Our family is going to Japan the middle of May to visit my sister, whose husband is stationed in Japan for the past few years. We’ve been overseas before, but this is a major cultural (let alone time) difference. Therefore, we’re going to prep as much as possible by learning about the culture and what to expect once we visit. I found a few books that were useful concerning Japan.
First off, there’s Spotlight on Japan by Bobbie Kalman. This book is a bit too simple for my kids. It covers the geography, history, and major cultural points of Japan, but at a level that would be more appropriate for a first grader or younger. There are lots of photos and not too much text on a page. Each topic gets a two-page spread.
My kids are getting more out of Japan: Enchantment of the World by Barbara Somervill. Again, the book covers the geography, history and past and present culture of Japan, but in much more detail. The book devotes >10 pages to a topic, still with photographs and other graphics. There are also sidebars on smaller (but still important) topics like important people, or cultural tidbits.
Finally, I’ve got Old Japan by Clare Doran, in the Make it Work! series. This book focuses on the historical culture of Japan, and tries to bring the history alive by providing crafts that can be made that go along with the history. The book has instructions on how to make everything from a fish kite to a samurai sword to origami. It looks like something Miss Adventure especially will enjoy.
To help prepare us for the trip, we’re also watching videos of where we’ll visit and what we’ll see. Right now, we’re mostly enjoying the Only in Japan channel, but there are so many videos to choose from.
And those are the books (and videos) we’re using right now. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up