Visiting Mali, Ghana, and Egypt from Our Classroom

It turns out that we will be spending way more time in Africa than I thought.  By which I mean we have 4 more weeks until we move into Asia.  With the Build Your Own Library kinder curriculum the focus countries are chosen for you and they are not necessarily what you thought they’d be.  For instance, no mention was made of Ireland, Scotland, Britain or Spain when we were studying Europe.  This was surprising but not as surprising as the fact that Cuba was given a big focus.  You never know.

We started this week off by creating some stained-glass scenes of animal life in Africa (rainbow Sharpies on overhead projector transparencies).

It was difficult to leave Egypt but it had to be done.  This book,  How Children Lived, seems to be a precursor to Children Around the World (which focuses more on the modern world).  I love them both.  I especially love that I found them at the library book sale last for $1 each.

We don’t post much about our math and phonics programs because they tend to be less interesting than the rest of the things we spend time on.  We are using Singapore Math books 1A and 1B.  This is a change from the Miquon math books we started off with.  They weren’t very engaging for a kindergartner and while we still have them, the Singapore is what we are focusing on right now.  It has clear instructions and leaves nothing to interpretation.  This method reassures our daughter that she will not misunderstand the assignment.

This is a page from our All About Reading Level 2 curriculum.  We’ve been working on dividing words between syllables as well as the “Silent E” and how it can change the pronunciation of words.  Each lesson comes with an activity or game.  In this case we cut and stapled flip books to practice our word endings.

The local Little Explorers program at Historic St. Mary’s City has started back up again.  Programs are every other Wednesday morning through the fall at 10AM.  This week’s program was on weather.

What would the week have been without another ten Magic Treehouse books?  The author of these is so adored by our five year old that she created (and sent her) a dinner invitation.  Will we ever hear back?  I wonder.

Each day we read from many different sources.  It works best at our house to get everything opened to the right pages before settling the kids down on the couch.  If I have to stop and search for anything I lose their attention and it’s tough to get it back.  The pages and construction paper above were for our day on Ghana.  We learned about Ashanti weavings from the folktale “Seven Spools of Thread”, a Kwanzaa story.



Motivated by creating a patterned Ashanti cloth we went on to explore patterns in other ways.  Fortunately we have a multitude of bears and horses.


Our first African research animal is the endangered Aye-aye of Madagascar.

The Usborne International cookbook is a part of our curriculum and this week we went ahead and created the two African recipes.  These were for peanut bread and bobotie.


The peanut bread heading in to the oven plus a mortar and pestle for pretend peanut-grinding.


This is the African Bobotie we made with white bread, milk, dried apricots and raisins, hamburger, and eggs.  It was seasoned with chili powder and curry and was fantastic.


On a visit to the garden this week we were able to watch the butterflies enjoying some of our rotting fruit.  When we studied butterflies at the beginning of the summer we talked quite a bit about how we’d never been able to see this happen in a natural environment.  Our day came.


We fit in two geocaches as well.  This one involved some cliff-scaling and was very exciting.  Our daughter used it as an opportunity to launch herself into the world of Magic Treehouse.  Bet you can’t guess which one of us got to be Annie……..


All in all, another great week of homeschool.  Thanks for reading!


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