We're about to embark on a new homeschool project: Flat Ryan!
This project, based on the Flat Stanley books by Jim Brown, was conceived by a teacher named Dale Hubert, who has a website called The Official Flat Stanley Project. I haven't decided if we'll officially register at the website or not, but there's a lot of neat information there, and resources, too.
Flat Stanley, as you'll recall, was smushed flat in a horrific bulletin board accident, yet found ways to enjoy his new pancake shape by sliding under doors, taking trips via airmail, and turning himself into a kite. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Not to mention, how's that for a Free Range Kid? Taking a trip to California all by himself, tucked into an envelope with an egg salad sandwich!
The project idea is that an individual child (or whole class) sends out a picture of Flat Stanley (or a flat version of himself) to willing volunteers far and wide. These wonderful volunteers take the flattened friend around their part of the world, and take pictures of him, and write back to the child about their adventures.
We've volunteered ourselves, for one of my friends from high school, with her son (aka, "Flat J.") a couple of years ago, and this year with her daughter (aka, "Flat E."). It's fun. We've taken Flat J. and Flat E. to exotic locales in Georgia--the mountains, some Civil War battlefields, and other things that J. and E. will not find in their home state of Michigan. When Flat J. was here, it actually snowed, so we took a picture of him in our Georgia "blizzard" of two inches of snow. Very fun.
In order to make the Flat Ryan Project a success, we need volunteers to take him on adventures! I'm hopeful a couple of my readers will volunteer for the job. If you'd like to participate, here are the steps:
Send an email flatryan2010 AT gmail DOT com, indicating your interest, where you live, and a snail mail address to which we can send you your very own Flat Ryan.
When you receive Flat Ryan, take him on some adventures!
Take a few pictures of your adventures, and email (or mail) them back to us.
Write us an email and tell us a little bit about your adventures, so that Ryan can understand a little bit about your area of the world.
We're especially interested in learning about local landmarks, geography and weather, and--of course--peopleguys! We'd love to have participation from all around the country, and we'd even love some volunteers from outside the US. I'm planning to print out the stories and pictures and put them into a notebook so we can always have our Flat Ryan memories to look through. Really, isn't this a cool geography project?
This is a no-pressure low-stress project--no hurries, no worries. Do it when you can, if you can. If you can't do Flat Ryan, I suspect there will probably be a Flat Morgan and Flat Sean projects at some point. Although Morgan was seriously traumatized by hearing the story of poor Stanley's flattening, so it'll definitely be a while before she'll want to do this project!