Around the World With the ArvaMonts

World Schooling

England Wales Russia Finland Estonia France Switzerland Germany Austria Hungary Slovakia Czech Republic The Netherlands Italy Spain Gibraltar Morocco Sudan Kenya Tanzania UnitedArabEmerites Egypt Turkey Greece Jordan India Thailand Cambodia Vietnam Japan China Hong Kong Indonesia Australia NewZealand FrenchPolynesia RapaNui Chile Peru Bolivia Ecuador



[Anika's Books]
[Tasha's Books]

Both children will be attending to their studies while we are underway.  ArvaMont World School commences on June 11th, 2007.  (Poor students!  Not summer vacation at all!  World School has vacations at other times!)

What are they studying? 



Anika’s Selected Books 

Tasha’s Selected Books 



Social Studies 

Foreign Language 

Computers and Computer Science 






The intent is to keep the mathematical mind working.  Obviously, each student will have a different objective and a different approach.


Anika’s math instruction will consist of 4 components: 

  1. She will complete a purchased curriculum for 5th grade math.  Singapore Math has been chosen.  Singapore Math uses more traditional math approaches than Everyday Math, which can be characterized as “New Math.”  Consequently, both the Level 4 and Level 5 curricula have been purchased. 

  2. We will purchase the study guides sold at Madison School for 4th and 5th grade math.  These we will use as a guide to ensure that we have covered everything that needs to be covered before reentering Madison School.

  3. We will read The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzenberger, using this as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of numbers.  Additionally, we will play a computer game of the same name, which is based upon the book.

  4. We will practice multiplication, division, addition and subtraction facts regularly.  To aid with this we will use    



Tasha’s math instruction will consist of 3 components:

  1. Tasha will complete the Thinkwell college algebra and the Thinkwell trigonometry courses.

  2. Tasha will begin to work through The Art of Problem Solving text. 

  3. Tasha will review elementary calculus using the Teaching Company Introduction to Calculus course.


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A selection of literature related to each of the places we are planning on visiting is being prepared for each student. Ideally, many of these titles would be available as e-books, although this was not found to be the case.  Instead, books have been staged and shipped as well as bought locally.  Each of these will be discussed or written about. 

Anika’s Selected Books


Tasha’s Selected Books


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Writing is a vital skill that needs to be continually practiced to stay fresh.  The students will engage in several forms of writing:  journaling, creative writing, nonfiction writing and literature studies.  They will journal daily, recording our daily activities and other minutia.  They will also complete a weekly World Schooling Journal entry, commenting on educational tasks completed and plans for the next several weeks.  While both students will be engaged in creative writing endeavors, Anika will probably do most of her writing in this area, which covers both prose and poetry.  Tasha will be doing a bit of technical writing to document her learning in science and possibly mathematics and social studies. Anika will complete some technical pieces as well.  Both children will write book reports for each assigned book they read. 


In order to sustain their writing, a writing tutor has been engaged through  


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The focus of science will be on those aspects that can be explored while traveling:  earth science and biology.  We will be visiting many wildlife refuges, learning about many of the world’s animals and their ecology.  We will also see many different land forms and habitats. 


Earth Science Topics


We will look into Earth Science beginning with: Planet Earth: An Introduction to Earth Sciences by Roger N. Anderson of Columbia University ( and the Planet Earth BBC documentary:  Topics to be covered include:


·        Astronomy

o  Earth’s Motions

o  Solar System

o  Deep Space

o  The Moon

·        Geology

o  Plate tectonics

§         Pangaea

§         Earthquakes

§         Volcanoes

§         Geysers and other geothermal phenomenon

o  Rocks & Minerals

o  Weathering & Erosion

o  Climate

o  Weather

§         Tornados

§         Hurricanes

§         El Niño/La Niña

o  Water

§         Rivers, formation and maturation, water falls

§         Lakes

§         Oceans and tides

§         Glaciers, and their movements, including fjords

·        Ecology


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Animal Studies


On each continent the student will select an animal, or a class of animals to study in detail and prepare a report about.  Reports may take the form of written work, PowerPoint presentations or web presentations. 



