Studying Africa

Unit 6 of our homeschool involves studying Africa. We studied history and geography of the region from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio.

We watched following talks of Shri Mataji:

  • 1996-1029 Talk to yogis, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1996-1028 Public Program, Cairo, Egypt

We read following books:

  • A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park (Listen to Arjun’s retelling of the story of Salva Dut)
  • Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove
  • Beat the Story Drum, Pum Pum by Ashley Bryan (Arjun created a picture word story from one of the stories in the book: hen and frog)
  • Nelson Mandela “No Easy Walk to Freedom” by Barry Denenberg
  • Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo

Arjun created a travel brochure for Africa: Great African Tours.

Arjun also wrote an African parody of the poem, Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away Home: Impala, Impala, Bound Away Home

We watched following African movies to get a sense of African culture:

  • Cook Off on Netflix
  • Meet the In-Laws on Netflix
  • Just in Time on Netflix
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Amazon Prime (we forwarded the inappropriate parts)
  • Sarafina on Amazon Prime
  • Invictus on Netflix

We made following food (Arjun cooks mostly all on his own):

Studying Vietnam

Unit 3 of our academic year consists of reading history and geography of Vietnam from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio. To understand the culture in more depth we did the following:

We read the following book:

The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam by Quang Nhuong Huynh (Listen to Arjun’s animal story based on this book)

We watched the following movie: One Thousand Good Nights on Netflix.

Food:

We tried packaged pho and then we tried making pho from scratch. Pho from scratch was absolutely delicious.

Studying Russia

Unit 3 of our academic year consists of reading history and geography of Russia from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio. To understand the culture in more depth we did the following:

We listened to the following talks of Shri Mataji:

  • 1992-0805 Arrival & Interview, Togliatti, Russia
  • 1995-0919 Conference in Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 1995-1001 Navaratri Puja Talk, Cabella
  • 1993-0802 Shri Mataji, TV Interview, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 1994-0917 Arrival & visit to Sahaja school, Togliatti, Russia
  • Shri Mataji in Russia-Ukraine 1993-1994

We read the following book:

  • Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin (Listen to Arjun’s essay on Communism inspired by this book)
  • Burying The Sun by Gloria Whelan

We watched the following movie:

  • Animal Farm on Amazon Prime (this was very interesting especially after realizing the symbolism representing communism)
  • Anastasia on DisneyPlus
  • Fiddler on the Roof on Netflix

We made following Russian food:

Estes Rockets

This week, Arjun assembled the Estes Rocket Science Starter Kit. This Sunday, we went to a nearby field and he launched the rocket. The kit came with three engines, (A8-3: 275 ft; B6-4: 575 ft; C6-5: 1150 ft) and he launched the first one. He forgot to put in the parachute for the first launch, but the rocket suffered no damage. In the second launch, the parachute worked, but the wind carried it to somebody’s backyard. We recovered it, but for the third launch, we went to Veteran’s Park, which is a much bigger area. In the third launch, the rocket went so high, we could not find it.

Launch 1

Launch 2:

Later, Arjun made his own rocket from scratch, and launched on Nov 7, 2020, when the 2020 election results came out. It was made of a paper nose cone, a cardboard body, a straw lug, cardboard fins, and a double A-83 Estes engine.

 

Studying China

We have spent our first unit of grade 5 studying China. We read Chinese History and Geography from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio. To understand the culture in more depth we did the following:

We listened to following talks of Shri Mataji:

We read following books:

      • Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin
      • Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey
        (Listen to Arjun’s essay on Courage with examples from above two books listed.)
      • Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz (Listen to Arjun’s character sketch of Jean Fritz)
      • The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong
      • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
      • Li Lun Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger
      • The Analects of Confucius at World Book Website (we will continue reading this for the rest of the academic year)
      • Myths and Legends of China at World Book Website
      • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (we will continue reading this for the rest of the academic year)

      Creative Writing: Arjun wrote a story called “Facing Your Fears” set in China.

      We watched following movies:

      • Painted Faces on Netflix
      • Monkey King on Amazon Prime
      • Monkey King 2 on YouTube Movies
      • Shaolin on YouTube Movies
      • Genius of The Ancient World: Confucius, Episode 3 on Netflix
      • Princess Weiyoung on Netflix
      • The 36th Chamber of Shaolin on Netflix
      • Return to The 36th Chamber on Netflix
      • Disciples of The 36th Chamber on Netflix
      • Guardian Brothers on Netflix
      • Confucius movie on YouTube
      • The Story of Laozi on YouTube

      Arjun created following Chinese themed artwork:

      Arjun has really become good at using chopsticks. Following food was either made by Arjun on his own such as Chinese Almond Cookies, Egg Drop Soup, Chinese Steamed Cake and so on, or we made them together:

      Our friend who is born and brought up in Hongkong made this Hongkong Style Noodles for us. It was absolutely delicious.

      Hongkong Style Noodles