(1) Date stamper was fun
I got an inexpensive date stamper & stamp pad for a more "official" passport. Of course, this wasn't used a lot, but it was inexpensive & kinda fun.
(2) Sticker book even for 8th grader
For my 8th grader, the sticker book turned out to be more educational than I expected. I remember one week, ds said, "Mom, do you know how many circle flags there are in the world!" I know MFW had to change sticker book versions several times as a book was reprinted, but ours wasn't just a plunk-it-down type of sticker activity, since the stickers weren't alphabetical or by region. He had to really observe all the flags.
(3) Current events - Top Story (World News Teen)
My 8th grader seemed to take a step up in reading the current events. Previously, I had wanted to go over the various points of view with him, but this year he seemed able to see these on his own.
(4) Current events - New York Times
I then had the bright idea of introducing him to current events in a less "sheltered" format, so on a whim I picked up an issue of the New York Times at the grocery store. I showed him how the news was divided into International, National, and New York (local). We talked about some of the headlines and he read the international news. The result? While I was glad to introduce him to this once, I did not want to use that resource more than that in 8th grade. He was kind of overwhelmed by all the violence and politics and such. We finally chose one of the tiny news blurbs for his current events page -- "Dalai Lama Tweets"
Apparently the Dalai held a twitter conversation about Tibet on 5/21/10, and we got a kick out of that.
(5) Book basket extras:
- Mission: God at Work, Faith In Action
hosted by Steve Saint and Dianne Becker
This DVD is a set of episodes recorded from a previous Christian TV series. There are missions for most continents. (There are 24 segments, but some of those are combined into one episode.) There are good ones about the Saint family and other Ecuador missionaries, which could add to the Nate Saint story in ECC, as well as other very moving projects.
that one of the South American stories (Brazil) has content more suitable for older kids, but it was very moving for my 14 year old to see these modern-day gals dedicating their lives to saving young people from life on the street.
(And I have to mention that this video is far more engaging than the more well-known one I used with my older dd, called Unreached People Groups.)
I liked this so much
that I'll list the episodes by continent, in case someone else is able to use this:
N. & Central America: episodes 4, 12, 14, 15, 23
S. America: 2, 3, 18, 19 (mature topic)
Africa: 5, 9, 11, 22
Asia: 8, 16, 17, 20, 24(Muslim)
General: 6/7 (or watch with #5), 10, 13 (or S. America), 21
- Geography, Realms Regions and Concepts, 8th ed.
by Blij & Muller
For some extra reading for mom & lots of maps to show ds, I wanted to find a geography "textbook." I just looked through the ones available at my favorite used bookstores & chose this one. I didn't read all of it, but it was acceptable to me (didn't focus on evolution, wasn't afraid to show problems in other cultures besides the USA, didn't show lots of nudity). We enjoyed looking over some really interesting maps and details.
(c) Book series
- Travel Through ...
Published by Teacher Created Resources, 2004
This series is similar to other series listed for ECC book basket, such as Count Your Way Through ... and A Ticket To ...
We really like this sort of series, with good details but not overwhelming. The Travel Through series is slightly too busy for my taste but we felt it adds some more modern info
such as popular foods or current modes of transportation, but also includes long-standing info such as interesting geography.
They are listed for grades 3-12, but inside says ages 7-11. Each has 32 pages, and many ECC countries are included. Here are the options:
Travel Through: America
Travel Through: Australia
Travel Through: Brazil
Travel Through: France
Travel Through: India
Travel Through: Japan
Travel Through: Russia
(6) Interesting links -
If you want to change up the country report questions once in a while, I think there are interesting questions (about the weather, money, etc) that could be used:
- Current Weather, Relative Humidity, Wind
- Sunrise, Sunset
- What is the money conversion from your country's to the US dollar?
- Total area, Land area, Water area
- What are the bordering countries?
- Elevation Extremes. What is the highest elevation point? What is the lowest point?
- Name a National Holiday that isn't celebrated in the USA or is not celebrated at the same date.
From a linked worksheet that's no longer functioning, which also had resource links for answering those questions:
(see "click here and print out the worksheet" and answers can be found in the links when you click on "resources")