Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No More AR Books For Alex - Leisure Reading - Musashi



Song:  Japanese Lullabies



Alex began (once again)...
reading the epic novel...
Musashi.

This is his new leisure reading book.

He had read some of the book long ago
as part of our reading comprehension exercises.
However, we had to put it on hold as we had to prioritize other studies.

As a result of Alex's test scores at school...
he is one of the students who no longer needs to read
Accelerated Reading books and take tests on them.

So, today...
I had him restart the tremendous novel that is...Musashi.

As of 1981...
there were over 120 million copies of this novel sold in Japan alone.

How many millions more have been sold since then...
and else where in the world...I do not know.
However, I do know that at least 120 million people's lives
have been greatly enriched by this deeply moving novel.

The copy Alex is reading is the one I had bought over 30 years ago
(mine had a different cover design).

I had loved it so much (it is my favorite book of all time)...
I knew that I would want to have my future son read it
(although I wouldn't get married for another 12 years...
I was thinking how much I wanted to have children some day).

It is a book about one of the greatest swordsman in Japanese history.
It is believed that Miyamoto Musashi had approximately 60 sword duels to the death
as he traveled olden day Japan in search of self mastery through his sword. 

Although historical records reflect his duels and certain segments of his life...
not enough was known about the details to call this novel a biography.

What the author had done was to create a fictional account of the life of 
Miyamoto Musashi...based upon as many real historical facts as was known.

Miyamoto Musashi had actually written a book on tactics and sword fighting
(Go Rin No Sho - The Book Of Five Rings).

He had also produced works of art in ink...and with metal (sword guards).



The novel "Musashi" is 970 pages of small print...
and filled with all the makings of a truly epic novel.

It fully illustrates the inner growth of a person
who went to necessary extremes to change himself fundamentally...
and of the woman who loved him with a pure heart...
and of her great commitment to love.

Throughout this novel...
the reader is taken on a journey of great...
courage...
love...
friendship...
commitment...
and honor.

This book has great relevance for all young readers
as it shows the effects on those who choose a hedonistic lifestyle...
and their destination in life as a result of their decisions...
and the effects on those who choose a life of deferred gratification...
and of the greatness achieved in their lives.

This book does so much to teach a better way of life...
no matter the particular path chosen by a child.

The fundamental message is universal, and timeless.

It stresses the positive results through committed daily training...
and living with a true and pure heart.

A child will naturally infer the applicability to all of life...
whether it is Intellectual (studying)...
Emotional (music and arts)...
or Physical (sports).

Of all the books I have read...
even of the great western pieces of literature...
none sets the tone for morality as a way of life...
so well as does Musashi.

This book should be required reading for all students.


As Alex has many subjects to study on a daily basis...
along with extra credit assignments and special projects...
Alex only has time to read 30 minutes to an hour a day (every day).

After each leisure reading session...
he writes a synopsis of what he had read for the day.
We will then discuss the significance of the events which had transpired in his reading.

We still allot approximately one hour of absolute free time for him every day
(although he frequently chooses to design a math contest or instructional essay
in his free time).

Alex is in the process of designing math contests for 
Middle and High School students.

He says that his contest will be designed for the average student (non honors class)... 
in hopes of getting them more interested in math.

When he completes it...
I will post it.

After completing the High School contest...
he will then work on the Middle School contest.


He has hopes of introducing it to his school as an annual event
(now that is optimistic and forward thinking! :)

Alex is happiest when he is being creative
with his writing and math skills.


Alex loves to read, study, and create essays as a daily activity...
even in his free time.

I have to assign a movie for him to watch with me
(movie night...a movie chosen for its moral and empathetic value)...
as he would rather do his daily activities.

He doesn't watch TV unless it is the rare educational show
(he would rather read).

No argument from me  :)









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