We had so much fun studying France! I've always been in love with Europe, and the prospect of studying this beautiful country excited me as much as the kids. We studied the language, climate, geography, culture, music, and art of France. This included a study of Claude Monet (though there are so many famous French artists we could have chosen). We also took a look at french cuisine and cooking as an "art". We also learned some french language, listened to traditional french music, baked goodies, and learned about the famous cave paintings in Lascaux.
What a breath-taking country full of live and culture! If you ask our children where they want to go, I will guarantee at least one of them will say, "France!". I know we experienced that wonderful french "Joie de vivre" while studying and learning together as a family.
As an 'introduction' to France, we read several books about France and learned about the culture of going to the market on a daily basis. Many Parisians buy fresh bread (baguettes) every single day and often stop in at the local "cafe". We decided it would be fun to take a trip to our local town bakery to buy some fresh bread and sit down for some coffee and goodies.
|Love the old building our bakery is in....|
|How can you not love this ambiance?|
|Mmmm... fresh pastries!|
Another french tradition - Tarte Aux Pommes (Apple Pie)! We enjoyed an afternoon of baking. We discussed how the French consider cooking and baking an "art". We use the recipe from "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World" and it is fail-proof. Delicious!
|Our masterpiece - I thought the kids did a GREAT job!|
|The finished product... hubby said it was the "best pie he's ever tasted". *wink*|
We studied french artist, Claude Monet by reading through this lovely living book. "Linnea in Monet's Garden" takes young readers into the world of Monet and his art. Great option for Charlotte Mason-style educator's who prefer living books to books that read like a text.
We also used Famous Artists and The First Book of Art as resources.
Monet art project - learning to paint with oil paints and acrylics. I showed the children a copy of one of Monet's most famous paintings of water lilies. They attempted to copy his Impressionism techniques.
Berry Picking... another french tradition. We took a look at the history of the cave paintings in Lascaux and decided to do a craft to replicate the paintings. This included searching for vibrant berries to make "traditional" dies and paints.
|Paper bags stuffed with newspaper, stapled shut, then painted with a mixture of sand and glue.|
|When the paper bags dry, they look like rocks.|
|Mixing the dark dirt, and berries we found and creating really interesting paints!|
|Our finished "natural" rock (cave) paintings.|
One thing I really wanted to do for our study of France, was have a traditional-style French meal. We decided to cook roasted chicken, vegetables, potatoes, and croissants. We made the croissants from scratch, and it was a TON of work. It was fun for the kids to see and better understand how yeast works with flour!
|The finished meal, served in a traditional french style - all laid out on the table.|
Literary study and read-aloud - The Family Under the Bridge. This is part of our Core A Sonlight reading list and made for a wonderful France-centered family read-aloud. This is a heart-warming novel/story about a homeless man who finds a family in the most unusual way!
|Audrey's finished painting of "Water Lilies" by Monet|
We used Homeschool Share for many of the lapbook printouts!
The Better Mom