Geography

Africa Study Learning!

Today we got together with our homeschool group and learned about Africa! It was my turn to plan and I really had a hard time narrowing down what to do! I love Africa as a continent, to be honest it just fascinates me! I really wanted to have some fun with the kids and let them play while they learn. What is a better way to learn then to immerse yourself in something and to live it for a bit? So after a review of some major African landmarks, animals, and waterways using the cards out of our continent box, we dressed all the kids in Kanga style African clothes. To be honest, I was really not sure how the kids would react, but they all loved it! Even the boys who are sometime a tough sell. Even I got in on the action and dressed up! 🙂 After we dressed up, I talked about the importance of beads in different African tribes and we made some beaded jewelry to complete the costumes! While they were beading, my mom set up lunch. We made some African inspired pork (it was a doctored a bit and SO yummy), some Ugali (corn mush which is served at most Kenyan meals), Fried Plantains, and of course bananas! Plus we had Animal croakers (for all the animals in Africa) and some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes (for all the zebras of course)! After trying new foods and eating lots of old favorites, the kids were off to play house…..African style! I found some baskets and filled them with corn cobs, beans, sea shells, and “diamonds”! Plus there was some more fabric. The kids had a great time playing. I think that they set up a village. People who had the same colored Kangas were part of the same family! I think it went well and the kids had fun while learning. Here is what the fun looked like! What is your favorite way to learn about a continent?

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Antarctica Study Time!

Today was our monthly homeschool continent study. Last month, we did Asia. Today we learned about Antarctica. I think that the biggest irony is that it was the warmest day we have had in 2 months! 😉 However, we still had a great time! We started off with talking about the continent itself while looking at beautiful pictures of the land. We talked about how it is the driest, coldest, and windiest continent in the world. We talked about snow and how even though there is a lot of snow on Antarctica, because it is such cold snow, if you ,melt it down it would only be a few inches a year! To see how that can work, we brought in some plies of snow to see how much water is there after it is melted. After that we started to talk about the people who are on the continent. None of them live there all the time. They are all mostly researchers and live in elaborate base camps that have all the comforts of home in their frozen environment! We also talked about how the researchers will often head out into the field to do research. While there they must take everything they need for their trip. This includes their food! Having so many Boy Scouts in my family, means that we have access to some MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) like the researchers take to eat while in the field. So we cooked some of those up  so everyone could try them. Let’s just say that they are not what I would try to eat. We also watched a movie that one of the people at the base camp took. They walk through the whole base camp so you can see what it looks like! Since we had some time before lunch, we got to make a penguin craft using thumb prints and paint. They loved making different scenes and getting a wee bit messy! 🙂 We ended the day with a very wintery lunch! Here are some pictures of all the fun! 🙂

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So there you have it! Antarctica is ever a fascinating and frozen place, and yet there seems to be so much fun to be had learning about it! What are your favorite Antarctica learning activities?

Asia Study

Well I realized that I never got around to posting about the awesome Asia study we did with our homeschool group the other week! We had a lot of fun learning about the different parts of the continent. Then, since it was close to the Chinese New Year, we talked especially about China. We read a story, looked at some amazing pictures, and even got to get some money! After that the kids decorated a cut out of their Chinese zodiac animal using bits of material, ribbon, and some sparkles! We ended the fun with ordered in Chinese food that was just amazing! We of course tried to eat using chopsticks, and boy was that fun to watch! 😉 These amazing get together with our homeschool group are a really great way to get deep in touch with different countries. Tomorrow we are doing Antarctica! Should be fun! I think the irony is that the snow is melting here after some of the coldest weather and highest levels of snow we have ever seen! 😉 Happy Schooling! IMG_3025

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Lego Geography

Today was one of our homeschool lego days! It was the beginning of the series of the geography of the United states and they started with the northeastern part of the country. The idea was so simple, I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t think of it! 🙂 Each child chose a state and built the shape of their state on a building plate. After that, they marked where the capital of the state was with a brick. Next, they read the card that had facts about the state on it (some were pretty random) and they built something that told about their state. We ended the day with each child sharing what they built and why! This idea was so great! We may have to do this at home with our continents! Today Bunny got Delaware. She learned the capital is Dover, that there is a 10ft. frying pan made for the chicken festive, and that the state insect is the Ladybug! Here is a look at the work they did!

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So there you have it! what do you think? Great way to learn about geography and still play right! How do you learn geography?

South America Continent Box

So here is my next continent box post! I actually have found quite a few things to put into my Asia box. This is a fun continent because there is a lot of different cultures here to gather from. I really want to gather a few more things from Japan or from some of the Islands in the south. But here is what I have currently!

