We had a cursive writing book that gave country capitals…. I loved this book. So educational. And since my son is now twelve, a lot of books are too babyish for him…but this book was just right. We would find the capitals on his maps. A fun and challenging task! Unfortunately we completed the book.
So I was pondering: What to replace this activity with? I thought about current events. We always watch the news in Japanese every morning (because my husband wants to, not due to any “training” for my son.) Let’s face it…a lot of it is frequently scary and confusing! Beheadings, attacks, kidnappings……. I wanted to explain it a bit more to him.
First I started with Ukraine and Russia. I researched on the Internet to make sure I knew myself what was going on over there.
Then I moved on to ISIS.
Again I researched on the Internet, and I borrowed books about different Muslim countries from the library.
Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan
Indonesia, Iran, Iraq
I wanted him to just see normal Muslim people.
Another thing is that I always read a book to him at night before he sleeps. I chose the topic of Anne Frank. So we were doing that and he mentioned that there was a Japanese Schindler. Indeed there is. Chiune Sugihara, whose actions saved 6,000 Jewish people. Passage to Freedom tells about how he wrote visas so that they could travel to Japan, and from there, to the United States. (Note: We did the Anne Frank book in English, but borrowed the Japanese Passage to Freedom fom the library.)
Jewish issues in the evening, Islamic issues in the morning…I borrowed a book on Judaism and a book on Islam. Funny story: I requested a book on Muzurimu, using what I thought was katakana for the word “Muslims”. She handed me a book on the explorer Magellan! Evidentally, I pronounced it all wrong, plus a Japanese friend told me that Japanese people don’t usually use the word Muslim, they use the word Islam.
The only problem is that all these weighty issues have been depressing my son. So I have stopped! It maybe wasn’t such a good idea after all. (I know, I write an entire post….and then say the whole thing was crap! LOL)
***UPDATE*** Breaking News
My son informed me that he and the kids in his group must do a report for school on Saudi Arabia. He did NOT choose this. It was chosen by chance.
The other countries: America, South Korea, China (Yeah, he has a small class and a small school! Only four countries.)
He said that the group that got China was NOT happy with the result. I guess they didn’t want China?
I am glad he got Saudi Arabia. There’s a lot to learn about that country.