Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm in Love!

I have been looking forward to the Florida Parent's Education Association Convention next week, and in preparation have been doing lots of research. I want to know before hand what I plan on purchasing for curriculum and check around for the best deal. I have been considering more of a living books style learning for Eli next year and found a couple possibilities. One was Beautiful Feet books for history and geography. They aren't cheap, so when a fellow homeschooler put her sets up for sale at half price, I snatched them right up! I'm SO glad I did and consider it my best purchase of the year!

As soon as I got home, I pulled out the geography set. I figured if Elijah wanted, he could begin it right away. I knew he wouldn't want to begin the history just yet, so I set that aside. I read the first chapter of the first book, Paddle to the Sea. I nearly cried as I read it! Stupid, I know, but I knew I was on to something! The setting for this story written in 1941, is the Great Lakes. I knew that this would be a book that Eli wouldn't want me to stop reading to him once I began. Then I opened the tube of maps that came with the set. They are the most beautiful maps I have ever seen! Heavy, parchment-like paper, beautifully illustrated, bordered and BIG! As we go through the book, he will fill in details with colored pencils. They are "frame and hang on the wall" quality maps! And, there is a map for each book! All four books (John Newbery Medal books) with this set are by the same author and are beautifully illustrated. After reading the first chapter about an Indian boy who carves out an Indian in a canoe to float from his home on Lake Nipigon, north of Lake Superior with the goal of letting the Indian "Paddle to the Sea" I read it aloud to Rob to get his opinion. His jaw dropped! He grabbed the book out of my hands and looked through it quickly. He said when he was a boy in Alaska, they watched a movie (film, at that time) on this story and he has never forgotten it!

I decided to google the title of the book to see if there might be a copy of the film floating around somewhere. Would you believe I found a link where you can watch the movie and read the book as well? Click HERE to see for yourself. (after you click on the book, keep clicking on it to turn the pages) You can also find the movie broken into 3 parts on You Tube. It's a forgotten classic! Apparently, children watched this movie when they studied The Great Lakes in school as part of their curriculum. So, YES! I'm in love with this set and can't WAIT to watch Elijah's notebook and maps take shape over the next year with both of these series!

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