Homeschooling

MFW ECC: France! + Our lovely Thanksgiving break

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday. We took two full weeks completely off of school for Thanksgiving break and it has been amazing. Normally I try to sneak in some assigned reading or other projects, but nope, not this time. We did go on one field trip to a science museum, but that was my son’s idea, so he takes full blame for making our break educational. 😉 I didn’t even do a Thanksgiving unit study! We totally relaxed, and it was awesome.

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Truth be told, I was even pushing for a Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving. Did I mention I wanted a complete break?? But Cowboy, my oldest son, looks forward to this meal ALL YEAR LONG. Every time I mentioned Cracker Barrel, he put me through a major guilt trip, ha! So on Wednesday afternoon, I finally committed to it and we made the meal. Brandon handled the last minute shopping trip, thank goodness. In the end, it was worth it to have a quiet day at home and enough leftovers that I won’t need to cook for awhile. 😉

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Before our Thanksgiving break, we wrapped up our France unit. It was my favorite unit of ECC so far! Admittedly, we skipped a few things. I added my Knight mini study and we did our own read alouds, including a book about Joan of Arc. So we skipped the Hero Tales and Kingdom Tales readings. We also missed a couple of hands-on projects because there simply wasn’t time to squeeze them in before our break, and we decided a break was more important this time around. The projects scheduled for this unit did look really fun though!

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We began our France unit with Knights. The boys chose Knight costumes for Halloween, so they wore their costumes to school. We talked about the “Knight Code of Chivalry” and printed out our own version which we recited during morning basket each day. It was a great way to talk about some good character traits and qualities we would like for them to keep developing. We read books about Knights and the boys practiced sword fighting, of course.

The boys also loved learning about the Tour de France. They watched videos of the race on Youtube, and held their own races in our driveway.

We read wonderful books like Madeline and Anatole, watched Ratatouille, and built Eiffel Tower models out of legos. So fun!

The rest of our unit focused on food. What better way to experience French culture? It was my own unit study as well, as I learned some new cooking techniques and worked with new flavor profiles. I have not done a lot of French cooking in the past, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I was crazy and planned two full weeks of French dinners. We did cheat once or twice, mostly because I couldn’t find the proper ingredients at the grocery story (I still haven’t found a place that carries duck fat!). But for the most part we stuck to French recipes, and it was oh-so-amazing.

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We also tried to practice the French way of eating. We decorated the table each day, used linen napkins, and ate our meals slowly. It was delightful, and a great way to work on table manners. Still haven’t actually achieved those, but at least we worked on them, right? 😉

I also decided that I would teach the boys to make French bread. Oh goodness. That was quite the experience! Cowboy actually did a great job. Farmer Boy, not so much. Farmer Boy loves cooking almost as much as I do, and actually watches cooking shows on PBS for fun. This is awesome, except that he considers himself an expert at age 5 and won’t actually let me help him.

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His loaf was something of a failure despite my attempts to save it at the end (he did eat the whole thing anyway, bless him, even though it was as hard as a rock), but even worse, he decided to cram a wad of bread dough down his bathroom sink. I have no idea why. Of course, this thick wad of dough stopped up the sink. Brandon tried multiple times to fix it, but couldn’t. We were about to give up and take the sink apart when Farmer Boy waltzed out of the bathroom and told us he had fixed it himself. Crazily enough, he had. We have no idea how. This is not the first time he has mysteriously fixed something that was broken. He once managed to fix the garage door after Brandon had tried and failed. The kid has some interesting skills!

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In keeping with our French theme, Brandon and I picked up a Bordeaux sampler box at Costco. You know, for the sake of education. Isn’t homeschooling wonderful? We have heard mixed reviews on the sampler box, but we really enjoyed the wines included. We are relatively new to Bordeaux though, so we can’t compare the wines to higher end ones. So if you are new to Bordeaux and want to try a sampler, I think the box is worth it!

Bordeaux, butter, pork belly, and Thanksgiving. . . November has been a delicious month. Now we enjoy our last weekend of school break before diving back in for one more push before Christmas. Happy Holidays!

 

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