Weeks 5-6 Mexico

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
Amy C.
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Unread post by Amy C. »

We had our Fiesta last night. We also made it into a late birthday celebration for my brother. We had my brother, mother, and father over. It was a lot of fun!

We decorated with a red plastic table cloth and our colorful tissue flowers. I bought some colorful, plastic serving dishes on sale at Wal Mart. They were left overs from the summer merchandise.

All the food was made from recipes out of The Young Chef's Mexican Cookbook except for the Dulce de Leche and Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies. It all was very yummy! We even made our own tortillas which we decided taste better than the store-bought kind. We may just start making our own all the time. We had soft shell tacos (I bought and warmed up the corn taco shells, but everyone liked the home-made tortillas so much than no one ate the others). We also made Mexican rice and Frijoles. I had bought Mexican cheese dip at the store and my mother made her yummy guacamole. We topped it all off with vanilla ice cream served with Dulce de Leche and Churritos with coffee, of course. I had made the Mexican chocolate chip cookies the day before which we had all sampled before our Fiesta (we couldn't wait!).

Our pinata looked like a giant colorful decorated egg. My husband did not think that it was going to hang for long. He thought that it was going to rip before the kids could hit it, but it actually held up for several hard whacks! Making the pinata was fun, but messy and a little time-consuming, but I am sooooooo glad we did it. You know it was one of those things that you wonder about halfway through if you should have started it, but then it turns out to be good and so much fun that you are glad you finished.

One thing that kept sticking out in my mind throughout the process was something a girl at a local party store said to me. I was looking for a thicker than usual latex balloon to hold up under the pressure (ended up buying a packet of party balloons from Wal Mart and used one and it worked fine). When talking to the girl in the store, I told her what I was looking for and why. She said, "Oh, I remember doing that in gifted class." Gifted class being for those who are considered smarter and who test higher than other children. That thought kept coming to my mind when I considered giving up and not doing it. I thought about all the children not in "gifted" class who do not get to learn the "fun" way and do and make things like pinatas, and I thought about my own children and how I wanted them to experience things like that so I trudged ahead. I just started reading "When Children Love to Learn" by Elaine Cooper, general editor. The first chapter is written by Susan Schaeffer Macauley, and in it she talks about how Charlotte Mason believed that all children are persons who should have the opportunity to learn. She believed that all children's minds are capable of learning. She believed that it was not just meant for the upper class and those thought to be highly intelligent. I am paraphrasing, of course, but that is what I got from it. Now, I don't know if Charlotte Mason ever led her students in crafting a pinata, but this book is encouraging me in helping my children love to learn even if it means doing the "hard" stuff (hard from my time-constrained perspective). My kiddos enjoy art, and that would be the one thing that I am more likely to want to leave off if I did not make myself. I want to really try to make time for these things. Thanks MFW for scheduling it in. If it was not scheduled I don't know that I would ever get around to it.

Anyway, I know I am rambling. I mainly just wanted to share about our Fiesta. After the party I had two full dishwasher loads to wash plus I washed a sinkful of dishes by hand. Now that is a party....and I am pooped!

Oh, and we also used it as an opportunity to show the grandparents the kid's notebooks and what they are learning in school.

It was a good time! Now on to Canada!
Amy C.
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Re: Fiesta

Unread post by RachelT »

Hola! We just had ours tonight and it worked well to have it on a Sunday. My dh was even involved in hanging the pinata and videotaping the pinata game!

We didn't get to make every recipe above, but we had plenty to eat! We tried the tortillas with cornmeal, but didn't have shortening so they turned out more like our johnny cakes in Adventures (dry and needed honey)! We had some great hard shell tacos, made guacamole, fajitas, chips, and beans. We had a neighbor friend of the kids over and all three children had fun dancing to a Mariachi music cd from the library with straw hat sombreros and maracas! We made the simple pinata with a suggestion from this message board of using a gift bag covered with tissue paper. The first one broke after 1 hit, so fortunately we had a 2nd.

After reading "9 Days to Christmas" my children had an appreciation for the pinata and also didn't mind filling it with fruit (like in the book) and just a little candy. I think they would have been upset to break something they had spent a lot of time creating like the paper maiche pinatas, so this worked better for us!