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This box includes:
~ Pictures of South American People
~ Pictures of South American Food
~ Pictures of South American Musical Instruments
~ Pictures of South American Places
~ Pictures of South American Birds
~ Pictures of South American Animals
~ iguana, Llama, tortoise, Snake, Parrot and other South American Animals
(from the Safari LTD Wild Toob)
~Emerald Gem Stone
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So there you have it. Unfortunately, we have almost no cool stuff for this box! It is still a big work in progress. Maybe I will find something fun soon. If you have an idea of something fun to put in the box, please let em know! I would love ton have some ideas! Happy Schooling! 

Australia Contient Box

A read asked me to share my Australia and South America continent boxes. I was shocked (and a little ashamed) that I hadn’t gotten them up! Opps! So it is time to remedy that.  Like all of my continent boxes I made all of the cards in this one too, and though I would love for them to be 3part cards, I couldn’t afford to do it. So there are basically pictures of the continent. Our Australia box is a little shy of cool cultural treasures as I don’t know anyone who has ever been there. (if anyone has an ideas of where to get some goodies for this let me know!) So here we go:

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This box includes:
~ Pictures of Australian People
~ Pictures of Australian Food
~ Pictures of Australian Musical Instruments
~ Pictures of Australian Places
~ Pictures of Australian Birds
~ Pictures of Australian Animals
~Kangaroo, Dingo, Duck Billed platypus, wolverine, etc Figures
~Coral Reef animals from the Safari LTD Coral Reef Toob
~ Rag doll made in the Philippines
~ Hand Woven bracelet
~ Some Gem Stones from Australia
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So there you have it! This is our small collection of Australia treasures! We have not yet studied Australia this year, so we will see what the girls think is cool when we get here! I think that they will at least be interested in it because of the wallabies we had at our zoo during the summer! So what do you use to inspire geographic learning? Do you have something you would add to this box? (Please help me find new ideas!) Happy Schooling!

North America Discovery!

This past month we have been working on learening a bit about North America! We have talked about the animals, the climate, the landmarks, the countries, and the food of various places all over the continent! We have made things, eaten things, and mapped things. So many things were learned and we had a lot of fun. The one thing that really opened the study up was our continent boxes. We love them, but we have never really used them. However, with a monthly continent study, we have been able to use then a base for research. Our plan  so far has been revolving around maps and lots of them! The first week we talked about the different countries and drew different landmarks on a map we colored with contries. The second week we talked about the animals fromd different contiennts and we talked about the climate of the different parts of the continent. Finally we made some food from a couple of countries in the continent. Plus our homechool group had a get together all about the continent! So I am sure that you want to see some amazing picutres! So sit back, grab a drink, and get comfy….this is going to be a long one! 🙂

DSCN6710Here are the girls maps of North American. Pup just colored it. Bunny also added some of the landmarks we were talking about so we could see where they were!

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DSCN5927The girls also made their own landmarks after exploring the continent boxes. Pup made an igloo out of sugar cubes, and Bunny made the Golden Gate Bridge. It took her a few tries, but she finally got it! She did a great job!

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DSCN5566Our homeschool group had a North America Day and talked about some things that have come from the United States. We learned about pop art and Andy Warhol which originated in America. We also talked about the basic history of United States and ate some very American lunch. Who knew that Brownies, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Potato chips are all food that really originated in the United States. Most everything else has its base in other countries! We also had some fun with continent twister!

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DSCN5634We also learned about animals in North America. The girls drew pictures of some animals and they both painted a map with the climate zones for the continent. We talked about how weather and temperature determine where different animals live. We also went to the zoo and found lots of animals that are from our continent. Bunny looked through the continent box and found a picture of Jack rabbit. We did some research and then she made one our of pompoms!

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DSCN5821Finally we made some food from Guatemala. Since we ate American food at our homeschool day, I thought we would try something really different! We made some pineapple chicken and baked bananas. Bunny made the chicken and Pup made the bananas. I all honesty the bananas weren’t great  and the chicken was ok. It was fun to try and the girls loved making!

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So there you have what our North American discovery looked like! The girls and I had fun with it and we are now on to South America! Lots of fun birds, interesting foods, and Rain Forests! There is lots to explore! Stop back soon to see our fun! Happy Schooling Everyone!

North America Contient Box

Well I promised posts about our north America study, and I had all the pictures uploaded and ready to go. But then I realized that I never even shared the pictures of our North America contient box and I needed to fix that first! So how about a few North America posts? Sounds good to me right? Well here we go!

