Week 5: We made Confucius gardens.
Multiplication tables were invented during the Zhou Dynasty. The co-op began by discussing how land distribution and rice tax requirements for the emperor was the first known application for multiplication. For example, if the emperor had 4 sections of land, and each produced 6 units of rice, and the emperor received 1/2 of the rice from each section........... he should get 4 sections x 6 units x 1/2 = 12 units of rice.
Confucius' new way of thinking had a great impact on China. After the multiplication lesson, we talked about Confucius, his beliefs and several of his sayings. We also talked about Budda and Lao Zi (the father of Daoism). Many of the great thinkers from the past discussed their ideas with friends and followers. We learned that most of their discussions took place in gardens under trees, which is why the kids each made their own Confucius garden.
At home we read Confucius: The Golden Rule by Russell Freedman. This book was quite a challenge for my eight year old, but he did learn a lot from it.