Saturday, August 20, 2011

Show & Tell: MFW K—S-s Sun

Last week, Millie finished her S-s Sun unit.  I did MFW K with my oldest three years ago, and I want to hang my head in shame when I go back and read some of my posts.  Apparently I thought she'd never learn about the sun again before she left for college, so I tried to be very thorough with her lessons—too thorough for a 5-year-old.  I've learned since then, though, and now follow the KISS principle:  Keep It Simple, Silly!!

Here are some of the highlights from our week.  :)

We learned that the sun gives us light.

The light from the sun helps us to see.  Otherwise, we'd stumble around and get lots of bumps and bruises—we'd be hurt time and time again!  This helped us to understand our special words for the week:

Jesus is the light of the world.

When we take time to read His Word and obey it, it gives us guidance.  It helps us see the "right" way to go and helps us avoid a lot of unnecessary pain in life.

We learned that the sun gives us heat.

We did a little experiment to see just how much effect the sun's heat has on our world.  We took two plates and put an ice cube on each plate.  One was placed in the shade under our patio cover.  The other was on the table by the pool in direct sunlight.

When Millie went to check on the ice cubes after about 15 minutes, she found that the one in the shade was smaller than its original size, but it hadn't melted completely.

The one by the pool, however, was totally gone, and there was a puddle of water in its place.  The heat from the sun caused it to melt faster than the one in the shade.

We also put a bowl of grapes in a sunny windowsill to see the effect of the sun's heat on them. 

They haven't completely turned into raisins, but they're definitely well on their way.  We'll keep them there for a couple more weeks and see how long it takes them to totally dehydrate.

We learned that the sun helps us measure hours.

We read Bear Shadow by Frank Asch and The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo by Jack Kent and talked about the way shadows change throughout the day.

Then we used a pencil, some clay, and a piece of posterboard to make a sundial in the backyard.  We didn't mark it every hour on the hour, but we had enough marks by the end of the day to see how the shadows changed.

Here's Millie making our second mark of the day.  All of our clocks at home are either digital or have Roman numerals, so I pulled out a clock manipulative I had left over from Hannah's CLE Math days and used that to show Millie how to tell time to the hour.

Here she is making the last mark of the day.  She was able to see how the shadows moved from one side of the pencil to the other as the sun moved across the sky.
 We learned that the sun helps us measure days.

Before I taught Millie how the sun really causes day and night, I wanted to show her how people used to think it worked.  We got out the inflatable globe that came with ECC and taped a piece of paper with a "W" on it to North America and one with an "E" on it to Asia.  Then we went into my closet and shut the door.  Before you think I've gone totally mad, let me assure you that that's not where we usually do school!  We just needed a dark place to go! ;)  I moved the flashlight from the E to the W to show her that people used to think Earth stood still while the sun moved around it from east to west.

Then we read an excellent book called Under the Sun by Ellen Kandoian.  (We came out of the closet for this part.  You can only take it for so long before it starts to feel a little claustrophobic!)

In this book, a little girls asks her mom where the sun goes when she goes to bed.  Her mother tells her some of the different places it goes while she is sleeping.  As we read the book, we found each place on the globe and turned our globe until that spot was in the sun's (aka flashlight's) light.  When the sun was shining on Asia, we looked at the other side of our globe and saw that it was dark—night—in North America where the little girl lived.

We learned that the sun helps us measure years.

We moved our coffee table out of the living room one night and put a lamp (aka sun) in its place.  We turned all the lights off, turned the lamp on, and gave Millie the globe so she could review how the sun makes day and night.

We told her that the earth not only spins around, but it also goes around the sun, making day and night, day and night, day and night over and over again as it travels.  We told her to run around the sun and make days and nights as she went.  (What's that?  Permission to run in the house??!)  So she picked up the globe and ran around the sun, spinning the globe on her way around.

When she got back to where she started, Greg yelled, "Happy New Year!"  He told her that when the earth goes all the way around the sun, a year has passed.  We gave the girls party horns to blow every time Millie made a new year, so things got pretty loud that night. 

Some other fun activities were ...

Making the letter "S" out of Play-Doh.

Using Cuisinaire rods to complete our letter "S" page.

Writing our special words on a sheet of paper ...

... and then painting it!

Adding the very first circle to our Kindergarten caterpillar.

And praying for the Safwa people and learning how to say "sun" in Spanish.