Friday we finished some really neat clay, sun face sculptures. Well, we still have to spray them with a clear coat, but they kids really enjoyed that art project and I think we will actually be able to hang them on a wall in the house. Sculpey clay baked really well. Global Art is fun even for my boy who "hates crafts"!

Adios amigas! Onto Canada!
Raquel (aka Rachel)

Postby RachelT » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:03 am

We just visited a Mexican restaurant yesterday that had been under remodeling construction while we were studying Mexico and it was still a treat. The kids were looking at the assortment of paintings hung on the walls and found a picture of a desert with a mesa and butte (vocab words) and a picture of Mexico City and it was fun that they recognized some things while we were there!

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Re: Fiesta

Unread post by BHelf »

Amy C. wrote:Hey, Rachel. I just read about your fiesta on the ECC ideas for Weeks 5-6. It sounds like you had a great fiesta! I think that the pinata bag was a good idea.

We did not get to the clay sunfaces because of doing our pinata. My middle son wanted to, though, so maybe we can fit that in somewhere else.

The dancing around the sombrero with marracas to Mexican music sounds like great fun! I am glad you had such a good, festive time! :)
Amy C.
we did the clay sun faces and love it! just a plug for those. :)
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Unread post by sarajoy »

We just had our Mexican Fiesta for ECC last night. We had such a great time even though I made a mistake on the Dulce de Leche recipe(half a gallon does not 1 quart make &) ), our clay suns kept losing their rays and needed them to be glued back on, and one of our invited families was unable to make it.

The food was all very tasty! We were really impressed with the homemade tortillas, loved those. The decorations turned out great! I found a couple of sombreros at a party supply store. We also included 3 "Mexico" blankets I still have from mission trips there when I was in hs. The tissue paper flowers were beautiful, we had guests each select one to take home with them. Dds, 6 and 8, did a little presentation on Mexico just sharing where it is located, its neighbors (countries and bodies of water), information on the flag and some colors in spanish (5mins. tops). Then we all had churritos and ice cream with the dulce de leche pudding-like stuff we ended up with. After that dds did their presentation again to just the kids that were here, and taught them their presentation and were answering questions they had about Mexico. It was so great to see the excitement about what we are learning :-) !

By the way, my dh plays bass guitar for our worship band at church and the worship leader was one of the guys at to our fiesta. So dh brought the sombreros to church and right at the opening of the service the worship band put them on. The leader mentioned celebrating our fiesta last night. Then they played a few measures of mariachi music before they started worship. How fun was that?!?!

We our loving learning with MFW!!
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Unread post by NJCheryl »

We just started week 7 in ECC today. We had our fiesta on Friday and the kids had a great time! We had one other home school family attend. We made quesidilla and tacos with the homemade tortillas. We made Dulce le leche - which honestly no one like, but it was fun to make. We made Mexican chocolate chip cookies. The kids had a great time preparing for the fiesta. We decorated with Mexican flag banners, and the tissue paper flowers. Our table had beautiful paper fiesta plates. We bought a sombrero and maracas and did the Mexican hat dance, and we broke open our homemade pinata. Our clay sun faces were not dry yet - we just painted them today.

EEC has been great. This is our second year of home schooling, and everyday I am so thankful to have my kids home. I love what My Father's World has given to my family!

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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico - Pinata

Unread post by KimberlyND »

At first we weren't going to try making a pinata during our Mexico study. After reading all the posts about your successes I decided to try it. Ours turned out well and we are waiting for the weekend to break it during our Fiesta. After checking online I found a recipe for liquid starch that we used. It worked well and was easy to make so I thought I would share it here:

Liquid Starch

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Mix & keep stirring above ingredients while you pour in 1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water. Let cool and use.

I used the 1 1/2 cups boiling water but found it too thick when we wanted to use the starch. So I added more water and it still worked well.
Kimberly in ND
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by TriciaMR »

my3sons wrote:I think we are going to try making the piñata next week. Having never done anything like this, I am looking for any and all tips on how to make it successfully!

I assume when you are all finished, it looks like a brightly colored round thing?
I've got a picture of ours at my blog (scroll down a little from http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/school ... sm=&thisd= and you will see a rainbow painted balloon).

