Learning About Egypt

As always, we started learning about Egypt by completing fact sheets. Also, we have been marking the population of each country we study in the population chart. So, he is comparing the population of each country we have studied so far. Similarly, we are marking the religion demographics for each country in the religion chart. Doing this gets our feet wet and gives us a general idea of the country we are studying. After this, Kabir starts planning the main topic of his presentation. He knew that he is interested in mummy and so, we started exploring about mummy in books and online.

After studying about mummies in detail, we participated in the field trip to the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at University of Memphis. We saw a 20-minute video on Egypt. Then kids could touch reproductions of Egyptian relics such as papyrus. After that we were given a guided tour of the ancient Egyptian collection. It was fascinating especially because we were well prepared.

Then started the process of making a mummy. We got the inspiration from this website. We bought a cornish hen. Kabir named him “Pharaoh Chickenkhamun” and followed the following process:

Washed him thoroughly with water.
Washed him thoroughly with water.
Washed him with rubbing alcohol.
Washed him with rubbing alcohol.
Massaged him with oil and cinnamon.
Massaged him with oil and cinnamon.
Covered him with pickling salt (for dehydration) and baking soda (for preservation).
Covered him with pickling salt (for dehydration) and baking soda (for preservation).

Then we let him dry for about 15 days. Once dried, we wrapped Pharaoh Chickenkhamun in strips of white linen and put him in his sarcophagus.

While Pharaoh Chickenkhamun was drying, we made amulets (scarab beetle, stairway, and Ankh) and canopic jars. We put plastic organs in the canopic jars as we didn’t have any internal organ from our cornish hen we bought at Walmart. Also, we tried making papyrus with construction paper so that we could have a “Book of Dead” for our little Pharaoh.

Additionally, we made a pyramid of Legos for our Pharaoh Chickenkhamun. Kabir made 3 rooms: burial chamber, food room and furniture room. While making the pyramid, we learnt many small lessons. For example, we used all pieces of Legos possible as we had to do with what we have and buying more wasn’t an option. So, he used odd pieces very cleverly and left gaps where we could. We were innovative! Also, we learnt that to make the structure sturdy we needed strong foundations and we had to make it in 3 layers. So, we learnt many lessons without realizing. Here’s the video of him explaining his Lego Pyramid.

Additionally, we enjoyed Egyptian food at home. I got all the recipes from Food.com except for Basbousa (I loved it).

Kabir tried to make the flag of Egypt with the pizza dough. It was impossible for us to make the eagle.

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Now, we were ready for our Egypt Party with our homeschool friends. We created the atmosphere by decorating the room with the welcome sign and a few posters.

We had a taste of Egypt for all who came to the party. The menu included: date candy, Roz Bel Laban, Basbousa, Ghorayebah (both my kids love these cookies), Gebna Makleyah, Mashy Crump (stuffed cabbage) and hibiscus drink.

There were five presentations. Kabir presented how we prepared Pharaoh Chickenkhamun for his afterlife. One of the boys concentrated on animals of Egypt. The other one focused on the city Memphis in Egypt. Another presentation was comparison of modern and ancient Egypt. The last presentation made us laugh as we were entertained to the book “Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble”. There were sisters who didn’t present but brought their Egypt related projects for us to marvel. Each one did a great job and all of us learnt from each other.

Here is the video of Kabir’s Egypt presentation, if you are interested. Now, we plan to study Brazil for a presentation in March.

Greek Party

This Saturday, we had a Greek Party at the library! There were eight homeschooled kids who presented Greece. Each one did such a wonderful job! All of us learnt quite a bit from each other. The mothers put together a little taste of Greece. The menu included: homemade Gyro (including homemade pitas), homemade Moussakka, Olives, Feta Cheese, Hummus, Spanakopita and homemade baklava. Everything was so yummy!

Presenters of Greek Party
Presenters of Greek Party

A few kids were dressed in Greek costumes. Kabir’s grandmother made a Greek tunic with a cloak for both the kids. Majority of the kids presented on Greek Mythology. One of the kids focused completely on animals in Greece, one of them presented about important days for a child in Greece such as birthday, name day, St. Nicholas day and so on and one of the kids made a catapult! Kabir’s presentation was comparison and contrast of Ancient Greece and Modern Greece. After presentation, each child was awarded an olive wreath!

Kabir earned the Wreath
Kabir earned the Wreath

Kabir made the model of the Parthenon and the Flag of Greece using Legos. Also, he made 2 mobiles, one for the Greek Gods and the other for the Greek Goddesses. Also, he made models of Greek columns: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. We got the idea for Greek columns online. As usual, Kabir completed the fact sheets in his folder and then we decided on our presentation. So, he worked on his tri-folders. Then he worked on his presentation.

For decoration, Kabir colored Greek Flags and we put it all over the room. Also, he made Greek lanterns. I forgot to take photo but we copied the Greek lantern idea online. Also, Kabir made Greek flag with olives and Feta cheese.

Greek Flag with Feta Cheese and Olives
Greek Flag with Feta Cheese and Olives

Overall, it was a great experience. If you want to, you may watch the video of Kabir’s presentation on Greece.

Australia Party

After Italy and India, we visited Australia. It was very interesting for me too as I learnt so much about Australia. After completing the fact sheets, we updated the religion and population charts. Kabir made the flag of Australia with Lego.

