Monday, June 20, 2011

Asia week went very, very well

Our week of studying Asian culture went so much better than I expected. We actually ended up settling into the unexpected theme of "how people pray." We talked about Buddhist meditation, mandala creation and yoga. In fact, it seemed that everywhere we turned came to a form of prayer or mediation.

You've gotta love the internet---I found tons of mandala coloring pages.

Nathan wanted to create his own mandala.

We added to our notebooks with Asian inspired art.

Our growing flag banner.

Okay, so a paper airplane isn't exactly origami...

Nathan drawing a picture of ninjas. I guess we all pick up on the things that interest us the most.

Studying koi at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

Some things we did:
  • Created mandalas
  • Made Japanese inspired floral paintings and calligraphy (well, a rough attempt)
  • Did yoga for kids (including the sun salute)
  • Tried to meditate for two minutes (very hard, lol)
  • Made flags for the three main countries we talked about: Japan, China and India, plus a country for Philippines, in honor of my sis-in-law to be
  • Learned the story of the Buddha
  • Tried origami
  • Found each country on the globe
  • Watched a video of Tibetan monks chanting
  • Watched a video called "The Little Travelers: Japan." They loved it.
  • Listened to several examples of Chinese, Japanese and Indian music.
  • Learned about Wabi Sabi (a post to follow) along with their mother.
  • Read many books...our favorites were the Jon Muth (Zen Panda) books and the Eyewitness series on the countries...they had lots of pictures and easy to find information.
  • Watched "Kung Fu Panda" again :-)

Still there were so many things I wanted to do! I wanted to talk about the Chinese calendar animals, make a sand garden, make our own lanterns, do more with many ideas. But in keeping with the theme of not stressing my kids out, I continued to limit our daily activities to no more than an hour. Plus, there are only 11 weeks in the summer, and we have a whole globe to study!

Next up: Australia. I don't have as many materials for this other than books, one video and a couple of CDs, so we will be winging it.

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