Friday, September 05, 2008

American Girl Study Week 2

A month or so ago, I decided to toss what I had planned for Social Studies this year. We were scheduled to resume Winter Promise's Sea and Sky. As much as I like Winter Promise, I felt this program was geared to boys. I may do it down the road with Sebastian. I have a friend in Florida (Susie) that mentioned she was doing an American Girl co-op class. Then a friend here in SC said she was doing a class on American Girl with her two daughters. That got my mind thinking. Savannah is going to be 10 next month. My time to do little girl things with her is probably limited in some ways. I do think what we are learning is great for somewhat older kids too. I just decided that I wanted to do the "fun stuff" with Savannah before she hits middle school. I say she is a 5th grader, but technically by her age, she would be in 4th grade. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have put her the year ahead. Not because she is not ready for 5th grade, but because her childhood is short enough without advancing her grade. Anyway, that is a whole 'nuther post. So, I figured out I wanted to do "something" with American Girl. The question was what. There is a prepared curriculum for American Girl, but I really didn't want to spend the $$$ on it. I decided to check out 3 books on each American Girl from the library. For instance - we are studying Kirsten. I got Welcome to Kirsten's World, Kirsten's Cookbook and Kirsten's Craft Book. The Welcome book reminds me of a DK book with lots of pictures explaining different things that happened in that time. Then the cookbook and craft book have projects that were from her time period. I decided to let them choose some recipes and a couple of crafts. Basically we read several sections of the Welcome To book and then work on a craft or recipe. I also want to incorporate lapbooking into this. My friend, Susie, sent me this site that has free American Girl lapbook templates. I haven't quite got this all worked out in my head, but I know it will come together. I know we are going to use the recipe pockets, types of house, and compare and contrast templates. I need to figure out what else we will add to the lapbook. Savannah is also reading the 6 book series on each girl as her reading assignments. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I can tell you that so far - I think this is working out great! We are having so much fun and they are learning. When they finished the rolls last night, they told Tim all the details of what they learned. Then they headed over to Aunt Karen and Aunt Jennifer and went through it all again. Finally, they went over to Keith and Crystal and the kids. I was so proud of them! They retained so much of the information... way more than I expected! I am so excited about this year, that I am already thinking about next year. I would love to do a geography study in a similar way with recipes and crafts. I think it would be so fun to learn about different cultures that way! Oh and if you are reading this and you have a boy... I think this would still work well for boys. You may have to take the recipes and crafts OUT of the book, so they didn't see the cover. The basics of cooking and handy work are really still a great way for boys to learn. The Welcome to Kirsten's World book does not really focus on her as a girl. It just focuses on the way life was lived back then. Obviously, they would not want to read the readers, but they could still learn plenty without them. Karis is doing a different reading program and still getting a lot out of this. I don't know where the future will lead me, but I can see myself doing this study with Sebastian. Timmy loved to cook and make things, so I hope Sebastian will be similar in some way. It is so much fun! Next up, I will post about their St. Lucia rolls and what they learned about them.

This wasn't in the craft book, but I found these foam log cabin kits. They were actually for a fishing cabin, but we just didn't put the "Gone Fishing" sign on them!
Too cute!

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