Sunday, January 24, 2016

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures. Jambo Kenya!

     We're in Africa!  Well, not all of Africa.  We spent three weeks studying Kenya.  I'll be honest though, despite the fact that the holidays were over, there were still celebrations.  My son's birthday followed by my husband's birthday extended the season for us and in the midst of it my husband had to travel for business.  Thus, while we had three weeks in Kenya, it felt like it was only a week and we didn't get to do all the projects we wanted, but that's the one of the great things about homeschooling.  We don't have to do it all and really, we can't.

     We did a lot of reading and I think the kids most enjoyed reading about the animals of Africa as well as making and playing Mancala.  We were supposed to use beans, but the beans I had set aside got tossed accidentally so I searched through our cupboards for an appropriate substitute.  Rock Candy was perfect.

     Here we see a rare moment of the Principal, who has wandered away from his usual habitat to engage the cubs with a book (in my head I'm saying that in my best Steve Irwin voice).

     Below is my daughter doing a bear crawl during one of our walks.  We make it a point to be active as much as possible and she wanted me to come up with challenges to make one of our outings a little more interesting.  I threw in bear crawls, stair sprints, box jumps, push ups and lateral jumps.  She did it enthusiastically.  My son, not so much!

     Can you believe January is almost over?  We only have about 14 more weeks of school left.  Yowza!  We're off to Asia soon.  It'll be fun.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Guten Morgan, Germany!

     We made our way to Germany.  Now, I will say that with the holidays right around the corner, I feel like we zipped right through this country.  The only thing that really slowed things down (in a good way) was reading about George Müeller.

     Are you familiar with George Müeller?  Talk about a man with faith!  What other kind of man could feed children with absolutely nothing in the house except their gratitude to our Lord!

     We also had the opportunity to visit the Ronald Reagan Library.  They had a couple of special exhibits, one of which was Christmas Around the World, which featured Christmas trees decorated to represent different countries.  The one below, from China, was my kids' favorite.

  Below is a close-up of the origami on the tree representing Japan:

     A quote from Reagan's diary that speaks volumes and one that we should all live by:

     How appropriate that my kids crawled through a replica of the Berlin Wall!  That was definitely part of our study, though we didn't go into too much detail.  We'll save that for the next time we come around to Exploring Countries and Cultures.

     Of course, no country study would be complete without a meal from Germany.  We are very lucky to have a German restaurant right in our neighborhood.  The owner, from Germany, came out to greet us and was excited to know that we were studying Germany.  She even taught us how to say "Merry Christmas" in German!
     Clockwise from the top left:  German bread, G’Hackets mit Hörnli better known as "Mac and Cheese" (more Swiss than German, but the kids wanted it), Rahm-Schnitzel and Zürcher Gschnätzlets with Rosti.  It was all so delicious!  We plan on going back, but we won't wait for our next study of Germany.

     Finally, as we were nearing our time off and the holidays, I captured this moment during their book basket time.  Just a glimpse into our homeschool day!

     Have a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Bonjour France!

     Our study of France began with saddened hearts and prayer.  It just so happened that after the tragedy in Paris, we were leaving Norway and making our way to France.  Even the librarian asked if our study was prompted by the attacks.  It was not.  It just happened to fall on our calendar that way.  We prayed for those affected by the attacks.  So, so sad.

     Our Thanksgiving break was in the middle of our study, so I feel like we didn't do enough France "stuff".  However, if you can tell by my posts we are a foodie family so we will always get the FOOD part in.  Ha!  Here my kids are having their first bite of escargot:

      Since it was so close to the holidays the restaurant had a special dessert, a Bûche de Noël, also known as a Yule Log.  We shared this along with a Mille-feuille, more commonly known as a Napoleon.  We all agreed the log was better.

     The kids dabbled in water colors, painting a bunch of grapes.  You know, because France is known for wine.  (They knew this already because The Principal could also be a sommelier [a wine steward]).  My daughter also drew the Eiffel Tower, but I have no idea where she put it!

     We also watched Kings of Pastry which we found fascinating.  I used to work at well-regarded culinary school (in the admissions office) and my favorite chef happened to be French.  He would always send someone down to the offices when the students made Bouillabaisse so that we could have some before it was all gone.  It was my first taste of it and it was scrumptious!  Working there was probably one of my favorite places of employment for many reasons (I made a lot of wonderful friends there and still keep in touch with them).  The employees also got free food!  Can you imagine a cafeteria loaded with foods from all over the world, made by up and coming chefs; you didn't have to pay a dime for it AND you can come back for seconds?  I  mean these weren't samples.  These were full on meals, made by the students for the students and staff.  They put in 8-hour days, sometimes longer, so they deserved a nice hot meal!

     We enjoyed our study of France, despite the sad beginning.  I think if we were to travel anywhere, France would be my kids' first choice.  Some day.  Au revoir!