Monday, November 8, 2010

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The sunAnna was very interested in solar system lately, and also in aliens. I had to disappoint her a bit by telling her that humans haven’t had a contact with another civilization just yet. This led to all kinds of “why” questions and to my feeble attempts to explain that Universe is a really big place. We talked how humans only visited the Moon so far, and even that was very difficult journey. So this lead to Anna’s next question, How long did it take to fly to the Moon and how long will it take to fly to the Sun? I didn’t know the answer right away, but again Let’s Read and Find Out book came to the rescue. This time it was The Sun, Our Nearest Star. The reviewer on Amazon gave it one star for simplicity, but it made the book very attractive to my 4 year old – she read it every night before falling asleep. The book contained a page that showed a distance (not scaled, of course) between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun. The same page answered her question – it will take 3 days to the moon and more than 3 years to reach the Sun.
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I was trying to show Anna the difference in distance in a way that she could begin to understand. So we went outside, and I drew the Earth with a chalk right next to our porch. Then she made one step, and I drew the Moon there. Then I explained to her that we will need to make about 400 steps (387 to be exact) to “get to the Sun”. We walked about the length of our street before we “reached” the Sun, and it also gave Anna a chance to see that numbers that are more than 100 are “good for something”. Then we just kept on going and enjoyed some fun in late afternoon sun of early November (it was replaced by pouring rain by Sunday).
I am linking this to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom and to Math Links at Joyful Learner.

11 comments:

Debbie said...

This is great! I love how you gave her such a hands on visual aide for the distance.

Ticia said...

The "good for something" made me laugh. I'm having a bit of that with my kids.

Infant Bibliophile said...

This is the best kind of learning. Anna is so lucky to have a mom that listens to her questions and finds answers fit for her level AND adds a visual way for her to process them. Kudos to mom. :)

Aging Mommy said...

I had contact with an alien - she proved to be very entertaining :-)

Oh my, thank goodness for Google, I am so going to need it in the next few years when all these questions come. I love how you dealt with these questions.

Our Homeschool Fun said...

You do such a good job at providing Anna with hands on learning in ways that she can "see" and understand. You are doing some fun things with her too!

Kylie said...

Love lets read and find out about science books. Anna comes up with some great questions and you always try to provide her with answers that can she can deal with.

Phyllis said...

I really like this. I like the way she could choose how far the first measurement was, and then you could help her with comparisons. Bravo, Mom!

Kim said...

Love it - we'll have to find the book.

MaryAnne said...

What a great way to teach scale and distances! And how nice to teach Anna that numbers that are more than 100 are "good for something"!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I like the active approach you took to explaining distance.

Our library held a "Sun" night. They had some NASA info, that said on a jet plane, it would take something like 36 (or was it 26) years to reach the sun. So, I guess you have to remember to add speed to the equation, to get the right answer.

Joyful Learner said...

I saw this being done recently with a homeschooling group but the parent teacher was measuring and the students held each planets in orbit. But JC wasn't interested in that at all. Instead she wanted to know why the earth spins. Great lesson!