Saturday, September 19, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, ¡Hola Mexico!

     We've left the U.S and have entered Mexico for weeks 5 and 6.

     Our dining room is homeschool central, so before they could cross into the dining room I had to check their passports:

     From what I could see inside (along with the applications The Principal had to "process"), everything seemed legit *wink wink*.

     Halfway through our adventures in Mexico, we took a break to see family.  We were thrilled to see everyone.  We even got to squeeze in a little field trip:

Jelly Belly Factory

     Here's a tip for you when visiting the Jelly Belly Factory:  Plan on going during the week while the factory is actually operating.  Tours are held 7 days a week, even on some holidays BUT to actually see the factory in action, visiting during the weekdays are best.  Either way, you'll get free samples and will likely need a separate carry-on for the goodies you're going to bring back home!

     Since we took the week off, but were back from our trip with a few days left,  I gave the kids Highlight's Top Secret Adventures to work on.  I discovered these shortly after our decision to use My Father's World and thought they would be a wonderful supplement to the curriculum.  Of course, this particular top secret adventure was set in Mexico!

     They completed their adventure quickly, but enjoyed being secret agents in the process.  I liked that they had to find clues while reading about Mexico.

     Being in Mexico, we studied deserts.  Below are pictures of our experiment with transpiration.  In the first picture they are gathering their materials.  I had them write their hypothesis on the whiteboard.  The last picture shows them making their observations.

     Of course, a trip to Mexico would not be complete with a fiesta!  We had to decorate, so we made Papel picado.

We also made tissue paper flowers.

     We couldn't forget the sombreros!

     Then we decorated.

     Our neighbor down the street heard we were having a fiesta so she brought over a couple of sombreros for the kids to wear while we ate.  As Mariachi music played in the background we sat down to Carne Asada Nachos (the kids discovered nachos a few months ago and LOVED it) black beans, Pollo Asado (for mom and dad; we kept it Paleo) along with shredded lettuce, plantain chips, salsa and guacamole.

     As a special treat we got the kids some churros!  I don't know how authentic Mexican all of this was.  We had a busy day and I knew I could only do so much.  So, I did what I could.  Either way, we all had a wonderful time.  The kids had a blast and can't wait to see where we travel next.

     ¡Hasta luego!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week4

     This week concluded our study of the United States.  Thankfully, the kids weren't bored, considering Cycle 3 was all about the U.S.

     Our U.S. studies also had us researching the differences between deciduous and coniferous forests.  Below they are doing the research together and filling out their sheets.

     To supplement the forest lesson we watched Planet Earth's Seasonal Forests.  The kids loved seeing the animals and insects that lived in their respective areas but I think their favorite part was seeing the change in the deciduous forest from space.  Amazing!

     Last but not least, the kids were challenged to color all the states a different color using only 4 colors and with no bordering states the same color.  Let's just say I'm glad I had an extra blank map.  There's a trick to it, but I let them try to figure it out on their own first.  My son thought he had a good run, coloring the middle section in an alternating pattern, but when he got to the end colors started to border.  My daughter got some of the western states done before saying, "Uh-oh."  Below they are coloring their second chance sheet.

     Next up, Mexico!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Week 3

     There was no world cake to bake this week but we're now focusing on countries of North America.  The United States were up first and thanks to Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations, my kids can name all the states and know their location.  We made a game to see how much of their map they can fill in correctly (using their CC maps).  I set the timer for 5 minutes and they label as much of the U.S. as they can.  My daughter, since she can't spell all of the states correctly yet, uses initials to label hers.

     At the end of the 5 minutes they both had all but a couple of East coast states labeled.  Much better than what I can do!

     We also began reading Kingdom Tales.  Book one (Tales of the Kingdom) is our current read-aloud and we're all enjoying the stories.

     We begin our 4th week tomorrow.  It's going a lot faster (and smoother) than I expected, but I have to say we are all enjoying My Father's World so far.