Sunday, May 22, 2016

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Hello there, Antarctica!

     We were in Antarctica, where there is no government, no official language, no flag and no real human population.  Yep, that's how cold it is there.  The kids asked me what we could eat that would be representative of Antarctica and I told them, "Ice!"  Ha ha ha!

     Since Antarctica has no flag the kids designed their own.  This is my daughter's flag:

     This is my son's:
     You can sort of see the sheet behind each flag which is a Venn diagram we did comparing the Arctic and the Antarctic.  That was pretty fun for them.  They got to see the differences and similarities come together before their eyes as they wrote everything out.

     My favorite part of Antarctica was being able to watch March of The Penguins with my kids.  I had watched it years before and remembered it when we did the aforementioned Venn diagram.  I had to warn my daughter about some of the life lost, but it still made her sad to see it.  I gave her the option to turn it off but she wanted to continue on.  In the end, both kids enjoyed it.
     As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm trying to get my son more interested in books.  Let me clarify, he likes reading books but he focuses on weather books (he's obsessed with tornadoes and hurricanes) with the occasional dinosaur book on the side.  I'm trying to expand his selections and am hoping that borrowing books from the Magic Tree House series will peak his interest.  He seemed to enjoy Dingoes at Dinnertime so this time I borrowed Eve of the Emperor Penguin to go along with our studies.  They thought it was, "just okay".  This happens to have come after I read Henry Huggins aloud to them, which they were enthralled with.

     We have two more weeks left.  The last two weeks of My Father's World is left blank so that one could choose their own country to study.  I probably should have squeezed it in before we left Asia, but the kids wanted to end in the Philippines so back to Asia we go!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, G'day Australia!

     Hello mate!  We've left Asia and are now in Australia.

     I can tell you right now that my kids enjoyed learning the vernacular used in Australia.  During dinner time the kids shared some of their newly learned vocabulary words with The Principal, asking him to guess their meaning.  Some of them are a bit tricky:

     Of course, no trip to Australia would be complete without a study of the coral reefs and The Great Barrier  Reef.  We read plenty of books about coral reefs and I was able to find something on Netflix for us to watch.

     Since we're always reading and I'm trying to get my son more interested in books I borrowed Dingoes at Dinnertime for the kids to read aloud to me.  It's not the best literature out there, but for the purpose of getting my son to read more, it will do.  It wasn't so long that it would lose my son's interest but short enough that we would be done with it by the time we left Australia.  (We don't get to read aloud every night because of church obligations.)

     Last but not least, it's Mother's Day!  I hope all you moms got to take a break from the daily chores and just enjoyed time with your kids.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before but for our lunch break the kids settle down with their meals and we watch The Chew together.  (I don't always eat at the same time as them but will watch with them and just FYI this is the only time I allow the TV on while we're eating; this and the Super Bowl!)  My kids enjoy the cooking segments and often find meals they want to make or want to help me make.  Last year on their Mother's Day episode, there was a recipe for a Ravioli Lasagna that my daughter wanted to make, which she did.

     This year she wanted to make the lasagna dish again and thus proclaimed that it is now tradition to cook this every Mother's Day for dinner.  It turned out lovely last year and again this year.  Here she is sprinkling the cheese:
  The finished and delicious dish (I don't think we had any leftovers):

     That wraps up our week and our tour of Australia.  Next up is Antarctica!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Zdrah-stu-it-eh Russia!

     We made our way to Russia!  My post title is the phonetic pronunciation of the formal way to say "Hello" in Russia.  It actually looks like this:  Здравствуйте. Nifty, yes? The pronunciation can be found here.
  No trip through Russia would be complete without reading about the Romanovs:


     I found this book through an author event over at Amongst Lovely Things.  Originally, I began reading it aloud to them but found it on CD so opted to give my voice some rest and let someone else do the reading.  Now, this is a pretty intense book, written for grades 7 and up and ages 12 and up, and some of the details are very graphic.  I knew my daughter would be able to handle it, but please pre-read it if you are going to use this as a read-aloud and there are young ones in your brood.  Otherwise, let the older ones read it for themselves.  It's such a sad and tragic story and the kids would go from being exasperated with the Romanvs to having pity for them.  It was a very well written book.

     Moving along with our trip, I gave the kids an art project that I found on Pinterest (Good ol' Pinterest!)  They had to recreate St. Basil's Cathedral:


     My daughter happened to be cold and chose to wear her jacket while working on her project.  How apropos for Russia!


     These were going into a notebook for the kids so in order to make it fit I had them create a picture of the cathedral at night  (against black paper) and during the day (against blue paper).  This took a lot of work and had to be completed over the course of the week.  There was a lot of coloring, then a lot of cutting and finally a lot of positioning and gluing.  The end result turned out great.

     This is my son's finished work:



     Here is my daughter's:



     Aren't they so colorful?  I showed them pictures of the actual cathedral online to help them determine how to color them.

     We're almost done.  Just a few more weeks and our third year of homeschooling is done!