Sunday, February 27, 2011

D Is For Dutch

Hello in Dutch:
Daag or geode day (dawg or gude dawg)

We are participating in the Christian Home School Hub's Passport to the World journey. This week, we're exploring the Netherlands and Dutch. We watched a video from Royal Netherlands Embassy called "Netherlands Cultural Overview" and we also read about Rembrandt. Below are some interesting facts we've learned about the Netherlands and Dutch and some useful links that different homeschool families share at .

Interesting Facts:
  • "The Netherlands" and "Holland" are often used to describe the same country.
  • One quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level.
  • On average, the Dutch are the tallest people in Europe.
  • Although Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, the government meets in The Hague.
  • There are twice as many bikes as cars in the Netherlands.
  • In an area of the Netherlands called Friesland, there are as many cows as people.
  • There are 206 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh in Amsterdam.
  • The Netherlands' highest point is 321 metres above sea level, and is officially called a "mountain":)!
  • The Netherlands has the highest population density in the world--over 400 people per sq km.
  • Rotterdam is the world's largest port.
  • Madurodam, known as "the smallest town in the world" was built in 1952. Everything there is built on a scale of 1:25.
  • Some of the best-known Dutch painters are Frans Hals (1580-1666), Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Johannes van der Meer (called Jan Vermeer) (1632-1675), Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Piet Mondrian, Jan Steen, and Karel Appel.
  • The CD was invented in the Netherlands by the Dutch electronics company, Philips, in 1982.
  • Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) invented the microscope. He built at least 500 of them, with copper or silver plates and lenses that he made himself. He also discovered bacteria.
  • Orange is the Netherlands' national color. In 1813, at the end of the French occupation (1795–1813), William I of the House of Orange-Nassau accepted the throne and became the first Dutch king.
  • The Netherlands is famous for its several thousand varieties of tulips. Tulips were originally introduced from Turkey in the 16th century.

    Useful Links:
Zich Amuseren - 'Have Fun' in Dutch!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Backyard Birdcount 2011

This year, my 12 yo birdlover participated in the Great Backyard Birdcount from Feb. 18-21. Here is the list of the birds he observed during those 4 days.

2-18-11: 4 Spotted Towhees
               1 Song Sparrow

2-19-11: 1 Golden Crowned Kinglet
              1 White Breasted Nuthatch
              1 Red Breasted Nuthatch
              1 Chestnut Backed Chickadee
              2 Black Capped Chickadee
              2 Downy Woodpecker
              1 Brown Creeper
              6 Dark-eyed Junco

2-20-11: 1 Red Breasted Nuthatch
               6 Dark-eyed Junco
               3 Black Capped Chickadee
               1 Chestnut Backed Chickadee
               1 Song Sparrow
               3 Spotted Towhees

2-21-11: 3 Black Capped Chickadee
               1 Red Breasted Nuthatch
               9 Dark-eyed Junco
               1 Western Scrub Jay
               1 Song Sparrow
               2 Chestnut Backed Chickadee
               3 Spotted Towhees

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Photo Hunt: Education

It's time for a weekly PhotoHunt hosted at This week's theme is Education.

"Educating our children includes more than arithmetic and spelling; it includes building character.  No educational pursuit can replace the deep need for a generation of children to be brought up first in the ‘nurture and admonition’ of the Lord." ~Rick Williamson 

We home-educate our children. We’re Christ-centered, Bible-based, mission-minded, family-bonding, character-building, & life-long learning homeschoolers.  We cherish our togetherness; we enjoy learning and growing together as the Lord leads us.

Our kids learn at their own pace. They are free to explore and dig deep in the topics they're interested in.
We had some of our kids' works displayed at our local public library.

Lots of books and lots of educational posters :)
We are relaxed homeschoolers...can you tell :)?
Learning math while having at its best :)

Speaking of education, please check out my daughter's video below. It's her entry to the 2011 College Plus! Scholarship Video Essay Contest.

