Thursday, March 08, 2012

Free U: Next stop is Vietnam

Armed with a calendar from church, a library card and an Internet connection, I've made a start on crafting unit studies for Danny and Fiona. Really, those are the only inputs. It amazes me that at this stage the resources available are more than enough to spark their interest.

Last week, we did Madagascar, which was a fairly easy start. The recipe on the calendar was easy to make (though not easy to get at least two of my kids to eat) and there was no shortage of entertaining videos about lemurs. There may even be a trip to the lemur center in Durham sometime in the future.

This week's country? Vietnam. The recipe on our calendar was quite complicated. I can't exactly make spring rolls from scratch anymore. Owen practically pins me against the counter waving a plate at me anytime I go near the stove. 

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind about Vietnam is the war. And now I have a war protest song running through my head. You remember it right?

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.
 
I can't necessarily teach that one to the children, now can I? 
 
So I decided to do what I do best. The minimum. I checked out two books from the library, read them to the kids and waited for something to spark their interest. It fascinated Danny that the people in our book didn't own a refrigerator and that they ate with chopsticks. We also found a recipe for soda chan in one of the books. We actually have all the ingredients for it. It's a lime soda made from sugar, sparkling water and lime juice poured over crushed ice. Sounds like a winner. For  dinner tonight, I made a nice tofu dish with rice that was dubbed a Vietnamese recipe on allrecipes.com and let the kids use chopsticks. 
 
Danny was the only one who was amenable to instruction on chop stick technique. Fiona is just impossible to direct these days and Owen was intent on stabbing something or someone. There was a lot of whining, which was unfortunate since I had reached my whine limit by noon today.
 
Next week's country is El Salvador. The recipe is easy, the country is in this hemisphere and the back story on the calendar revolves around clean drinking water. I think I can make something out of that.

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Any chance Germany is on there? Was wondering if there is anything you'd like me to send. Stopped in the shop for the famous church here and they had little booklets of Bible stories in German. Thought of your crew.