History Highlights

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I've finally gotten all of my materials together for this post. When I look back over everything we did this year, I start to think we actually accomplished some things. Now I just have to avoid glimpsing at the elaborate plan I made before the school year began...

Finished or not, history has been loads of fun, and I especially enjoy the fact that it's a subject we can all do together. We're using a somewhat classical model in our homeschool, while still giving a nod to Charlotte Mason and other styles (how original). So far, the four-year history cycle is working for us, and this was our Medieval/Renaissance year.

We used Story of the World as our spine and supplemented with both independent reading for Bearclaw and read-alouds for all of us. Most of those came from Biblioplan, which is a multi-level history curriculum comprised mostly of book lists. It's a very useful resource, and it provides, in each unit, independent reading ideas for each age group and a family read-aloud selection.

Some of our favorite read-alouds this past year:

Saint Patrick: Pioneer Missionary to Ireland by McHugh
Beorn the Proud by Bulla
The Door in the Wall by Angel
Explorers Who Got Lost by Sansevere-Dreher

We also enjoyed the following recordings by Jim Weiss and Greathall Productions:

"King Arthur and His Knights"
"Arabian Nights"
"Shakespeare for Children"
"Galileo and the Stargazers"
"Masters of the Renaissance"

I find the Activity Guides for Story of the World to be fairly user-friendly, so we did the map work and, sometimes, the review questions for each chapter. Notice I didn't mention the activity projects. I don't have anything against activiy projects, but I always schedule them for Friday, and by Friday I'm in a different mood than I was in when I wrote the lesson plan. Thankfully, the children attneded a homeschool history/arts program on Wednesday afternoons, so they did a multitude of projects. And I did not.

Here are some of the projects/pieces of art they created this year:

We also started a timeline this year, using the figures from Homeschool in the Woods, which has been very helpful (especially for me):

Of course, what the kids remember most are the few big projects we managed to complete at home, including dressing up as Celtic warriors (or maybe something closer to how they were depicted in Bravheart) when we kicked-off in last August:

And the grand finale this spring- a medievel feast with our dear friends, complete with period dress, entertainment, and authentice recipes from Gode Cookery:

The one thing we're still working on is the Reformation. I don't think we'll do any stake burnings, but I'll post pics if I change my mind.

Comments (2)

Great things for history! We loved _The Door in the Wall-, too. If you decide to do any stake burnings, let me know.

Wouldn't dream of doing it without you!