More Festival, China Plans, School Curriculum

1 Timothy 4:12 (King James Version) 12. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


Star and Da attended a backstage tour at the Shakespeare festival.  The tour was led by “Martha” from the recent production of The Secret Garden.  She was one of our favorite characters, and so Star was thrilled, but I have to say that it was not our favorite production this year!  On the tour were able to see backstage of the Randall L. Jones Theatre and the Adams Shakespearean Theatre and were shown the sets for The Secret Garden, Private Lives and Foxfire.  They learned about the creation and care of costumes, the possible origins of the “green room,”  and that the festival used 500 miles of thread for costumes this year!  ;o)  They also learned that all the flowers planted at the university are flowers that are mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.   Star was in heaven, of course, and I am fit to be tied that Da forgot to take the camera!

The latest About China

We have been researching our options in China and things are moving along.  It seems however that the more we look into our options, the more road blocks pop up, but so far we have been able to over come them all!

Today we heard back from our friend Amanda and we were right.  We are not going to be able rent an apartment in China without her help.  She has offered to help us though, and so we are still plowing ahead as planned.

We have also read online that we can get 90 day visas, but they have to be requested specifically.  If all else fails in that regard, we will take two trips to Hong Kong to renew our Visas at 30 and 60 days and may even visit Disney Land!

We are saving like mad to pay for plane tickets for 6 people, a years rent in advance (that is how its done in China), travelers insurance and for furniture purchases!   We have a running list of needs that we are checking off slowly, but I’m sure we’ll be ready when the time comes!

The saddest part of all this is that we’ll miss the homecoming of our Ye Ye and Nai Nai in July of 2010!  They have been on a Mission for the LDS church in Mexico City and left in January of 2009.  Because of Da’s school schedule the only time we can go to China is June, July and August.  So, we are also saving like mad to make a trip to visit them at their home in  Hawai`i around September or October of 2010.  No more eating out or movies in theaters for this family!

School planning

I have our schedule for the fall nearly finished.  We are going heavy on writing, grammar and math this year.  We will still have reading assignments in history and science and we will continue our Chinese language studies.  We have found that having a teacher for a second language is an incredible help!  (If you can find and afford a language pre-school, I highly recommend doing so!)

Here is the break down of our curriculum choices for the older girls:

Scripture Study: Doctrine and Covenants and Church History

Math: Saxon Math (Schedule by Donna Young at

Writing: The Institute for Excellence in Writing

Grammar: Easy Grammar and English from the Roots Up Flashcards, Vol. 2

Spelling & CursiveSpell to Write and Read

History: We are finishing up our study of the history of America reading by about January should start on our study of Chinese history after that.   The books that I am using at the moment are:

Geography: Mapping the World by Heart

Science: Apologia

  • This year the two older girls are splitting up for the first time.  Star will continue working through the elementary grade books and Xuxu will begin with General Science.
  • We are going to attempt self study on these, and will judge their understanding based on their answers to the questions at the back of the book.  They will also continue the use of vocabulary books and memorization.

Chinese: Fluenz Mandarin 1+2 and Better Chinese

Xuxu’s Special Interest: Xuxu has decided that her special interest this year is going to be music.  (I hoped that she would choose photoshop, but she didn’t! Oh well!)  We found a copy of The Golden Encyclopedia of Music and this will be her main text.  She will also be using some of the resources we already own: Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! and Meet the Great Composers Book 1 & 2 (Learning Link)

Star’s Special Interest: Star has chosen poetry as her special interest this year.  We have purchased a copy of  Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization from The Institute of Excellence in Writing.  (We made the purchase after borrowing a copy from our friend Ginger and decided that it would fit the bill!)  She also wants to delve into Shakespeare even more and so I am researching materials for her age level.   She has already read every single book from the Shakespeare Can Be Fun series, and she is now reading daily from Tales From Shakespeare.

I have on order the following:

Here are the curriculum choices for the little girls:

Scripture Study: Doctrine and Covenants Stories

Math: Saxon Math

Spelling/Writing: Spell to Write and Read and Cursive First

Reading: Sonlight literature pack 1 & 2

Out Loud Reading: Sonlight K

Chinese: Better Chinese

Special Interests: Right now Pie’s interests include every thing “Fancy Nancy,”  blowing bubbles and building forts.   Mouse’s interests include  tea parties, horses and playing with her best friend David!  ;o)

Other items of interest:

Music: I have arranged a trade with our Violin/Viola teacher.  She will be teaching Violin/Xuxu, Viola/Mouse and Violin/Pie in trade for three swimming lessons for her kids each week.  She has 3 kids and I will teach them along with Pie and Mouse.  Xuxu and Mouse will also attend group Suzuki lessons at the university each week.

Xuxu and Star will continue with their current piano teachers and Xuxu will also start teaching Mouse and Pie.   (I hope to also resume learning the piano, if I an find the time!  ;o)

Physical Education: Star and Xuxu are back on the swim team and work out one hour a day.   Hopefully we will have Mouse join the team sometime this year.    Pie and Mouse are getting their exercise in the pool three times a week during lessons, and considering the amount of running around and climbing that they do on our visits to the playground, I believe they are getting sufficient amounts of exercise!

For the rest of the summer

Both Xuxu and Star will be returning to their acting class for the next two weeks.    Xuxu has girls camp this coming week, and then we have a swim meet and another play over the weekend.   Da has his final exams on August 13th, so we are trying not to schedule too much in the interum.  (He is studying for his certificate in TESOL at BYU.)  We will take a long weekend after Da’s exams and enjoy spending time with him, and then the following week we will dive into our fall schedule.

3 Responses

  1. Ginger says:

    Busy-Busy–but it’s so rewarding. I’m glad you like the Excellence resources.

  2. Angela says:

    This schedule looks great- I have been working hard at ours. I just got your text we were swimming all day and I didn’t check my phone- Can I give you a call tomorrow morning?

    Also, on the donna site for saxon where are the schedules- I want to use that for 6/5

  3. gloria says:

    Thanks for sharing your curricula choices. Sounds like you have an “eccletic” combination of sources. Good stuff.
    I have heard good things about Apologia science. I need to look into them.

    I also need to visit your blog more often! I did not know you were in the planning stage of living in China!!!
    I am so excited for you!
    I hope it all works out. 🙂
    You know how I feel about living abroad. 🙂