"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Expedition Earth Week 2: China

Well, it seems I am definitely not one to do things by the book... no matter what book I am supposed to be following.  ;)  We mostly followed the plan this week, though.  We mixed it up a lot when we got to the crafts options. 
We started out by stamping our passport and boarding our imaginary plan to China with Caden as our pilot.  Sorry.... no pics.  I tend to live in the moment and with a baby in my arms and one hanging on my leg I just don't worry too much with juggling a camera.  Anyway, we located China on the map and completed a mapping and information worksheet from EE.  We read some some informational facts about China and listened to your China song.  We decided not to learn the Chinese portion of the song (too hard for us), but we sing the English portion.  My kids are already a bit familiar with some BASIC Chinese facts as we have a "China lover" in the house.  They already know how to say "hello", but enjoyed reviewing it, as well as, saying their names in Chinese and writing it.  They got a chuckle out of hearing their names!  Very interesting!  Throughout the week we learned more about their writings and did a little simple math with the writing the Chinese numbers (1 + 2 = 3, etc.).  The kids really like the Children Just Like Me book because it highlights one child from that country and tells some details of their lifestyle.  In Windows of the World we learned about their religious beliefs or lack there of.  We learned that their country really tries to control the people and there was an attempt to have one religion (non-Christian) about 60 years ago.  And I don't know details of how they "limit" family size, but you have to realize that it would be by sterilization, birth control, or abortion.  I know there is an over population issue there, but we found this very heartbreaking.  Children are a gift from God.  When we filled out our weekly prayer card my kids wanted to pray that "China would stop killing babies".  And that was a touchy subject to address.  We did re-word our prayer card to pray that "they will want babies".  Our little ones heard talk of killing babies a couple of times and I had to tell my older ones to stop talking about that in front of the little ones that do not understand.

The fact is we really are not that much different as a whole here in America.  Let's face it... most people here think that everyone should have two children and then, use birth control methods of some sort.  I am guilty of using it for most of my twenties and that is one of my biggest regrets.  I am not trying to step on toes here.... just MY thoughts.  And as far as that goes I may not be having other children in the future, so I am certainly not trying to force my convictions on others.

Back to the topic.... We made a mini-book for the "Animals of China" and started using our "Animal Classification" wall (or window in our case... sometime in the future I will try to post a pic.)  This is one of the Science portions that is incorporated into this curriculum.  We also began making a lapbook for the countries we study throughout the year.  Each week we will add a country.  We looked up some information about China via internet (National Geographic Kids, etc.) and I like that that is incorporated into the curriculum as technology is such a part of the world we live in. 

The Story of Ping is a suggested read aloud for one day.  We extended that to two days and discussed it more.  There are a lot of aspects of this book that make it great for learning and further study. 

We were waiting on the Usborne Encyclopedia of World Geography book to arrive, so I just talked about some of the information with the kids.  It did arrive and we used it by the end of the week.  This book is much thicker than I realized.  It is a large oversized book and is about 1 inch thick.  I am really impressed with this book and could easily see this book being used for our entire homeschooling life... all age levels!!!  My local library oredered it and I was so happy because I was hesitant to spend more money on books that I am not certain we will like.  I am sure I will be ordering my own copy in the future.  I am so thankful that I got a chance to preview it without it costing me!!

So, on to the crafts.... We did NOT spend $20+ on building that really cool Great Wall of China.  We were going to do a paper version that we printed from Papertoys.com, but some little sister scribbled on it and we were busy enough already.  ;)  Actually, we ended up having another unforeseen doctors appointment for Savannah's foot, so the Chinese fan got skipped, also.  Never fear though!  Instead we (joined by our little ones) made Chinese lanterns, Chinese stick puppet dragons, and Chinese masks.  We turned on our little Chinese song and set it to repeat and had a little Chinese parade with all our goods.  We wrapped up the week and our day with dinner out to the Grand China Buffet in Lumberton, Texas.  I rarely post locations for security reasons, but I have to do it here because Chinese restaurants have always scared me a little, but this one was really good... awesome really.  I was amazed and the kids really loved it and being that is was a buffet we were able to see what we were getting BEFORE we were stuck with it on our plates.  And we even got fortune cookies.
Here you can see us heading out to eat with each of the kids showing off their laterns, dragons, and masks... By the way Sienna was very frightened by these masks.  Poor baby girl screamed her little head off and only wanted Momma.

This pic shows the details of the dragon a little better.  One point I would like to make is that I try to use things we have without setting out on a special shopping trip for craft items.  When I found this dreagon pattern online I knew it would require two sticks for each one.  Dowel rods would work wonderfully, but sticks from the yard that are carefully selected work just as well.  ;)d

And pay no attention to the clothing.  We were not trying to make a fashion statement.  For those of you that have seen us all matchy-matchy this is what gets worn most of the time.  Also, I am not a Hollister fan.... I do not approve of their advertising.  The shirt was free.

These are our fortune cookies... and no, we do not believe in such things AT ALL.  It can be fun to read them, though.. just to see what they say.

 And the backs:


  1. Looks like a full week. I really need to get back into the craft thing. I know Sassy wants that. *sigh* But I'm just not feeling it anymore.

  2. Shannon,
    It certainly looks like you're doing a fantastic job with your kids!

  3. Great week Shannon! Glad EE is working out well for you guys. Love the dragons :) Where did you get the pattern from? We are not to China yet, but the dragon looks like fun. And we'll definitely have to eat out at that restaurant too. Great tips!


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