Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sadako and the Paper Cranes

A couple days after finishing Homeless Bird we picked up a My Father's World recommended book called Sadako and the Paper Cranes. This was a small chapter book that we started and finished all within about 45 minutes. The girls would not let me put it down.

Sadako and the Paper Cranes is set in Japan and is a touching story about a young girl who has leukemia from fallout from the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. This is the story of her belief in a tradition that says if a sick person folds 1,000 origami paper cranes they will become well. It is a simple story that is an easy read (I believe the grade level on this book is 2nd-6th grade) and made me shed a few tears at the end.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Writing in Chinese

We finished talking about China last week and to finish it off I was able to find a website that would take your name and print it out in Chinese. What fun! So I entered all the girls names and they were able to try their hand at printing their name in Chinese characters.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homeless Bird

Last week we finished another read aloud. The book we read, which is a National Book Award recipient, was called "Homeless Bird" by Gloria Whelan. We started reading this book while we were studying India. WONDERFUL book. I wondered if it was going to be too "old" for the younger children but they both enjoyed it.

This book is just loaded with true facts about the Indian culture and if you have daughters it will give them a pretty honest look at what life as a Brahamin girl would look like. Kohly is just 13 when her marriage is arranged and she is forced to become married to Hari. As if marrying at the age of 13 is not enough, she must reside with the groom's family and shortly discovers that her husband is very sickly. Hari is so sick that Koly is quickly made a widow and must continue living with his family. Eventually her father in law passes away making her "Sass" a widow as well. The two widows travel together to live with the brother of Sass. During their travels they must stop in the city of Vrindavan, the city of widows, where Koly is left alone on the streets.

This book is a sweet story of hardship, relationship conflicts, achievement and perseverance. There was only one small part of the book (literally 2 pages at most) that I chose to skip over. Koly gets mixed up with a girl who does drugs. Although my 11 year old would be at the age to hear about a topic like that, my 7 year old and 5 year old are not, so I just omitted it and it did not alter the story for them.

All of my girls liked this book, as did their mom! While searching for a photo for this entry I discovered a site about the author, Gloria Whelan, which provides information about the inspiration of the story and factual information that would be useful if you have no knowledge about the Indian customs. In addition, I discovered a free study guide for the book. Of course I discovered it AFTER we completed the book.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Salt Water Experiment - Hmmm...

One thing I have really enjoyed about home schooling is how much I am learning along with the girls. We are currently edging our way into talking about ocean ecosystems. We started by talking about the differences between salt water and fresh water.

For example, I guess I didn't realize that things float easier in salt water than fresh water. We did an experiment which had us trying to float an egg in salt water and also in fresh water. Here the girls are counting out tablespoons of salt and adding it to one of our bowls of water.
After filling up our bowl of saltwater, we were to take an egg and place one egg in our saltwater and one egg in our freshwater to see if salt water is indeed dense enough to float an egg. And what do you know? It worked. The girls were really impressed by this! The white bowl was our freshwater and the egg sunk right to the bottom. The silver bowl was our saltwater and the egg just kept bobbing around, never sinking completely to the bottom.
We were able to talk about experiments and how you need to make everything exactly the same (or as close as you can) for an experiment to work. Sissy thought maybe the egg in the freshwater bowl was just heavier than the one in the fresh water bowl. When she realized that was not the case, she thought this was a really neat experiment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exciting News For The Flint, Michigan Area!

I'm so excited to share something with you! Since early last fall I have been working with a few other ladies in the community to get a Christian girls scouting troop started in our area. Currently the nearest one is an hours drive away.

Our oldest has been in Girl Scouts for the last 4 years, but since some leadership training that I took part in a few years ago, I have been reluctantly allowing her to continue attending. There were several things said at the training meeting that made it very clear that the Girl Scouts of today is NOT the Girl Scouts of days gone by. There are some VERY non-Christian themes running through and this was something that made me very unsure of her participation. Since I knew her leader and expressed my fears, she was allowed to remain.

Now the younger girls are ready for scouting and have been desiring a scouting troop of their own. Rather than allow them to join a troop, after much prayer, and God placing the right people in my path, it has been decided that we need to bring the girls Christian scouting group, American Heritage Girls to our area.

We will be having an informational meeting at Bristol Road Church of Christ, in Flint, Michigan on Tuesday, April 6th at 6:30. If you are local to our area and interested, we would LOVE to have you join us! It just so happens that all of the adults on the board are home schooling mamas!

For the last two years I have committed myself to saying "no" to extra leadership opportunities in any area. I have really felt that I needed to find our groove with home schooling and I needed to try to keep my life as stress free as I could. I guess God has decided that that 2 year "break" is over as I transition as the coordinator for American Heritage Girls Troop 3130.