Happy Everything! So much culminates on this weekend - Valentine's was Friday, the Chinese New Year celebrations wrapped up last night in SF with the big parade, and tomorrow we celebrate all our great favorite presidents.
We did some really fun things this week in hopes of bringing all these important celebrations full circle, at least Valentine's and CNY. (I, admittedly, dropped the ball on everything presidential.)
I often tell people how homeschooling has become a sort of healthy addiction for me. I crave and seek out creative ways of make learning 210% fun for all of us. It's what I focus on and research late at night (instead of blogging). The ideas bring me energy, and the entire process of bringing it to my kids has fueled a new learning for myself. We could argue all day long about who is loving homeschooling more.
Our Tuesdays bring us into the city where the 9yo takes a three hours science course at the Exploratorium. This week, life cycles and germination were discussed, plants and fruits were dissected.
After class, I grabbed a couple books at the gift shop and we walked to Chinatown where we visited the Golden Gate Fortune Cookies.
Located down a barely-marked alley, this "factory" consists of little more than two women and a man running a very sweet (and crunchy) show. We hung out, marveled, paid a couple quarters extra for the privilege of taking pictures, and then we stocked up on vanilla and chocolate fortune cookies and headed home.
Back home, after we devoured a huge platter of Chinese food from Trader Joe's, we gathered together all our fortunes and I read through them with the kids, challenging them to understand the deeper meanings. I convinced myself that this was in some way good for them, and counted towards some sort of learning block. ;)
But my favorite part of this weeks Valentine's/Chinese New Year/President's Weekend focus was the 9yo's and my crafting of Chinese fortune cookies from scratch. It started with the idea that we would make one of his favorites, pot stickers, as a project that studies not just food and culture, but math and chemistry. When I realized how difficult they are to make (hence the name "stickers", I suppose), I opted for fortune cookies on the heels of our exciting factory visit. The first recipe we followed...and tripled (read: math), was a late night disaster followed by a young boy's pleas to "try again" because this was "the best night EVER". I acquiesced, we changed course to this recipe and found great success! Our second attempt produced what are likely to go down as the BEST fortune cookies either of us have ever had -- like crispy, pancakes folded-up in to bite-size-goodness. Part of this project called for The Kid to create his own fortunes that would be applicable to the friends he planned to share them with in him nature class the following morning. I told him he would get invisible, bonus points for relating them to both nature and love.