Story of the World, Vol. 1, Chapter 35

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Caesar the Hero or Chapter 35 was sad. Really, really sad. It was tough to introduce the kids to the way Julius Caesar died. Again, I question the generosity of violent details in this history curriculum for first graders. I understand that they made it usable by children in grades 1-6, but it really was geared to first graders in the first place.

Boy with flag craft

Our Caesar with his flag

My librarian actually posted a note on some of the ILL titles she ordered for me. She wanted to make sure I reviewed these titles, because she deemed them appropriate for high school or, at the very least, for somebody in middle school. I told her that I previewed everything anyway and I thanked her for her concern.  Continue reading »

A lot of these titles sometimes are OK for young children, but the illustrations get violent. And then, other titles are too mature in both content and illustrations. I actually wonder if I should do Story of the World next year. If I have to pick and choose and wade through a whole lot of resources, what’s the point in having a curriculum?

I don’t like to make my own unit studies or my own history curriculum. I am not that kind of homeschooling mom. I prefer to spend some money on a curriculum and implement it. Of course I adapt it to our learners, but how much adaptation I want to do is very, very little indeed.

Anyway, I was reliving my childhood through this chapter, remembering the times when I learned expressions like “crossing the Rubicon” or “Alea iacta est” or “Et tu, Brute?” or “Veni, vidi, vici” as a child.

We made a flag craft. We kept some wrapping paper tubes handy and – what do you know? – our history curriculum required a wrapping paper tube. My kids are really into recycling and they ask to keep all sorts of tubes and containers. Now and then, we find they do come in handy for craft projects.

Homemade flag

Our homemade flag

I had some felt scraps and we cut them up. For some reason, I decided yellow and blue would be the right colors for this Roman flag – maybe a subconscious nod to my three years in Sweden. (The Swedish flag is yellow and blue. If you have ever been to IKEA, you would have seen it.)

I also introduced them to Roman numerals. I made the cards and showed them. They were amazed that you could write numbers differently. I did not insist on memorization. But giving them a concept cannot hurt.


Story of the World, Vol. 1, Chapter 34

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Chapter 34 took us back to my favorite ancient civilization – Rome. The story of Julius Caesar touched us all in a profound way. They were amazed by his ambition and life.

Boy with leaf crown

My JC wearing a leaf crown and a shirt declaring, “I will.” A coincidence, but a fitting one.

This is why I love homeschooling so much. I had fun in school growing up. Learning to me is a pleasure and a lot of fun. When I teach my children, I re-live those moments of my childhood when I had fun learning. On the other hand, when I learn new things in order to present them to my children, it’s fun also, because I love to study and find out new things.  Continue reading »

We made Julius Caesar’s leaf crown by stapling the crown together first.

Leaf Crown Base

We measured their heads and stapled accordingly.

My son got leaves from outside, but then we got busy with other things and he did not staple them. The next morning, I found them dried and crumpled up on the desk. So we used some leaves from craft flowers instead. This way, our leaf crown will have lasting power.

We also played “Ransom Julius Caesar” as directed in the activity book. It was a lot of fun because of its simplicity. Even my five-year-old could play it and understand what is required of her.

Ransom Caesar Game

We used play coins for Caesar and to mark locations.