Friday, March 20, 2015

MFW ECC - Weeks 27-28 in Review - Japan

Konnichiwa! Here is a peek into our travels through Japan. This might have been one of our favorite countries to learn about, but I think I may have said that on each post. Japan is so rich in culture and so different from our own. The book basket books and activities were especially fun. We absolutely loved the story of Gladys Aylward as well. We added plenty of our own activities to our week. I'm not sure how I will top all the fun we've had. This has turned out to be such a sweet and special year for Silas.

I absolutely love sushi. I mean I really, really LOVE it, but I knew this little guy might not enjoy seaweed and raw fish as much as I do. Instead we made candy sushi!

We don't usually have this kind of junky food around so for my boys it was a special treat. I used pre-made Rice Krispie treats and formed them into these different kinds of sushi. I used red and orange Airheads for the sashimi and wrapped them in green fruit roll ups to represent seaweed. I did the same Swedish Fish. The rolls were made with gummy worms in the middle and wrapped in fruit roll ups.

I got major mom props for these!

Silas went and grabbed his trusty chopsticks he has gotten pretty used to using these days.


Of course Aedan always joins us when sweets are involved.

I also made us a Japanese meal. My husband has gotten used to coming along for the ride on our international eats!

I made onigiri or Japanese rice balls. They had tuna in the center with seaweed panda faces :) We dipped these in soy sauce and a little wasabi :)

We also had edamame beans.

I also got this miso soup. I love miso soup. This was pretty good for instant.

It was a fun little meal!

We looked up how Silas's name would translate into Japanese and painted a picture with his name.

His Japanese name is Sairasu. He thought that was really cool :)

We visited our museum to see the Asian art. We visited the Chinese and Japanese sections. This is a Chinese work.

It is so fun seeing all of this culture and history up close when you are studying it.

We saw a real kimono and kabuki masks.

This is done by a modern Chinese artist.

This is another Chinese work, but it was cool to see both areas of the museum.
Brave Writer Poetry Tea Time - Haiku Edition

My kids get onto me if I don't do our Brave Writer Poetry Teatime. Sometimes I'm better about it than others, but being in Japan was a perfect opportunity to do it in a new way :)

I found these Japanese Tea Cakes.

Instead of reading regular poetry I picked up this book of Haiku.

This is what the tea cakes look like out of the package.

We had green tea with our tea cakes.

The boys have learned to really enjoy reading poetry. Having treats of course makes it more fun!

Silas enjoyed his green tea.

I love that we can all share some of the activities from each of the boys studies this year.

I may have to buy this book :)

There were several great books in the book basket that had origami in them.  We read the story of Sadako and made a paper crane. I actually enjoyed the brain workout that this is. I checked out a few more origami books from the library for Silas since he enjoyed it.

Silas really enjoyed the challenge of doing this. I found him several times after school folding away. Some of these can be really challenging!

Oh my...Gladys. How I love her! She was a missionary to China, but we finished up the book at the end of Japan. We learned some history along the way about the conflict between Japan and China while Gladys was there. I struggled at first with these missionary stories. Silas was very disturbed by the violent way that Nate Saint died. I put them down after that but decided to try again. If you have sensitive kids some of these biographies have some very mature content. I appreciate that MFW does warn you when things are coming.

There were a few parts I skipped in this book, but the heart of it really impacted us. As I finished the book today Silas simply said, "Wow." That's how I felt too. Wow. What a wonderful, loving, strong, brave and Godly woman she was! We were both very impacted by her sacrifice. She gave so much her body even gave out. What a precious woman - and I get to meet her someday! I am going to check out her autobiography. I'd love to hear the story from her pen and heart.

We learned about the culture and geography of Japan through various books. We have learned to look up the most recent stats on each country. Another Trip Around the World tends to be pretty outdated.

The two verses we read were even more precious after reading Gladys. This was a woman who loved God with everything in her. We both want to be more like her because she was just like Jesus.

Gladys also loved above and beyond. I pray we can all be more like that. Thanks so much for sharing our journey with us :) Next we board our little cardboard plane to Russia. See you then!

Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 28 in Review

Happy spring! I think the winter has finally left us, and the sun has lifted some of the winter doldrums. I am so thankful to see buds forming on the trees. I have really loved our year in RtR. There are very few things I would change about our studies this year. It always feels like it is Friday which means our weeks are flying by. This week spent a little time in Australia learning about Aborigines, The Great Barrier Reef and Willem Janszoon. We also read about Jamestown, John Smith, Pocahontas, Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson. There was so much happening in the world at this time!

Aedan's history project was to make a oil pastel picture of The Great Barrier Reef.

First he drew his picture in pencil. It was such a nice detailed picture I decided to tell him to color it with colored pencils. I love oil pastels, but the details would have been lost. Aedan thinks they should make oil pastels that aren't dull. I think watercolors would have actually been really pretty for this too. Either way I think he did a beautiful job as always :)

Aedan researched Australia and added his timeline entries: Willem Janszoon, Jamestown and Champlain.

