Sunday, June 5, 2016

Year 3: Exploring Countries and Cultures, Kumusta Philippines!

     This is the penultimate post for our 2015-2016 school year.  Penultimate...I think I've said it before, it's one of my favorite words and this time of the year is when I get to use it.  I think in many ways it's almost like seeing the finish line just ahead (I've ran a half marathon so I know how that feels).  After this post, I take a quick break then make plans for the homeschool convention and then our new school year.  Seeing that finish line, while exciting because we can take a short sabbatical, it's even more exciting for me as I get to plan, set new goals and dive into teaching/learning once again.  Before we get there, let's wrap this up.  Shall we?

     The obvious choice to us when we were deciding which country to add to our curriculum was the Philippines since my kids are half Filipino (I being the source of their Filipino DNA).  Plus, I think we all wanted Filipino food!  I probably should have squeezed this in during our tour of Asia, but the kids pleaded that we end with the Philippines.  Wish granted!

     Thanks to Christephi.com, we had sheets for the Philippines just like the ones provided by My Father's World.  If you're on Facebook she's a wonderful source of information and inspiration for anyone using My Father's World as their curriculum.  She created the sheets and shared them in the My Father's World, Exploring Countries and Cultures group.  We're so grateful for her time and effort, not just in these sheets, but also in answering questions for newbies and experienced MFW users alike.

     I found a few books from the library that contained Filipino folklore (the sheets Christephi created had a selection of books, but most were not available at our local library).  My kids really enjoyed Asian Children's Favorite Stories, but not just for the stories from the Philippines.  They enjoyed all the stories we read.  It's one that I should have purchased, given how much we studied in Asia, but I just borrowed it from the library whenever we needed it.  Actually, I may go ahead and purchase it anyway so that it's on our bookshelf whenever they'd like to read it again.

     With only two official weeks in our school year left my Little Toughie decided she wanted to begin learning cursive.  I had hoped she would wait until the new school year started but she insisted and I wasn't about to stop her:

     We're using Teaching Cursive! which I picked up for my son at last year's homeschool convention.  While my A380 could already write in cursive there was room for improvement and this book helped A LOT.  I kept it knowing that my daughter would someday use it.  The picture above was taken shortly after she began her lessons, perhaps lesson 5.  As you can see, she's making quick progress.
    
     It's no surprise that we made sure to wrap this journey up with food.  First, we started with making Pastillas de Leche, a Filipino candy that my siblings and I would make with my mom frequently when I as a wee one.  When I first mentioned it to the kids and called my mom for the ingredients they quickly pointed out that it was similar to the Brigadieros we made while in Brazil.

     I didn't add butter to mine as some recipes called for and perhaps I should have because our's would not hold their shape.  We tried cylinders at first and then tried balls.  We ended up having to place them in mini muffin tins and store them in the fridge.  Then they finally held their shape.  They tasted yummy, just like I remember them!







     There was plenty to pass around so we shared with our neighbors.  Our kids love walking around our block and sharing food.  They must get that from their dad; he likes to share his food.  Me?  Just call me Joey!  (You're awesome if you get that reference.  If you don't, you're probably just on the verge of being awesome and you need to learn what I'm referring to to get there *wink wink*).

     Now, I could have cooked a Filipino meal but let's be real.  We were approaching the end of our school year and I was starting to wear out.  Plus, we like to try everything possible and I was not about to cook 5 different dishes.  Additionally, the kids wanted to stock up on some of the sweets we don't often get (the closest Filipino restaurant is still a drive for us).  So, we loaded up the car and made our way to the restaurant.  We had the usual suspects, Pancit and Lumpia Shanghai, but then for dessert my husband ordered this:


  It's Ube ice cream sandwiched between a warm brioche; an ice cream panini of sorts.  I thought it was a strange combination until my hubby gave me a bite.  It sort of made me wish I had passed on my Halo-halo that my daughter and I shared:


      See that huge scoop of Ube ice cream?  That ended up being my daughter's favorite part hence she spooned what she could into a different bowl and enjoyed every bite.

     After our meal we walked next door to purchase Lumpia wrappers and of course a container of Ube ice cream.  Thus, ending our first year with My Father's World and my third year homeschooling.

     It's been a wonderful adventure.  I'll share a summary our year and our plans for the new school year in another post.  Until then, have a wonderful fun-filled summer!

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