Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 17

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Chapter 17 dealt with Russia’s Peter the Great. I have mixed feelings about Russia. I grew up in Romania and Russia influenced our culture in a very tangible way. I do not like Russia because they brought communism to Romania, but I like Russia for its art and literature.

Foam medal craft

We used foam sheets with sticky backs for the medals.

Russian history explains a lot about its art and culture, so I am curious to learn more about all the details that have shaped this country.  Continue reading »

The temper of Peter the Great gave us an opportunity to discuss our own tempers. Homeschooling families spend a lot of their time together. We have more opportunities to get on each other’s nerves than families who send their children to school for seven hours a day.

Foam medal

One of the medals made by the kids out of sticky foam sheets.

Thankfully, we do not get as ugly with each other as Peter the Great did, but we have our moments when our tone with each other could use some modulation. I call it our “meek voice” and I am the first one to admit that I need a lot of help in developing my meek voice and using it more often.

Foam sheets with design drawn

First we drew the design onto the foam sheet.

For our craft, we used foam sheets to create medals. When Susan Wise Bauer wrote this curriculum, the foam sheets she recommended did not have sticky backing. Well, this made our craft a lot easier. We did not have to apply glue. Our foam sheets are like stickers.

#1 Place Medal Craft

The other medal my children made

You just remove the protective cover and voila, you have a sheet ready to be stuck onto another foam sheet. So first we drew the shape, then they cut it out, then we removed the protective cover and stuck the pieces together according to the design shown in the book.

We used different color foam sheets, but then the kids decided to color them with markers anyway. Oh well. Whatever works. You will notice that one of my children is still learning how to spell “place.”

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 1

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Here we go again. Another school year means we go on with history. It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the year 1600 in our studies. On our first day of school this year, we read Chapter 1 of Volume 3 in Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.

Story of the World Volume 3

Story of the World Volume 3


I don’t know why the layout is slightly different but it does not matter. It’s the same basic format:

  • I read a chapter out loud from the main book, which contains the actual “stories”
  • They color a picture which I copy from the Activity Book
  • We work on the map provided for that chapter in the Activity Book
  • We do a craft suggested, if I feel up to it
  • We read a suggested title, optional

Continue reading »

This first lesson was a bit longer, because I read the Introduction and then Chapter 1, which had two stories. But they liked it.

And, truth be told, as soon as they saw the new curriculum and realized it was “history,” they started squealing for joy. A homeschooling mom’s dream come true: children who love to learn.

My six-year-old gets bored at times through longer chapters. And, lately, she has embraced two expressions: “I don’t get it” and “I can’t.” Well, I told her I will not accept “I can’t” and that’s the end of that conversation. She may say, “This is hard,” or “It sounds challenging” but not “I can’t.”

Two other teachers in her life tell her the same thing: her violin teacher and her tae kwon do instructor. So I am on the same page with other adults in her life and hopefully we can get her out of that habit.

When she says “I don’t get it,” I stop and explain. But I noticed that she does get it. She just says it because she thinks it is a cool thing to say. I am not sure where she picked it up (a book? a movie?). But we are working on fixing it and yes, history is one area where she uses it.

The first chapter was a bit convoluted. We had lots of opportunities to get lost in the story. So I just stopped and repeated what she was missing and we moved on.

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 26

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Chapter 26 or France and England At War was a great chapter about the Hundred Years’ War. The kids loved the idea that a baby became a king. A king in diapers was such a funny and silly concept, they brought it up over and over.

Joan of Arc paper dolls

Joan of Arc paper dolls

There were lots of crafts we could have done. I chose the Joan of Arc paper dolls and skipped the coloring page. There was a lot of coloring for the paper dolls. I was impressed that, for some reason, my kids did not shy away from cutting and pasting. They used to avoid glue projects like the plague. I guess we are growing and changing ever so steadily.  Continue reading »

The questions were answered quite well, though not perfect and not without help. And then, I dared ask my son to narrate the stories to me. There were two of them. He did a good job, actually. I think my hesitation in asking for narration is more in my head than in his.

I need to start narration consistently. Susan Wise Bauer even recommends that the parent write down the child’s narration unless the child is a strong writer. At this point, I would prefer to write it down myself, just to encourage him to narrate. Also, again, I am the impatient one. I don’t want to make him sit through a 15-minute writing session. But maybe I should.

Hmmm…. First things first. Maybe next year he can write down the narrations for himself. Note to self.

At this point we have 16 chapters left in the textbook. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With summer camp season starting, at least for us, I will only focus on history for the next five weeks. We should be able to get it done before August rolls around.

I told them we are taking a summer break from school and they were very happy. But what that means is that we still read a lot, do our devotional, play our instruments, even take a few violin and piano lessons here and there, finish up the history curriculum, and attend these summer camps: string camp, soccer camp, princess camp (my daughter only) and Adventure Camp (my son only).