My biggest tips are: plenty of days to do it (you might want to start this week), as you have to let each layer dry before doing the next. And do 5 or 6 layers.

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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by sarajoy »

You know, we didn't let the layers dry in-between(I just didn't want to get messy over and over again, just once), we just layered and layered and layered on newspaper until we guessed we had everywhere coated about 4-5 layers. I then put it in our utility sink to dry, I turned it after a day so the "bottom" part had a chance to dry. Before we punched the holes to hang it by, I put a piece or two of masking tape over the spot we punched the holes to reinforce that area. We painted ours a solid bright color first, let it dry for half a day and then add flowers and stripes and whatever later on. Ours turned out looking like an Easter egg gone totally wrong. But it did hold up when we put stuff in it and hung it. It also held up to quite a beating before it broke. I was impressed.

Good luck and plan for drying,
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by BHelf »

We didn't let ours dry between layers for the same reason...no desire to keep making that mess again and again. I was also surprised at how well it held up to the beating and the fact that we put lots of candy in ours. (We attempted to tape balloons together to make a heart---turned out to be Mickey Mouse instead--again I am artistically challenged!! lol) It was very heavy when it was filled and Dad ended up having to give it a hard hit before it started to break.

One thing I never did figure out though was how to keep it in place while layering. It says to tape it down to the work surface and I used heavy grade packing tape but it just kept coming undone because of dripping starch. (My DD was quite messy with the starch!) So I had to hold it mostly.
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by sarajoy »

I ended up holding our pinata most of the time, also....
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by doubleportion »

We did something allot less messy and made ours out of a brown paper bag and tissue paper. We used school glue to glue on the paper. Hung it by a string and it was dry the next day. You can get the instructions at http://familycrafts.about.com/od/paperb ... pinata.htm

No matter what the kids will enjoy whatever you do and it is fun having the pinata as part of the fiesta!

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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by hsmomof5 »

Ours looked exactly liked Edie's last year when we did it. Cost only $3 for supplies. Can't beat that and the kids enjoyed it! :)
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)
Amy C.
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by Amy C. »


We tied a piece of yarn to our balloon at the tied end and then tied the other end around our eating room chandelier (it sounds like a fancy light fixture but it isn't). Anyway, the balloon was hanging over our table. We put a plastic table cloth (the cheap kind from Wal Mart) on the table and then an old sheet that we use for art projects on top of the table cloth to protect the table. This was our work station. We did not let each layer dry either. We just kept placing pieces of newspaper on. It kept sliding to which ever end was on the bottom so we just kept pushing everything back into place and adding more layers. I kept turning the balloon in different directions and pushing everything back into place. Finally, it seemed that we had enough layers and everything was staying in place. One of my boys had the idea to get table fans to help it dry. We had 3 small fans blowing on our balloon for about 6 hours. We left our balloon hanging. It was completely dry except for the bottom by the next morning. No fans were left on overnight. It just air dried. We left it hanging until after it was decorated and dried from that.

The first night we had a picnic in the living room (a rare treat) while we had a dripping balloon hanging over our table. The next couple of nights we just had a pinata hanging over the middle of our table. My husband and I kept looking to the side to see/talk to each other. I met my husband at the door that first night and told him I needed to know one thing before he came inside. I asked him if he liked being a homeschooling family. He said, "Why, sure!" I said, "I am so glad. Now you can come in and see our art project hanging over our table." It is a good thing he is so good-natured. :) I love that man!

I would definitely recommend fans if you have them to help it dry faster. I think hanging it worked well if you have a work area. Every time we put ours down on the table to work, the newspaper would stick to the sheet and come off of our balloon. Of course, you do have to keep putting the sliding newspaper back in place, but eventually it all fell into place and stuck well enough that I didn't have to keep pressing it.

I bought a pack of party balloons from Wal Mart. I used one of those. I blew it up to what I thought would be a nice size pinata without it being too taunt (I was afraid it might burst). It worked fine.

Our pinata was sturdy and held up to several hard whacks before it burst. My husband was not so sure it would, but it did.

