|Our cork board filled with the 9 countries we studied.|
|For each country I printed a pic and wrote how that country says "Merry Christmas." I also printed a mini flag for Capt. N to color. He has expressed interest in learning the various flags so this was a fun way to incorporate that.|
Little known fact (or at least I didn't know this): Santa Clause actually lives in northern Finland. He lives up in the mountains in a place we can't get to, but there is a town nearby which we can go visit. If we lived in Finland or if we were rich, I would totally take my kids there.
My husband's great grandparents came to America from Finland. His grandma is still living & to this day enjoys her very Finnish sauna (which btw, is pronounced sow-nah, not saw-nah).
I made the one on the left, Capt. N did the one on the right. The directions came from Craftideas.info. There was a bit of a learning curve, but they were simple enough to put together. Capt. N was able to do it with just little help from me. They are a little more interesting if you use double sided paper, like the one on the left. Capt. N also made a slightly smaller version using music themed paper for his 3 piano teachers.
|Apparently gnomes are a big thing in Finland. So, we made these cute little gnomes from pinecones. I used the directions on the Duo Fiberworks site. I love these guys. The only problem is that I found I did the majority of the crafting on them. Capt. N gave one to his eye dr & sent one to his great grandma, whose family is from Finland.|
|I had this doll hair lying around, so I couldn't help but make a girl gnome.|
|The Finnish also set out treats for the wildlife during the holiday season. So we made these birdseed ornaments. I found the directions on Homemade Mamas. The kids really enjoyed this project. We made a bunch & gave them to my kid's teachers.|
|On our first attempt we used cracked corn since we didn't have regular birdseed. I don't recommend this. It was more crumbly than using the birdseed.|
|Before we had kids, the hubby & I spent a day in Paris. This collage of pics hangs in our craft/school room. Capt. N enjoys looking at it, so this gave us a reason to talk about it.|
|In these modern days, the French eat their yule logs, as opposed to burn them. We made the easy-peasy version. My kids didn't know what twinkies were so this was especially fun for them.|
|Frost a twinkie with chocolate, sprinkle with powdered sugar & decorate with sprinkles. Yummy, sugary goodness.|
|The nativity scene is a huge part of Christmas tradition in France, as well as many other countries.|
|Although originally from England, the Australians also make Christmas poppers. The week before we had made little star ornaments out of plaster of paris. I asked Capt. N to pick 2 people he wanted to give one to & then wrap it popper-style.|
We watched this you tube video: Christmas in Australia.
Which led us to this video on you tube: Aussie Jingle Bells ... for some reason this totally cracks me up...
|This couldn't have worked out more perfectly. The hubby wanted to make tamales, so I asked him if Capt. N could help. And, wa la our Mexico activity was complete. Although, Capt. N didn't really care for the taste of the finished tamale.|
When Capt. N was 3 & Mr. T was 1 we had the opportunity to go on a Mexican cruise with some friends of ours. Again, this was a nice way to throw in some real life conversation with learning something new. (Although, I don't recommend going on a cruise with such young children.)
|The parol is a common Christmas decoration in the Philippines. This one Capt. N made is not lighted or near as fancy as the ones seen in the Philippines, but for some reason it makes me happy. It just seems cheery.|
SWITZERLANDYou can tell the Christmas hub-bub is catching up with me by now. These last couple countries didn't get near the exploration as the first ones we studied. The Switzerland activity was making a natural bell. The instructions are on Homeschool share. It turned out so-so.
|I was also able to pull in real life experiences for Great Britain. The hubby & I spent a week in England. So, we talked about this collage I made. And, Capt. N has a friend who was born in Wales & his mom speaks with the British accent.|
It seems many of the traditions in the U.S are quite similar to those in England. Since they also send Christmas cards to friends & family I had Capt. N make cards for 3 different people. They also do advent calendars, so we talked about those & the various ones we have in our house. I have one I made for me, one I made for the kids to do each day & my mom got them each a chocolate advent calendar this year. We also watched the episode of 19 Kids & Counting when they traveled to England. Capt. N says he really wants to go to London so he can ride a red double decker bus. I hope he gets to do that some day.
ITALYItaly is a place on my really-gonna-go-to-someday list. We talked about why I would like to go there - which is that I'm a huge fan of the Renaissance time period. I've just gotta see those masterpieces in person. And the rolling hills, the Venetian canals & real Italian pasta are calling my name. And, Rome. I want to walk the streets of Rome. Many of the countries we studied were primarily Catholic, so we also talked about the Vatican. It actually was a great way to pull all the countries together. Capt. N learned to play the Italian song, Carol of the Bagpipes, on the piano. Something I didn't know is that bagpipes are a big part of Christmas in Italy.
ISRAELWe ended this unit with the Holy Land. We talked about Bethlehem & Jerusalem & how many people attend the Christmas service right at the spot where Jesus was born. We also watched the episode of 19 Kids & Counting when the Duggar family traveled to Israel. Capt. N loved the camels, of course. He practiced playing Little Town of Bethlehem on the piano. I would like to study this country again & explore Hanukkah.
This was such a fun unit of study. I feel like I learned just as much as Capt. N. Now how do I pick which countries to study next year? We already discussed the ones that have meaning to our family in some way. I will have to pick a country in South America & Africa since we didn't visit those continents this year. And, wouldn't it be fun if I could come up with a whole unit study on Christmas Around the World incorporating math, spelling, reading & grammar. I've got a whole year, maybe I can come up with something.