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The Details: I have made all the cards by using google images. It was very time consuming, but a little more budget friendly! In an ideal world they would be 3- part cards that have words on all of them, but right now they are just pictures since I couldn’t afford to print 2 set of everything (I spent $120 as it was). I think that the boxes look pretty good, but I do view them all as an on going project. I figure that we can add to them as we go! So here is North America!

This box includes:
~Pictures of people in North America
~Pictures of Birds of North America
~Pictures of Places in North America
~Pictures of Animals in North America
~Deer, Bear, Whales, Beaver, Raccoon, Dolphin, Mustang, Flamingo, alligator, Bison, and other North American Animal figures.
~Money from Canada, Mexico, and United States
~ Landmark Figures in North America
~ Boot from Texas
~ Bracelet from the Bahamas
~ Leather Belt Buckle
~ Native American Beaded Moccasin necklace
~ Some treasures from Puerto Rico give to us by friends that live there
(I think that the girls were looking at these, since they didn’t make the picture lol)
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Our continent Study has been going on now for about a month and the girls have had a lot of fun exploring the boxes. I have a lot of people wonder how to use them and to be honest, it took me a while to figure out a good way to do it! But I think that this has been the year we utilized them the most! Pup loves to look through them and just sort the items. She also love to match the animals to the cards that are in the box. Bunny is ready for a bit more research. Right we have an area of the continent that we are working each week. One week we are talking about the countries and the landmarks we find there. Another week we talked about the animals and the climate of the continent. And then one week talked about the different foods in the continent and what grows where. When we are looking for information about something, Bunny can easily get out the animals from that continent or find out what food is eaten there without too much work for me! Plus if she wants to learn more about something, she can look and see new things! So that is how we are using them right now! If you want to see more of my continent boxes, you can see them here! How do use your continent boxes? Are they are goof learning resource for you? Share your ideas! I would love to hear them!

Wandering the World

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Well today we had the unique experience of walking with Wallabies at our zoo! Today was the opening day of a special Australia exhibit that included a group of wallabies that were free walking. It was an amazing day for it and the girls loved it!

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I love that we are able to visit the zoo and the girls are really able to see animals from all over the world! It is one thing to see a picture of an animal, its another to see one in real life. To see the way a wallaby hops and the three toes on their back feet that are one, and to see the small joey is a world of information that they cant get in a picture. The cane see the look in their eye, the way they eat, and the way they interact with the other wallabies in the group! It is such a special thing to really observe animals in real life and I for one love to make it happen for the girls. We aren’t able to travel the world and see all the diversity. However, taking these small moments to really experience bits of this great world for real can make all the difference. This is going to be one of our main goals for the next school year! To see, explore, and fall in love with the world! But more on that in another post!

 What do you like to do to help your kids explore the world?

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Working Away!

Goodness, I dont know where to begin with pictures of the week! The girls have done alot of work and I am really proud of them! Bunny has written alot of stories since she found some paper doll stencils I had! Pup has done alot of math. She did the spindle boxes and the binomial cube! Well….I will just show you! 🙂

Yes we worked on the verb! Bunny loves it and totally understand it!

Pup has been working on sandpaper numbers. She set these up herself. She almost has those last three numbers!

 
Pup gave Bunny a book she made! Their hug was too sweet!
 
Here is another book that Bunny made all on her own! She asks me how to spell things before she write it on the paper. I always ask her how she thinks it is spelled! She is doing a pretty good job, and I can t wait to get the All About Spelling Book I ordered!

We also got to our lesson on the seasons! Bunny really got it and Pup was interested in hearing the names of the seasons. I wanted to find a little song, but I couldn’t find a good one. Does anyone have a season song they use?

Bunny has also been loving the bead chains! This work was pulled out all on her own and she skip counted all the chains! I dont have the cubing chains, but she adds some of our other beads to get to the longer one!

Pup did the binomial cube all on her own! She was so proud and excited!

She also did the spindle boxes! She really enjoyed it and seemed to figure out the number just fine.

She wanted to show me to take a picture! 🙂

Snake game work! We worked on combinations of 10!

Bunny and I also talked about time…again. It seems like maybe this clock is not the best one for learning. Hmmm…I think I need to make the one on What DID We Do All Day.

 
So there you have it! Busy as aways! We have an AWESOME craft planned for tomorrow! So be sure to stop on back. The girls have no idea and they are going to LOVE this! 🙂 Happy Schooling!
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