This week we continued learning about Japan. Our F.I.A.R. book was Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say. The book details the author’s grandfather’s life as he spent time in both Japan and the United States, keeping both countries close to his heart.
The book touches on World War II and how it affected Say’s family in Japan. We lightly touched on the subject, using carefully selected and brief clips on YouTube (e.g., ones that did not show dead bodies strewn about) as well as The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, which has a 4 page spread about the events of World War II.
We also continued our fascination with Hachiko, a loyal Japanese dog who waited for his master to return to the train station for nearly ten years after the man had died. This week, we read a longer book about Hachiko, called Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman. We then expounded on the character traits of Loyalty and Not Giving Up Hope, portrayed so well by the dog, who is still honored today by the Japanese people.
One of our favorite parts of the week was a trip to the large Asian market nearby. Yes, I was the dorky caucasian homeschooling mother snapping pictures of her children in the Asian market. The kids loved the fish and seafood department the best, so we spent much of our time there.
Produce was another favorite. We noticed that the produce section was much larger than in our usual grocery store, and had much more variety. Firefly wanted to buy every unusual fruit and vegetable he saw, but we decided on just one: Dragon Fruit, pictured below.
I also praised the genius of the person who decided to put a scale at kid-level in this store. Naturally, Firefly did what any 6 year old boy would do. He weighed all of the produce we were purchasing at once. Eight pounds!
Unfortunately, we didn’t see any traditional Japanese kimonos or wooden clogs there, to compliment our rowing last week of A Pair of Red Clogs (they do sell other clothes and shoes as well as housewares at this market) but we did have a great time buying a few sweet items for our upcoming Japan Festival tonight!
We used the tea set I purchased in Japan when The Husband and I went there in 2002. I have never used this tea set. Although I intended to when I bought it, I feared breaking it and it has been decorative, on the shelf of our home office, ever since. But today, Firefly and I carefully got down two of the cups and the tea pot and made “tea” (milk, actually), to accompany our cookies. We then watched YouTube videos of Japanese Tea Ceremonies and noticed how quiet and precise the women were in pouring the tea.
Another highlight of our week was playing with dried seaweed and making playdough rolls of sushi with sheets of dried seaweed!
Also, don’t forget to check out our list of 5 things we do for each Five In a Row Book.
And now it’s time for Deep Thoughts by Creekside Momma: When I blog, it really sounds like we do a lot but yet, most days, I feel like we don’t do enough schooly stuff. Most days seem bogged down by cleaning up the endless dishes and laundry, getting kids dressed and fed, tending to a very active toddler and running errands served up with a very small-portion side dish of learning. Sigh.