Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jesse Owens

I've just realized I've been avoiding posting on the "week in review" because our history projects this year haven't been as photogenic as our projects last year. We've still been learning, and I really like Homeschool in the Woods. All the same, Sweetling's main project has been writing articles for a newspaper (which doesn't lend itself to a photograph....unless I get her to dress up as an intrepid reporter). Likewise, Toa of Boy has been working on the components of a lap book, again, not the most exciting thing to photograph.

And without photos, just saying "this week we learned about some of the famous people who became between 1870 and the break out of WW2," just doesn't make for an interesting blog post.

But, it does when I tell it in a story like this.

Our lesson last week was a huge smattering of famous Americans from the Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression. As always, I popped the Time Traveler disc into the Media Center PC which is hooked up to the big flat screen in the living room. We read the lesson, and as we were reading, we'd pause and do google searches on the people and topics we were reading about. We pulled up photos of P.T. Barnum, of Jumbo, and Tom Thumb. We pulled up photos of Buffalo Bill and Anne Oakley.  We listened to "The Entertainer", to "Stars and Stripes Forever", and to a few famous hymn written during this time. We watched the Fantasia 2000 segment of Rhapsody in Blue as well as a silent film of Harry Houdini performing a rope escape. We read about Helen Keller, Jesse Owens, Charles Lindbergh, and Amelia Earhart--people who did what others claimed couldn't be done.

The next day, Sweetling churned out another page of newspaper articles and Toa of Boy put together a fan book of many of these famous people. The day after that, Toa of Boy added five fact cards to his 100 cool things about America, choosing 5 of these famous people to highlight. Sweetling added an advertisement for The Greatest Show on Earth to her newspaper.

And I didn't write up a week in review because I didn't have any pictures to make our learning look interesting. And somehow, I thought we weren't doing as many cool projects and learning activities as we had done last year.

Then Sunday night at church, the kids were asked to name some people who were truly great. The nearly all boys group came up with Michael Jordan and another basketball player whose name I'd butcher if I tried to recall it.

And then Toa of Boy raised his hand and said, "Jesse Owens." And then he proceeded to give a brief reason of why Jesse Owens was truly great.

I had this "aha" moment where I realized, wow, we really are learning cool things this year after all!

Yeah, I know, I'm slow like that.

Jesse Owens, I am not.

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