Great news! Our homeschooling group is officially underway. August 13th marked our first official homeschooling gathering, a book club meeting to discuss You Have A Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Dr. Ben Carson, a 2016 Presidential contender. Seven students who are continuing in traditional schools, our four homeschooling students, and three parents met at my home, the site of our summer book clubs for a number of years.
After spending a few minutes engaged in “How was summer?” chat, we passed around this cool rock.
Everyone who read You Have A Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. identified it as an obsidian rock. This common rock had a profound influence on the life of Dr. Ben Carson. (You’ll have to read the book yourself, or watch the movie Gifted Hands to find out how.) We watched a short clip from the film to remind us of the turnaround in Dr. Carson’s life once he started reading two books a week, per his mother’s direction. Inspired by the movie’s snippets of the G.E. College Bowl, one of the two television programs Ben watched growing up, we discussed the book as we played Jeopardy, a modern day quiz show, with questions from T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
Our categories were: Childhood, The Teen Years, Neurology, Life Now, and Think Big. Here are a few questions our contestants answered:
What is Dr. Carson’s middle name? (We had lots of discussion after this on what proved to be a very appropriate name for Ben Carson. God’s hand at work.)
What class did Ben nearly fail in college?
What book does Dr. Carson quote heavily from in T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.?
In what country is the Benjamin S. Carson School of Medicine?
What does the B stand for in T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.?
Have you ever watched the G.E. College Bowl? See if you can answer any of the questions. These college kids sure are smart! (The only one I got was the Friar Laurence question.)
After Jeopardy, and following in Ben’s footsteps as a middle schooler, we had a short spelling bee using words from the book. The words were tough! Hence, the brevity of our bee. Here are a few of the words we tackled: charlatan, omniscient, retrospect, magnitude, and perpetuate.
All this mental activity made us hungry, so we had lunch, some of us continuing to talk about Dr. Carson, his accomplishments, and the first Presidential debate. When we finished fortifying ourselves, we discussed ways that we can THINK BIG. We decided to host a community yard sale, complete with lemonade stand, and to donate our proceeds to Heifer, International. We read through the Heifer, International catalog, deciding what we could buy to help families in need of assistance. Some of our ideas are: a llama ($150), bees ($30), and baby chicks ($20).
Would you like to join our book club? If so, read Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick by September 26th and then log onto Off the Grid to join the discussion!
You can also join our discussion of You Have A Brain by commenting on this post. As you know, Dr. Carson is running for President. What criteria do you think are important for our President to have? Who would you like to see as our next President? What do you like about this person?