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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Year 3 Celebration of Learning

I think this was our favorite end of year celebration yet!  We studied Antarctica, Australia, and the Pacific Islands this year.  You can read more about our mini celebrations and presentations here.  The children prepared reports on a Pacific island so we chose to dress up and make food that went along with their choices.  We invited twice as many people this year so I was nervous about having enough food and getting everything ready, but I think it went alright.  There was even a surprise at the end!

We moved our garden and chicken yard a bit so we didn't have as much fence to hang our displays on.  But we made it work!  It was windy as usual, so the kids taped a lot of items down to the tables.


On the menu:
Kalua pork, pineapple haupia, spam fried rice, poisson crue (tuna ceviche), tropical fruit salad, pumpkin po'e, Pavlova, pineapple & papaya coctail, kiwi salsa, sweet potatoes
Fortunately a lot of foods from the islands are similar!  We did try to go with a couple of specifics though.

I had a great idea this year to buy a portable microphone and speaker set.  This made it easier to hear the children.

E presented on Easter Island.  The history of this island is very interesting!  She wore a simple white shirt because white clothing is significant on her island.

They dressed up in costumes from their islands and since my son picked Hawaii, we gave each guest a lei.  The kids wore fancy leis with flowers and shells.  We found this great shirt for him to wear.

They did so good on their reports!  They were more prepared this year.  We practiced them daily for the past week and a half, and during that time the children fine tuned their presentations.

M's report was on New Zealand.  Her clothing is a very simple kapa haka costume that she and I made with the help of a couple of tutorials found on Pinterest.  The headband and shirt design is felt, she safety-pinned the design on her shirt.  The fabric we chose for the skirt ended up having too much cotton and the strips didn't curl like we hoped.  Tip - use a polyester knit for the skirt and you'll probably have better luck!

Her word study was on dance.  One day she mentioned, "Wouldn't it be cool if we did the haka?"  The others kind of laughed and said no way.  I used my Jedi mind tricks and waved my hand and said "YOU WILL DO THE HAKA..."  Just kidding, I tried to convince them but they said no.  So I bribed them.  This Ka Mate Haka performance cost me $20.  But watching them learn it and perform it was SO worth it!  They decided to keep it a secret from everyone, including daddy!  That was almost hard, because little N would run around the house chanting the Haka...  One day daddy said "You should do the haka."  They laughed and said that would be too difficult.  ;)

Thanks to 3 different YouTube videos (pronunciation, kindergarten, and missionary) we put this little performance together.  Did you know it's tricky for kids to remember to do the actions, chant, stomp, AND make scary faces?  They did awesome though!!  This video is a second performance, I recorded it on my camcorder during the celebration and didn't want to try and split the entire video.

Did you see the cute pineapple shirt on little N?!  Even funner, now she can lead the Haka!  She treated us to this the next day.

Every year we do this we have so much fun.  This year the kids talked about it far in advance, I think some of them had a hard time falling asleep the night before.  It's safe to say this has become a wonderful family tradition (which is what E's word study was on!).

Reflections on our School Year 2016


  1. Thank you for posting this! We will be doing year 3 next year and it's so fun to see what can be done with work and planning and preparation. (Beginning with the end in mind!) Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. The shadows on the canvases looks awesome!

    The food was delicious. :)

    And N's haka is adorable!!! I love that she randomly pulls a face in the middle out of nowhere. Priceless.

  3. Love the way you put the fun in learning about a new place and it's history. Also, inviting others to partake is priceless addition to homeschooling.