Friday, October 15, 2010

Weeks 6 and 7: Visiting Mexico!

I knew it would be hard to keep up the pace of posting every week! So here is an update from our past two weeks. We've been continuing our tour of North America, spending time in Mexico and attempting to learn all the countries in Central America. (I was shocked at how poor my own knowledge was of all those Central American countries! It's a good thing I'm being challenged to brush up on my own geography as well as the kids! We're also reading the story of Cameron Townsend, a missionary who was committed to helping tribes in Mexico and Central America learn to read the Bible in their own language--he ultimately founded Wycliffe Bible Translators. It's been inspiring to learn of his life's work and to see how he was never afraid to dream big and reach high in pursuit of the Lord's calling for him.

We ended our time in Mexico with a fiesta, of course! The boys worked hard on two craft projects--small pinatas, made of paper-mached balloons, and tissue paper flowers for decoration. Here are some photos of the works in progress:

We have also spent a good deal of time with leaves, as fitting with the season. Ron's kindergarten lesson about leaves focused on the idea that "I will live and grow in Jesus," and he did a number of leaf-related projects (Dobby also wanted to join in!):

Harry had his own leaf lesson as he did a simple experiment to see the process of transpiration--how leaves release water in the atmosphere--in action. It helped him to understand why, in an oasis, the air is cooler!

In math, Harry has been working on a unit on measuring length. Sometimes I forget that facts that are so engrained in my head--12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, etc.--are all new to him! It's easy for me to understand which unit to use when measuring what, but I have to remember that these are fairly recent concepts for him. It's taken us longer than I expected to master these ideas, but I'd rather he understand them well and demonstrate this with 90% or more correct on his worksheets than to keep pushing through to new topics. A fun activity we did to illustrate yards--or 10 yards, an important measurement in football!--was to see how far 10 yards really is (below, the distance from Harry to Ron!) Longer than we all thought!

We also had a great time this week going to a children's concert at Wheaton College, put on by the music students who did a great job--I wish I had a photo but our camera battery stopped working this week! I'm off to get a new battery...otherwise there won't be any more updates for a while! Thanks for visiting and hope you had a great week!


  1. Hi! Visiting from TWTM forums...

    Your boys are so cute! We were supposed be finishing up Mexico this week too, but we all got sick. We're anxious for our fiesta. I was trying to decide if I wanted to do pinatas, but yours are so cute I think we'll give it a try. : )

  2. Hi Kellie! Just a word to the wise about those pinatas: do several layers! We didn't and they didn't hold their shape too well. But still did the trick in the end. They were just a big...deflated in some areas! Good luck and hope all goes well with your fiesta!

  3. You are so brave, Helen! The pinatas look like so much fun - I bet your boys loved it!! ;)

  4. Oh... I like the pinatas! We are going to attempt paper mache "worlds" after next week.... I'm a bit nervous! Looks like you guys did a great job!

  5. What I SHOULD have written is that my first attempt with the pinatas was an utter disaster. I was at the craft store and I saw this "Fast Mache" stuff that looked intriguing, so I bought that to use for the pinatas. I had much bigger balloons as well, but when I mixed up this Fast Mache it was this clunky, icky mess and I couldn't thin it out enough. We tried using it and it was a disaster. Triple disaster when I popped the balloon and sent clumps of Fast Mache flying all over the kitchen. Decided then that doing the traditional method was much safer...and it was. =) Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

  6. We're studying leaves too. I like the experiment with studying the transpiration of leaves. I might need to find and try that one.

  7. Gifts for Girls--the experiment is almost not an experiment, it's so easy! Grab some nice green leaves, put in a ziplock bag and seal, then set outside in the sun. As the leaves take in the sun and perform photosynthesis, they release water through their "pores" (stomata? I can't remember the term!) and in an hour or so, you'll see the condensation on the inside of the bag. Very simple, but effective! Thanks for visiting!

  8. Just now getting a chance to visit your blog again. I love your comment above about the flying clumps of Fast Mache. Sounds like something that would happen at my house! ;)

    I'm reading Cameron Townsend's biography now, too, and I have been so inspired by what can be accomplished with a surrendered heart. What a priceless lesson for your boys to be hearing at such a young age!

    Blessings to you!