Happy Pinata Making!
Amy C.
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Re: Piñata help

Unread post by RachelT »

We also made a gift bag/tissue paper pinata. We even used tape! I didn't want to invest my kids into something they were going to turn around and destroy and they didn't mind hitting this one with a stick! It was still fun!

Rachel :)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
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Our Fiesta

Unread post by mamatormsl »

Just wanted to say we are loving ECC. This is our first year with MFW and it's been a great change. We opened our Fiesta up to anyone in our homeschool support group who wanted to come. There were about 35 of us. The weather was kind of crummy and it was a little crowded but my kids loved it, so it was worth it. Posted some pictures on my blog.

Thanks to the ladies on the forum who suggested the ponchos and Mexican chocolate chip cookies. They were a big hit!
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free online music for our ECC fiesta

Unread post by hsmom »

I'm a little technologically behind the times, so this is for those of you who are like me. I had intended to check out some music for our fiesta tonight, but didn't make it to the library. I did a search for free music online. I had heard of Pandora but didn't know much about it, I clicked on the link and found I could type in a search term and it would create a station with free music on it. I typed in mariachi and picked one of the choices ( I think it was mariachi fiesta mexicana or something like that). Now I am listening to one mariachi song after another. Free. and I didn't have to leave the house. :-)
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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico - Pinata

Unread post by sweetie51759 »

We did our pinata different. I did a little research online about making a pull string pinata.

Using a small box (about 12 inches square), I cut a door (3 sides of a square) about 4" by 4". On the top middle of 2 sides I inserted rope and knotted it inside the box. This is to be used to tie the pinata up.

I cut about 20 pieces of white ribbon each about 2' long. (I used all white ribbon so the girls wouldn't know which color was knotted.) Using a paring knife I cut holes on the bottom of the box including the trap door. Using the paring knife I pushed one piece of ribbon into each hole. On two of the ribbons in the trap door I tied knots to hold the ribbon in. In the rest of the ribbon I used very small pieces of tape to hold about 1/8th inch of ribbon down.

We filled the box with candy and goodies and duct taped the box closed on top. I then looked up fiesta online and printed copies of a fiesta banner, a mariachi band, map of Mexico, flag of Mexico, dancers, and a sombrero. The pictures were then glued onto the sides and top of the pinata. I then bought 2 different colors of crate paper. I cut these into about 1 1/2 inch pieces. They were more rectangle than square. Using the end of thin highlighters (about pencil size) the girls folded the crate paper around the highlighter. On the bottom of the crate paper the girls applied a small drop of white glue. The crate paper was then attached to the box. They tried not to make patterns with the 2 different colors. Parts of the pictures were also covered so you didn't see just a square or round picture. The crate papers were put close together. The girls said they papers looked kind of like flowers. They were even able to put the crate paper onto the corners and edges of the box.

Needless to say, this was a big hit with the girls.

Julie in MN
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Wks 5-6 TEACHING AN 8TH GRADER the 2nd time through ECC

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Geography game -
We enjoy the new pre-made game and the landmark flashcards. The capital "dots" on the cards are a fun addition. We might make them bigger, since we keep forgetting about them! Here are a couple notes from playing the game at our house:

- Rules: We continued to use the game rules we used the first time through ECC, which work well for one student -- we each use our own stack of country cards, rather than shuffling them together.

- Online extra: When my one student didn't have anyone available to play the game, he would play a good online geography game called "Seterra" which I downloaded for free. You can play several games on there, but most useful was finding countries on a blank map. It has a timer, and there is a "high scores" record page which is fun and helps track progress. http://www.wartoft.nu/software/seterra/

- Old game boards: We still have the old geo game boards, and I think they will work well when dad or others wanted to play with us.

Geography packet -
(a) Bodies of water: We found the Atlas to be the most helpful for the Water page. The Atlas has a physical map for the continent, as well as physical maps for the individual countries of Canada, Mexico, and the US.

