Our Year Of Living (Beautifully) Without WalMart

Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Moonstones Nature Academy and Beautyschool...June: Week One: The Sun

 It's been awhile since I have blogged, admittedly. Been busy going to college. Doing very well, on track, working on goals and getting straight A's.... Cannot complain. 

We have been trying to get BellaLuna enrolled in a preschool, but we are too "rich" for the Head Start Fred attended and too pooooor to pay every month... So, I have been working on a home preschool "curriculum" for her. This summer we are all doing it together, She, Fred and I....and by autumn, I will be working with her more "intensively" so she gets a good start. 

I have been loosely following the Little Acorns monthly/weekly themes, and then tweaking them to make them our own.

This first week the theme was The Sun. Each day, I created things to do related to the sun. Most days follow a rhythm of :
Circle Time
Craft time
Movie Time (related to the subject) 

Each week will also have a corresponding letter of alphabet for Bella to learn. This week was S week.
I also had little packets of worksheets and coloring pages to go with each day's theme. If you'd like to see more information about this, find it here on the Pinterest Board for June.....

Little Moonstones in June

It seems like we need more time each day to do all the things I would like to do but we have to pick my husband up from work in the afternoon and it interrupts us. Pretty soon he will be getting himself home and we can perhaps do more each day.

Our Clean-up song this week was:

I have decided to share our program for others who may be interested in "homeschool" or in supplementing their children's public school program with a more nature-centric, gentle "schooling"/learning.

The first week's theme was The Sun. I split the days up so the children would learn about different facets of subjects that pertained to the sun: The Sun, Japan (Land of the Rising Sun), Icarus, 
and Native American Sun Dance.
 ( I have scheduled Friday as "errand/cleaning/appointment" Day)

for Day One: The Sun....
First we had Circle Time and read The Way To Start A Day by Byrd Baylor

This is a wonderful book and I knew as soon as I was preparing the Sun week, that it would be a perfect start to our little Natureschool. The book tells about how all different cultures and even animals have ways to start the day that honor the sun. 

We then talked about the sun, basking in the sun's rays outside. It was lovely.

Moving into the house, we did our Yoga Time. I knew it would be neat to learn The Sun Salutation, so I searched for a video to teach children the sun salutation and found this gem: 

It is called The Sun Dance by The Bari Koral Family Rock Band. It is very fun and a very good way for children to learn the sun salutation. 

It was then Storytime and so we read the book : 

It was a neat retelling of an Aesop's fable. My Fred is rather fixated on tornadoes at the moment, so he loved drawing the correlation between his more "windy" way of being and his sister's sunny disposition. It was cute. 

For Craft time we did a very simple project to start the day and made Handprint Suns. Here is Bella's....

For Movietime we watched a video retelling of the story of the sun and the wind:

 We then watched a Nova Special about the sun.....

We concluded the day by going to the park. 

Because monday was the Full Strawberry Moon, we went to the nearby Pick-Your-Own strawberry farm and picked strawberries to make strawberry shortcake. Part of what I hope to do is to "celebrate" each full moon with the children in some way. I think that is important.

Tuesday's theme was Japan (Land of the Rising Sun) 
At circle time, I brought out the globe and showed the children where japan was and we discussed some of the "social/cultural/geographical aspects of the country.

Our Circletime story was the Japanese tale of Amaterasu, the sun Goddess and her brother, Susano, the wind.  The Story of Amaterasu....

We Then Had Craft time and made Japanese Flags and learned that lots of states and countries have symbols of the sun on their flags, including the two states they've lived in, and how that showed that the sun was significant and important all over the world. 
Here is Fred's flag: (he had the idea to put it on a stick....) 

We then had a second storytime and I told them the story of The Man Who Made The Trees Blossom.
We then made thumbprint Cherry Blossom pictures...

For our movie, we watched "My Neighbor Totoro", we hadn't seen it before, and I wanted to take the chance to watch it. Gotta love summer! :)

We concluded the day with Parktime, again. It was a lovely day.

Day Three's Theme was Icarus & Phaeton.

At circletime, I read them the story of Phaeton from D'Auliaires Greek Myths....

We discussed how sometimes kids want things that aren't very good for them and how it is the adult's job to make sure they make good and safe choices for awhile. That was neat.

We came inside and had a second circle time and I read the story of Daedalus and Icarus.

We then watched the movie of Jim Henson's The Storyteller about Icarus and Daedalus. It was okay, but I am not gonna link it here, as I didn't love it.

We then had craft time and made Icarus wings by gluing tissue paper "feathers" to posterboard "wings". Silly me didn't get a picture before I sent them to recycling. But they were cool, trust me! :)

Day Four's Theme was Native American Sun Dance.

We went to the local nature preserve to spend the day in nature, as the Native Americans would've done. We had a picnic lunch at high noon (so the children would SEE and FEEL high noon, as the sun was directly above us in the middle of the sky....)

I read them the Cherokee story of the first Sun Dance....

Cherokee Myth

We then made prayer sticks with ties of the Four Directions and learned about them and then fastened onto them our "ceremonial sun dance masks" and the children did their "sun dance"...it was lovely.

We finished the day in the river, the one Fred was named for....

It was a great week. Looking forward to Week Two: Fireflies.....