MFW ECC - Weeks 25-26 in Review - China

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Welcome to our tour of China! All of a sudden I am starting to realize just how much fun we have had in our year traveling the world. It took me a while to figure out how to make MFW work for us, but not that we have we are almost through the whole year! China has been really fun to learn about. We have so enjoyed our book basket books and many field trips over the last few weeks!

Our first trip we took was to a local Chinese restaurant. Are you seeing the theme? I basically did a whole curriculum just so we could eat awesome international food each week!

Silas wasn't super excited about trying Chinese food. This is my child that I pray starts eating more vegetables. I was exactly like him as a kid, but spent 3 years as a vegan eventually. I'm hoping he will learn to love veggies as much as I do. We ordered General Tso's Chicken, Honey Chicken and Lo Mein. Silas and Aedan both enjoyed the Honey Chicken the most. My hubbie and I loved the Lo Mein!

The kids were excited to get fortune cookies at the end of our meal.

We took a trip to our local Asian market. So many new sights and smells!

We found some interesting creatures in the butcher shop section. We saw many animals and creatures you don't commonly see in your local grocery store.

We looked around and found many things the boys swore they would never try! I love, however, how many new things we have seen and experienced this year.

Here are a few things I picked up. I so enjoyed our meal at the restaurant I thought I would try to make a few things at home too. My kids love this rice candy. My dad used to buy it for me when I was a kid too!

The first meal I made was Chicken Fried Rice. I also made the recipe that was in A Trip Around the World for cucumbers. Silas thought it was amazing that some of his favorite ingredients would be all mixed together. Of course you don't see many veggies in his version. Sigh. He does eat fruit fortunately!

I added onions, carrots and scallions to Aedan's and the adults' plates.

 Another day I made Chicken and Veggie Lo Mein. Seriously YUM!

I bought some chop sticks at the Asian market.


Silas had fun trying to figure out how to use them. I have to hand it to him. He endured through the whole meal with the chop sticks, and it wasn't easy for him! I love that he always tries his best to keep trying even if something doesn't come easy to him.

One thing I was excited about was learning about missionaries that served the countries we would be visiting. We had somewhat of a difficult time getting into some of the biographies. Either they were too old or sometimes too graphic. Silas is a very sensitive boy. He was pretty disturbed by how Nate Saint died. So, I just started reading some missionary biographies for younger children. I decided to try one more to see if we could make it through one and we have absolutely loved it! We started reading about the life of Gladys Aylward who was about as legit a missionary if there ever was one. We are both enjoying learning how she endured many an obstacle to get to where she felt God had called her. Silas is looking forward to watching the video I bought at the end of the book. 

I am going to save the few biographies we didn't read this year for a later time. One of the beauties of MFW is that you can combine children of a larger age range. One of the detriments is that some material may be above the maturity of a child on the younger end. I certainly found that to be the case here, but I have seen his heart open to the world in ways he might not have had the opportunity to otherwise.

Our world map is filling up with all the places we have visited. There are so many more places that we won't even cover!

When I was gathering supplies for the school year I found this antique Chinese Checker Board. A paper Chinese checker board does come in the MFW supplies, but this was a fun find!

We have had so much fun playing this game! I am not sure if I remember ever playing. It's a game the boys keep asking to play. We have all tried different strategies. They have asked to play every day!

The checker board I found didn't come with marbles. I took that as a great opportunity to visit a Marble store! They had a set already put together for Chinese checkers.

We also got to see how marbles are made. They often have a glass artist there who does a marble making demonstration. He was a sweet man and took the time to explain every step of the way.

Here it is in process. He then twisted it until there was a beautiful swirly design. The flame is 4000 degrees used to melt the glass. He was making me so nervous getting his hands so close. Even taking this picture I could feel the heat of the marble from this far away.

They had a wonderful display of many different kinds of hand made marbles.

It is also a toy store where they could choose a variety of marbles. So fun!

Silas also went roller skating for the first time. I had taken Aedan when he was younger and it was sort of traumatic. I hadn't tried to go again. There is a monthly homeschool skating day. The boys had SO much fun! They took a while to get a hang of it, but by the end they were begging me to take them next time. It was the perfect way to get a little P.E. in on a cold winter day. Thank you for visiting! We are taking a week off next week, but will see you in Japan next time!

Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 26 in Review

Welcome to week 26! We have officially made it 3/4 of the way through school. We will be taking a spring break next week. I had planned maybe to plow through, but decided we could really use a break instead.

