Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 16

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Chapter 16 describes England after the Norman Conquest. I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and, for the first time ever, we did all the crafts and activities suggested. How can I NOT build an edible castle? How could we NOT work with Play-Doh in different colors to illustrate the blending of languages into English? How could we NOT play a medieval game of Fox and Geese?

Coin purses craft for children

Coin purses – a rare cloth craft we put together for history

I even shocked myself by summoning enough courage to do a textile craft… after I told you guys I do not enjoy them and I draw a line there… But there was absolutely no sewing involved, not even fabric glue… So we made two almoners (coin purses).

The chapter is rather long, with three stories, so we finished the map and coloring page (a castle) in one day and left the crafts for the next day.  Continue reading »

After we made the castle, my son got really inspired (there’s no telling what marshmallows can do for one’s mind!) and remembered that he had borrowed a book from the library called Incredible Cross-Sections. What do you know? The first chapter showed a castle and its cross-sections, with short paragraphs that described each section and even the relationships between different classes of society in medieval times.

Play-Doh craft about English

Blended languages created English

The kids learned the word “feudalism.” It’s neat that in Romanian the spelling is the same, although we pronounce it differently.

Then we worked on the Play-Doh craft to illustrate how all these languages blended together to create the English we speak today.

Fox and Geese beginning position

Fox and Geese beginning position

Last but not least, they played Fox and Geese and loved it. Once was enough and it actually did not take that long. I have to say, it is hard to be a fox and win.

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Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 14

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I read Chapter 14 to the kids in the car, while my husband was driving us to the piano recital. It was my way of distracting everybody – especially myself – from nervousness. I think it worked. My kids did well on their recital, considering their age. It was my daughter’s first piano recital and she played two songs. My son played three songs. It was his second piano recital.

Homemade viking bread

Crusty, gritty and oh so yummy viking bread

Lots of nervousness going on and lots of dynamics among all of us, so I decided we needed to distract ourselves completely with history.  Continue reading »

Chapter 14 deals with the arrival of the Norsemen. There are two historical stories and two Nordic legends. Very interesting and useful information as we deal with today’s pop culture. I have not shown the kids movies like The Avengers, but Thor seems to be popping up everywhere these days, even in commercials. It helps to have a background on this character.

Viking Bread Dough

Viking bread before going into the oven to bake for one hour

The funny thing is, we managed to read everything but the last paragraph before we got to the recital hall. So we had to do a little re-cap a few days later and answer the questions and try a narration exercise.

Jam on viking bread

To take away the baking soda taste, try putting jam or even cranberry sauce on your viking bread

After that, I decided making viking bread was easier than trying to fold and paste together a viking boat. So here I go again, into the kitchen, cooking something for our history lesson. I actually enjoy this exercise. Just thought I’d make that clear, because I am not complaining. Crafts you can eat, that’s good. Crafts you have to store, not good. Crafts that must be thrown away (after all that hard work!) because of their odd shape and size, definitely not good.