Sunday, October 25, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Olá Brasil!

     We've spent the last 3 weeks in Brazil and it's been such a blast.  The kids learned plenty about the Amazon rainforest and its animals, along with all the countries of South America.

     Here they are looking at our wall map in week 9 so that they could label their maps:

     Here they are a few days later helping each other label North and South America:

     By our last week in Brazil, week 11, they were able to label all the countries on North and South America, with zero help in 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

     We also finished reading YWAM's Nate Saint.  I can't relay to you just how much we love reading these stories together as a family.  We get to hear how God's hands were (and still is) on those who serve Him.  This story in particular, showed how God used a tragedy to bring others to Christ.  Even The Principal got choked up reading it.

     We also had our Brazilian feast.  Luckily, I have a wonderful Brazilian friend who gave me her recipe for Brigadeiros ( a Brazilian candy similar to a truffle) and also directed me to our local Brazilian market, a hidden gem for all things Brazilian!  Below are the kids checking out the marketplace:
     This is the Brigadeiros in it's cooked but cooling form:

     Here they are rolling the Brigadeiros into tiny balls.  The Brazilian market even had tiny cups (smaller than a mini cupcake liner) for the candy to sit in.  I read that condensed milk in Brazil is much sweeter than what we have here, thus a little candy goes a long way!

     They also made Carnival masks and I simply told them it was a party.  That's all there is to it, for now.

     Last but not least, a picture of our feast.  We served Brazilian-style steak with a Chimichurri Sauce, Feijoada ( a delicious black bean stew with meat we purchased from the market), some roasted plantains and Pao de Quiejo (cheese bread).  It was all scrumptious!

     We're taking a week off, then we'll make our way through Europe!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, O Canada!

     That was a very, very quick trip to Canada.  We didn't even get to have a Canadian feast to bid farewell to all the provinces!  (We just have so much going on, I didn't get a chance to even figure out what to make.)  You can also tell that we didn't get to decorate as much.  This was the quickest thing I could come up with to welcome my kids to Canada as they "crossed the border" into the dining room.

     I suppose our journey through Canada went so quickly because we had a few appointments during Week 7 and we brought homeschooling with us. Then, I was out of town during the end of Week 8, so I didn't get a chance to really close the week out with the kids.  However, I was blessed to be at our church's Women's Retreat and therefore had to call a sub:

The Principal reading aloud to our students.
          By the way, the sub made them do jumping jacks before they sat down and got to work.  They got a kick out of that!

     What both kids enjoyed about Canada was learning the French words.  They were fascinated with it and kept trying to carry on a conversation with the limited vocabulary they learned.  We finished currently reading YWAM's Cameron Townsend and I feel like my kids would be ones who would love to translate the Bible in another language.

     While at the retreat, I got to hear wonderful testimonies from a few lovely women and even received prophetic prayer.  I'd love to share that story with you sometime, but I'll save that for a separate post.

This is where our retreat was.

This was waiting for me when I got home.

     That's about it.  A bit short, eh?

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!