Christmas in Poland

This week we learned about Christmas in Poland. We read the Christmas in Poland book during the course of the week. The kids were most fascinated by all the snow in the pictures. Last week everyone in the pictures from the Philippines were wearing short sleeves and this week everyone in the pictures from Poland were bundled up and looked cold. Amazing how drastically different the weather can be depending on where you live. We had two Polish dinners. We ate fried fish (I hated it, everyone else loved it) one night and pierogies (Cameron hated it, the rest of us loved it) another night. We made six more ornaments for the tree. They are called world ornaments and the picture really doesn’t do them justice.

Next Week: The Holy Land!

Christmas in the Philippines

Last week we learned all about how Christmas is celebrated in the Philippines. We read the book over the course of the week. We had dinners of Chicken and Cellophane Noodles, Chicken Adobo, Shrimp Snacks, and Lumpia. We made Ginger Tea using fresh ginger. We made star lanterns to go on our Christmas tree.
(Ani made the one on the left, Cameron made the one on the right, and I made the one in the middle)

The kids both thought the Filipinos are pretty smart since they celebrate Christmas for many days with lots of food. We all thought the food was yummy. The kids suggested we get rid of our Christmas tree and build a new one from scratch like people in the Philippines do, but we decided that wasn’t such a good idea.

This Week: Poland!

Unit Studies

I really like doing unit studies. They can be really fun, particularly when as much as possible is integrated into it (not doing that has been my downfall in the past). They also really work for Cameron. It’s amazing how much he remembers from our KONOS Africa unit the summer before he turned 4. Ani tends toward being a sit down book work type. However, unit studies can work for her, too, as long as there is enough book work to keep her happy or she has plenty of workbooks available to do as she pleases. One of the most difficult things about having two vastly different learners at rather different academic levels yet quite close in age (19 1/2 months apart), is making school appeal to both and work for both. It’s a balance that is hard to find, but I think I have found it.

In January when return to regular school, we will be doing unit studies. We will start with dinosaurs. Cameron is really interested in dinosaurs right now (he says he loves dinosaurs ALMOST as much as he loves airplanes). Ani thinks dinosaurs are interesting, too. Plus, in the spring semester, Jamie will be taking historical geology which includes dinosaurs. I’m re-reading Jurassic Park yet again (I love that book) and marking things I may want to touch on. I’m about 75 pages into it and the book is littered with lots of post-it notes already. I haven’t decided if we will read Jurassic Park aloud. Probably, but I will be editing for language. The kids have seen all three Jurassic Park movies in the past (off-topic interjecton: I really think Steven Spielberg cracked while making Lost World and choosing to add that weird ending – insane).

In addition to the unit studies we will be continuing with Latin for Children A. Cameron has even learned some of the vocabulary and chants just by listening to Ani and me work on it. Ani will continue in Math-U-See (she’s in Epsilon now) and Cameron will work on it as he is ready (he’s still in Primer). Other than that all the subjects will be integrated into the unit study or not part of school itself anymore (such as scripture reading and reading the great illustrated classics).

I’m looking forward to the change. I hope it goes well. Of course we’ll re-evaluate in a few months, but for now, that’s the plan.

Christmas in Ireland

This week we learned all about Christmas in Ireland. We read the book over the course of the week. On Monday we made candleholders out of turnips and ate dinner by candlelight. We made Irish soda bread on Tuesday. Ani really liked it. I thought it turned out awfully dense. One Wednesday we had a dinner of spiced beef and minted peas. Cameron thought it was a little too spicy. On Friday we ate boiled ham and glazed carrots. No one was all that impressed with the glazed carrots. Also on Friday, we we made six little wren ornaments for our Christmas tree, two each in yellow, purple, and blue.

It just so happened that the postman brought a package from Ireland Friday morning. Of course the Christmas presents are all wrapped (and the children are quite disturbed that I won’t let them open them yet), but the candy and advent calendars were opened right up. So our week learning about Christmas in Ireland concluded with eating lots and lots of Irish candy and opening the first “door” on the Irish advent calendars and both of the big kids eating the little pieces of Irish chocolate that were behind those “doors.”

Next week: Christmas in the Philippines.