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Additional Science Topics


Additionally, we will read about those aspects of science covered at Madison School in the 4th grade.  These topics will be reviewed, though not studied in detail.


Tasha has expressed a keen interest in learning Chemistry.  She will work through Thinkwell’s introductory chemistry course.  The book The Periodic Kingdom by P.W. Atkins will provide a lighthearted introduction to chemistry. 


Tasha will continue her study of physics, completing three Teaching Company courses:  Particle Physics for the Non-physicist, Joy of Science, Relativity and the Quantum Revolution.  At the conclusion of each of these courses Tasha will document her learning in the form of a paper. 


Visit CERN – Tasha to write up what she learns.


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Social Studies


Timeline of our destinations


Record each historic site visited on the World School Historic Timeline.  This should provide some perspective, demonstrating relative age of such places as the Ludwig II castles in Germany versus the castles ruins in Wales, or the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, the Pantheon, etc.  It will provide an appreciation of how long ago things happened relative to one another.


History Stories


In each historic destination, choose a story to research and tell.  The stories can be written, on PowerPoint or prepared for the web. The following stories are candidates:


1)      The myth of King Arthur and the knights of the round table

2)      The story of the Russian revolution

                                                               i.      From the Tsarist perspective

                                                             ii.      From the communist perspective

3)      The French revolution

4)      Causes and effects of World War II

5)      The Cold War in real life

6)      The Roman Empire

7)      The Spread of Islam

8)      The history of Egyptian Pharaohs (first dynasties through Romans)

9)      The stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey

10)  Greek mythology

11)  The story of Mahatma Gandhi

12)  Hindu stories

13)  Akbar and Mogul Rule in India

14)  The Silk Road

15) The dynasties of China

16)  Dreamtime stories

17)  The builders of Machu Picchu

18)  The HMS Beagle Trip and the significance of the Galapagos Islands


Texts to be determined locally.


ArvaMont Burgernomics Study

Every year the Economist conducts a study it calls burgernomics using McDonald's Big Mac as its benchmark to determine the buying power of different currencies around the world.  This gave us a great idea for Anika.  As we travel she is to try a McDonald's cheeseburger in as many countries as possible, and then compare the costs and the quality of them.  This is a great way for her to understand currency conversions and to develop cultural sensitivity.  With the dollar in serious flux over the course of our trip, she can see the immediate effect on her buying power.  She has observed how McDonalds has coped with doing business in India, where cows are considered holy and eating beef is a complete taboo, or Morocco where foods must be halal.  Here we will divulge her findings! 

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Foreign Language


Local Languages


Learn the very basic vocabulary in each country we visit.  Please and thank you, where’s the bathroom and what’s for dinner.  Complete the local languages template for each language encountered.  This template is attached as Appendix A




The students will be learning elementary German using Rosetta Stone, an English-German dictionary and a grammar guide – German – Quickly by April Wilson.  (The required grammar and vocabulary to complete for German I is documented in C:\Documents and Settings\Newenka\My Documents\Around the World Planning\World Schooling\German.) 


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Computers and Computer Science


Computer Tools


Both students will enhance their familiarity with the PC and the most common PC tools.  This means that they will practice their typing skills and will use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and FrontPage. 


Computer Science


A fundamental understanding of computer programming is sought.  For Anika this will consist of understanding the constructs of a programming language using the new MIT Scratch program, downloaded from  Tasha will begin there, and then learn Visual Basic.  She will use Wiley Pathways’ Introduction to Programming using Visual Basic.


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Tasha will continue to pursue Trumpet, using a pocket-sized instrument.  Her goal is to maintain her ability in order to make it into the IMSA band program. 


Anika will study recorder.  Tasha will act as her teacher. 




Photography will be the primary art form taught and practiced. 


Anika will focus on capturing the photo and telling a story through photography, as well as rudimentary Photoshop.  Tasha will also learn the technical details of her camera and use of these features to capture the right image and the details of using Photoshop to create a masterpiece. 



Physical Education


No formal physical education course is planned.  Fitness will be maintained through hiking and walking, playing Frisbee and soccer. 


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Last modified: 06/13/08