This week we learned about William, Prince of Orange, who was is an ancestor on my husband's side. I love that we keep running into people in our lineage this year. It turns out he was a really decent guy. We also learned about the Spanish Inquisition, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare and about the rivalry between England and Spain.

We learned about the Spanish Armada.

Aedan researched Oxford, England. He added his timeline figures: William the Silent Leads Dutch Revolt, The English Defeat the Spanish Armada and Lost Colony of Roanoke. I will never tire of his timeline pictures. Last week he was a little upset that I made him change them. I rarely ask for a revision. He almost chose to do what the guide suggested but instead did them with his normal comedic flair. I love how this kids thinks. He cracks me up!

Aedan's written narration was about Michael Montaigne. Aedan apparently thought him to be a little full of himself.

He read about Philip II, mapped Spain and added info about Sir Walter Raleigh.

Aedan mapped the 17 united provinces under William of Orange. He also illustrated the Emily Dickinson poem he chose to memorize over the next few weeks.

He began Bard of Avon. I love these Diane Stanley books. They are so beautifully illustrated and my kids always seem to connect with whoever her books are about. I heard Aedan telling his dad things he had learned about Shakespeare. He thought it was really cool how many words and expressions he coined.

In science we learned about ocean tides.

He placed a ball in the water and pushed it down to show how tides rise and fall.

Next he pulled the container to show how the moon's pull raises and lowers the tide.

He made a water line to show what the water was like before the tide rose. The amount of water didn't change but the water line did.

This is his illustration for the above activity.

He learned about 3 astronomers and filled in facts. He is getting so much better about vocabulary words. I love that this is included in the plans. As I look over Silas's plans for Preparing I see the value built up through the guides in each activity. He has much improved in many skills this year. I'm so thankful to have found something that works well for my kids!


Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 25 in Review

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Welcome to a peek into our 25th week here at Monarch Room! We read about the lives of Jeanne d'Albret, Catherine de' Medici, Henry of Navarre,  Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. We started a new storytime book on the life of Sir Walter Raleigh. I love how there is always a new book to read in RtR. I am so thankful that so many wonderful books are always available in this program!

Our history project was to make a Huguenot Cross. It has been neat to run into those in our history lessons from whom we are descended. My boy's paternal grandmother has French Huguenot roots. The project instructed us to make a window cling cross. We started with yellow glue which incidentally looked like mustard.

Next we added white and light blue glue.

Lastly, we added a darker blue. Sometimes I'm tempted to skip these projects, but then I realize that even as an adult I sometimes struggle with verbal instruction. Anytime we get a new board game I hand over the instructions to my husband who is far more verbal than I am. I wonder if I had been given more opportunity to work through the difficulty of deciphering instruction if I would be better at it. I think that is the value in these activities. I like how these projects make connections, but also help develop the skill of paying careful attention to instruction.

This week I've been looking over next year's work. We will be in Preparing Hearts and Revival to Revolution. I am starting to see the gentle progression of skills. Research is introduced orally preparing and becomes more detailed up through the guides. I love that I'm seeing Aedan be able to research a topic and find the necessary answers on his own. This will be a skill that will serve him well in college.

We mapped the routes of the later explorers.

Aedan completed his reading of Twelth Night.

We started reading our new history book Along Came Galileo. I love living book science! My kids always connect so much more to each figure we study when it is in this format. Aedan's science activity was to perform an experiment in density. He poured oil, water and dark corn syrup in a jar. The instructions said honey, but you can't make me part with my raw honey! We had corn syrup from a previous experiment to use fortunately.

We found out that corn syrup was the heaviest followed by water and then oil. 
Next he had to guess what would happen if we dropped a toothpick, a button, and a penny into the jar.

The toothpick floated on top of the oil.

The button landed on top of the corn syrup.

Finally, the penny landed at the very bottom.

This is the science lab sheet for the above activity.

Science notebooking

There are 2 options for science from this point on in RtR. We went ahead and added the second book. My boys can't get enough science. The readings are short, and I thought it would be nice to also cover Weather and Water. He said he enjoyed reading it. I can always tell that is true based on the narration he tells back to me after reading.

We learned about air this week. There were several activities, but we only did this one. We put a candle in a bowl of water. The water level in the jar was supposed to raise above the water level of the bowl as the candle used the oxygen in the jar before going out. That didn't exactly happen, but such are science experiments at times :) 10 weeks until the finish line!
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