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Chinese New Year Enrichment Ideas

Enrichment encompasses lessons that are not only challenging, but are also new and different from everyday tasks. While it would be wonderful to challenge our homeschoolers every day with cooking classes and architecture lessons,life dictates a much more traditional curriculum. Even so, Chinese New Year lends itself to many enriching lesson ideas to explore with your homeschooler.

Cooking lessons are a fantastic way to review measurement concepts, reinforce following directions and have fun! Traditionally, "Long-Life Noodles" are a dish eaten on the new year to promote good health for the coming year. Challenge your homeschooler to help you create a dish of these lucky noodles, following the basic recipe below. While the long noodle idea remains a base ingredient, feel free to vary the vegetables and maybe add protein. Chinese broccoli, bok choy, carrots, tofu, chicken, and beef are viable options to add to the dish. Maybe your homeschooler can create a unique version of this lucky meal!

Ingredients Needed:
1 pound of soba, rice, or any other long noodle (cooked)
3 green onions,chopped
1 and 1/2 cups of snow peas
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup baby corn
1 cup bamboo shoots
1 cup water chestnuts
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger
2 Tbsps.soy sauce (use low sodium if preferred)
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 lime, orange or lemon to zest
*Add any additional ingredients to customize this dish

1. Place the cooked noodles into large mixing bowl.
2. Dice all vegetables and cooked meats and add to the noodles. (Pre-cook the vegetables to al dente)
3. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut butter to the mix of noodles and vegetables, etc. Transfer this to a large saute pan and heat gently until thoroughly heated.
4. Use the zest of the lime, lemon or other citrus to flavor the pasta dish before serving.
*Serves 6-8 people

Another enriching topic for study is the Chinese language itself. Rosetta Stone offers a comprehensive and complete set for learning Mandarin Chinese as a second language. For younger homeschoolers "Learn Chinese With Me" is a great beginning to the language lessons, and it includes audio cds as well. Often, an interest in a country and it's traditions, culture, etc, provides the motivation for a child to learn a new language.

If you have a Math whiz on your hands then take some time out to study "The Mathematics of the Chinese Calendar". From reading and writing Chinese characters and Pinyin using Unicode to student projects on this concept, this informative website is a can't miss. Find the web address at the end of this page!

Whether you choose to enrich your homeschooler's lessons through cultural, language, or culinary means, you are sure to enjoy learning right alongside them!


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