Wednesday, January 18, 2012

History studies

I lead a History study group on Tuesdays, and we just finished All Ye Lands' chapter on Japan.

We closed the chapter with several students' presentations: we heard about the Japanese poems called haikus, about Commodore Perry and the opening of the Tokyo Bay ports after centuries of isolationism, about the Nagasaki Martyrs who gave their lives for Jesus Christ and whose blood was the seed of Christianity in Japan, about the exquisite and curious art of Bonsai (miniature trees), about the life of a Samurai, and about the great Saint Francis Xavier, called the second great Apostle of Christ after St. Paul! Also, we were honored with Mrs. S.'s presence, she assisted her boys in their Japanese food report and we all got to have some homemade Sushi! They also brought Japanese newspaper, money and Kimonos! Thank you S. family!

I think sometimes of my role with this large classroom of kids from 4th to 8th grade and doubt the fruitfulness of my definitely imperfect work. This is the only Catholic Textbook Project volume I have not written the workbook for (I am finishing the last chapter of Light of Nations Part 2!) so I have had to come up with some different ideas for students' work and activities. Assigning different topics for students to present, in their choice of manner, has worked well. I have also written simple skits that the students presented in class. If the students have learned and the class has been successful is is because the book is wonderful, and the students are equally wonderful! Although I have a licenciature degree in Art from my Brazilian college, which is somewhat equivalent to an education degree, I have never sought to be a classroom teacher. But leading a group of homeschool students whose education has been home-centered and home supported has been very enjoyable.

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