France was our next stop for week 6 of our curriculum, Winter Promise’s Children Around the World. All my kids fell instantly in love with the Eiffel Tower while not really identifying with many of the other landmarks. And that’s okay, they are young and I’m just going for exposure right now.
Madeline featured prominently in our week since the little ones are still enamored with her from our week in the UK. It was fun to travel with Madeline around Paris and see the landmarks from her perspective. We checked out every single Madeline book our library has as well as enjoyed several episodes from both the old and new TV series on YouTube.
A really fun part of our week were two French games introduced to us in our Winter Promise guide, Escargot and La Pétanque. Escargot (which of course means snail) is played like hopscotch but instead of drawing squares, the players draw a big spiral, like a snail, then divide it into 15 or 20 spaces leading to the center. We had a lot of fun with this one, and I took several pictures, but unfortunately it’s really hard to see our chalk escargot.
La Pétanque reminds me of bocce ball which was popular in the U.S. back when my husband and I were first married. (Maybe it still is – I have no way of knowing.) When I looked it up on Wikipedia, I learned that they are in fact related to each other as well as to good old American bowling. I hadn’t even noticed that similarity! Apparently, they all share a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Here’s a pretty awful picture of us playing it, but you can get the general idea.
There are loads of children’s books about France, and we did add a few.
- Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
- Littlest Detective in Paris by Suzy Brownlee – This is book two in a series we started when reading about the UK.
- Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop – a book about children in France during WW2 that is suitable for quite young readers
- Thea Stilton and the Mystery in Paris
- King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry – This is one of the readers that came in Sonlight Core F that Bignificent is doing at her own pace alongside of our Winter Promise studies this year. It is about a horse from Morocco who travels to both France and England so it can work as an additional book when studying any of those places. Since the Sonlight core has a lot of stuff about North Africa and very little about Europe, it made sense for us to read it now.
and of course, our Madeline books:
Bignificent and I also continued reading All Along the Rhine by Kay Shaw Nelson, which, as I mentioned in our post about Switzerland, is a fantastic travelogue and cookbook about culture and cuisine in all the countries that the Rhine river flows through.
Speaking of cuisine, we ate very well this week. Our Winter Promise guide included so many ideas for food that we had two nights of French dinner plus a French breakfast of chocolate croissants! We kept the dinners simple, but they were so, so yummy! Our first French dinner was a lovely French lentil stew with parmesan crusty bread, and our second meal was quiche with baguette and Camembert cheese.
Studying France was a lot of fun (and yummy too!) We are looking forward to Germany and Poland next week. See you then!