(2/20 – 2/24) We rowed The Story About Ping and along the way studied China. It was a fun week. The boys really enjoyed Ping. Here is what they commented on/we discussed throughout the week as we read:
- how many family members Ping had—Joe thought it was fun to add them all up.
- Repetition as used as a literary device in the story. (We recalled repetition used in Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening too.)
- how some things look good upon first glance, but can actually be dangerous or a trap such as…the rice cake Ping thought was a yummy treat in the water, but was actually bait so the boat boy could capture him. In our lives…strangers offering treats, drugs/cigarettes and so forth and the ways they are advertised but the harmful effects they have; media, etc.
- what a classic story is
- the fact that even though Ping did not want to get a spanking, in the end a spanking was far better than the feelings he experienced of loneliness, fear and being without his family.
We studied China and Joe completed the following notebooking pages:
Flag of China, report on a child from China from Children Like Me book.
I printed a couple pages from Enchanted Learning—one on the Chinese calendar and a map. Joe loved seeing what ‘year of’ all of our immediate and extended family members were born in.
He did a great job on this mapping page. I didn’t have him label everything that was on it. I thought it was too much for his grade level. I had him do the basics and what I felt was most important. He was able to do it without any help and actually enjoyed it. I think I will do these as often as I can for him. We studied giant pandas since that’s the national animal of China. We read some neat panda books and learned a lot about them. I knew very little about pandas and found them to be interesting.
Since tangrams play an important part in Chinese history I printed out a template, laminated and cut it apart for Joe. We read a wonderful book called Grandfather Tang’s Story. It made for lots of tangram making.
While Joe made tangrams from Grandfather Tang, Jack and Jesse had fun with pattern blocks. Jack actually used the cards and made the patterns just as they were pictured! I was SO excited. He usually shows no interest and just randomly places them on the card for a couple minutes and then throws them around the room—not fun. This time he made card after card and asked to do them again later in the week. This time it was Jesse’s turn to be uninterested after a couple minutes. Here’s what he tried to do with the blocks. I stopped him quickly when the tongue came out. But, Jesse did spend a lot of time and had real fun with the Animal Train Sort and Match. This is one he’s asked for several times since. Jack still enjoys it too. I finally bought a membership to More Starfall. Jack has been playing the games in their free area for quite some time and I figured he’d enjoy it—he loves it! It was definitely worth paying for.We had a Chinese dinner one night—homemade egg rolls, stir fry and fortune cookies. Everyone enjoyed it—well, except Jesse, but he gave it a good try. It was my first time making egg rolls. They were so good! I can’t wait to make them again. The kids thought the fortune cookies were fun.Lastly, we watched a documentary on Netflix streaming about the Great Wall of China—Modern Marvels, The Great Wall of China. I learned so much from this movie. Hanna, Joe and I enjoyed it—even my history buff (Hanna) learned lots :-).
This was a fun week of homeschool. We are currently in Maine and having fun this week too. I am enjoying studying countries and states while we row books. So far it seems to be working out very well. Let’s hope I can say that a few months from now!
Ideas, inspiration and printables for China can be found at: