All posts in Teach Me Tues

Teach Me Tuesday Guatemala Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Guatemala: kids books, recipes, weavings and more

Guatemala for Kids through Books, Culture and Food

I landed in Guatemala because I actually had no idea of what to post on but I keep an email folder of “books that I want to read” from all the blogs that I read and Libertad came up and that was it for me. I don’t know much about Guatemala though my oldest just did a unit on the ancient civilizations of South and Central America but I always get the Aztecs mixed up with the Mayans. I think she had the Mayans, though. Read more…

Japanese Crest, shogun, daimyo, Japanese american books for kids

Japan: Books for Kids on Shogun, Family Crests, Block Prints

Japan: Children’s Books, Culture, and Art of Shogun Period

I have been thinking of doing a Teach Me Tuesday on Japan for a long time and now, with Japan in the news, I am a little tongue-tied. My mother’s side of the family is from Hiroshima and though we have a cousin who now lives in Tokyo, all are safe and sound. So this post is for everyone who has ties to Japan, either though family or emotionally (and that is probably most of the world as we look on with empathy and try to help). Read more…

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

China for Kids with Children’s Books, Culture and Design

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

I thought I’d finish up my family history and then I promise to move on from Asia for a while! I covered my mother’s Japanese aristocratic Daimyo history here, and my husband’s royal Yi Dynasty ancestry here.

My father immigrated from China before the Communist Revolution and like most Mainland  China expats, he has his own Joy Luck Club tale to tell. But first, isn’t it funny/strange that most everyone seems to be related to a royal or an aristocrat if you just go far enough back in time? Is this because that is the history that people take pains to preserve? Or maybe these family trees are immense?

In any case, my father’s Chinese side of the family is not related to royals (though with so much history and shake ups, you’d think almost everyone in China had a shot at that) or aristocrats; his family were silk merchants. I don’t exactly have all the details but I would imagine that his family did soup to nuts — raising silk worms, spinning thread, weaving fabric and then selling it. I would also guess that they were prosperous but not moguls  in that I know that his relatives suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution.

In China, most opportunities for advancement are based on standardized tests, particularly in education. My father did well and went to the top university in China and then he went on to teach math at a university. He was later sponsored by the Chinese government to study in the United States, and he went to U.C.L.A. to get his PhD in math. Rumor has it that he fudged his age a tad to appear younger in order to qualify. Read more…

Tea Leaves teach me tuesday sri lanka children's books http://PragmaticMom.com, pragmatic mom

Sri Lanka with Kids Books, Recipe and Design

Exploring Sri Lanka for Kids through Children’s Books, Food and More

I love this local cafe, L’Aroma Cafe, which seems to be a vortex attracting all kinds of nice people and frequently people who I know both one and two degrees of separation apart.  It was no different the other day when I was hanging out, waiting for a friend to arrive.  The owner came up and started talking to me.  They had offered their space to my friend,  Sharon Schindler,  a talented photographer of quintessential Boston, and it was wildly popular so all parties involved were thrilled, myself included because I got to eat yummy desserts surrounded by her gorgeous photos.   Read more…

Teach Me Tuesday Korean A Single Shard Linda Sue Park PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom Celadon Asian Pottery

Discovering Korea for Kids with Kids’ Books, Art and Food

Exploring Korea through Books for Kids, Celadon Pottery, Chosun Chests and More!

This was my second pilgrimage to the Brimfield Antique Flea Market with Sharon Schindler Photography and Capability:Mom. Sharon is there to shoot and shop. She shot some amazing vintage photographs there last year and Capability:Mom has the Ball Jars photo on her kitchen wall. This year they both scored blue-y tinged vintage Ball Jars for a song, a purchase that was made sweeter when we found out that the rest of the vintage jars there were much more expensive! Read more…

Lao Woodcarving Artisans Teach Me Tuesday Laos Pragmatic Mom Pragmatic Mom

Exploring Laos with Books for Kids, Culture and Art

Kids Explore Laos Through Books, Culture and Art

I received an offer via email to review this book and I was eager to cover Laos for my Teach Me Tuesday feature (which I am now doing every other week in an attempt to keep my posts to 3x a week and thus preserve my sanity since I am also launching a second blog, JadeLuckClub: Celebrating Asian American Creativity! which requires 3x a week posts as well). I asked her if she knew of any chapter book set in Laos or covering Laos or the Vietnam War. She didn’t know of any. I searched online but came up dry. Maybe you know of a middle grade chapter book set Laos? Can you please leave me a comment with your suggestions? Thank you. Read more…

The Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

Unsung Heroes of WWII: The Navajo Code Talkers

It wasn’t until I read Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac, a great author discovery I made last year, that I knew about the unsung Najavo heroes of WWII. I was only really cognizant of the 442nd Infantry Regiment made up of Japanese 2nd generation Americans because I’m half-Japanese; another group of unsung heroes of WWII with perhaps better P.R. Read more…

best asian easy reader, grace lin, pragmaticmom.com Ling and Ting Not Exactly the Same Grace Lin Asian American voice pragmatic mom

Asian in America (Amy Chua, new Asian KidLit, dumpling recipe!)

Asian in America and Tiger Mom Amy Chua’s Influence

There is no doubt that Amy Chua’s “Tiger Mom” book sparked a reaction fanned, no doubt, by the incendiary article by the Wall Street Journal. I read somewhere that when people bother you, it’s because they reflect something inside yourself that you are trying to suppress. They are a foil into your own “dark side.” So it’s not surprising that an extreme parenting style that produces a child that appears to be obedient, talented, and smart is an end result we all to achieve. Read more…

Burma Pagoda from Department of State, Teach Me Tuesday Burma Pragmatic Mom

Burma (Myanmar) for Kids: Books and Culture

Burma or Myanmar for Kids Though Books and Activities

Why Burma? A trio of serendipitous events collided:

  • A Mom Friend from Burma hosted a Mystery Dinner School Fundraiser and 8 parents from my school went to her dinner.
  • I had brunch with one set of parents who raved about her dinner, a Burmese Noodle Dish — recipe below –, and reminisced about his own travels to Burma.  He was there during the student protests (see history bullet points below) which was a crazy and somewhat unsafe time to be a tourist in Burma.
  • I was at a U2 concert a year ago, and Bono dedicated a song to Aung San Suu Kyi, who was I barely aware of. Read more…