Friday, April 30, 2010
Week 27, day 5
Friday: Geography. With one thing and another, I wasn't ready to start school until 11 am, and since I get complaints if we start school in the morning and have to do more after lunch, I simply decided not to start until after lunch. Today we studied Japan. At lunch time, to whet the kids' appetites for learning about Japan, I demonstrated the only origami I know how to do: a paper balloon. I ended up making one for each of P and E, and I taught Ari how to make one as well. I checked out a children's story book from the library about a Japanese boy whose American-born mother introduces the concept of a Christmas tree (decorated with origami cranes). The illustrations were beautiful. We read the book before doing any other school, and I had to keep taking the book away from them because looking at the illustrations kept them distracted while we were going over our memory verse, calendar, and P's reader and math worksheet. We located Japan on the Markable Map, and noted how it's entirely surrounded by the ocean, and thus fish is an important part of the Japanese diet. We read most of the children's atlas page about Japan and the Koreas, which only briefly mentioned North and South Korea and spent most of its time on Japan. We also read "The Giant Wave" in the Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book. It's a story about how an old man who lived at the top of a hill saw a tsunami coming and set his rice fields on fire so the villagers below would climb the hill to help put out the fire and thus escape the tsunami. In the LSBB version, he sees the actual wave coming, but of course in that case there wouldn't be enough time to react. I saw another storybook version in the library in which the old man more realistically sees the ocean being sucked back. The fact that there are two different versions of the story makes me wonder whether it's based on a historical event. The Child's Book of Art has several Japanese paintings, which we enjoyed. We looked at a picture book of Japan from the library, and I suggested that P make her book at that point. She asked permission to do it on Saturday instead, so I'll hold her to that. For dinner, I made vegetarian sushi (no, vegetarians don't eat fish) with rice, avocado, and carrots wrapped in sheets of nori. It's kind of fiddly, but I started getting the hang of it. The kids were pretty good sports about trying it: E looked at it, announced "I don't like that!", and then ate four.