Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Read Around The World"

This spring, we enrolled with our local Christian homeschool co-op again and got ready for our early Monday mornings!!
It runs for 10 weeks each semester.. and these pictures are interesting to watch as I go from 20 weeks pregnant to 30, ha!!  I didn't realize how much I grew each week!!

I taught a class to the 6-8 year olds called, Read Around the World.  I picked different books each week that taught about a new country/region from around the world and then we recorded what we had read about in our passports.  We ate a snack from that country, played games, and did a few crafts that would remind us of what we had learned about that week.  Here are all 10 weeks in a single blog post.. you are welcome. ;)

Week 1: Overview of the World
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
This is such a cute book to introduce different places all over the world.  The kids loved the page on Sri Lanka where the little girl goes to pick up her cinnamon for her apple pie!!

Getting to work on their passports!!

I LOVED having Savan, Andrew, Sadie, and Rylie in my class!!

I took their pictures on the first day of school for that front page and it turned out sooo cute!! Thank you, Hezzy, for making all of these for me!!

With only a few minutes extra in class, we ate apple slices with caramel.. and then played over and under with an apple!!  It's so funny how much these kids enjoy the simplest of things!!

Week 2 - South America
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
We journeyed south to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, South America.

We read about all these amazing creatures in the rain forest, wrote about them in our passports, and then made RAIN STICKS!!  Remember those?!  The kids enjoyed this so much!!

Thanks to Meggie and Shanny for the smart idea, these kiddos snacked on animal crackers and chewy green vines!!  So cute!!

I apologize to all the teachers who had to put up with these rain sticks in their classes for the rest of the day.. Ha!!

Week 3 - Africa
Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary Chamberlin
Going east, we traveled over to Kenya, Africa where we saw baobab trees, an African market, surprising new animals, and an introduction to Kenyan culture at the end!  This was the first book I bought for this class and I couldn't wait to read it.  It's one of my favorites and has the BEST ending!!

And there is only one thing to do after reading a book that involves African pancakes - MAKE THEM!!  Thankfully, I had the best assistant again this year who was all too willing to oblige!!  Thank you, Erin, for putting up with me, hahaa!!

Erin got to work on these crepe-like cakes and the kids wrote and drew all they had learned about Kenya in their passports!!

They loved watching the pancakes sizzle and cook..

All done!!  These can be eaten with either sweet or savory fillings..and if you know me, you know I chose sweet, ha!!

Spreading their jelly on the inside before rolling them up to eat!!

I was shocked that all the kids liked these!!  They were not sweet at all, but very thin and had a dash of cayenne pepper in the batter!!  But I guess jelly makes anything more yummy. :)

Week 4 - Holland
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
This book came from Heather and it's such a sweet story that follows two little girls and their friendship through letters after World War 2.  Highly recommend it!!

We discussed Holland's windmills, tulips, wooden shoes.. and then sampled different kinds of chocolate (you have to read the book!)  White, dark, and milk chocolate.. can you guess which one was everyone's favorite?!

Although Andrew enjoyed the white chocolate..

..majority ruled in favor of the milk chocolate.  Surprise, surprise! ;)

My little chocolate connoisseurs. (I can't remember our craft or our game for this week, but I guess it couldn't compare with eating chocolate for breakfast, ha!)

Week 5 - Russia
Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco
Continuing eastward, we found ourselves in Moscow, Russia.  And what else should you have there but Russian tea cookies?!  The Sunday afternoon before Monday school, my little Russian girl and I rolled out some cookies!!

She was quite the eggspert. ;)

While this book was written by THE Patricia Polacco, it wasn't really my favorite. It did show some classic Russian architecture and dress and taught some of their traditions (an egg painting contest at their Easter Festival!), but it was just rather odd to me.  Thankfully, we had a treat in store!

I had asked the parents of my students to send in souvenirs from any of the countries we were learning about.. and this sweet friend, Riley, brought in muskox fur from Russia!!  Everyone wanted to pet it..

..and then his sister came in as our guest speaker with her very own set of Russian dolls!!

Matryoshka dolls!!  Look how tiny she gets!!

