He was so excited to start the “Ss-Sun” unit. He practically bounced into the classroom and was so eager to learn, he could not sit still! I think it was the perfect image to sear into my heart as a reminder that this year is all about cultivating a deeper love of learning. We had a quick meeting about the week. I let him know what we would be learning about and what activities were coming up and then told him to please let me know if he wanted to know more or explore any other topics related to the sun. “This is an adventure and we get to be explorers together!” We started off by spending lots of time OUTSIDE, soaking up some Vitamin D and enjoying the warmth. He built a beautiful teepee with his brothers and a few friends.
And they spent nearly an hour whipping up a “salad” out of all the treasures they had foraged.
His first exploration question was a funny one. “Why do Cowboys ride off into the sunset in stories?” This required a bit of research, so after completing his handwriting sheet, he went outside with his brother and rode on his horse swing while his big brother read a “Billy and Blaze” story aloud. These are the two siblings that quarrel the most often, so even if no “scientific” questions were explored, they shared a sweet moment together and I have photographic evidence. Total win.
Target sells cheap little lacing toys in their dollar section. We bought one, and I will confess, I bought the cards for the box they came in. Perfect tracing tool set! A compartment to hold a letter card and a bigger section to fill with a handful of play sand. He had a lot of fun tracing out the letter “S” and showing it off to his big brothers. I also let him try and trace the letters he knew while working on our “A-a-Apple” song.
We brought out the light tablet and built letters and made suns out of translucent geo shapes. His little brother joined in on the fun.
I surprised him with a “sunset” bath. Filling the tub with water, I dropped in two color tablets to make orange water. Then I gave him a muffin tin filled with shaving cream I had colored beforehand. He had various sunset colors in the palette and he loved getting to paint a sunset on the wall.
Whenever his brothers were working on their independent art projects or handicrafts, our favorite kindergartner would make a run for the crayon stash and draw this same picture over and over and over again. A sun with the word “JESUS” scrawled in the middle. He was proud of each and every one. Aside from his own name, this is the first word he has learned to write and spell correctly on his own.
We purchased some kite paper and made these lovely Waldorf stars to catch the morning light. Folding this lovely paper is a bit addicting!
When Day 4 rolled around he was ready with a few new questions, specifically the role the sun plays in the process of photosynthesis. We watched the photosynthesis episode of “Magic School Bus” which led to questions about plant cells. We pulled out our Brock Magiscope and checked out a cross section of a pine needle. Our property is packed with pine trees and we loved getting a closer look at one tiny cell and then walking outside and marveling at our lovely giants. His closing observation, “God’s creation is amazing and he cares about every single little thing. Even me!” No handouts, no complicated worksheets, just great conversation and a taste of good things to come.
On our walk we also looked at a compass and I explained how it worked. I taught him to orient himself with N,S,E and W on our property so that he can begin to relate his stories with directions when relating his nature adventures. We are striving to closely model Charlotte Mason methods in a few specific areas and nature study/play is one of them!
We loved the book basket recommendations given by MFW on our first time through the curriculum. We are sticking with it this time too! And its safe to say, that he loved each and every one. We have also added long term reads to his Morning Meeting time, with a majority of the selections based off of ambleside online‘s list. We are starting to read through “Now We are Six” by AA Milne along with the entire collection of Beatrix Potter’s works. I am hoping to get through them all this year during our Morning Meeting!
We decided to do a different variation on the sun dial. We picked our favorite young tree in the yard and tied pieces of yarn to its trunk and stretched out the yarn in the direction of its shadow every two hours. It made such a pretty, colorful wheel on the grass.
We started our grapes on the dashboard of our car and after the toddler ate them (twice) while I was loading the car for various events, I gave up on them. We made fun prints with black construction paper and tiny dinosaur toys. We ate a yummy sun snack—a clementine with pretzel rods rays and we made three batches of Sun Tea.
Our Sun badge is finished and tacked to the wall of the schoolroom. I know a few people have made beautiful quilts with patches made throughout their K year, but I think that lovely quilt would be the death of me. We have opted for a white Tshirt from Michaels and a set of Tshirt markers. He gets to draw something for each week and on the 6th day of study, he wears the shirt. Good times. Simple times.