MFW ECC - Weeks 27-28 in Review - Japan

Friday, March 20, 2015

Konnichiwa! Here is a peek into our travels through Japan. This might have been one of our favorite countries to learn about, but I think I may have said that on each post. Japan is so rich in culture and so different from our own. The book basket books and activities were especially fun. We absolutely loved the story of Gladys Aylward as well. We added plenty of our own activities to our week. I'm not sure how I will top all the fun we've had. This has turned out to be such a sweet and special year for Silas.

I absolutely love sushi. I mean I really, really LOVE it, but I knew this little guy might not enjoy seaweed and raw fish as much as I do. Instead we made candy sushi!

We don't usually have this kind of junky food around so for my boys it was a special treat. I used pre-made Rice Krispie treats and formed them into these different kinds of sushi. I used red and orange Airheads for the sashimi and wrapped them in green fruit roll ups to represent seaweed. I did the same Swedish Fish. The rolls were made with gummy worms in the middle and wrapped in fruit roll ups.

I got major mom props for these!

Silas went and grabbed his trusty chopsticks he has gotten pretty used to using these days.


Of course Aedan always joins us when sweets are involved.

I also made us a Japanese meal. My husband has gotten used to coming along for the ride on our international eats!

I made onigiri or Japanese rice balls. They had tuna in the center with seaweed panda faces :) We dipped these in soy sauce and a little wasabi :)

We also had edamame beans.

I also got this miso soup. I love miso soup. This was pretty good for instant.

It was a fun little meal!

We looked up how Silas's name would translate into Japanese and painted a picture with his name.

His Japanese name is Sairasu. He thought that was really cool :)

We visited our museum to see the Asian art. We visited the Chinese and Japanese sections. This is a Chinese work.

It is so fun seeing all of this culture and history up close when you are studying it.

We saw a real kimono and kabuki masks.

This is done by a modern Chinese artist.

This is another Chinese work, but it was cool to see both areas of the museum.
Brave Writer Poetry Tea Time - Haiku Edition

My kids get onto me if I don't do our Brave Writer Poetry Teatime. Sometimes I'm better about it than others, but being in Japan was a perfect opportunity to do it in a new way :)

I found these Japanese Tea Cakes.

Instead of reading regular poetry I picked up this book of Haiku.

This is what the tea cakes look like out of the package.

We had green tea with our tea cakes.

The boys have learned to really enjoy reading poetry. Having treats of course makes it more fun!

Silas enjoyed his green tea.

I love that we can all share some of the activities from each of the boys studies this year.

I may have to buy this book :)

There were several great books in the book basket that had origami in them.  We read the story of Sadako and made a paper crane. I actually enjoyed the brain workout that this is. I checked out a few more origami books from the library for Silas since he enjoyed it.

Silas really enjoyed the challenge of doing this. I found him several times after school folding away. Some of these can be really challenging!

Oh my...Gladys. How I love her! She was a missionary to China, but we finished up the book at the end of Japan. We learned some history along the way about the conflict between Japan and China while Gladys was there. I struggled at first with these missionary stories. Silas was very disturbed by the violent way that Nate Saint died. I put them down after that but decided to try again. If you have sensitive kids some of these biographies have some very mature content. I appreciate that MFW does warn you when things are coming.

There were a few parts I skipped in this book, but the heart of it really impacted us. As I finished the book today Silas simply said, "Wow." That's how I felt too. Wow. What a wonderful, loving, strong, brave and Godly woman she was! We were both very impacted by her sacrifice. She gave so much her body even gave out. What a precious woman - and I get to meet her someday! I am going to check out her autobiography. I'd love to hear the story from her pen and heart.

We learned about the culture and geography of Japan through various books. We have learned to look up the most recent stats on each country. Another Trip Around the World tends to be pretty outdated.

The two verses we read were even more precious after reading Gladys. This was a woman who loved God with everything in her. We both want to be more like her because she was just like Jesus.

Gladys also loved above and beyond. I pray we can all be more like that. Thanks so much for sharing our journey with us :) Next we board our little cardboard plane to Russia. See you then!


  1. I think Asia was one of our favorite studies, too!

    LOVE your sushi -- my kind of sushi since I can't stomach fish :( It saddens me because I know how healthy it is, but I can't even be around it cooking.

    I've loved watching your teachings and inspired learning moments with ECC.

  2. Asia has been so, so fun! I feel the same way about your FIAR rows :) It will be so fun to see CtC when you do it!

  3. You have made ECC look just delightful! What a fun year! We are thinking of doing this next year before diving into world history . Do you feel like it required a lot of prep time each week? Thanks !

  4. Meg - We have had so much fun this year. To be honest, it took me a while to find my groove with MFW. We are normally Heart of Dakota all the way, but I wanted Silas to have one more year before we started HOD Preparing. Because of that, MFW was new to us.

    At first I followed ECC it as written and ran into some bumps in the road. When I finally gave myself permission to let a few things go and add things for fun we really fell in love with it.

    I will say that ECC does take some significant prep work. For me it was worth taking the time to put all the book basket books into a list that I could easily check out for each country. Without the book basket ECC is very light and lacks depth. There was one country that was sad because my husband forgot the books at the library and I realized how important they were.

    Most of the stuff you see in this post are not scheduled. I learned a lot from using Five in a Row on how to really stretch a picture book. We have a great museum in town so I try to get there to see things that are related. We have loved trying new international foods. If you're a Pinterest person there are a bazillion ideas for that!

    All in all though this has been a wonderful year :) Precious really. We have learned so much about countries and cultures. My son is actually sad that it is ending. What kid feels that way at the end of school? He asked if we could do a few other countries for summer break. So, yes it has been fun. Give yourself permission to make it your own and you'll have a great year <3

  5. Love your dishes, especially the blue ones ;)

  6. Thank you! It was hard choosing a color, but that is my favorite foo :)


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