Wednesday, April 30, 2014

{journal jam} register for a different summer


Capturing glimpses into your child's soul is maybe the most cherished aspects of creative writing and journaling with your children.

This summer, my newest lab, Journal Jam, will help you create a daily practice of exploring, communicating and jamming as a family.

For 3 full months, you will receive daily prompts that are adaptable for all ages (from verbal pre-writers to high schoolers)

Our secret FB group will become a community to share and motivate each other.

And to make it extra fun, I have created 2 mini e-books just for you (on running a kid's book club + creating a film club). By feeding our minds with great literature, art and film, we can fully support a holistic cultural literacy. I tell you everything I know about watching movies and reading books with kids and offer some great lists of resources.

I am also creating my first zine! This will be rubber cemented and photocopied just like the ones you might have made as an angsty 15 year old. The only difference is I am an angsty 40 year old! My summer manifesto zine will have lots of good ideas, recipes and just a dose of irreverence.

Finally, most Mama Scout Labs have some sort of merit badge involved. Not this lab - you guys get THREE badges to use for yourself or for your kids. In your welcome pack, you will receive a reading, sleeping, and travel badge!

And of course, I will have weekly giveaways - because that is something I love to do.

I am so excited for this lab!

I think I create and lead the labs I need most, and I am definitely as excited about working with my kids this summer as I am with YOU!

We are going to create something real and memorable.

You will always remember this summer, sitting at the table, writing and talking with your kids about serious things, silly notions and big what if's? You will create a binder or box full of secrets hopes, memories and audacious scribblings.

This is simple, slow and true.

I'll meet you at the kitchen table.

Register here.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

{book club} Inside Out & Back Again


We recently read Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai for my local homeschool book club. My goal for this book group is to expose the kids to stories of brave and heroic children from around the world in stories based on true life events (with a fantasy novel thrown in every now and then).

This novel is written in short, precise poetry like prose. The protagonist Ha, recounts her life in Vietnam with her mother and brother, their frightening escape and subsequent settling in Alabama (where even more adventure awaits). 

Based on the author's real ice experience of fleeing Vietnam, we were immediately drawn in to the story and read through quickly. 




Both in my family and in the club meeting we talked about what it might be like to be a refugee, what we knew about the Vietnam War, the foods that are etched in our memories, and how we would tolerate the type of bullying Ha put up with. We located Vietnam on the map, watched documentaries about the current life of Vietnamese children and learned more about the war and our family connections to it. 

Ha longed for fresh papaya and in her honor we ate one as a group. My kids were given papaya seedling from a friend which they planted in the back yard. We also bought and tried dried papaya which figures in a disappointing episode of the story.

My family took a field trip to the Vietnamese enclave in Orlando and spent time browsing the ethnic grocery store and having a Vietnamese lunch with noodles, pickled lemonade and bubble tea. 



We love reading novels together and find them to be a major source of learning and inspiration. Literature forms a substantial base of our homeschooling and learning together. The characters and their stories become like close friends to us and we find ourselves referring back to them often, as well as making really interesting connections between all the characters we have known. 

Does your family read aloud? What are some of your recent favorite books?

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