Wednesday, April 24, 2013

School Wrap Up

We have really enjoyed studying Japan. We used books recommended in All Through the Ages as well as library books and books I discovered in my online searches.  I must give  kudos for customer service to Christine Miller. I wrote explaining we lived in Japan and wanted to spend a year studying Japan in depth for the grammar (Elementary) and dialectic levels (Jr High). I had her book on my shelves and wondered how many more books she listed for Japan in the newest edition (I have the 2nd edition). SHE SENT ME THE PAGES IN A PDF FILE of the books on Japan for all grade levels. What a blessing.  Every book we used from All Through the Ages was a hit. Highly recommended resource! 

The younger kids LOVED the "Judge Ooka and Seikei" mysteries by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. We read The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn and The Demon in the Teahouse....before I insisted we read other things and we'll finish these in the future. I really wanted to read MORE about this Solomon in a Kimono but the books I found were too expensive for our purposes. 

We also enjoyed The Sign of the Chrysanthemum and The Master Muppeteer by Katherine Paterson. 

We read Pearl Harbor Child by Dorina Makanaonalani Nicholson.  I felt it important to give the kids this view point as we'd been rather Japanese focused in our view of WW2.  This book did a great job of telling the story of Pearl Harbor from the perspective of a child who LIVED it....she includes stories of others as well. We enjoyed all the photos. 

We then read My Hiroshima by Juuko Morimoto which provided a survivor's perspective of Hiroshima.  Junko's illustrations and memories were powerful. I'm glad we read both perspectives from survivors. 

Fiction of Eleanor Coeer rounded out our year with Mieko and the Fifth Treasure and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes  based on a true story (which I cried 2/3's of the way through). 

An Illustrated History of Japan was a great book to use as a "spine" for the younger set and Nolan (8th grade) used Japan an Illustrated History and A Traveler's History of Japan. In addition we  thought Hiroshima by John Hersey was good for Nolan. Nolan spend some time researching topics of his choice: Christianity in Japan (interesting for us), Samurai Code of Ethics, Hiroshima and the Pacific in WW2.  Nolan also delved into the treatment of Koreans and the Philippinos by the Japanese and a bit of the horrors of being a POW of Japan. We opted to leave much of this and delving into the Japanese internment camps in America until we study WW2 for the younger set. 

Make it Work! Japan was full of hands on crafts and was one of our favorites, as was Japanese Traditions which lists festivals and traditions for children by month. 

This is a sample of the books we used.  We also visited the cultural center here in Misawa a couple of times, and bounced lots of ideas and questions off Akikosan. Being able to visit many of the spots we discussed was a great incentive to stay on track with our history reading. We've been to Jomon ruins, WW2 ruins, Hiroshima, Edo Period Museums, Samurai Museums, Japanese farms, Rice fields and more....We've made soba noodles, New Year's wreaths, yakisoba....and have more in the works. 

We are still reading Jacob Deshazer: Forgive Your Enemies,  as a family....and have a couple of others on the stack.  Our "Days" are counted and done for school, papers are graded, the year is complete....but... In the weeks before we move, we'll continue to explore new areas, visit our favorites, explore Japanese culture, work on hands on crafts we've not finished and read through the stacks of books the kids begged me to read which  I promised we would AFTER we were done with the rest of the year. LOL 

I'm so GLAD we extended a year in Japan  and only had 3 years of curriculum with us...I'm glad we didn't try to order all the books we already own in was a good call for all of us to take a break and focus on this land we love.  Arielle continued on with her charted high school courses - but joined us for discussions and outings; she also continues to study the Japanese language and so was a part of the year - though apart. LOL

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Laura said...

It does sound like a truly wonderful year. What a blessing.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What an adventure and privilege you have all had. love/prayers - mom t.