Sunday, December 07, 2008

Polio & Scholastic Magazines

First of all, I wanted to say a word about my 'blogging slump.' I have been posting for over 3 years and have posted over 750 times. But, lately, I just really haven't felt like blogging! A big "thanks" to those of you who are still hanging around. I hope to get over this slump soon! And, just a reminder that you can use Google Reader (or something simliar) to keep track of the blogs you read without checking on each of them daily. It will let you know when they've posted something new.


One of Alexandra's favorite parts of school are the Scholastic magazines she gets. We get 4 of them. One is the weekly Scholastic News. The others come out every month or 2 - Storyworks (literature & grammar), DynaMath, nad SuperScience. We both enjoy all of these magazines and you can order them through Scholastic. They are even running a "half off" special for the 2nd semester and it expires at the end of the year.


So, a few weeks ago we read a story in StoryWorks about a girl with polio. The story was told about the author's cousin who she'd always seen photos of as a flower girl in her grandmother's wedding album. Then, "not long ago", she learned this "little girl" had polio and never walked again.

Throughout the article, the author tells more about her cousin and polio. She is even trying to track down relatives of this cousin.

After reading the article, Alexandra and I called my mom to ask her some questions. Her dad had polio when he was young and we wanted to know more about it. He did not become crippled from his bout with polio and my mom didn't know a lot about it. But, I was surprised to learn that my mom and her siblings didn't receive the polio vaccine when it first came out. She says she didn't get the vaccine until she went to work at a hospital as a teenager.

Next, I went online and found an amazing homeschool blog entry that a mom wrote about her mom's struggle with polio. This homeschooling mom said she didn't even realize her mom was disabled until she was about 8 years old. Sadly, I cannot find the link to this story again. It was powerful and brought quite a few tears to my eyes!

I also checked out 3 books from the library which we've enjoyed:
  • Dancing with Katya by Dori Chaconas - This is Alexandra's favorite and we've read it twice. It's a picture book about a girl whose little sister develops polio. They used to go out by the pond to dance and the big sister wonders if her little sister will ever dance again.
  • Close to Home (Once Upon America book) by Lydia Weaver - This is a fiction book about a little girl whose mom works for Dr. Jonas Salk as they try to find a polio vaccine. One of the little girl's classmates is crippled from polio and another classmate's mom is terrified that her daughter will get polio so they live with all of their house windows nailed shut.
  • Healing Warrior: A Story about Sister Elizabeth Kenny by Emily Crofford - This book is a true story about a nurse in Australia who makes up her own method of treating patients with polio... and is successful. We're still reading this book, but are really enjoying it.

If you have any posts or resources you'd like to share about polio, we'd love to hear about it! This has been a fascinating topic.


Joan L. Headley said...

A good book about polio for children is by Peg Kehret, a polio survivor and children's book author. It is called "Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio."

Katie said...

Glad to see you posting again.

Robin said...

Post when you are inspired. Those are the best ones anyway, right?
I don't know much about Polio, but I love how your inspiration took you guys out on a whole new subject of discovery. That's how I want our days to be. Inspiration + Discovery = Learning.

Alycia Wright said...

Hello there,
Just wanted to wish you and Alex a happy New Year. It's been great to follow your journey and although I don't post much either, you're still in my thoughts from time to time.

Alycia in Va.

Marjorie said...

Dana, I was talking to my mother about polio a while back and she told us an interesting story. Back when Salk was trying to prove his vaccine he needed human 'guinea pigs' so he contacted others in the medical community with children who would be willing to help. My grandfather was a doctor and he 'volunteered' my mother and uncle to test the vaccine. Luckily it worked with no side effects - well, my mom and uncle are a bit wacky, but I think it is the gene pool :-)

Megan said...

Can you guys help me, I am doing a project on Polio and it would be amazing if i could talk to someone who had or who lives with someone who had polio.

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