Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Week in Homeschool {The Chinese New Year Edition!}

One of the things I'd like to try to do is blog more about our homeschool days. It's such a huge part of my life and yet, somehow I don't seem to write about it all that often! So I thought I'd give the "Homeschool Mother's Journal" a try:

In Our Homeschool This Week:

We've been enjoying lots of Chinese New Year celebrating with books, crafts and yes, of course-- Chinese food! We borrowed some great library books to supplement our collection at home:

We also explored other topics related to China: Great Wall of China, silkworms, Chinese inventions, traditional Chinese Calligraphy and Panda Bears. (*I* learned that Panda bears have slit-pupils, like a cat! How cool!)

Calligraphy in the works...

We made "Fai Chun" thanks to a craft page from the latest issue of Spider (love that publication!). Luke thought it was highly amused by the fact that you hang them upside-down since "Spring" rhymes with "upside-down" in Chinese!

The kids loved playing with this Chinese Zodiac spinner (Thank you, Enchanted Learning!):

They were fascinated to find out which animal they each were and their characteristics!

Chinese Lanterns:

By-the-way these are really easy and fun to make! My boys first made them last year, and now they ask to make them for many occasions throughout the year! We've made them for Valentine's Day, Halloween and more!

We also made "Lai See" :

(The kids were all over any opportunity to get a little treat!) They each got $1.00 and some ancient Chinese coin replicas I picked up from Oriental Trading. Fun!

Some scratch-paper fun to celebrate the "Year of the Dragon" :

Luke scratching away...

Adam's dragon

Chinese food lunch-love any occasion to have lunch delivered right to your door! The kids got to use (fake kid-friendly!) chopsticks with their zodiac symbol on them, which, after lunch became some sort of ninja weapons. :) (Gotta love boys!)


You can totally see him plotting alternate ways to use the chopsticks!

I also made steamed dumplings (sorry, no pics! ) for dinner. They were messy and time-consuming (hence the lack of pics!) but I eventually got the hang of them. The kids liked them, but *I* inhaled the most! YUM! I think they'll be easier to make next time (I hope!). If they come out better next time I'll take pics and post the recipe!

With the leftover wonton wrappers I made this deliciousness:

Baked wontons with cinnamon sugared nuts & strawberries on top.
Sooooo good! I'll post the recipe next week!

Other Subjects:

We're memorizing the beginning poem from White Snow Bright Snow (at Adam's request!):

We've also been working our way through these sweet alphabetical virtue coloring pages from Pondered in My Heart. Love these! (This week is "G" for "Gratitude.")

Working our Way through the Faith and Life Series for religious study:

We discussed Corporal Works of Mercy, and how we can look for opportunities to put these into practice.

We're also reading through Emily Post's Manners book:

The boys love acting out various "good manners" scenarios from this book (we make them up as we go). They're always in stitches over feigning bad manners when we do these scenes! :p

And we continued plugging through our regular lessons from: Handwriting without Tears, Spelling Workout, First Language Lessons, Writing with Ease and Saxon Math. Adam is loving Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. He also loves practicing his letter and number writing. He feels like such a big boy sitting at the table alongside Luke this year! :)

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share:

Luke has been enjoying the Nate the Great series we borrowed from the library. He highly recommends them. :) And I highly recommend anything that Luke is excited to pick up and read on his own!

My favorite thing this week was:

Hmmm...probably laughing at all of the good manners silliness that ensued. And eating dumplings & dessert wontons. They were really, really good. :)

So, that was our week in a nut shell. Phew, that was a lot to type! This makes me feel like less of a slacker, seeing our week all typed out! Whenever I'm suffering from the latest case of "Am-I-doing-enough??" I'll have to keep this in mind. ;)

shared with:

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


  1. What a fun week!
    We had chinese food too, but sad to say that's about where it ended beyond talking about it...

    What a clever mom you are!

    1. Oh, but the Chinese food was the best part of it all, anyway lol! :) I'm good at coming up with arts & crafts but I have sooooo many weak areas (e.g. getting started on time, cleaning, menu planning, etc.!) We have to play to our strengths, right? :)

  2. Wonderful projects and idess. We are working on China throughout the Chinese new year celebration. We have done and read most of what you suggested except for the calligraphy, very cool.

  3. Yay! I'm so glad you decided to join the Homeschool Mother's Journal. I feel kind of like I'm back in highschool and now I have a friend in homeroom or something. And wow, you really rocked out the Chinese New Year! I need to pin this post for next year's inspiration. And we so, so need that manners book... ;)

    1. LOL, I love your homeroom analogy!! :) Too funny! Maybe we'll be in the same gym class, too?! (Shuttering at the memories of high school gym class as I type. Oh, horror of horrors: remember "pinnies?!") The manners book is awesome! There are a few topics that are meant for older kids, but those will be nice to come back to in the future. It's funny, the kids sort of propelled me into all of the Chinese New Year fun since they remembered all of the stuff we did last year and were psyched. So, I had to try and "out-do" the memories lest I disappoint! :p

  4. Your photos are so nice and inspiring! And the idea is so creative. I like your blog that to text like that one. See the resource to have more time for your hobby and for you family. I like the resource and use it quite often. Just order an article that you have to write or an essay here and don't worry about it. You will get your text on time and in the perfect condition. I always satisfied with their work. And I am sure, the resource will be useful to you.

  5. Plus there is the tofu which is used in different kinds of other dishes as well. In the pork department, the sweet and sour pork takes the spot of most frequent pork dish. Phoenix Chinese Restaurant

  6. You pick a design that you want all of the accessories to have it on, like the invitation which you do as a post card with the design on the opposite side of the information on the card. You can print this entire collection out on the computer and let your children help you do this as they are pretty computer savvy. Then, if you are planning a sit down meal, make place cards with the same design on them with the name of the guest below or above the design and the folding to make it stand. newyear

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