This page I think has a mistake (at least in my copy, which I've had 5 years). "Lake Manitoba" on the label page should I think be "The Great Salt Lake." First of all, GSL is on the map and LM is not. Second, GSL is just more fitting because it's a major lake that's in all reference books (like all of the other bodies of water on the page), and LM is not. However, if you want to find where to put Lake Manitoba, it's clearly visible in the Classroom Atlas on the Canada Physical Map.
cbollin wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:30 pm in 2nd edition of the book (World Geography) Lake Manitoba is on p. 103 map. But they still didn't have a label for Great Salt Lake on p 102 (the label page). We just labeled Great Salt Lake anyway on the map page. :)
Note: There is also some interesting info on the how salt lakes are formed in Apologia's Physical Science book.

(b) Deserts: One hint for page 104 on deserts: The "Mojave Desert" is also found on the CD-ROM under "Mohave Desert" but that won't bring up anything, no matter how hard you try! Make sure you click on "Mojave" with a J :)

A Trip Around The World -
(a) Language page: Since my son has already been studying Spanish, I used the language page as a mini oral quiz. "How do you say 'red'?" "How do you say 'hello'?" etc.

Also, it's fun to look at the word "adios," since it comes from the word "dios" or God, just like Adieu in French or Diety in English. A-dios means something like "go with God."

(b) Extra countries: Sometimes we read about other countries in the Trip Around the World books, looking to see what else was covered from North America. And sometimes those "fun facts" would cause ds to want to find out even more in book basket or in our encyclopedia. (I held myself back from making extra assignments out of these this time!)

Mexico notebook
In hindsite, I think I would have had ds map out some of Mexico similar to the way we did the Canadian provinces, because he really didn't work with Mexican geography or have much in his notebook for Mexico. Well, I probably wouldn't have him label all those Mexican states, but at least mark a few landmarks on a blank map such as in A Trip Around The World. e.g. Baja California, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of California, mountain ranges, etc. Or, do something like this page:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/school ... abel.shtml

Wee Sing -
I've said this before but even older kids can enjoy the childrens' songs in native languages, hearing the different accents, etc.

Also, I found the songbook has a few little nuggets that are worth reading to my 8th grader. For instance, one of the songs for Mexico has a note about the invention of steel drums, and the song for Puerto Rico describes that country's connection to the USA (which ds followed up on by reading the Encyclopedia article on Puerto Rico, in the "History" section of the article).

Extra Books -
DK: The Complete Book of Cacti and Succulents,
by Hewitt
Just cool to look at the close-up photos of all the different kinds of cactus. Big book.

Come Look With Me: Latin American Art,
by Lane
I wouldn't read this with a young child, due to a skeleton picture & the like. But for my 8th grader, I wanted to have a look at the colorful art of Mexico. You could also just look at some of these artists' works online, such as:
-Diego Rivera is probably the artist I'd heard of most often.
-I liked the colorful painting they featured by Tarsila do Amaral.
-My favorite painting wasn't colorful but was realistic, called "Our Daily Bread" (El pan nuestro) by Ramon Frade (Puerto Rico).

Families of the World, Family Life at the Close of the 20th Century: The Americas & the Caribbean,
by Helene Tremblay
We read a few chapters from this book. It covers Mexico, Canada, the US, and many countries from Central and South America. The basic pattern for each country is to describe a day in the life of three families at very different levels of prosperity, lifestyle, etc., with lots of photos. She goes thru the day in detail, describing when they get up in the morning, what they eat, what they do during the day, and where they sleep. (Note: the very first chapter is on a primitive tribe in South America, with immodest photos and information you may want to pre-read, but it seems to be the only one)

CD: The Best of Spanish Guitar,
by Montoya
Spanish guitar music. The pamphlet says the style of Flamenco is popular in Central & South America, and compares Spanish guitar to American jazz, with improvisation & such. I wanted a little exposure to the flavor of different music, even tho my teen has his own ideas right now about music!

Just for fun:
VHS: DK Eyewitess: Desert, narrated by Martin Sheen
DVD: Bill Nye The Science Guy: Deserts

Interesting link -
This link has an interesting chart (look for it on this busy page)
Countries with the most Spanish-language speakers
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/langua ... onary.html
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Salt dough snakes

Unread post by sandi »

I need a good salt dough recipe for the snakes in Mexico.
Thanks guys!
I need to go to town today to get my supplies.
cbollin wrote:I realize this is late: did you find a salt dough recipe? There are several out there. You could also buy something like model magic and use that. Or regular play dough. There were some salt dough recipes in some of the ECC books. one example p. 40 of global art (I used the supply index in Global art for that). Maybe look up in A Trip or Another Trip....

but if you internet search on "salt dough recipe",... you'll have tons of very similar options.

also, I'm not remembering a snake activity? can you point me where to look? My guess is that we would have grabbed a toy snake, or used playdough.

