Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 33

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Chapter 33 covered the end of Napoleon and the craft was really exciting. I had no idea it would be so easy to create our own snow globe with a soldier inside to represent the poor French soldiers trudging through Russia in the winter.

Snow globe soldier

Snow globe soldier craft

We made sure the pronunciation of Napoleon’s name is different from that of Neapolitan ice cream. We love Neapolitan ice cream at our house and they asked me if it got named after Napoleon. That’s when I realized we needed to clarify some pronunciation. Continue reading »

The chapter also covers the useless war of 1812. We have listened to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture before and we listened to it again. My son thinks the cannon sounds are really exciting. You can find a recording with real cannons on YouTube if you do not have a copy of this piece.

I did not play Abba’s Waterloo song for them, but I told them how the name can be used in different contexts to mean a battle you were supposed to win, but you lost. I also mentioned how the Duke of Wellington lived long enough to overlap his life and career with those of Queen Victoria.

The kids know I watch “Victoria” on PBS and I told them the Duke of Wellington makes several appearances in Victoria’s life as represented on this TV show. He is older and he advises her with his wisdom.

Here’s another reason to do history even before fifth grade: all the vocabulary used in popular culture, in newspapers, in songs, in symbolic ways. Vocabulary is very important in our homeschool and you might be sick of my reminding you about it over and over again.

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 29

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Chapter 29 deals with Napoleon’s rise to power. Two stories about Napoleon document first his becoming a consul and then an emperor. The kids want to understand why Napoleon behaved the way he did, which to me signifies that we are moving into the logic stage of their development.

French and British War Game

The French side is blue but technical difficulties made it so their cards ended up being white instead.

They are not just concerned about the facts. Now they want to know why the facts are as they are. What motivates people to want power? Why does a man want to become a leader at any cost? Greed. That’s the short answer. Continue reading »

So we discussed greed and what it does to people and relationships. We gave examples from our own lives and from some of the literature we have read or movies we have watched. The Bible verse came to mind, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

We talked about all the art that Napoleon brought from Italy and which is now in the Louvre. “Was the Mona Lisa among those paintings?” they asked me. I did not know the answer to that question.

When I researched it, I found out that no, the Mona Lisa did not come to France with Napoleon. It actually came a long time before that. Da Vinci himself brought it over from Italy.

For the craft or activity, we decided to play the game provided in the Activity Book, called “Conquer the World.” I printed out the cards on construction paper: blue for the French and red for the English. Well, would you believe this? The blue paper got warped in the printer and I got tired of working with it, so I printed out the French cards on regular printer paper.

I did not enlarge the board, either, as they were suggesting. And I did not want to laminate it because I knew we would want to color it. They enjoyed playing the game and I could really tell they remembered the details. It would be interesting to play it again in a month or six months and see if they still remember.