Today we visited South Dakota!

Well today was a very interesting day!

We have been involved in what we have called a ‘Cultural Exchange Envelope’. This is a project that the children and I devised in order to make our learning about other countries, people around the world and cultures more fun. It involves a person, family or school group to collect paper based items from where they live, and to put them into an envelope and post them over to us and we do the same thing back to them.

We have devised a list of what kinds of paper based items people can put into the envelope, the list is definitely not exhaustive, but gives an in depth idea to those participating of what they can add to the envelope to post over to us.. These items are based on accessibility and low cost. which is designed to help us learn more about their actual daily life where they live as well as keep costs down to the minimum. Basically the most expensive part of this envelope exchange is actually posting the envelope off to some one some where else in the world.

Anyway, Yesterday we received a cultural exchange envelope from another home educating family in the state of South Dakota in the USA. Unfortunately we did not get time to actually open it and examine the contents of the envelope until today. But what a wonderful surprise it was to open it and view all the wonderful things they had sent us!

The envelope contained a letter from the family for us telling us about their life. It also had a photo of them and a write up of a ‘Day in their live” which gave us a wonderful insight into what life is like for them where they live. We were able to see a little of their state through the five post cards they enclosed and had a wonderful history lesson reading through the enclosed information about Mt Rushmore in the student guide provided.

This wonderful family had also enclosed a copy of their local newspaper – the Rapid City Newspaper – which was a interesting read. Not only was it great to see what news is about where they live, it was very interesting to see just how long, but slim their newspaper is! They also enclosed a copy of their local grocery store leaflet. This too was very interesting. The prices of the food and items seemed very cheap, however we will be working on establishing just how cheap, when we sit down for a maths lesson (once everyone is no longer sick) and Jah has to convert LBS to Kilos, American Dollar to the Australian Dollar and Gallons to Litres!

Other items that were enclosed in the envelope include:

South Dakota State colouring in pages

State Map

Hunting and Fishing puzzles

South Dakota Wildlife Sheet

A Stamp

Tourist Pamphlets –

  • wall / badlands
  • Bear Country
  • Chapel in the Hills
  • Hotel Alex Johnson
  • Homestake mine
  • Landstrom’s Black Hills Gold
  • Reptile Gardens
  • Crazy Horse
  • Bear Butte
  • Custer State Park
  • Devil’s Tower
  • Tribal Lands
  • Spearfish

Information sheet on Wild bill Hickok

5 Postcards

A photograph of the family

A list of educational Websites related to their state and area.

Rapid City Newspaper

Diary Entry

Letter to us

Grocery Ads

South Dakota - Cultural Exchange Envelope Contents

South Dakota - Cultural Exchange Envelope Contents

We will also be looking at all the leaflets to read about each individual place. Then we will choose one or two to do some further research on. I am Hoping that Jah will choose to present her findings in either a power point presentation (which we can then add to this website for you all to see) or as a written project.

Our Trip to South Dakota has been a great one, it has been taken through the eyes of  a local and a trip that without our new friends we would not been able to have. So thank you to the ‘H’ Family who shared not only a little of their state with us, but a lot of their daily life with us too!

A Visitor for Christmas! – An Exchange Program

Well today we have a wonderful visitor arrive at our house. There method of transport was a little unusual, however their arrival was well known about and anticipated.

‘Splash the Dolphin’ arrived today all the way from Mrs Tyndal’s Class at College Park Elementary in Irvine, USA. Snuggled up in a postbag along with some wonderful gifts and treasures for us.

The girls were very excited to meet him and in no time had introduced him to the local wildlife, shown him around the house and also enjoyed a good chat over a drink.

Splash the Dolphin is on an exchange program and will be staying with us on a grand adventure for the next few months. He will be visiting Victoria, with us in January when we go over for a holiday and will also be very involved in our Home Ed and family lifestyle. Already Splash has been busy writing about his travels in his journal, so that when it becomes time to go home he can share with the children and Mrs Tyndal all about his Tasmanian Adventure!
As this is an exchange program we will be saying good bye tomorrow to one of our good friends, Tassie Devil or Tassie Tiger. – They are still trying to work out which one will be the exchange student and be able to go and live in the USA for the next 4-6 months. – We will keep you updated on which student actually makes the flight over to the USA – just as soon as a decision is made!

Right now though we are just having fun with our new friend Splash and I will come back and post some pictures of his first day at our house soon!

Welcome to Hobart, Tasmania, Splash! It’s a pleasure to have you stay with us!