We have had such a good time studying China. Even though, in the back of my mind, I know we could have done so much more with this particular study: panda bears, the Great Wall, etc. I really am excited about what the kids are learning.
I mentioned in a previous post how much my son is enjoying topography and learning the land features of the different countries. As we studied China, he was immediately intrigued by the huge section of purple, a new color that we hadn’t really encountered yet in our country studies. And with his ever-increasing reading skills, he was able to read the topography key all by himself to discover that purple indicated mountains. Who would have thought a child could get so excited about colors on a map!
We’ve also had a lot of fun with our notebook pages. The kids have really gotten into notebooking, and I’m so glad. I debated about which approach to go with, notebooking or lapbooking (not that you have to pick either/or; I made the decision based on the time I knew we would have). While lapbooking is very cool, it takes so much time and space, and I noticed that my kids were much more likely to flip through their notebooks than they were to go back through a lapbook.
For our geography study, we’ve been using the printable notebooking pages from Erica’s Expedition Earth. There are also a number of free printables that Jolanthe offers with her geography study, and we use her “Children Just Like Me” pages. But I found Erica’s geography pages to be a little more age-appropriate for my kiddos. Each week we color the country and draw a star for the capital city. I don’t fill in all of the blanks on the page, just the ones that will stand out to my kids: the continent, the capital, and the population. We also color the country’s flag and talk over a few facts about the flag’s colors.
Because we have our routine set for how we “tour” each country, my son opens each new study with a million questions:”Are we going to read Around the World in 80 Tales?”, “Are we going to read about a kid from China?”, and the big question, “What do they worship?” It has been so moving to be to see his intense interest in the missionaries and spiritual condition of the people in these countries. And to hear his short, innocent prayers that the people groups would have a missionary or get a Bible in their language, I’m often moved to tears.
Another fun aspect of this study was our Chinese meal. I love Chinese food, anyway. And though I love to eat it prepared at a restaurant best, I make a pretty good stir-fry and fried rice. So, we ate at home.
I’m really not a recipe person. My stir-fry is a mix of frozen vegetables, some cut up chicken breast, and Kikkoman’s stir-fry sauce. For my fried rice, I steam some edamame beans, squeeze them from their pods, and set aside. I then scramble 1 or 2 eggs (depending on how much rice I am making). Then, toss some cooked rice into the pan to saute with some olive oil, add the scrambled egg and stir, then add the edamame and stir until the rice has the crunchy texture I want. Nothing super fancy.
Both the kids had fun trying to eat a little rice with chopsticks, but notice we all forks for back-up.
It was definitely a fun finish to our China study. Next up, the land of Russia!