Last week, I announced the new challenge that I'll be taking on for 2017. I am inviting everyone to take a journey with me across the world, to learn about different people and places and to become more globally aware world citizens.
To keep track of your progress, download this 11x17 printable. Print it and hang it on your wall as a great reminder and motivator. If you prefer everything digital, its perfect for you too. You can type directly in the file and add your progress.
Enter the name of each country on the top line next to the red number marker. As you complete each challenge, check off the box and write a note on the line (book name, movie name, favorite song you found, etc.) Use stickers or a marker to mark each country on the world map at the top.
I decided to use numbers rather than Months because I didn't want you to get discouraged and give up if you miss one (that is the number 1 reason I give up on stuff!) Even finishing 6 in a year will be a great accomplishment!
I've almost got my list finalized, which I will be sharing with you soon!
If you have been following the blog at all this year, you know we have been deep in the trenches of the 2016 Reading Challege from Tim Challies. This has been a huge stretch for me, maybe not so much for Luke, but I have read more books in the past year than in the past 5 years, at least, combined! Maybe because I love traveling so much, I have most enjoyed all of the places and cultures and histories that I explored. I've read about events that I thought I understood, only to have a new perspective teach me that maybe I am not as wise as I thought.
This year, many of you may have also felt in the trenches of political drama, racial tension, social divides and stereotyped misunderstandings. Honestly, I have avoided most of it, being abroad for the entirety of 2016. But it has even reached here and its been humbling for me to hear so much commentary on my own country's problems from outsiders. It has reminded me, as traveling often has, of how steeped my identity is in the place and people that birthed me. I have a deep desire for other people to understand where I came from, not just where I am now. And I think to give that gift of understanding to others is priceless.
So... for 2017, I challenge you to take a journey with me. We are going to journey across the globe and explore people and cultures that are 100% foreign territory to us. We are going to learn about their past, live in their present and dream about their future. We are going to explore their arts and their language, taste their foods and then share what we've learned. Here's the rules :
FIRST Pick One Country per Month :
Each country should ideally be one that you have never visited, and know very little about. I'm going to space mine equally among the continents (except North America, of course!) If you know there is a large community of immigrants from a specific place in your area, I would encourage you to start there.
SECOND, Each Month :
----> Read a Non-fiction Book about their History
----> Read a Fiction Book by a Native Author
----> Watch a Movie produced in Country
(In some cases this may be impossible, in which you can find a Hollywood movie that features the country)
----> Listen to their Music
----> Follow their Current News for the whole Month
(If you are using an app like Flipboard, its easy to add a specific country to your news feed).
----> Try their Food via Cooking or an Authentic Restaurant
----> Learn 5 Words or Phrases from their Mother Tongue
THIRD, Share :
I'll be sharing each month's travel plans and learnings on my blog. I would also encourage you to share your progress on your blog or via social media. You can use the hash tag #2017TravelbytheBook to connect. Maybe we can also inspire others to explore far off lands and distant (or no-so-distant) peoples.
In the next couple of weeks, I'll be coming out with more details, resources, ideas and printables for keeping track of your progress. Once I finalize my country itinerary, I'll be packing my Christmas list with some new books. What about you?
Are you ready to go?
Here are the lyrics to our favorite letter i rhymes!
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again
I is for Iguana
Iguana starts with letter I,
Iguana starts with Letter I,
/i/ /i/ /i/ /i/
(To the tune of London Bridge. I like this much better than the Jolly Phonics i song. I adapted it from here, but changed it to Iguana. When you say the /i/ sound, shreek and scrunch your shoulders and nose! )
When I read books to my kids, I try to replace as many words as I can with ones that they have already learned, or will be learning in the coming weeks. In "The Big Itch", you will find both of the words itch and scratch, but just stick with itch. You also may want to refer to George as Monkey, or begin the book by explaining that the monkey's name is George.
You can also explore these great letter i videos.
