Monday, September 13, 2010

The Wheel on the School

Last week, Hannah and I finished the first chapter book we worked on together - The Wheel on the School by Miendert DeJong. What a lovely book! We both fell in love with it from the very first page. Lina, the main character, is so sweet and thoughtful and full of dreams. She reminds me very much of my Hannah!

At first, the book focuses only on the school children and their teacher, as they are the only "important" characters in the story. But gradually, more and more characters become "important" until the list includes the whole town and even some people in adjacent towns: the oldest man and woman, the young tots, the fathers, the women, the poor tin man, and even the once-outcast legless man with a cherry tree in his back yard. By the end of the book, everyone has come together to make Lina's "impossibly impossible" dream a reality.

Last Friday, Josh surprised Ben by taking him away for the weekend to a Virginia Tech football game with all of the guys on that side of the family. Since I didn't have to plan any school work for Ben that day, I decided to spend the whole day with Hannah working on a project to wrap up our reading of the book. I planned to do three lapbooks - one on the book, one on the Netherlands, and one on storks. In advance, I found a few printables from, and I designed a few booklets myself. Using some non-fiction books from the library about the Netherlands and storks, Hannah and I planned out the rest of the ideas. She did most of the writing, though I wrote the titles on each item and the tiny labels on the timeline. I also filled in the main character list, when her hand became tired. Of course, she helped me by listing characters and describing the main events. Once we finished assembling the lapbooks, Hannah decorated the cover of each one. I am absolutely amazed at how they turned out!

The cover for the book lapbook:

The inside of the book lapbook:

The cover of the Netherlands lapbook:

The inside of the Netherlands lapbook:

The cover of the stork lapbook:

The inside of the stork lapbook:

In addition, during play time yesterday, I noticed that Hannah had used her Legos to build a replica of the village of Shora. The little girl even has on a pair of wooden shoes!

Amazingly, Hannah has nearly finished reading the entire book for a second time on her own! The reading level is fairly challenging, but she loves the story so much that she does not mind. This is one reason why we opted to homeschool this year. Last year, school exhausted her so much that she never wanted to read on her own anymore. She seemed to have lost her love of reading. Obviously, that love returned once we provided a more restful and academically stimulating school environment. I am very excited by how this project turned out, and I am already considering our next one when we finish our new chapter book. I love how much fun learning can be - for my kids and for me!


Amanda said...

As a fellow teacher, former homeschooler, lover of reading, and aspiring mom, your blg made me SMILE :)

Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

What aN amazing day. I just loved the Lego too. Youknow they have learned when it becomes part of their play

Keeper of the Zoo said...

Thanks! Her excitement made ME smile. :-)

Julie said...

What great lapbooks! We are about to read this book, and your ideas have inspired me greatly. Thanks!

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