Every year, we begin our homeschool year on January 16th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I chose this day because I like the opportunity to begin our school year with a great message we can hold in our minds and hearts throughout the year.
This first week back, like in years past, we'll revisit with all the books we have about Dr. King, watch his speeches, and talk about all of it. Over the years I've extended this conversation to include other civil rights leaders like like Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks and others.
When I first introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to my kids when they were wee littles, we obviously weren't having deep conversations about civil rights in our country, but I wanted to share with them some of Dr. King's message. While I was researching I found The Star Code. (This was so long ago I can't remember where I found it. If you know where it originated, please let me know and I'll give proper credit). The Star Code gave me a tool to introduce Dr. Kings ideas to my littles. As the kids have gotten older, we've expanded our reasons for why the Star Code is important. In our homeschool, it's guaranteed to bring to light a rousing conversation.
The Start Code begins with a five pointed star (here's a cute one from way back) and each point corresponds to:
RESPECT for people and property
KINDNESS to self and others
CELEBRATION of diversity
APPRICIATION for the good in each other
RESPONSIBILITY for what you say and do
In addition to starting our year with a review of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and the Star Code, we also make kite paper window stars. This three part combo is a new school year tradition that I just love. Over the years, we've tried a variety of paper stars from the book, Magical Window Stars by Frederique Gueret, but we always come back to the tried and true eight pointed star.
Give them a try with your kiddos. What does the Star Code mean to your family? Have a rousing conversation while you make window stars with your kiddos.
How to make an 8 pointed kite paper window star:
- kite paper (it feels like parchment paper and you can order packs of colors online)
- glue stick
- transparent tape to hang your star in a window
You'll need 8 sheets of square kite paper. Each sheet will follow the following instructions:
Fold your sheet in half and then in half again. You now have a small square.
Unfold it back into the large square. You now have guidelines to follow.
Fold each corner to the center point.
Turn the paper so it is diamond shaped in front of you.
Fold in an edge so that it lines up with the center fold.
Do the same for the opposite side. You now have a kite shape. This is one point of your star.
Repeat the steps for the remaining 7 squares of paper.
Choose 2 points. With folded sides up, glue one on top of the other where they overlap.
Repeat until all the points are glued together.
For the LAST POINT, tuck it under the first point.
Then glue the top and the bottom of that last star into place.
Tada! Use the transparent tape to hang your beautiful paper star in the window.
I would love to see your window stars! Please share them on social media and tag me using the hashtag #lindachidoart.