Friday, January 14, 2011

Country Studies

I mentioned country studies in my post about my schedule. I thought I might explain a bit about that. I have mentioned my idealistic desire to home school and my realistic decision not to. To get the best of both worlds, I thought it would be fun to do some supplemental home schooling with the older kids. So, we have been studying Eastern Hemisphere countries. We don't have a set class time and none of it is mandatory. Madeline is the one who has most gotten into it, although everyone ends up experiencing some of it. I don't have any set plans as to when we move from one country to the next. I just do when it feels like we've covered enough. For each country I try to find:

Picture books and
Juvenile non-fiction books. (We read both of these at the bus stop.)
Juvenile Historical Fiction or other fiction. (Maddy and I read these. Sonlight's Eastern Studies Curriculum was a good resource for ideas for these.)
Adult Fiction (Just I read these.)
Movies from Netflix, both fiction and non fiction (We are always watching movies, so this doesn't add more time, either.)
Activity (These do take a little extra time, but are fun so no one complains.)
Food (Some bought at stores or restaurants and other I make for us.)

We also have a Children's Atlas, a large wall size map of the world to find and mark locations, and two wonderful books: The Material World and Children Like Me. We started at the beginning of the school year and so far we have done the Pacific Islands, Australia, Antartica and are about to wrap up Japan. We didn't do it during Dec., so I estimate it'll take us another 6 months to get through the next 8 countries I have planned. I know I have learned a lot and am enjoying it. I hope my kids are, too. I'm hoping it will give them a greater appreciation for the diversity of our Heavenly Father's Children, and a greater appreciation for the blessings they have in their life. I also have a field trip for me planned. I am planning on joining dh on a conference trip to Malaysia next year!

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