Lessons from Hunger Games!

Ok, it seems that everyone is talking about Hunger Games, so I have to get my 2 cents in too. I know on the surface this does not sound like a post about electronics, but hang with me. Hopefully you will see the connection before I am done.

My oldest son, ManBoy, has been enthralled by the Hunger Games books for about a year and a half now. I recently decided that it would be a good idea to read them myself. I really do believe that every parent should be reading the books their teens are reading. That way, if there are issues in the books that need to be discussed then you will be aware of them. Ideally, the parent should read the book before the teen does. Obviously, that didn’t happen with us.

ManBoy has been reading the books on our Kindle (there’s a connection to technology!). I’m an avid crocheter, attempting to start my own crochet business and have a big order to finish up for a customer. Therefore, I choose to “read” audio books instead. Even though I started “reading” these books because my son is reading them, I found that I’m enjoying them.

We homeschool moms are some of the most adept at turning almost anything into a lesson. I can see all sorts of lessons that can be created from Hunger Games.

  • Fractions – What percent of the tributes were still alive after the “bloodbath” at the cornucopia? Now turn that into a decimal. What is the fraction of girl tributes still alive on day 3? Boy tributes?
  • Vocabulary – Cornucopia, tribute, alliance, district
  • Make you think questions – Why were the peace keepers disliked in the various districts? Why do you think the Capitol divided the citizens up into districts? Why do you think Haymitch stays drunk all the time? Why did Haymitch want Katniss and Peeta to pretend to be in love? How would this help them to stay alive? What was the significance of the mocking jay? How did it’s significance change by the end of the book?

Those are just a few of the ideas I came up with. However there are lots more online!

  • http://www.lessonindex.com/The_Hunger_Games_by_Suzanne_Collins.htm  This site lists numerous lesson plans and teaching guides. These are geared to teachers in classroom settings but could probably be tailored for homeshoolers as well.
  • http://www.hungergameslessons.com/  This is a whole site dedicated to teaching from Hunger Games.
  • http://canadianhomelearning.blogspot.com/2012/03/hunger-games-homeschool-fun.html  This is a homeschool blogging mom who posted about teaching from Hunger Games.
  • http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/111784.aspx  Here’s yet another interesting lesson plan.
  • http://www.pecentral.org/lessonideas/ViewLesson.asp?ID=11065  There is even a site for a Hunger Games Field Day! Get your kids excited about physical exercise by replicating some of the Hunger Games activities.

I’m sure I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I’m going to go back to “reading” now!

Cyberbullying

My husband, kids and I just watched a movie called “Cyberbully”. Fashionista (who is 12) had been wanting to watch it for a while, having seen the thumbnail for it on our Netflix account. I had seen that it was rated TV14 so I had told her NOT to watch it. That was a month or two ago. Well, a few days ago, Fashionista informed me that she had decided to watch it. I promptly ‘decided’ to ground her for disobeying.

 

After discussing this with MyHero, we decided that perhaps we should all watch it as a family so that we could discuss it. I highly recommend that parents of teens and preteens do this. Especially if their kids are on the internet a lot and what kid isn’t these days??

 

If you take my advice, let me warn you, there is a good reason this movie is rated TV14. There are no graphic pictures, but the language being used may be offensive to some families. That being said, there was much fodder for discussion in this movie.

 

One example is how someone can become a cyberbully without ever intending to. Near the end they also discuss positive ways of dealing with becoming a victim to cyberbullying.

  • Print out the conversation in which the bullying occurred.
  • Block the sender
  • Talk to a parent or teacher.
  • For more info on ways to deal with cyberbullying you can go to:  STOMPOutBullying.Org or call 855-790-HELP.

 

It would be great to discuss these options with your kids.

 

I realize that I keep saying discuss these things with your kids. That is another very important point. Make sure your kids know that you are on their side. Whether it’s cyberbullying or your son’s excitement to show you that peach fuzz while asking you to teach him how to shave, let them know that you are there for them.

Taking Tech Outside!

As promised in my last post, I’m sharing how you can get outside in the fresh air and still keep your geek on! While this is not necessarily an educational activity, it certainly is a fun family activity.

 

Geocaching is the geek way to treasure hunt! You use a GPS device to find containers that other people have hidden. Once you find it,  you sign the register that can be found inside the container. You can also take a treasure but are asked to leave one of equal or higher value. These are usually cheap little trinkets. Sometimes people will leave an object that is like their calling card. Our family has found caches containing a little rubber ducky with the words, “Mr. Ducky was here” written on it.

 

There are also trackable items that you can purchase to place in the cache when you find one. These are fun because you can keep track of who has found it and how far it has traveled. If you want to turn this into an educational experience, you could have your kids learn more about the different places your trackable travels to.

 

There are special rules of etiquette involved in geocaching. One of the main ones is “cache in, trash out”. This basically means to take any of your trash back out with you and dispose of it properly. Geocachers also feel a responsibility to clean up any trash they find that other’s have left behind.

 

It used to be that you needed a special GPS device to enjoy geocaching. Not so anymore! These days, there are apps you can use on your iPhone or Android. This is making it easier for most everyone to participate. No longer do you need to invest in a costly gadget to get started.

 

If you would like to find out more, check out geocaching.com

Balancing Act

It’s pretty obvious that our family loves gadgets and technology. We also recognize that there needs to be a balance between our tech and real life. We need to be getting our bodies active and moving. The funny thing is that in our modern age there is even tech for that!

 

These days many of us own a Wii. There are numerous games, many of which are sitting on our shelf, that can give you a moderate workout in the Wii platform. These might be a good choice to get kids, who seem allergic to movement, active. However, if you want a really good workout, my personal choice is the EA Sports Active games. Nothing, however can replace actually getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine! Next week, I’ll talk about how you can go tech even with this!

Kid Blogger

I was watching a video on YouTube earlier on a channel called “How to Homeschool”. Hey, even we veterans can use some tips at times! This particular video is about encouraging a reluctant writer by allowing them to blog. Notice I said, “allowing” them to blog, not forcing them to. It has to be something they are interested in for it to work.

 

Manboy happened to be watching over my shoulder and said, “I think I’ll start a blog!” First thing I sent him to a free blog writing course site. I wanted to make sure that he knows how to be safe while writing a blog. His blog can be found at:  Adventures of a Teen Boy.

I’m excited to see how this can help to improve his writing skills!