Loving Sonlight Science!

We finished the preschool year of science very quickly (we tended to read books in one sitting that were meant to last a week or more), so we decided to move on to the next year of science. It’s supposed to be for ages 5 and up, but I figured that Emily is close enough, as she’ll be 5 in January. Also, the most advanced thing is really the worksheets that come with it, and we aren’t really worrying about those. When they have an activity I think she’ll like, we do them, or sometimes I use them as ideas for oral discussion, but mostly we just read the books and do the experiments.

And the kids are really loving the experiments! We made a paper spiral snake last week and held him over the cracked oven door (as we don’t have a radiator) and watched him spin to demonstrate how hot air rises. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures, but we might do that one again sometime as it was quite fun.

Then yesterday, we made a wind vane. The girls absolutely loved it.

This is what it looked like up close:

The girls loved it so much that they were asking eagerly when our next experiment was. Sonlight Science schedules all of the experiments for Thursdays. I don’t actually go by the days of the week, I just do each day in order, and occasionally we’ll do two days’ worth of science. So I had to tell them that we had several days’ worth of reading to go before we got to the next week’s experiment. And then, low and behold, I looked to the start of the next week, and it turned out that there were several optional activities that I thought the girls would enjoy. So today I made two kinds of homemade dough-ish stuff, one that the girls used to make fossil imprints. They pressed leaves, sticks, clover, small plastic toys, etc. I’ll have to see how well it ends up drying. Pictures to follow, maybe tomorrow.

The other dough we used to make a volcano! The instructions suggested using a bottle, like a soda bottle, but we just used a little plastic teacup from one of the kids’ sets so that we could make a fairly small volcano. I added some food coloring to make it brown, then the kids stuck some of the extra grass and leaves that they’d picked out for fossils and hadn’t used around the base of the volcano to make it look more interesting.

Tomorrow, we shall be mixing red food coloring into vinegar and adding it to baking soda for some fun! I’ll try to take some fun pictures and post them when I get the chance.

As an inducement to Emily to learn to read, we told her that once she could read a specific book (we chose “The Beginner’s Bible,” because it’s the first book done in the level 2 readers, which seems a reasonable goal), she could have a light in her bed and spend a few minutes reading after she goes to bed before she falls asleep. We’ll get her one of those lamps that clips onto the bedrail, and we’ll put it on a timer so that it turns off 15 minutes after she’s supposed to be in bed. If she dawdles, she’ll lose some of her reading time. She’s definitely interested, but she knows it’s something that won’t happen too soon, so she’s not antsy about it in general. However, today she spent a good bit of her quiet time looking through the pictures in the book and asking questions about it. She can read a few words, which seems to please her. Also, yesterday, when she was bored during quiet time, I suggested that she might read to Jenny for a little while. So she happily went downstairs, got her readers, and she and Jenny sat on the couch together for a while while she read. “Pat is a rat. Pat is fat. Pat is a fat rat.” It’s so fun to enjoy her learning to read.

Jenny is really starting to get her letters down! She knows a lot of the letters and their sounds already, which delights me. She may end up an early reader, too. Pretty cool.

I’m not feeling well this week, so I’m hoping to head to bed early. After NCIS. 🙂