Monday, October 12, 2009

Let the Traveling Begin.....

It is time to unveil one of our new favorite homeschool discoveries/activities........Flat Travelers. Birthed out of the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown about a young boy who gets squished flat in the night when his big cork bulletin board falls on him, the adventures that follow are what started the Flat Stanley Project. The adventures of these traveling 'flats' have become a wonderful way for the homeschool community to exchange information as kids around the world learn about other places by exchanging 'flats' with other homeschoolers. I found a Yahoo Group for Homeschoolers that was our starting point in this adventure and we have been enjoying it ever since. The idea is to exchange or swap 'flats' with other families who will host your 'flat' while theirs visits you. During the visit which usually lasts 1-2 weeks you take your visiting 'flat' with you as you go through your activities and capture in pictures the things you do with your guest, ideally visiting things unique to your area's geography and history. We have 'Flat Fred' visiting this week from the Yukon and I wish the rain would stop long enough for me to get some pictures of Flat Fred in some Alabama Red Clay - right now it's all mud!! If anyone knows where I can get a shot in some kudzu without a long drive by all means let me know ;-) Yesterday we make a quick trip over to Scottsboro, AL to get a letterbox hidden in the cemetery behind the almost world famous Unclaimed Baggage store (which incidentally is closed on Sunday) and took Flat Fred along for the ride - don't you just love his mohawk ? ;-)

Welcome to the Alabama Fred - where local Christian families spend beautiful Sunday afternoons searching for hidden stuff in grave yards....poor Fred will never be the same - then again he comes from a homeschool household too so it is likely he will understand ;-) When the time comes to send the your visitor back home, the flat is packed up with photos (which can also be emailed if you prefer), goodies from the area - brochures, post cards, magazine, anything of interest and any other kind of fun you wish to include - this part is not necessary - but what kid will not enjoy a little treat from a new friend far away. I am trying to come up with some kind of candy/sweet that says Alabama - no thoughts on that so far - again if you have one please let me know!! Yesterday afternoon we spent about an hour making some new flats to prepare to send out - take a look and see if you can guess who made each one. Now all we have to do is get a logbook ready to send with each one and someone to volunteer to exchange with us and we'll be ready for a new flat traveling adventure!!

One final word on this - you obviously do not have to be homeschoolers to participate in this - you don't even have to have kids - it's just plain fun regardless of age or educational preference - we highly recommend it and by the way - it's a great accompaniment to letterboxing too!! Does it really get any better than that I ask you??

In this house it seems more and more that it is all about the adventures.....stay tuned - there will be more !!

Learning as I go,


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