Homeschooling: Russia, Tigers, and the Lunar New Year

We have been quite busy around here, learning about Russian folk tales and traditions, tigers, and the Lunar New Year. It love when we can combine subjects and learning, and we have also started adding in more geography and map reading, etc.

I haven’t posted about our homeschooling for a few weeks; I think we last left off at the very beginning, with Peter and the Wolf (which Wyatt still loves and plays at least once a day). We moved on to other stories, Good Night, Wind which is Yiddish, The Snow Child, and The Littlest Matryoshka. The Littlest Matryoshka is not actually a folk tale but I wanted to read Wyatt a story that introduced the Russian nesting dolls to him and that story was just so cute. More on that in a minute. I loved his reactions to these stories, to our retellings using our storytelling basket, and his answers to the journal question for each story.

Of the three stories, Wyatt liked The Littlest Matryoshka the best. I ended up reading it to him a few times that week before it went back to the library, and I agree, it was a lovely little story. When I asked him what design his matryoshka would be if he were a toymaker, he told me without hesitation that his would look like owls. So of course, I was on a mission to find him a set of owl nesting dolls. I told one of my friends and she sent me a link to a plain wooden set, and suggested that we make our own, since we love a project in this house. At first I was like no way – but after a bit I decided that was a fantastic idea. So over the snowy weekend, Wyatt, Billy, and I painted a set of owl nesting dolls for Wyatt.

I assisted Wyatt with the two largest, Billy took on the two smallest, and I did the middle one. This was a really fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon together!

I honestly really loved our art project that accompanied Good Night, Wind. With Wyatt’s cerebral palsy we are always working on fine motor skills, and cutting is so hard for us. First just for him, because his right hand has a difficult time holding on to the paper while “lefty” cuts, and for me because I am right-handed trying to help him cut with his left. It is always interesting. Anyway, the images for the book are stunning, made from cut paper and turned into colorful collages that have such movement. I decided we were going to make a collage too, inspired by the book, using the cut paper technique to give Wyatt some extra practice cutting.

I think it turned out super cute!

We also studied tigers – because of both the Year of the Tiger and Siberian tigers, of course. We also read How to Catch a Dragon, a picture book about the Chinese New Year, and learned that Wyatt was born in the Year of the Sheep, while Billy and I are both Year of the Rabbit.

Wyatt particularly liked the mask.

This was the end of journey through this area of the world for now! Our curriculum has us going to Scotland next, then I think Vietnam after that. We are certainly “world travelers” this year.

Books Read:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

The Snow Child by Freya Littledale || The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss || How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace || Good Night Wind by Linda Elovitz Marshall

Resource Round Up:

(Links to printables, videos, and extra materials used)

Tiger Mini Unit – Life with Moot Moot

Welcome to Russia Lapbook Unit

Matryoshka dolls

Chinese New Year printables

Let’s Go Luna episodes Season 1 episodes 3 and 4 (Moscow); Dragon Dance episode


7 thoughts on “Homeschooling: Russia, Tigers, and the Lunar New Year

  1. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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