African Kingdoms or Chapter 29 contains three stories on Ghana, Mali and Songhay respectively. The kids loved it and I can tell we have crossed into a different phase now. They are more aware of geography. They run to the world map we have hanging on the wall to place these countries from the black-and-white map provided in Story of the World onto the bigger, colorful one on the wall.
Timbuktu was important to share with them. So many Americans use Timbuktu without realizing it is an actual city and it used to be a great center of learning and urban trade in the Middle Ages.
They also had fun with Musa Mansa. The name seemed silly to them and so they ran with it. Kids like to laugh at silly things and I joined in. They colored the page representing this great sultan and marveled at his pilgrimage to Mecca, with his entourage of 60,000 people. Ah! Where is Mecca? So we looked Mecca up, too.
They really are enjoying these stories. I love their educational value, but I must say my children simply love the stories. They ask for more, as soon as one is over. “I want to know what happens next,” said my daughter as we finished one of these stories.
Are they getting older and expressing themselves better? Or are they falling in love with history? Or is the curriculum getting better? It’s hard to tell. But I know these children are different from the ones I started on Story of the World Volume 1 almost two years ago. And that helps.
Also, my son wanted to learn some more about the Roman Empire. He thinks they invented a lot of things, the Romans. And he mentioned going to the library for a book called “The Librarian Who Measured the Earth.” I told you these kids are changing. We borrowed that book a few years ago and it was not very interesting to them. But when my son spotted it again at the library as one of the books featured on a shelf, it caught his attention.
Lots of crafts provided in this chapter but I just could not get into it. Playing games I have to learn so I can teach them just seems like a lot of work. And we still have a dozen chapters to finish, plus a couple more summer camps to attend and Chronicles of Narnia to read, and violin and piano lessons and daily practice. I would also like to make it to the pool more often this summer. And did I mention I would like to do some canning and start a more serious gardening effort? Now if only this patch of rainy weather would go away…