The Return of Assyria, Chapter 16, showed me that my children enjoy these stories or, – shall we call them by their official name? – history lessons after all. We had struggled through chapter 15 and we had some attitude issues to deal with. Besides, I was busy putting together my first picture book for Kindle. Something had to give. I put History on hold for the past two weeks. Or was it three?
With Chapter 16, I decided to try something new: I read the chapter to them at bedtime. In Susan Wise Bauer’s description of this curriculum, she calls it “The book that delayed a thousand bedtimes” or something to that effect. It gave me the idea that, after all, the author went to great lengths to make history appealing to young children by using a story format. Why not use these for bedtime reading? Why not replace Spot, Max and Ruby, Clifford and the Berenstain Bears with the true stories of ancient civilizations?
Instead of our books or library books, we read these two stories within this chapter. They loved being in my bed with their clipboards, crayons, maps and coloring pages. They listened intently. My son, the first grader, answered the review questions perfectly. Daddy walked into the bedroom while we were covering the review questions and enjoyed seeing how much our son knew about the Assyrians.
Besides, our son was quick to tell him, with excitement in his voice, “Dad! Guess what? We learned about the first librarian today!”
I have ordered the literature suggestions from the Library and it will probably take another week for them to be here. I did make the connection between Nineveh and Jonah, because my kids knew that story already. It seemed to be a big surprise, like a connection just happened between some of their neurons.
We did make an Assyrian Siege Tower, but no book for Ashurbanipal’s Library. My kids have made quite a few books for other subjects. My son wanted me to film the attack.
In short, we are really behind in History. Of course I want to catch up, but my motto is year round homeschooling, so I totally see myself going into the summer months with some lessons to finish, as I mentioned in a previous post.
On the other hand, I could go the accelerated route. Here’s how it would work out: we have 8 weeks of school to go and 26 chapters left to cover. If I take 3-4 nights a week to read them the lesson at bedtime, while they color, we will get it done. I have looked ahead at the activities and many of them are either too messy or too common, i.e. we have already covered that particular type of craft in some way, for some other subject. Sorry, there will be no layers upon layers of newspaper bits and glue on Grecian vase crafts in my house any time soon. We will just color the paper one instead. So it’s not like we could not slide one or two activities into a week.
As for the extra reading suggestions, I don’t see a problem going through the summer reading them, as we can make them part of our Summer Reading Program.