Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Learning about Madagascar

 In a previous post, I mentioned that Buttercup and I had gone to Michael's Store for a free crafting event. We had so much fun that we went back another day and tried out a new theme. This time the theme was Madagascar and Buttercup got to make two different mini craft projects. One was the flag of Madagascar and the other was a gecko made with pipe cleaners.

The Flag of Madagascar.

These projects led to an interest in Madagascar. Buttercup and I knew pretty much nothing about Madagascar, except for what we had seen in the animated film. So really not much at all!

Now, let me tell you that we finished school in early June and my plan was to have summer break except for reading books and some light math. I really felt we both needed a break to relax and just have fun.

Well, lo and behold, without realizing it, we are doing some "school" even in summer. How did this happen? Well, the truth is I have become an expert at finding teaching/learning opportunities in our normal day to day. I have to tell you that I'm not trying to find these opportunities. Believe me, I desperately need a break.  But they happen and I jump on these chances because Buttercup has no idea she is doing school work or learning. That's the best part. She is exploring an interest and having fun.

This Madagascar craft project led us on a mission to learn what we could about this island country. I also took this opportunity to teach Buttercup to do research on the internet, something I've wanted to teach her but hadn't gotten around to it.

Buttercup doing research!

I came up with a small list of questions that she would have to research and find the answers.
The questions were simple:
  • Where is Madagascar?
  • What is the name of the capital?
  • What is Madagascar's population?
  • What is the official language?
  • What is the climate in Madagascar?
I helped her with the first question, we found the answer and she wrote it down. She then tried to Google the rest of the questions on her own. She did a great job for a first timer! I was with her the whole time just to make sure she didn't need help and if she did I was right there.

After answering those questions, we read a little bit about Madagascar on . This site has very good information for kids, in language kids can understand.

The Indri Lemur.
We came across a few vocabulary words that were new, so we talked about them.

  • Endemic
  • Extinction
  • Mammal
  • Deforestation
  • Habitat Destruction
I'm happy to say that Buttercup has a very good understanding of what "endemic" means. Impressive for a 6 year old (in my humble opinion, of course!).

We printed out tons of pictures of animals that are endemic to Madagascar and had fun reading about them. Some of the animals we read about were the Lemur, the Golden Mantella (a frog),  the Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher and the Marsh Owl.

Making our poster board about Madagascar.
Done! Lots of great information.

Are you finding it hard to NOT homeschool during the summer? Or do you homeschool year round anyway? If you do, how do you fit in breaks and vacation?

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!


  1. Very cool! I love when one thing leads to another like that and the kids WANT to know more!

  2. Hi...I found you on the blog linkup for the weekend. We homeschool year round as well, though less in the summer months...I am following you via email link on your blog. Please follow back at

    1. Thanks Analisa,

      On my way over to your blog! I love meeting other bloggers and finding new blogs!

  3. It's really a pleasure to encounter such a blog that talks about our beautiful island, Madagascar.