Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 7

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Chapter 7 covered France and Prussia. The French are struggling between monarchy, empire, and republic as a form of government. The Prussians are trying hard to unite all German principalities into a Second Reich. Interesting stories indeed.

Pikealhaube Craft

Pickelhaube craft – helmet from Prussia

The kids are eager to get to Hitler. They have heard so much about the terrible things he did. I explained that he was in the Third Reich. Will that be in the next lesson? They wanted to know. Actually, we need to cover more decades before we get to him. Continue reading »

We are still in the 1870s and Hitler will be in the 1930s-1940s. Sometimes just simply communicating about dates works just as much as a timeline. We are putting together our timeline binders all right, but a general idea about where we are in reference to a particular event or person can be shared in a simple dialogue.

The map work was not as complicated as in other lessons. Or are we just getting used to it by now? This is already chapter 7. We may be getting used to labeling things, who knows?

The craft was fun. Finally, we have something to color and cut with scissors and attach with tape. The craft started them onto a war path. I am still trying to understand what happened.

Just so you know, my children are real and they do fight with each other sometimes.

Today was one of those days. I take that back. The morning went pretty smoothly. Then we had an art class in town and they finished their paintings. They proudly brought home their creations. I was looking forward to finishing up history and violin practice and then be done.

Not sure what happened, but they fell apart. They were irritating each other over and over again. By the grace of God, I stayed calm and worked with them. When my husband came home, he was telling me about some of the stress he had today and I thought, you know, we all have stressful situations every day.

We homeschooling moms might have these unrealistic expectations of cherubs eagerly awaiting for us to teach them one more lesson. In reality, they are just children. They have good days and bad days. They are still learning how to manage their feelings. If we have not taught them how to manage their anger right, no wonder they are still floundering.

After dinner, we all sat down and talked a bit more about what happened. But I hope tomorrow is a better day – for my sanity’s sake.

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 14

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Chapter 14 covers the very interesting country of Prussia in early modern times. With my renewed interest in all things German, thanks to Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, who hailed from the small German principality of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, this chapter provided a lot of information we all received eagerly.

German flag

The flag of Germany today still reflects the colors of the old flag of Prussia.

I told the children about the three colors of the German flag, which can be found in the coloring page from Story of the World, on the Prussian emblem. With everything going on now in the European Union, reading about how these countries used to be really puts things in perspective. Continue reading »

I have friends and family who live in Germany and I feel very concerned for them. They have so many Muslims there, it is only a matter of time before a larger terrorist attack will happen in Germany. That is my sad, sad prediction.

For our project, we studied a bit of German. Now German is one language I have not attempted to introduce because I simply think we are doing enough languages. But I used to study German and I know a smattering of expressions, so I found it easy to follow Susan Wise Bauer’s list of German words.

If you don’t know how to pronounce German, never fear. She provides a pronunciation guide for each word. No excuses now. We found it fun because the children remembered how Mr. Weenie in Open Season used to say “Nein! Ja!” and eat yet another biscuit.

For a quick, funny example of the German accent in English, there is another scene where Mr. Weenie teaches a friend to say “I am wild” which sounds like “I am vild” in English. Mr. Weenie’s “I am vild” is – well – wild.

We talked about the national anthem of Germany which is the melody of the Christian hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” The words were written by John Newton on a melody by Franz Joseph Haydn. This song is called Austria because it was originally the national anthem of Austria. We noticed how the colors of the modern-day German flag (red, yellow, and black) were used on the old Prussian flag.