Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 11

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Chapter 11 was all about India and the Mogul emperors there. The craft was not that complicated. We put a couple of stuffed animals in the math balance and tried to see what goods could make them balance.

Foofa on a math balance

The weight of Foofa in costume jewelry and such

The story was that of the young Indian prince whose weight was measured in gold and food which were then given to the poor on his birthday. The kids had fun bringing costume jewelry, marbles and other objects to try to make things balance. Continue reading »

I suppose you could really dive into this activity and transform it into a math activity and other things – a whole unit study in itself about India. The thing is, unit studies do not appeal to me. I would suspect one cannot do a unit study about India either without cooking an Indian dish. Alas, I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate Indian cuisine.

Teddybear in math balance

Teddybear in math balance

I have several Indian friends who have cooked their dishes for me and promised me to tone down the spices. The food was so spicy, I had tears in my eyes as I ate the first couple of forkfuls and then asked to be excused from finishing the rest of my plate. I am sorry, but Indian food is not my thing. I have never liked spicy food to begin with. Ginger and curry are not at all flavors I like, either. There it is.

The kids enjoy looking cities up on the world map. We talked about how large India is – large enough to be called the Indian subcontinent in some contexts. And that was another chapter done.


Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 30

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Chapter 30 or India Under the Moghuls contains two stories. The kids are doing so much better with narration and by “kids” I mean my son, my oldest. He is eight and a rising third grader. I ask him to tell me the story in three sentences. I don’t expect my six-year-old to narrate.

Of course, my son gives me the story in more than three sentences. He is doing a lot better than I expected. If only I gave him a chance, right?

Girl dressed as an empress

Playing dress-up as an empress

Until about a month ago, I did not think that narration was something he could do. Or was I too much in a hurry to get things done that I did not have the patience to wait through his hesitating narration? I think it was more about my inadequacy than his. And that’s what you learn as a homeschooling parent. Sometimes – many times – it is not the child. It’s us, the parents. We mess up and then we think it’s the child.  Continue reading »

All this to say, narration is going well. I ask my daughter to answer some of the questions and to build full sentences. She is six and does not remember everything. So I have her read the answers from the Activity Book. Guess what? She loves doing it. She gets to “answer” the question like big brother AND she gets reading practice.

Indian Moghul

Indian Moghul

In all honesty, I have come to regard The Story of the World as a total curriculum for social studies, history, language arts, arts and crafts, culinary arts, even science (like the explanation of the magnetized needle craft, which always point north). The only thing you would need to add is math and spelling and then you are in business.

Indian garden created by a Muslim king

Indian garden created by a Muslim king

Sure, I will not do that. I will still add a real science curriculum and a writing curriculum etc but for the summer break, this really helps the kids stay interested in learning and they ARE learning. Lots of things.

They loved the story of the servant and we acted out being empress for a day. At first they asked me to be empress and it was fun to give them orders which they obeyed right away with a swift, “Yes, Your Majesty!” Then my daughter wanted to be empress and she dressed up in her fanciest dress and sat on her throne and they went on like this for hours. I liked it because I got to be maid and got back to my kitchen so I can prepare lunch for us. It worked out.