Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 22

With Chapter 22, or Exploring the Mysterious East, we have entered the second part of the book. By the way, we are still reading a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother of Richard the Lionhearted and John Lackland, and other famous women from history. Also, we got a chapter book on Robin Hood from Dr. Bauer’s recommended list. We are swamped with reading material and we are on a deadline, as these are ILL items which cannot be renewed.

Needless to say, I am not inclined to be getting these extra readings from the library any time soon. First off, we are in catch up mode and I have decided that reading the lessons and doing the map and a bit of coloring here and there is sufficient for their age. Secondly, I am tired of having to stop in the middle of a sentence, when I read out loud to them, because of the violence portrayed in these books.  

It’s not that the writers are intentionally making the books violent. The subject matter is violent. We are talking kings, queens, adulteries, intrigues, lots of fighting and lots of wars and death and torture, after all. Humanity has not exactly been singing Cumbaya at each other. But Dr. Bauer has made an effort to tell the story of the world to children in a great curriculum and I will stick to her stories.

The other books she suggests, while great for the subject, have to be so thoroughly edited by me verbally, as I go along, that I have decided it is not worth the effort.

This chapter dealt with Marco Polo eating ice cream for the first time in China and the kids loved it. For some reason, my son was also really impressed with the description of coal: black stones which can burn. He answered the questions very well and so did my daughter, who just finished kindergarten.

She wants to answer more and more questions and I have allowed her to just read the answers from the book, as she is still learning to read and process information. This way, she gets reading practice, she is proud that she can answer the questions and be part of the lesson just like big brother, and then she actually learns some history details by repeating them herself.

They are still learning to be patient with each other and to take turns. It used to be no competition between them when she was smaller and just joined us for fun. Now, she wants to be actively involved and feels slighted if I focus too much on big brother when we do subject together. I have learned that even though we do subjects together at his level, I have to: 1. give her a chance to participate and 2. explain some of the words for her level. It’s fun!


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