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Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New Year: A Multicultural Learning Idiom.

Boy had the opportunity to attend the Chinese New Year Celebration and to sleep overnight at a trusted friend’s house.

Eager to capture the teachable moment, Boy and I had a look to see which animal is represented in the 2007 Chinese New Year calendar: it is the year of the Pig. Boy was happy to also discover that he was born in the year of the Pig (1995). This new knowledge appeared to provide Boy a framework of specialness to the celebration and some dissonance to explain why his bedroom remains such a mess..."It's a pig sty," he exclaimed. "I'm a pig, what do you expect."

However…Boy is also on a current obsession about guns. While shopping, I spotted a book about the history of military guns. I purchased it as a sure fire way to get Boy to read.

Off he went to the friends house with his treasured book under his arm. The friend’s mother later reported that the book was a huge hit with her three sons as well and that when they all attended Chinese New Year celebrations the boys seemed to forget the book: they all eagerly collected as many wooden chopsticks as they could.

When again home, the four boys became creative with the chopsticks: no, not for the eating but for the gun making!!!! The boy’s created elaborate rubber band guns based on pictures in the book and used nothing but chopsticks and rubber bands.

Hardly my idea of a peace loving, multicultural learning experience but at least Boy got out of the house, lost himself in a book and learnt something about Chinese New Year. Three home school goals met.

Today at our home school by the pool, I’m going to explain to Boy the idiom, “To kill a pig.” I can only hope that within an acceptable amount of time, he will stop pointing his chopstick gun at imaginary animals while he announces, “Sweet and sour pork for tea!"

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This blog is no longer kept. I am instead blogging only to Imaginif Child Protection became Serious Business