Thanks and yes, I did find a recipe online. The snake activity is actually listed in the library list for Mexico. She recommends a book on snakes and says it would be fun to make some of these snakes with dough.
Have a great day!
His Child,
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ECC - Craft for Weeks 5 & 6 - Mexico

Unread post by jasntas »

One of the craft ideas for weeks 5 & 6 is yarn art found on p. 120 of Global Art. You draw a simple outline of, say, an animal. Then glue yarn strands to the picture until the picture is filled in with yarn. Like "coloring" with yarn. (I hope this make sense if you don't have the book in front of you). The yarn art that we would be imitating is from the Huichol Indians from Mexico. The GA book states that the Huichol create their drawings by pressing yarn into wax on a board.

Anyway, I was going through the $1 bins at Michaels this week and found some Flexa Fun bendable building sticks that I think we may be able to use for the project. The back of the box says: "Flexa-Fun bendable sticks are wax over super strong string that always hold their shape. They bend, they mold, they stick and stay in place...stick to windows, walls, paper and more. They will not stain or make a mess!" The best part to me is a project that doesn't need glue. ;) These sticks are thinner than yarn. More like string as described above. I got 4 boxes of 25 6” sticks per box. (2 boxes per kid) I'm thinking I would have them make a picture on maybe a 3x5 or 4x6 card.

Just thought I'd pass along my find in case anyone was interested. :)
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ECC passports?

Unread post by doubleportion »

rawbanana wrote:Tomorrow we start week 5 (mexico) and I remember we are suppose to give them their passports.

Do daddy and I fill out the front portion (w/ the name and address) and then the CHILD signs it? Or do we sign it? Then do we put the USA flag on that page (the one w/ their pictures and name/address)?

Then since we are starting Mexico, does the Mexico flag go on the NEXT page (I think there is a big '2' at the top)?
We returned them to them with all the info filled out and we printed out headshots to go in them. We put the USA flag on the bottom right corner of the first page and our dd signed on the signature line. On the Visas 2 page we put the mexico flag and I entered the date they "entered" the country and then when we finished that country I entered the "departure" date. Each consecutive "Visa" page we entered the new country flag as we studied it. We ended up with 15 Visa pages filled out at the end of the ECC year.

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ECC Mexico fiesta- what game?

Unread post by NJCheryl »

rawbanana wrote:What game would you play at a Mexican fiesta?
We broke the pinata that we made and did the Mexican Hat Dance.

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Re: ECC Mexico fiesta- what game?

Unread post by LissaD »

We actually went to Mexico this summer and went to a party where they did a pinata. There is actually a song that goes with the hitting of the pinata. I never knew that before. You can google it, I found one that had the spanish words and the english translation.

Dale, dale, dale. No pierdas el tino. Porque si lo pierdes. Pierdes el camino.Ya le diste una. Ya le diste dos. Ya le diste tres. Y tu tiempo se acabó.

Hit it, hit it, hit it. Don’t lose your aim. Because if you lose it. You lose the way.You hit it once. You hit it twice. You hit it three times. And your time is up.

There are some youtube videos of kids singing it, it also times each turn, so everyone gets the same amount of time it takes to sing the song. My kids loved singing the song while it was someone else's turn to hit the pinata. It gave them something to do.
Julie - Staff
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Does anyone have suggestions for music from Mexico

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

jasntas wrote:We are starting week 5 in ECC tomorrow. My ds asked me yesterday if he would be learning to play the trumpet like they do in Mariachi bands while we study Mexico. Yea, 2 weeks to learn to play the trumpet. It took me years to learn piano then trumpet for marching band and I still wasn't very good at it. ;)

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions for good Mariachi music? I looked for cd's through my library system but came up with all kinds. I don't know the difference and don't know what would be good or not. Kwim? :~

Any suggestions maybe even on how to research this would be greatly appreciated. Something online would be ok but I would sort of like to get something on cd and have the dc maybe listen to it in the car on the way to or from Tae Kwon Do or P.E.