What is an Igloo? - I love this one especially because none of my kids actually know what an Igloo is (we live in the tropics!) Also, it is made by a small boy, so they can relate well.
Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Letter i
The letter i coloring sheet will help you reinforce the letter i vocabulary words with your students. Interact with them while they are coloring, and repeat the words often. The Igloo coloring sheet will help them recognize the capital and lowercase characters for the letter i.
Download the preschool letter i worksheets and letter i vocabulary flashcards to use for personal and educational purposes. Do not sell them or offer them as your own. Please give proper credit wherever you use them.
The flashcards are formatted for A4 and can be printed back to back, cut and laminated. There is a color and a black and white version in case you want to save on printing costs and do the coloring yourself.
Wow, November was just crazy! Amidst all of the political frenzy and social divides, I think it would be a good idea for all of us to read more. Read more books about history and the mistakes of the past, read more about other countries that are foreign, but maybe next-door to us. This challenge has definitely pushed us in that direction and we have learned alot through it. Tim Challies recently posted the reading list for 2017. If you didn't participate this year, you should think about doing it next year. I have my own 2017 churning in my brain, so more about that later. For now, here is our November list. We need to read 11 books in December and we are DONE!
The Book Theif by Markus Zusak (Book About WW2) - I have read several books about WW2 this year. This one stood out. I really loved the way it was written, from the narration of "Death". This was unique and brilliant. I loved and hated the fact that Death gave a lot of spoilers. It kind of prepped you, and I think I breated a sigh of relief after each chapter that my favorite characters were still breathing. I was almost dreading the end, fearing something gruesome and cruelly tragic. But it ended much more simply, peacefully and gracefully. This was pure mercy on the author's part, because by the end of the book you really loved the characters. I will definitely seek out other things written by this author.
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Book Based on a True Story) - I tried reading this to the kids, but they found it really boring. My city slickers just can't relate to farm life and it was hard to visual a lot of terms they didn't know without illustrations. But I was already invested in it so I finished it off. I actually really enjoyed reading about the Mom and how innovative she was with every single resource. There is certainly a beauty there which I feel we are lacking.
Justification by Jared Wilson (Book Targeted at the Other Gender) - This was definitely not a huge insight into men, but it was helpful in thinking about the common struggles, and I think Wilson was talking to specifically to men. Although anyone in any capacity could find beneficial principles. I left with a deeper gratitude for the faithful men who have impacted me and my family.
Revival by Martin Lloyd Jones (Book About Revival) - This was a series of sermons commemorating the 100th anniversary of the revivals in 1859. I am not very familiar with that time period, so it made me curious to do some further reading there. The biggest take away for me was the challenge to not be content with the status quo in my own life. He stressed that revival is about renewal inside first, that will flow outside. It is not a dramatic campaign. It is more challenging of a read, but I was able to easily understand his main points even if I got lost in some of the details.
A Complete Guide to Delivery by Al Fasol (Book About Public Speaking) - I was hoping this book would be really helpful but it fell short of my expectations. It is mainly basic common sense things. The things that I did take away might actually do more harm than good, as I am maybe too overly concious of them now. You could get it as a gift for someone who is a terrible public speaker and doesn't realize it :)
Broken Vows by John Greco (Book About Marriage) - It was a helpful book to be able to look at how God used divorce in the life of the author to grow him and draw him closer to God. Though he admits how terrible it was, he was able to rejoice at how God had used it. The highlight was Chapter 3: What shall I answer? which struck a helpful balance of being both understanding to divorcees yet not treating them as victims.
The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough
(A Book by David McCullough) - Having known nothing about the Panama Canal previous to reading the book, it was incredibly enlightening. Seeing the hard work and patriotism that went into the building was striking. People going to work on it pretty much knew they would probably die, but saw themselves as soldiers in a war fighting for their nation's pride and legacy. The importance of it is overshadowed today by air travel. I liked how McCullough focused on the politics and comman man stories as opposed to intricate details about the technology and process of the construction.
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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