September 17, 2013

History Lesson

We are studying the Middle Ages this year. It is so much fun for it is full of castles and knights, and classic stories I have been wanting to read to my boys for years like Robin Hood and the Story of King Arthur. There is so much out there to make this year wonderful it was truly hard to pick and choose for fear something fun will be left out. See my pinterest board on the Middle Ages/Renaissance. My saving grace was the spine, Story of the Middle Ages by Christine Miller and Passport to the Middle Ages a hands on trip through this historical period by Homeschool in the woods. Between these to resources I have just what I need to flesh out the middle ages time period with fun activities, great books and with more ease and peace of mind than I first thought was possible.

Apparently we have the old out dated cover image. If you checked out the link to The Story of the Middle Ages you can see that it has been redone. I think I like our old version better. One of the best aspects of this book is the suggested book list in the back. It suggests living books that fit in with the story of the Middle Ages narrative. It also give you an idea just where they go in the flow of the historical story. So by using this suggested book list I was able gather together relevant living books and plan them out with the spine readings, and with the help of the SCM panner, I know it will all fit into the school year. Yeah!

Below is a portion of my master list of books and where they fit into the spine. I have not stuck to the 20 minute lessons here as my boys can absorb more so my readings are a bit lengthy. It is working for us but it may not work for you. See for yourself, maybe you can do more. :) I also supplement with audio books when I need a break. See my other post on the ones I found for free at Librivox.

SOTMA: Europe Long Ago-Ceasar in Gaul and Britain (one lesson)
SOTMA: Europe under the Romans-The 1st Martyrs (one lesson)
In God's Garden by Amy Steedman(7 lessons/days)*
SOTMA: The Patron Saint of France- The Early Germans (one lesson)
Children of Odin by Padraic Colum (portions of it in 3 lessons)
SOTMA: How the Franks Came into Gaul-The first Kings (one lesson)
The White Stag by Kate Seredy(two lessons)
SOTMA: Theodoric and Ostrogoth-The Bishop of Ireland (one lesson)
Our Island Saints by Amy Steedman chapter on St. Patrick begin lap book (two lessons)
Lantern bearer by Rosemary Sutcliff (11 lessons)
SOTMA: The Anglo Saxons-King Arthur (one lesson)
King Arthur by Howard Pyle (five lessons)
SOTMA:  The story of St. Augustine (one lesson)
Augustine came to Kent by Barbara Willard (six lessons)

* If the book has 14 chapters in it like In God's Garden, it will take 7 lessons/days to complete the book if I can read two chapters/saint stories a day. Some books will be shorter or longer so the days it will take to read each one is different. 

Following is the rest of the list of living books we plan to use for History.  

Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard
Story of Roland for Children by H.E. Marshall
Castle by David MaCaulay
DK: Castle at War 
Castle Diary by Richard Platt
Vikings by Janeway
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French
The Viking adventure by Clyde Robert Bulla
Leif the Lucky by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty
Illuminations by Hunt
Little Duke by Charlotte M. Yonge
Cathedral by David MaCaulay
If All The Swords in England by Barbara Willard
God's Troubadour by 
Winning His Spurs by G. A. Henty
Magna Charta by James Daugherty
In Freedom's Cause by G.A. henry
Otto if the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
The Door in the Wall by
St. George for England by G. A. Henty
Canterbury Tales by Barbara Cohen Illustrated by Trina Hyman (a favorite illustrator of mine)
Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley

You may have observed as you read through the list that some classic books noted to be good for this time period like Robin Hood and Adam of the Road are missing. I have scheduled them into our literature readings instead of our history lesson and they should correspond also with the flow of history as it moves through time in the middle ages. 

Passport through the Middle Ages is something we do on project day which is the last day of our week. Project day was instigated last year because we love hands on activities but we also value the simplicity of Charlotte Mason's methods. One thing I wanted to make time for in our school week was to include more living books to fill them with ideas, "a banquet of mind food", and I also wanted to limit our hands-on work so we could practice narration which stimulates the mind to work on the ideas gained instead of and activity which may or may not accomplish this. So Project day is the sixth day in our week and it is where we do the fun activities, games etc. that we enjoy without losing the great advantage of sticking closely to a CM method during the week.

This is TJ's notebook where he keeps his passport notebooking type activities. 

Sample of one of their notebooking pages describing the different class levels in the Middle Ages. 

The boys also keep up a time line as we go along.

The boys write fictitious newspaper articles.

And illustrate some.

Here is Max's passport to travel into the Middle Ages. 

Each week I also read from a tour guide about that particular time in history, it sets the stage for the activities. Sometimes there are audio tours as well as the readings. This last week we listened as a reporter interviewed different people about their role in the Medieval class structure.

Now and then we get postcards from historical people telling us about the event in history where they played a part. The boys then illustrate the front of the post card and place into their post card rack.

We also are creating lapbook mini books as we go along and at the end of the year we will assemble the whole lap book. It should make for a fun review of all the things we have studied. 

There will be recipes to make, things to make like a castle out of sugar cubes and a Robinhood hat. We will also learn about every aspect of Medieval life. More about all that as we go along. I also have found oodles of wonderful you tube videos that go along nicely with each weeks readings and activities which I will be showing the boys each project day. 

NOTE: Many of the titles below are not suitable for children. We got around this by downloading the video and editing it in a editing program. Then we can be sure they boys get the content that is worthwhile for them at this age.

Here is our list of Medieval history videos. You can find them all on you-tube:

BBC Rise and Fall of Rome Series
History Channel's "The Dark Ages"
Merchant of Venice
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Peasant
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Knight
Medieval Warfare: Castle at War
Who were the Vikings BBC part 1/3
Viking Trading Empire BBC part 2/3
End of the Viking Age BBC part 3/3
History Channel's : "The Real Vikings"
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Monk
Illuminations BBC parts 1-6
History Channel's "The Plague"
El Cid
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Kings
Terry Jones: The Crusades parts 1-4
Terry Jones medieval lives:  The Outlaw
Christina: a Medieval Life
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Damsel
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Philosopher
Terry Jones Medieval Lives: The Minstrel

Bye for now....Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. It's a brilliant time period to study & works well with multiple ages - I identify with your dilemma! Soooo much to choose from.