We've had a great two weeks in Mexico, and I wanted to share my experiences.
In Bible, we've been reading Cameron Townsend. I have a Highly Sensitive Child, my daughter who is 7, and we were not able to read Kingdom Tales. I am hesitant about most of the missionary biographies, but we started Cameron Townsend. There have been a few sensitive topics already that have made me question our decision (such as alcoholism, depression, mental illness, and the drowning of Robby). My husband reads the read-alouds in the evening and does a good job of censoring when necessary. But I may rely on the shorter version of the biographies in YWAM's Young Reader Series (the ones written in prose, that are shorter, condensed versions). Then for read aloud, we'll substitute in Laura Ingalls Wilder or chapter books from the Book Basket list (we loved "Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill")
For art we made the Huichol Yarn Art, Pinata, and Mexican tissue paper flowers, and they were all great successes. My tips for the Pinata - we didn't have liquid starch so I used a paste made of one part flour two parts water and it worked great. Covered the balloon about 2.5 times, then painted after drying. Loved it. I tried taping the balloon down, as was suggested in the book, but when I had to move the tape the balloon popped. On second attempt we tied it to the kitchen light and that was much better for working and drying. Something else about the paper flowers, we also made smaller versions that seemed a bit more manageable... instead of 6 sheets of tissue we used 4, and instead of cutting the accordion in half, we cut it into thirds. Something you might want to try.
Being advantaged that we are located in San Antonio, we took a field trip to El Mercado - the Mexican market in downtown San Antonio. If you are nearby or can plan a trip, make sure you include the market. It went along especially nicely with the book basket book "Saturday Market."
Regarding book basket books, for Kalman's non-fiction books on Mexico, I put a sticky note on each for my daughter to focus on looking at the photos and reading their captions, rather than trying to read through all the text. Where there are pages with content not appropriate for my Highly Sensitive Child (like skeletons and day of the dead things), I paper clip them together and she understands not to look at them. We loved many of the other books, such as Nine Days til Christmas, Erandi's Braids
, Treasure Nap
, Hill of Fire
, Desert Song, Desert Giant
, and A Desert Year
For our Mexican Fiesta I picked up a plastic red and green tablecloth at Hobby Lobby, along with a centerpiece decoration and some Fiesta plastic cups. I picked up a family sized order of fajitas from our favorite Mexican restaurant and we ate at home surrounded by our paper flowers while listening to Mariachi music. The girls had such a fun time, and I didn't even know if we'd be able to have a Fiesta (I only planned it the day before since I am past 40 weeks pregnant right now!). We finished up our Fiesta with the pinata. All this to say, don't worry about how elaborate your Fiesta is - your kids don't read the message board and see all the different options. We didn't make the homemade tortillas because I didn't want to make something with shortening or lard or whatever the heart-stopping ingredient was. They had a piece of candy from the pinata. Even though we eat great Mexican food once every week or two, having it at home with decorations and music made it special, and I didn't have to cook a thing!
Everything else about the curriculum and the country study has been great. We've even done math drill while tossing a ball back and forth or even swinging in the backyard. It has made math drill a favorite!
San Antonio, TX
MFW 1st, ADV, and ECC currently
Daughters 7 and 4