I could have spent all year on India. I personally love contemporary Indian fiction, Indian food and Indian fashion. However, I feel like we did a lot in 3 weeks. During the first 2 weeks, we studied geography, religion and myth. The essential image I wanted Vincent to associate with Indian culture was the endless circle. We revisited the cyclical nature of the weather, the gods, reincarnation and karma throughout our study. I also tried to highlight the gesture away from the earth, with the repeated theme of people removing themselves from society to live unaccompanied in the forest or in the mountains. During the third week, we studied Indian festivals and cooking. That was really fun! We have an Indian feast planned, but we are still trying to pin down a date that works for 3 special friends to join in.
One thing I learned about myself during this block is that I am not a cartographer – this was no surprise. However, because I do think actively drawing something provides a different sense of space than passively looking at something, I am always trying to figure out how to do this when one’s drawing skills are such that India might turn out looking like a boiled ham hanging off the bottom of Asia. One way I have compensated for this in the past is through embroidery. The method I used for this block was to print out a map of India, carefully cut it out and then trace the outline onto a piece of paper. Vincent did the same for the map in his main lesson book. Cutting and tracing are both good ways to impart a sense of space into the body. The resulting drawing is accurate and clean; two details I think are important in studying geographical relationships.
- Ancient Mythologies, Charles Kovacs
- Ancient Mythology: India, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Donna Simmons
- Make these neat paper crafts for Diwali.
- Directions for making paper lotus flowers: origami paper or crepe paper
- Information on the lotus flower
- Wet-on-wet watercolor painting of “Manu and the Flood”
- Uncle Josh’s Outline Map Collection (This is a CD that I bought when I first started homeschooling. It is not Waldorf, but it is a great resource for all kinds of map work.)
- Cooking the Indian Way, Vijay Madavan
- The Multicultural Cookbook for Students, Carole Lisa Albyn and Lois Sinaiko Webb
- Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students, Lois Sinaiko Webb
- Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Luka and the Fire of Life, Salman Rushdie (These are children’s books by the famous author. I plan to use them as read alouds later in the year.)
- A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme, Heather Thomas (There are wonderful poems for all the ancient cultures in this book.)
Chicken Curry (This is a regular lunch and/or dinner at our house. Somehow it turns out slightly different every time we make it. It has only been bad once. That was the time Vincent thought he would add a teaspoon of every type of curry we had in the spice drawer: eight different curries in one dish was NOT a good idea. (The original recipe comes from The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook: Food and Fun Around the World by Deanna F. Cook)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-3 tablespoons curry powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups canned coconut milk
- Optional: raisins, chopped apple
- Garnish: chopped nuts
Brown chicken and onion in oil for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan. Melt butter and add garlic and curry powder. Cook for about a minute. Add coconut milk and raisins or apples, if using. Return chicken to pan, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with chopped nuts, if desired. Serves 4.