For Australian Art, we made a boomerang. didgeradoo and a hat representing the sails of Sydney Opera House. Kabir covered the didgeradoo with his paintings of Aboriginal symbols. Arjun made a didgeradoo too but his broke before I could take photos.

For presentation, we created a travel brochure. We bought a tri-fold display board and decorated it as shown in the photo below. Also, we made a chart of all the animals (with 2 facts for each one) that Kabir would like to see in the Australian zoo. We studied about Steve Irwin for a famous personality from Australia. We watched a few video clips of Steve Irwin on YouTube. As far as famous places from Australia, we studied Ayers Rock (Uluru), Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef. We watched a couple of Austalian movies such as “Nemo” and “The Rescuers Down Under”.

Kabir read a Magic Tree House book – “Dingoes at Dinnertime”; Flat Stanley book – “The Australian Boomerang” and Magic School Bus book – “The Fishy Field Trip”. Then Kabir visited an Australian, Mr. DelGrande. He tasted Vegimite. He says he liked it but it was too salty.

Meeting Mr. DelGrande
Meeting Mr. DelGrande

Finally, we were ready for Australian party with Crabb family. Kabir and Sam did their presentations. Both are turning to be confident speakers who enjoy being on the stage! The shirt Kabir is wearing during presentation was decorated by him with Aboriginal dot art. Arjun decorated his shirt too with Aboriginal dot art.

For Australian dinner, Crabb family made roasted lamb(Kabir’s favorite), meat pie (my favorite), asparagus, and potatoes. We made desserts: Lamingtons and Anzac biscuits (the biscuits spread a bit too much but they were so yummy).

Kabir earned Australian stamp in his pretend passport and it was autographed by me this time. We are really enjoying studying different countries. I think this project is the highlight of our school year. Now, we are off to England!

If you feel upto it, you are most welcome to watch his presentation videos. We took this video before the day of Australia party because during the party, it is hard to take a video with our little one wanting to look at it at the same time.

Australia Presentation Part I

Australia Presentation Part II

India Study

After Italy, we picked India as our country. We read about the history of India. Then, we started completing some fact sheets that I created. We completed them together. As for someone famous from India, Kabir picked Mahatma Gandhi. So, we saw the movie and then he wrote a short summary on Mahatma Gandhi by himself. He picked Taj Mahal to study for the landmark from India. We read about it and then he wrote a short summary. Then he drew Taj Mahal and painted it with paste of Indian spices. We also made a flag of India with pizza and with Lego.

Kabir drew Taj Mahal and then painted it with paste of Indian spices
Kabir drew Taj Mahal and then painted it with paste of Indian spices
Pizza Flag of India
Pizza Flag of India

We added India to both the population chart and the religion graph.

Population Chart
Population Chart
Religion Graph
Religion Graph

When we were done, we visited India so it was a hands-on experience. After coming back, I showed him how to use powerpoint and told him that he will have to use PowerPoint slides to do his presentation. He was ecstatic! He would get up early in the morning or sleep much later than usual, as he wanted to keep working on his presentation for India. He made all the slides by himself. You are most welcome to download and look at his PowerPoint presentation on India, if you are interested.

We celebrated the culmination of study on India with a party where he dressed up in Kurta Pyjama and gave the presentation. Amit gave him a pointer and it was the best thing that happened for him because he had so much fun presenting and using the pointer to point at everything he was talking about.

Kabir Presenting India
Kabir Presenting India

We had Indian dinner: biryani, raita, seek kabab and paw bhaji. Sam Crabb presented Greenland so confidently and beautifully. We had the most delicious dessert, Berry Crisp from Greenland. It was just delicious!!!

Then Amit stamped Kabir’s pretend passport with India flag and signed and dated it for him. Now, we are off to Australia!

If you feel upto it, you are most welcome to watch his presentation videos. We took this video before the day of India party because during the party, it is hard to take a video with our little one wanting to look at it at the same time.

India Presentation Part I

India Presentation Part II

Studying Italy

For the entire month of October, Kabir and I studied about Italy and we concluded our study with an Italian party in November with our dear friends – Crabbs. It was so much fun studying Italy with Kabir. He was so passionate and in such an “Italian” mood all the time!

Flag of Italy Pizza
Flag of Italy Pizza

The highlights were watching Pinocchio in Italian, visiting our dear friends Frerers to get a feel of Italian culture, eating Italian food for a month, reading Italian version of fairy tales and so on. Fortunately, we got the opportunity to visit Italy at the Epcot in Disney World.

Kabir made an Italian flag out of Lego. Also, he made population graph and religion graph so that he could see a practical application of graphs. With religion graph, he got an idea of the importance of percentage. Also, we created a model of Leaning tower of Pisa, and gondola. We even painted a shirt for Kabir with Italian theme for the Italian party.

At the Italian party, the Crabbs gave us an opportunity to make handmade pasta. It was not only fun but also the most delicious pasta I ever had.

Making Pasta
Making Pasta

After enjoying Italian dinner, Kabir and Sam Crabb gave an adorable presentation on Italy.

Presentation on Italy
Presentation on Italy

To conclude we tried to erupt a volcano. It didn’t work but we got the idea. Overall, it was so much fun and we learnt a lot!!! In the end, he earned the Italian flag sticker in his pretend passport with autographs of both his grandmother and grandfather!

Passport with Italy Stamp
Passport with Italy Stamp

If you feel upto it, you are most welcome to watch his presentation videos.

Italy Presentation