He wrote a written narration about John Smyth not to be confused with John Smith.

This is one of his history notebook pages of the week. He added info about Pocahontas.

Our science activity's purpose was to help us learn what causes the moon's path to bend in a circle. Umm...This is where verbal instructions might not be our strength! We all 3 (even Silas) read the instructions. We went to a blog to see how to do it which did help, but the result wasn't the same as it was supposed to be. You were supposed to roll the ball in the dye and roll it down the tube to see it change its course. We angled the tube several ways, but got the same result.  Ah well. Can't win em' all!

We got a lot of laughs and blue fingers!

We'll just call this one a loss. Here is the ball traveling down the tube. Haha!

 Aedan drew what he thought a water clock would look like, did science vocabulary and a written narration. See you next week!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 27 in Review

Welcome to our weekly update! This week was especially fun. It seems like these HOD guides will schedule a lot of fun sprinkled through each week, but some have more than others. I love when we get to cook foods that are inspired by what we have learned. This week we learned more about Shakespeare. Each week Aedan has read a Shakespeare play. It was fun to be able to spend some time learning about the man behind those famous words! We also read about Tokugawa Ieyasu of Japan, Sir Francis Bacon and Michel de Cervantes.

Our history project this week was to make 3 different recipes. One of the recipes we made was Yorkshire Pudding.

I was just chatting with a My Father's World mom about how it is hard to transition from the family learning model. I think many MFW moms are afraid to make the switch to HOD because they think that family learning would be lost if kid weren't all learning the same things. The thing I have found is that there is still so much fun we have together even though I chose to separate my guys into their own guides that fit their skill level. Silas loves to cook so he asked his brother if he could help! Here they are separating butter into each muffin tin.

Silas is my egg guy. Aedan was more than happy to let him do this :)

Aedan added the rest of the ingredients and whipped it up.

These actually looked beautiful when I first pulled them out of the oven. I should have snapped a pic right away. They are sort of souffle like, or maybe like reverse French toast. We had never had Yorkshire Pudding, so I had to look up how in the world to serve it. This makes me want to try it again and drown it in gravy like some of the linked picture!

The next recipe we made was baked pears. First we drowned them in butter.

Silas asked if he could pretty please do half of them :)

Next we sprinkled them with brown sugar and cinnamon.

These make the house smell so good!

My kids say that homeschoolers get the best snacks!

We also made Seed Cake. Seed cakes were often served at Shakespeare's plays. The recipe calls for caraway seeds, but I didn't have them. I heard you can get caraway seeds cheap on Amazon. I may have to try this again.

We love poetry tea time. This time we had Shakespeare tea time!

Unfortunately the guide didn't specify how long to cook the seed cake. My guess is around 45 minutes. I had to check it often to make sure it was getting done. The middle turned out a little goopy, but it was still good. The batter is very think, so make sure to add the extra milk to thin it. I didn't do that and I think it would have baked more evenly had I done that.

Aedan read quotes he has written down from his Shakespeare notebook.

Aedan added his timeline entries: Shakespeare Lives in London, Tokugawa Ieyasu - Shogun in Japan and Francis Bacon - Age of reason. He also researched the Stratford-upon-Avon which is the birthplace of Shakespeare.

Aedan's written narration was supposed to be about Michel de Cervantes, but he accidentally read ahead about Australia. Woops!

These are Aedan's history and Shakespeare pages of the week.

We learned about the Samurai of Japan and how they served the shoguns like knights served kings.

We have a great museum here in Kansas City. I hadn't visited the Asian wing in a while. I was thrilled to find a full Samurai armor! Silas is also studying Japan which was serendipitous :)

Aedan mapped Medieval Japan for geography.

The HOD guides come with a printable CD. I decided to go ahead and get the whole Map Trek book and collection rather than continuing to print the teacher pages and buying the CDs for each guide.

This is a great collection of maps! I may use the state maps for next year.

Aedan loves reading these books. I had him read both this week since he was studying both topics.

Aedan started his new book Wonder for his reading time.

His new storytime was an audio CD about Squanto. Silas begged to listen too. He promised he'd forget by 6th grade. Yet another thing my boys got to do together this week :)

Aedan began a new science book on the life of Isaac Newton. Our science activity was to learn about the orbit of comets.

He made a circular orbit for earth and an oblong orbit for the comet. The flashlight represents the sun.

Here is little brother again being a help! Silas sprinkled flour to represent the dust and dirt behind a comet.

When the comet got closer to the to show the comet's coma or how it glows and appears to have a halo. We colored the orbit with a watercolor pencil to show the blue tail a comet has.

Silas sprinked the earth with flour to represent a meteor shower. I don't know how earth escaped its orbit! Woopsy :)

This is his lab sheet for the above activity. He also copied quotes from Galileo for his science notebook pages. See you next week!