The American Kingdoms or Chapter 32 brought back the challenge of violence. How do you tell small children that the Mayans played a ball game at the end of which the losers were put to death? And if you do tell them, do you tell them how the losers died? Very tricky.
Actually, it’s not that tricky if we divide and conquer this dilemma. Death is part of life and we have already experienced the death of loved ones: one of their friends died last November (still as shocking today as I think about it) and their grandfathers died one year and two years ago respectively.
So I have no problem with telling them that people die in these history lessons. But how they die, that’s another matter altogether. I have chosen not to tell them how these poor people were killed. You can do whatever you want.
The crafts did not speak to me at all. Maybe also because I am in a hurry to get through this curriculum. Maybe because the one craft I did print out for them, Mayan math, seemed rather involved. First off, I had to learn how the Mayans did math before I could explain it to the kids. Honestly, I was feeling lazy. There, I said it. I was feeling lazy.
So these pages went into their history binders without being done. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t know. I am the mom. I am the teacher. I decided that they understood quite a bit about the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Incas. Solving this math problem with Mayan figures would not make or break us.