BTW, the dc are currently watching Disney’s Aladdin in Spanish and getting a kick out of it. (Their current favorite movie). Thanks for the idea Crystal.
Postby beaglemamma2008 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:28 am
"Two weeks to play the trumpet" - 8[] 8[]

Our youth group had a Mexican Fiesta a couple of years ago, and I purchased a Mariachi CD to add a little ambiance. It's called Mariachi: Folklore de Mexico. It ended up being a really good CD! (At least I thought it was!) I'm pretty sure I got it at Amazon, but I have no idea how much I paid for it. Maybe your library has it or a similar one???

As for how to research it, sometimes when I'm in a situation like you where I get too many results from my library search, I go to Amazon and look at the individual titles to see if I can read/hear a sample and check out others' reviews.

Postby Julie in MN » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:40 am
I do think it's good to be cautious about music in other languages -- you never know what those lyrics are about :) Although with Spanish being so prevalent now, you may be able to find someone who can let you know whether something is likely to be okay. Kinda like when my oldest was a teen and I'd go into a music store and ask someone to tell me about these CDs he was asking for for his birthday -- oh, I digress ;)

Anyways, we listened to a little of "The Best of Spanish Guitar." As I recall, there were no lyrics to trip you up :~ (I know it's "Spain" but my CD says Spanish guitar is a favorite in South & Central America :) )

We also have several CDs from Putumayo, which tend to be "safe" children's songs.

Postby doubleportion » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:53 pm
"it's good to be cautious" - So glad you said that,Julie!

"no lyrics to trip you up" - This is a perfect idea! I am teaching a coop class using ECC stuff and was wondering what to do about the music side of things. I was concerned about the Mariachi music not knowing what they were singing about.

Glad I was keeping an eye on this thread.

Postby hsmom » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:33 am
I used Pandora.com (online radio) for several countries-- assuming you have unlimited internet. I have deleted that station now, but I think I did a search for mariachi. I did it just now and one of the suggestions is mariachi fiesta mexicana. I think I used that one and maybe some others.

Postby Renai » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:22 pm
Does it have to be Mariachi? There are kids music CDs in Spanish, and you don't have to worry about lyrics.

I haven't come across any mariachi music that had "bad" lyrics yet, though.

Postby jasntas » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:40 pm
"Does it have to be Mariachi?" - Well, my ds enjoys the sounds of the trumpet in the Mariachi music. I don't know if other music from Mexico uses the trumpet. I just know that Mariachi bands do. :~

BTW, we have Direct TV and on their satellite radio stations I found a Mariachi station. I thought of this after hsmom suggested an online radio site. I'm still a bit concerned with the lyrics but I'm thinking that if we just play it as background music for our fiesta it would probably be ok. I also found a couple of other ethnic stations there as well including Italian and Irish. I'll have to make note of this in my TM.

Thanks everyone.

Postby momtogc » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:43 pm
rhapsody.com allows you to listen to music free for a certain number of selections. If you search their site for maraichi you will probably find something.
: )
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ECC Mexico alternate Pinata idea

Unread post by doubleportion »

I just wanted to share this simple idea for a mini pinata. You make a mini pinata that looks like a red chile pepper and is filled with small candies like M&Ms. I found it at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/mini-pinatas-668588/

I did this with my homeschool coop class of fifteen kids today and it was big hit. This is a great alternative if you don't want to do the mess of a big regular pinata craft. (We only had 45 minutes and had no place to store a craft that needed to dry so this was my alternative.) They would also be great as party favors for your friends or family who join you for your fiesta.

I didn't use the toilet paper roll as the form (as suggested in the original instructions) but rolled up a regular piece of printer paper into a cone instead. You then wrap the tissue paper around it and pull the cone form out. It helps you get the tissue paper cone tight.

Here is a picture. I will post the step by step pics on my blog. You can go to http://quietlyrunningtheracehomeschooli ... natas.html to see them all with my own version of the instructions.

finished pepper.jpg
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