Earlier this year I received a copy of the full-year curriculum called Children Around the World from Winter Promise. My daughter chose this particular one because of her complete fascination with the way that people live in other countries. It was very hard to choose because so many looked exciting, but ...
I think she chose perfectly for our family.
Total, this curriculum consists of over 30 downloads, which might seem overwhelming at first glance; but upon closer inspection I could see that a few digital books are meant to be used by either the teacher or the students and will be used throughout the year, while others are country specific. That will make it much easier to work with as time goes on. Instead of sorting through a 300-page book to find the section on China, we can just open that file! With thirty countries included in this curriculum, ease of finding information will prove to be very important as time goes on.
Our school days are short right now as the weather outside has been beautiful and we've been making the most of the remaining summer days. We chose to kick off our Winter Promise year in the United Kingdom, home of the Pevensie children, since we're currently reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
We started with a book called Touring the United Kingdom. The photography used throughout this book was fabulous. Although we read it together, clustered around my laptop, it viewed like a coffee table book - with big, colorful pictures and text that combined fun information and historic facts.
The best part of this book for me was having it all done. There were lots of famous places all throughout the UK in this book, and the most important reference information was included on each page. There were even links to a few virtual tours that we could take online for more information, if we so chose. Finding all of that information on my own would have been very time consuming, and as any homeschooling mom knows, time is valuable!
Next we moved on to a book called Fun and Traditions from Many Lands. This is a fabulous reference for anyone who's planning to study various parts of the world in a hands-on way. The book's information is sorted by continent. It contains information about holidays, crafts, traditions, famous people, places to find more information online, and recipes. I'm excited to use this hefty volume going forward. Again, there's lots of research contained in these pages about cultures all over the world, and it's all in one place, ready to go. I feel like I struck a gold mine!
In our story, Lucy has already had tea with Mr. Tumnus, the fawn, and so we decided to have our own tea party. Tea is a very English tradition, you know! This piece of curriculum contains a recipe for scones, which we will make, but with our time constraints on this day, we chose to keep it simple.
My Little Man prepared the sandwiches.
My Big Helper prepared the table. She even made place cards for each of us with a personalized tea cup on each one! Since the weather has been so beautiful, we decided to have tea outside.
After much trial and error, we discovered that none of us can pour without dribbling. Although sticky, it made our tea party festive!
As we munched, we talked about a list of British-English words I found in the Fun and Traditions book. I named English terms and the kids tried to guess what they meant in England. They loved this activity! We giggled over the unfamiliar words for quite some time, and they happily explained many to their daddy that night at dinner.
In the days since, My Little Man exclaims, "and Bob's your uncle*!" each time there's a lull - and surprisingly, it's always appropriate. My husband, upon seeing the platter of American biscuits that My Big Helper had baked to go with dinner, yelled, "Yay! We're having cookies for dinner!" to which both kids squealed with glee.
We have only just begun to scratch the exciting surface that makes up our Winter Promise curriculum. We're all excited to dig into it some more, especially after this memorable first lesson - and I'm not exaggerating. The kids have really retained the information that we discussed a few days ago and they're incorporating it correctly into their everyday world.
I can't wait to see what's next.
*""And Bob's your uncle!" means well, then in England.
**I received a free copy of the curriculum Children Around the World from Winter Promise in exchange for an honest review.