October 2, 2008

Helen Keller

Yep, we're on another subject. We started the new school year planning to study the whole wide world...but we've stalled in a little town of Tuscumbia, AL, otherwise known as the birthplace of Helen Keller.

We're reading through Margaret Davidson's book, Helen Keller, and using resources such as Through Her Eyes and Miracle Worker and whatever else the county library shelves have to accentuate our learning.

I assigned our first project today, a timeline of her life. I recently posted about our timeline cards the girls create, and now we are continuing the line. So we start with HK as a baby in 1880, but we also added in cards from other authors whose works we are reading right now. Kenna is charged with putting the important dates of Helen's inspirational life on our timeline.

Every morning at breakfast I read from the Little House on the Prairie series. Currently we are half-way through On the Banks of Plum Creek, where 8-year-old Laura lives with her family in a dugout. The real Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1857, and had a daughter in 1886, so her life over laps Helen's life. Pretty nifty, don't you think? Cayli volunteered to follow Laura's life on our timeline.

In the evenings, the girls are awe-struck by the Chronicles of Narnia, as read by their daddy. He's wrapping of the final book in the 7-book series, but Mabry is fascinated by all creations of C.S. Lewis. So she gets to document his life. Amazingly he was born in 1898 and died in 1963 (the same day as President Kennedy, for all you history buffs). So he roamed the earth, albeit on another continent, at the same time as Helen and Laura.

I will make cards for all the historical dates: WW1, the Great Depression, WW2, etc to put this all into perspective for the girls. I'll post pictures once their timeline masterpiece takes some shape.

In the meantime, we explored our senses today. I blindfolded each girl, spun them around, and told them to find our piano. It took a bit of time, as the darkness frustrated them as they walked into chairs and tripped over Micah's clutter. But what a great sampling of those who live without sight daily!

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