Friday, February 11, 2011

B Is For Bengali

We are participating in the Christian Home School Hub's Passport to the World journey. This second week, we're exploring Bangladesh (Bengali is its official language). Below are some basic info. and interesting facts we've learned about Bangladesh and some useful links that different homeschool families share at .

Hello in Bengali: Nomoskar (no mo scar)

Basic Info.
Capital: Dhaka
Population: About 147 million people
Language: Bangla (also called Bengali)
Religion: About 85% Muslim, 12% Hindu, and less than 1% Christian. Bangladesh has the 4th largest Muslim population in the world.

Interesting Facts
  • Bangladesh is about the same size as the state of Illinois.
  • About 1/3 of Bangladeshi people are younger than 15 years old.
  • Rickshaws are a common type of transportation.
  • Kabaddi (from a Hindi word meaning "holding breath") is the national sport. The object of the game is to tag players without taking a breath and to avoid being tagged. Children also play cricket, field hockey, and soccer.
  • Elementary school for ages 6-11 is mandatory and free. Schools average 59 students per one teacher.
  • One of the most common foods that Bangladeshi eat is fish.
  • The Bengal tiger is a national symbol of this country known as "The Land of the Bengal Tiger."
  • Because flooding is common, many homes are built on stilts, and roads are built up higher than ground level.
  • Shemai or sweet vermicelli is a popular Bangladeshi dessert.
  • In Bangladesh, people eat with their hands.
  • Bangladesh is the world's largest producer of jute, a fibrous substance used in making burlap, sacks, mats, rope and twine, and carpet backing.
  • The largest hailstone recorded fell on April 14, 1986 in Bangladesh weighing 1kg (2.25lbs). The hailstorm reportedly killed 92 people.
Useful Websites
Did you know that Bangladesh is one of the wettest countries in the world? There are 3 types of natural disasters that usually take place each year in Bangladesh: drought during summer, flooding during the rainy season, and cold spells (when the winds from the Himalayan Mountains blow down). Some people in Bangladesh do not have clean drinking water. Sometimes Muslims will not let Christians drink water from clean wells because some Muslims believe that if a Christian drinks the water, it makes the water unclean. Please pray for Christians in Bangladesh who have to walk miles to get muddy water from a pond or river every time they need water.
ee-SHOH-rayr GOW-rohb hohk! (Praise the Lord! in Bengali)
Accha (Goodbye in Bengali)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Passport to the World

I'd like to invite you to join me and other homeschool families in the Christian Home School Hub's Passport to the World journey! For 26 weeks, we will be traveling to 26 destinations around the world by following Craig Froman's newly published book, Passport to the World, which is an A to Z guided language tour. Each week of this fun and educational journey, one traveler will win a copy of Passport to the WorldEach week, a 'ticket' will be displayed on the Christian Home School Hub's site showing the week's destination. We are to find and share as many educational websites, activities, crafts, recipes, worksheets, etc. as we can about each destination.

We will be traveling to the following destinations and beside each (in parentheses) are the languages highlighted in Passport to the World.
1. Armenia (Armenian)
2. Bangladesh (Bengali)
3. United States (Cherokee)
4. Netherlands (Dutch)
5. Australia (English)
6. France (French)
7. Germany (German)
8. Israel (Hebrew)
9. Iceland (Icelandic)
10. Japan (Japanese)
11. South Korea (Korean)
12. Lithuania (Lithuanian)
13. China (Mandarin)
14. Norway (Norwegian)
15. India (Oriya)
16. Afghanistan (Pashto)
17. Bolivia (Quechua)
18. Russia (Russian)
19. Mexico (Spanish)
20. Turkey (Turkish)
21. Ukraine (Ukrainian)
22. Vietnam (Vietnamese)
23. United Kingdom (Welsh)
24. South Africa (Xhosa)
25. Nigeria (Yoruba)
26. Swaziland (Zulu)

I love studying geography, people groups, languages, and cultures so I'm really excited about learning along with my kids through this journey. To download your free Passport to the World Activity Pages and to learn more about the journey's details, visit