter S:
I cut a hole in it and he attached tissue paper behind it. He thinks it's neat that he can hold it up and see light coming through the tissue paper sun.

We also have a "Books We've Read" tree, where we'll add a leaf with the title of each book we've read for school. Here's how full it is after our first unit:


  1. Well this is one school that God hasn't been kicked out of - yahoo! :) They are so cute. Did the little brother try to taste the shaving cream?

    1. Thanks Veronica! It's been a lot of fun for both of us. Yes he did give it a little bitty try but I don't think that will be happening again! :)

  2. Makes me want to go back and re-take Kindergarten at your house!! :):) WONDERFUL! I especially liked the "tracing his shadow" activity and the clay/crayon in the sun example for teaching how people receive God's Word - excellent :):) When can I vote for "Best Teacher of the Year"???

  3. Looks so fun! Thanks for sharing all your projects, we'll be doing this unit next week, and I was struggling a bit :) (Found you on the MFW Blogroll, by the way) And I *LOVE* your book tree, that's so fun! I think I'll have to wait until little brother is a bit older, though, or we'll have crumpled up and/or eaten leaves all over the house ;)

    1. How did your year go with it? Just curious. Ours went great, though this is the only unit I think I blogged about. :)