Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Galloping the Globe

We've been doing all sorts of fun things! Last week Isabella finished a story that she had been working on for almost a month! We sent the finished product off the a Reading Rainbow contest. She had brainstormed every element of the story, wrote it, and revised it to fit in the number of words for the contest and then she did some amazing illustrations. I am so proud of her hard work. Her story was called "The Tale of the Hummingbird" and it was about a hummingbird who got chased by a cat in a garden. She illustrated it by doing paper piecing for the background and drawing each character. Nothing is complete without a little glitter of course so we added some of that too. Just before we were ready to mail everything out, Isaac decided to write and illustrate a story too! His was called "Chugger and Grumpy" and was about a train and a motorcycle. Here are samples of the finished products. Bella's story...

and Isaac's.

Contest winners or not, they both did award winning work in my opinion.

We had a wonderful weekend, my niece Natalie spent a few nights, my college roommate Becky and her husband Jesse visited with their two beautiful children, Jack and Ella (but I forgot to get the camera out :( too busy catching up!) We went to a spaghetti dinner to support the missionaries to Africa that go to our church. It tied in beautifully with our study of Africa! It's a small way to help but lots of smalls put together makes a big! They raised over $1000.00 and split it between two groups, Africa Connect and Operation Nehemiah.

This week we took a short break from Africa on Monday morning and turned our attention to Japan. Our homeschooling group has a "Travel Day" once a month and families come together and take turns "bringing" us to different places. This month we "traveled" to Japan thanks to Wendy (and Nancy because she lets us come and trash her house every month). There were 35 people in attendance, 28 of whom were kids (or teens). So much for unsocialized homeschoolers! We had a blast. Isabella made an origami Samurai hat and all three kids made paper stuffed fish (which they love and haven't stopped playing with). We also ate sticky rice and seaweed with chopsticks! After, we took Ziah home with us for lunch and took a trip to the library. It was a pretty busy day overall. Hard to believe we packed all of our regular school lessons and a mini snowstorm in there too!

Today it was back to Africa. This week we are focusing on Morocco and African arts. Yesterday we learned a bit about music in Africa and today we learned how to play Kigogo (or Mancala). Bella and Hannah got the hang of it quick and Isabella challenged (and beat) me and her daddy too.

We also worked on making beaded bracelets in pretty patterns like the women of the South African Ndele tribe. At first it was just Isabella and Hannah working hard at their craft but soon Isaac and Ian came to join as well! I was amazed at what a great job everyone did. Isabella and Hannah made wonderful color choices and created some really beautiful pieces. Isaac also did a great job trying out patterns and Ian demonstrated amazing focus as he filled up his entire string with beads! They were all proud of their beautiful work and I am too, of course.

As we study Morocco I am planning to create my first lapbook on my own. I have done a few now and have gotten most of them for free from Homeschoolshare so I am trying to make one of my own to contribute to their site. Surprisingly I am just in time for a curriculum drive contest that they are having. It's going to be a lot of work but I am so thankful for all of the people who have put together the ones we've used so far, I am compelled to give back. Hopefully I will have it done before we are done with our Africa study lol.

So it snowed on Monday and we traveled to Japan and today it was 60 with thunderstorms as we traveled to Africa...I wonder what tomorrow will bring in the Berkshires...I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

You and your children are amazing!!

Love, Mallory

Gishtu said...

You guys have so much fun haha
Hannah gave me one of the bracelets she made, the green one with stars. I showed all my friends at school haha