Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our time in China

The school year is drawing to a close, the weather is starting to feel like summer is coming and there is excitement in the air! My thoughts turn to planting flowers and planning summer camps and next year's curriculum. My boys' thoughts turn to playing outside - ALL day. Is anyone concentrating on our school work? Well, it's been a little tough. So... you all aren't going to believe this, but I - compulsive planner extraordinaire, eclectic homeschool girl, do-it-yourself poster child - I bought a pre-made unit study on China! Yup, I did.

And do you know what? It was great.

It's a five day study but we spread it out to two weeks because there was a lot there and also because we wanted to do extra reading. Each day started out with one or two videos and we loved that. One of the videos on the Great Wall inspired the boys to play "Great Wall" on our stairs, pretending to shoot innocent passers-by who were accused of being attacking barbarians. Don't worry, the windows were closed and the "barbarians" went on their merry way unaware and unscathed.

We did quite a bit of map work, studied Chinese inventions, animals, missionaries and places of interest and created a nice little lapbook.

Z-Man balks at handwriting as you can probably tell, so this was pretty good for him.

Of course, we still read lots of books. And OF COURSE, we read Ping.

We still love Children Just Like Me and the Look What Came From series:

We translated our names into Chinese characters at
this site and then tried calligraphy. We played with tangrams, and since the Chinese invented dominoes, we had to play with those too.

If we had extended our study another week, I would have liked to make paper and an abacus, since they were both invented by the Chinese, but there are always things that don't get done and I can live with that. Paper making might be a good, messy, summer outdoor activity anyway.

Next stop: our last country - Australia!

Until then,

(which means Valerie)

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