This was such a neat experience for the kids.. I love when they can learn from someone close to their own age!!

And then it was time for tea cookies!!

I asked everyone to raise their hand if they wanted more, ha!!  I think these were a hit!!

For our craft, we used oil pastels to draw our own eggs..

..and while we ran out of time and couldn't add the oil on top, I still thought they turned out beautifully!!

Also, the following week was Easter.  How perfect was that?! 

All my little ducks and their eggs!!

Week 6 - India
The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
This book was SO STRANGE, including a little boy with new clothes, tigers melting into butter, and a family eating them on pancakes, HA! But it is a traditional Indian tale and therefore, it must be told. ;)

One popular thing in Indian market places is banana chips!!  So we had a banana slicing lesson in class this day..

Of course, the Sharbono girls made the most precise and perfect cuts.. little chefs in the making!

Dried banana chips to try, as well as fresh ones to be sprinkled with nutmeg!!

Pajama days, banana breakfasts with your cousins, school time with Mom.. does life get any sweeter?!

Week 7 - China
The Empty Pot by Demi
With only a few more weeks left to explore, we headed over to China. This classic Chinese folk tale was really sweet and the kids loved how the whole story was about a child becoming the next Emperor.  They filled in their passports while snacking on Pocky sticks!!  (Have y'all ever had those?!  I've seen them before in the Chinese section at the grocery store, but had never had them.. Now I know why.  The kids liked them, but blyuck!  I did not!!)

We headed outside into the gorgeous spring morning to play a few Chinese children's games!!

Playing Dragon's Tail and having the BEST time!!

Week 8 - Australia
Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes
Moseying down under, we read a story about all sorts of Australian animals, like wombats and koalas and emus!!  The kids loved finding the hidden creatures on each page and we could have spent another few days simply learning more about all of these animals!!  However, after drawing a few of them into our passports, we practiced making some Aboriginal dot art.. you'll have to look it up!!  It's pretty neat - a complete picture using only dots!!

I read online that a treat at mostly all Australian birthday parties is fruit inside of jello.  And instead of making this homemade with actual Australian fruit, I hit up Sam's and got these perfectly proportioned fruit cocktail jello cups.  Lazy won this week, ha!!

Week 9 - Due to inclement weather, co-op was cancelled.  I was so sad, because I had planned to cover the Arctic this week and end our last week together learning about Louisiana and celebrating how there is no place like home!!  Sadly, I had to scratch LA week in order to teach about the Arctic..

So instead of preparing for class, I used that extra week to finish up the kids's passports.
Here is a picture of everyone's work, beginning with the cover, their picture, and every country that we covered each week.  On the last page, I wrote everyone a 'bon voyage' note..

Week 10 - The Arctic
Kamuk's Fish - A Tall Tale from the Far North by Michael Bania
This was the last book I found for my co-op class.. and it was such a treat to finish out our time together with it!!  The surprise ending is the best part!!  The kids 'stamped' their last page in their passports and got an igloo kit to build at home!!  Marshmallows and toothpicks for the win. ;)

We ate dried fruit.. and it was the one snack that pretty much everyone hated, hahaa!!

And then everyone got a Frisbee to remind them to get outside, spread their wings, and explore our world, appreciating this big and wonderful planet the Lord God created!!
I am always convinced that I get the sweetest kids at co-op in my classes. I enjoyed this group of students so much!! To teach these precious kids, whose parents place Jesus at the core of their academics, is truly an honor and privilege to me.  It makes my teacher's heart, and my momma's heart, so happy and so thankful.  

After a wonderful ten weeks together, we said goodbye at the playground, complete with hot dogs, chips, brownies and lemonade.. and prepared ourselves for our big summer break that was just around the corner!!  Welcome back, sleeping in on Monday mornings.  We have missed you. ;)


  1. Lissie ! You are such a wonderful teacher. These children will never forget their experience ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Love , Mom

  2. This is one of my favorite posts ever!!! I want you to be our teacher! All the details and the activities were perfect!! We have some Russian dolls and the girls love them!

  3. Lis will you teach this class in the fall?!


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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.