18 April 2012

Tempus fugit!

IMG_0864-001One of the fun things about unschooling is that we don’t have a set schedule or a list of tasks that need to be done at any given place or time.  If something comes up, we can run with it.  Last weekend Miss Bean and I were reading a book that was talking about a park with a sundial.  She asked what a sundial is and we looked it up on Wikipedia and found some pictures of sundials.  I tried to explain how they worked, but it was pretty clear that it just wasn’t clicking, so I promised her that we would make a sundial on the next sunny day.

Sadly, we went through several gray, cloudy days, but today the sun was shining brightly, so we dug out the chalk bucket and had some fun.  When we started, I drew around her feet so she could stand in the same place every time.  Then I traced around her shadow.  We set an alarm clock to ring every hour and then ran outside to draw a silhouette.  Little brother didn’t want to be left out so we did him too.  The picture is actually Beeb’s sundial since it ended up to be a bit easier to photograph.  Bean’s outlines crossed between the sidewalk and the driveway and I just couldn’t get a decent picture.  As it was, I had to crank up the contrast on Beeb’s to be able to see the chalk.

She now understands better how the sun moves across the sky during the day and how the shadows get longer as the sun moves from more overhead to closer to the horizon.  If the sun cooperates tomorrow and it doesn’t rain and wash the chalk away overnight, we’re going to try and go outside at a random time and see how close we can get to guessing what time it is by comparing the shadow to the chalk outlines.


verdemama said...


Namma said...

I'll bet your sundials have the cutest gnomons ever...