I’ve gotten a bit behind sharing with you about our Children Around the World studies this year, but I’m back and ready to share with you our weeks of learning about the U.S.A. This week presented some unique challenges for us because our kids are Americans who have never really lived in the U.S. We did spend a little over a year there which the older two remember, but their memories are pretty vague since it was over four years ago. On the other hand, most American foods and holidays are familiar to them and they read a lot of American books. We started our “study” of the U.S. by celebrating a good old-fashioned New Year’s Eve with some photo-booth props. 🙂
I think the Winter Promise curriculum developers were a little afraid their mostly American students would find this week boring so they opted to focus on some lesser known and understood aspects and cultures of the U.S. including the Inuit of Alaska, the Amish, and the celebration of Kwanzaa. While we did touch on a few of these things briefly, I felt our kids needed to understand the more commonly understood things about America that they’ll be expected to know when we are back this fall.
So we ended up focusing on Winter Promise’s optional activities like taking a virtual tour of Washington D.C., learning about the growth of the U.S. over the past two centuries, and learning how things are measured in the U.S. since we use the metric system here. We talked about and celebrated the U.S.’s diversity and how and why it’s nearly impossible to describe a typical American family or meal.
When we were asked to review Home School in the Woods U.S. Elections lapbooking kit, I realized that would be a perfect extension of our study about the U.S., so we spent an extra three weeks doing that. So even though I was a little bit nervous about studying the U.S. with the girls, I think it turned out pretty well.
Bignificent joined a basketball team recently, but they ended up having only one game which happened during our study of the U.S. I used the opportunity to give a mini-lesson on basketball being invented in the U.S.A.! An aside: I have never been on a hotter basketball court in my life – this court is on the roof of a three-story building and has NO SHADE. We absolutely baked, and I was quite nervous about the girls getting dehydrated and sick, but everyone ended up being just fine. The plus side was the lovely view of our tropical rainforest!
As for our reading, I shared already about the picture books and chapter books we read about elections in the U.S. The only other ones I added were the first two books in Madeleine L’Engle’s Austin family series: Meet the Austins and The Moon by Night (affiliate links). My girls enjoyed the Christmas book about the Austins so much that I thought they’d enjoy these as well plus I remembered that in The Moon by Night, the Austins do a road-trip in which they cross a good portion of the U.S. so I thought that would be fun. Both books were a big hit!
Well, I think that wraps up our time studying the U.S.A. Next up: Canada! See you soon!