I did not have a plan for a science program for my kindergartner. When I saw Sonlight’s literature-based science program, I was intrigued. Now that I’ve used it for a bit, I can say it is even better than I thought it would be because the Discover and Do activities each week directly correlate to the quality picture book reading we do together. Plus, with a kindergarten-appropriate video version of the lab available, my daughter begs to do “more science,” even on non-school days. Sonlight Science provides lots to discover.
Note: I received a free copy of the curriculum in exchange for my honest review and I was compensated for my time in completing this post.
Literature-Based Kindergarten Science
I’m a strong supporter of high-quality books, and I believe young children learn the most when they are interested in what is before them. The Sonlight Science program for Kindergarten provided engaging books on many topics, from insects to plants and weather. The books included a book by Gail Gibbons, a Magic School Bus book, and multiple Usborne beginning non-fiction books. These are some of the best!
The best part of the book-based program that Sonlight has designed here is that in addition to following the classical literature-based programs that Sonlight is so well known for, the program also follows the Next Generation Science Standards, which are created by scientists to encourage the next generation of learners.
#DiscoverAndDo Hands-On Science
The literature-based curriculum that Sonlight offers is also remarkably hands-on. It’s true that each week of learning comes with a few questions on worksheets. But even beyond that type of engaged review, the core of Sonlight Science is the weekly Discover and Do activity. Some of these activities are science demonstrations of a concept just learned. Some of them are observation journals (such as a weather log, and a plant growth daily chart).
All of them were Discover and Do activities that we finished were easy to implement with the Discover and Do science box. I had everything I needed in the box! With the exception of some basic items, like water, pencils, and paperclips, the box had what we needed for our labs: a cork, a ballon, the cotton balls for the lab, the beans and plastic cups for growing them. This on-hand science kit made it so easy to actually get the labs finished.
Before we did each lab, we also had the chance to watch the online videos via the Sonlight site. This is such a nice addition! My daughter loved the silly scientist on the videos, who called her “my friend.” She asks to watch the videos again, which I see as a perfect review for what we’ve already learned.
Teaching with Sonlight Science Curriculum
Each week, the Instructor’s Guide provides a step-by-step chart for the parent-teacher to follow, listing how many pages to read of each book and how many of the questions to answer. Since I’m new to a kindergarten curriculum for science, I was skeptical when I first saw the schedule. Do we really read just 3 pages and answer one question on one day of the week? I’m a read-aloud mom, and I often read books in one sitting with my kids.
It turns out, Sonlight knows what they are doing, of course. The amount of work given for each day was just about perfect for my kindergartner. She wanted to “do science” but 5-10 minutes was a perfect frame for each day. Because of the short but focused learning each day, my daughter did a great job at remembering the concepts from one day to the next. As we went for a walk outside, for example, she commented on the seeds of the flowers and other plants that she saw: a concept she learned from our reading and experiment.
Sonlight Science programs would be great for parents who want science to be open and go! The instructor’s guide provides those detailed guidelines on what to read and answer each day. It also prompts the parent with discussions to consider during the reading time together, additional activities you might be interested in, and more.
Would you like to try it for free? Check out the giveaway below to enter to win a year of Sonlight Science, any level. This giveaway is open through Aug 31, 2021 for the contiguous United States only. If the widget does not appear below, sign up directly on the Sonlight Science giveaway page.
Sonlight Science Kindergarten Review
Here is the video version of this review, so you can see a little bit how it worked for me and my daughter.