I love that we get to play together and call it school!  :)

If you'd like to use our badges to make your own Kindergarten caterpillar, our handwriting pages with the Special Words to Remember, or our poster with the Spanish, Special Words, and People Who Need the Bible, please do!!  (Just click on the links to download them.)  I'm all about pooling resources so we can all have the best year possible!



Pauline said...

lol! Happy new year...cute!

Gator Mommy said...

Awesome! I've been passing on your blog to friends that are using MFW Kindergarten this year. I am taking notes for when we do it with my littles ;-)

Cajunrose said...

Looks like a fun year! Our kindergarten year was totally messed up, we only got half a year in (I DID have a good reason though). I wish I had a do-over! LOL

Danaly said...

So glad you are blogging Kinder again! I've already gotten tons of ideas from your posts :) I'll be downloading your poster pages for sure. I'm doing to email you something you might like. Hugs! Danaly

Cyndi Martin said...

Did you create the badges, handwriting pages, and poster yourself? Or did they come with your curriculum? I am doing MFW K also, but I only got the Teacher's guide and Student worksheets. So it is AWESOME that you provided these little extras...they will help me out a TON! I hope to see more of these in your future posts!!!

Moose said...

Found your blog in search of other books to use for our Sun Unit. Love your recommendations and will be looking for them at the library! Wonderful example of how the Earth moves around the sun. Loved the sundial too :]

Amy said...

I am amazed by your posts and love your badges, posters, and letter of the week phrase pages too! Thank you thank you!!!!

familyoffive88 said...

I am new to homeschooling and to MFW so your blog is a huge help to me! I love your pages and your badges, but every time I try to download them I am unable to do so. Help????

Anonymous said...

could you send me your Kindergarten caterpillar badges? I tried to click on the link, but it's not working. Thank you!!! Love your site!

Jennifer said...

familyoffive88, can you please leave me your email address so I can send them to you? Thanks!

familyoffive88 said...

Thank you so much for sending me the info. You are awesome! My email is Can't wait to get started.

Romina said...

Hi there! Thank you for all the free resources you're posting. I hope you won't mind emailing me the weekly poster. here's my email address:

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love your badges. I also tried the link and its not working. Would you mind emailing them to me, as well?

Alynn Kluczynski said...

I would love the links as well.

Thank you! Awesome Job!

Christie said...

I just wanted to say thanks so much for the detail you've posted about your k units. I am homeschooling for the first time officially; we have just returned from Nigeria, where we have been working as missionaries for several years, and there is so much to do coming back! It really helps to have a little more guidance and ideas about what to do for this - it makes all the prep we have to do right now in the other areas a little more possible when you have so many great ideas to share. I actually have the old k manual, which I've heard doesn't spell out some of the biblical connections and science as well as the new manuals, so what a blessing your blog is! We just got our box today with student sheets and other add-ons (Well, mommy couldn't wait to open it - the kids are driving back with Daddy and will see it Thurs.) - I am so excited to do this! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again for beign such a great resource for those of us using the MFW curriculum!


Anonymous said...

I love the little extras you have for MFW!! I'm currently starting kindergarten for the second time (oldest is now in 2nd grade) and am also having those same flashback moments!!

Could you send me your files please? I really like how you have posters for the kids to pray for people around the world, and writing sheets like their older siblings!!

kitzcoupons (at)

Mike Blake said...

Hi I love your blog. I am doing MFW Kindergardner with my daughter. would you mind sharing your extras like the caterpillar badges and other things you use with me? I'd love to use them. thanks so much. my e-mail address is

Unknown said...

I would love your printables from K and ECC.

Sara Marks said...

Can you mail me the badges and handwriting pages? I love your ideas! Thanks! sara{at}westportwa.{com}

Meg said...

If you are still emailing things to people, I would love the special words to remember pages! Thanks so much!

Robin said...

I would love the pages too. If you could send me in would love those. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Would really love to have all these pages if you are emailing my address is

Martha Miller said...

I would love these emailed also!

Kat Sheppard said...

Hello fellow homeschooling mama! Your preparation is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your work and your thoughts. It really helps out first-timers like me!

I realize that this post was from years ago, but is there any chance I could still request the MFW weekly posters? My email is

Thank you ever so much.


Sam said...

Thank you so much for your inspiration and ideas! I hate to bother you and add another item on your to-do list, but if it's not too much trouble, I would love to use your caterpillar badges! My email is samschasteen(at)

Thank you!