Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun with the sun!

No, not fun in the sun (although we have plenty of that these days, too), but fun with the sun! I know I said I wouldn't post again until the end of the sun unit, but we had so much fun today that I wanted to record it so this mommy brain of mine won't forget!

Today we had our introductory lesson for the sun unit. First I had Hannah go into her closet with the lights off and door closed and try to find her boots, a Dr. Seuss book, and her Brer Rabbit record and book. (Yes, you read that correctly. We actually have a record player at our house. Actually, it's the one my cousins and I used to play with at my MawMaw & PawPaw's house when I was growing up.) Anyway, she found the boots, then I heard her clunking around for a while, and finally she came out and said, "I give up." Then I took several items outside, including the previously mentioned ones, and she was able to bring them to me right away. We talked about how the sun gives us light so we're able to see. Then we talked about how Jesus is the light of the world, and He helps us see where to go with our words and actions.

After this we looked through a couple of library books about the sun and talked about the way it gives us light and heat because it's a big ball of fire. There were a couple of easy experiments that Hannah wanted to try, so we did them. The first one was to put one ice cube on a plate in the direct sunlight and another on a plate in the shade to see which one melted faster. She had fun running outside to check her ice cubes every few minutes and was able to determine that the one in the direct sunlight melted faster because it's hotter there.

The second experiment was a shadow experiment, so we went back into the closet with a flashlight and made shadows with our hands. We talked about how the shadow was formed because our hands were getting in the way of the light, and the light couldn't shine through our hands or bend around our hands. She discovered that moving her had closer to the light source made the shadow bigger, and moving it farther away made it smaller.

Millie also got a lesson today—something more substantial than a coloring page! I wish I could say it's because I'm a great mom and want to set my two-year-old on the path to academic success, but it's actually because I'm tired of picking up Spanish moss from the floor and stuffing it back into the ficus tree where it belongs! (I guess Millie has noticed all the time I have been spending with Hannah, so that's her way of saying, "You WON'T forget about me!") Anyway, since Hannah's letter for the sun unit is "S," I made an "S" with glue on construction paper and had Millie glue lima beans to it. I guess it went okay for Day 1. If you ask her what sound "S" makes, she'll tell you /s/. However, if you ask her, "What letter is this?" she'll tell you, "A." It'll be fine, though—we still have five days left in this unit, and the Fridge Phonics are out and ready to be played with!

I think the highlight of my day came later in the morning. We were sitting outside and Hannah said, "You know, when I was in my closet, I was trying to find my Dr. Seuss book, and I pulled out my When I Grow Up book (I have no idea what that is, by the way), and then I found another book and I said, 'That can't be Dr. Seuss because it's too small.'" Immediately my mind screamed, "HUGE TEACHABLE MOMENT!" So I took advantage of the opportunity to tell her how for some people, that's how their life is. Just like Hannah didn't have light so she went from book to book trying to find the right one, when people don't have Jesus they might go from one thing to another, trying to find the right thing to do or say. For example, someone who doesn't know Jesus might try saying mean things to people who have mistreated them, they might try to control things instead of letting God be in control, they might worry about things instead of praying, etc. But when we have Jesus, we can read in the Bible the things that He tells us to do. We know to love people even when they're our enemies. We know not to try to be controlling but to trust God's plan. We know not to worry about things but to pray about them and trust God.

What a wonderful day. What a wonderful curriculum. What a wonderful God.

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