One of the BIG highlights of last week was our homeschool bookclub. This month we read AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS and my uber-talented friend, Lisa, was the host.
The leader of this little club, Kelli, made that precious LOVE banner hanging from the fireplace.
She actually mounted the letters and made the dangly hearts out of MAPS to fit the occasion. You know well my great affection for seasonal paper banners, so of course I was totally impressed and knew this was going to be an amazing party the moment I saw this. :-)
Now, here's what you need to know about my friend, Lisa. (That's her with Hayden.) In her pre-kid life she was a special events coordinator. She does nothing on a small scale, and she breathes new life into the title "party planner". Lisa's entire life is a party. At Christmas time, she let Emma stand at the base of her (ginormous) tree and throw entire fist fulls of fake snow at it. Lisa knows how to make anything fun. Especially book club at Valentine's Day.
There were decorations everywhere. Ev-e-ry-Where. Oh, and wrapped gifts for every kid in the club.
Her dining room was the main "setting" for our story.
Clever details at every turn. All the places from the book represented with fashion and flair.
The kids felt SO honored and worthy and special.
No detail is too small for Lisa to overlook. She invested hours in preparing for this.
Lunch was an ethnic extravaganza. I'm not sure which Mom planned the menu, but we all brought foods to represent the different countries and cities in the book.
England: cucumber bites with garlic herb dressing, and breakfast tea
China: egg rolls, rice pudding, and fortune cookies
French: mini quiches
India: Nan with chutney and cream cheese
New York: Pizza!
Omaha: bbq sandwiches
San Francisco: Ghiradelli chocolates
These are the lucky readers. Quite an exceptional group of kiddos who continue to amaze and delight me every time I'm near them. Some of the nicest (and smartest!) kids I've ever met.
Then, of course, here are the ones dutifully assigning chapters and faithfully reading out loud to their kids. Or at least checking the book out from the library during a super busy month and leaving it on her son's nightstand hoping for the best. (Blush.)
Each kid got a passport to keep track of our journey together.
The kids rotated between two teaching groups. In the first, we discussed Jules Vern and the significant literary elements of the story.
Then, we switched group and focused on culture and geography.
Kathy is an extraordinary teacher. She packed a bag of surprises for every country with trinkets and fun foods to represent each place in the story. Watching her teach was like watching a master in motion, and the kids traced the route on a big map as she spoke. I honestly don't know how she juggled gathering Eiffel tower statues and wooden elephants and fighting swords from Oman. She's a tricky girl, that one, and the kids had a ball watching her.
It was a special day in every regard. We are new to this club, and it is by far one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling this year. Our next book is Crispin: The Cross of Lead. That reminds me.....field trip to Barnes and Noble this week!