Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 21

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This chapter dealt with four wars – three completely useless plus the Seven Years’ War. George Washington gets introduced to students for the first time and our kids perked up when they heard his name. They knew about Washington from other books.

Camo shirt and blanket

Camo shirt and blanket

The chapter has two stories, both complex and rather boring at times. The children let me know that several times. As they colored the governor’s mansion coloring pages, I read to them.  Continue reading »

We answered the questions and I helped them with the narration. I like how even SWB makes provision for narration in complex story lines by allowing us to direct the student to specific details in the story.

Williamsburg Palace

Coring page for the chapter

The map work was interesting, as we had to put pluses and minuses on different countries, with different colors, to represent the four wars which took place both in Europe and in North America.

Hammering Ferns

My son hammering fern pigment into his shirt.

The craft was elaborate, too. We had to hunt for a light green shirt, ferns, a hammer, and salt. It has been cold lately, so it was chilly in the garage, where my son had to beat down the ferns to get their green juice to ooze onto the shirt. My son got warm as he pounded the ferns, but I just stood there taking pictures, not very good ones at that, shivering away.

Our son pours salt over the t-shirt to set the pigment.

Our son pours salt over the t-shirt to set the pigment.

We decided it was enough after a couple of minutes. Then, we soaked it in salt water. I decided one hour would be a good soaking period, as we were not given specific instructions. We put the T-shirt in the dryer afterwards.

The redcoats learn to camouflage in North America.

The redcoats learn to camouflage in North America.

I think it turned out OK, but I wish we could have put other leaves besides ferns – maybe rhododendron. There are not that many other leaves around, now that it is December. Also, there was just so much salt, you can see some white streaks here and there on the t-shirt. Oh well.

The kids loved the story of the redcoats learning to camouflage themselves in the forests of the American colonies. We pulled out our play camouflage blanket and took some silly pictures.

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 4

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Chapter 4 in The Story of the World Volume 3 deals with the struggle to look for a Northwestern passage. Hudson and Champlain are the main heroes of the two stories in the chapter. I did not exactly have the milk cartons required to make the craft boat – we drink non-dairy milk which comes in a totally different shaped-carton.

LEGO friends in a boat

Floating cakes of ice during the search for a northwestern passage. Yes, LEGO friends in the boat…

So I set the kids on an adventure with LEGO people and boats. We used white LEGO bricks as the floating cakes of ice mentioned in the stories, an expression which made them laugh. Cakes of ice? They kept repeating it. This is why we read extensively. They learn new ways to use words and to put them together.  Continue reading »

They barely colored and I did not insist. They have been coloring a lot of history sheets lately and we don’t need to drive this activity into the ground.

The best moment for me during the history class was when my daughter heard Hudson wanted to sail to India by going over the top of the earth. “Wait!” she started. “The top of the earth?” Her eyes thoughtfully rested on my eyes for a quiet second. And then she burst out, “He is going to Santa!”

I laughed for a few minutes. We all did. She started explaining how she connected things in her mind. “The top of the earth is the North Pole. That’s where Santa lives! Hudson is going to Santa!”

I made a point to remind them their violin teacher lives in Quebec. They should tease her about the first colonists being beggars and convicted criminals. They said they might mention it. I also asked them, “Should we not be thankful that all these explorers have gone before us? Our lives are so comfortable now here in North America. These people sacrificed everything in order to find a way toward global trade.” They appeared thoughtful, so hopefully some realization of our blessed stated is sinking in.

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 3

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Chapter 3 came with two stories, but they both focused on King James. I know it’s a bit much to read two stories in one sitting, and work through questions and narration, but we do it because, frankly, I find it hard to split history in two days during the week. Plus we have been doing this through the summer and the kids could take it.

When I finish one story, I ask them the comprehension questions. Then, I ask my eight-year-old to narrate the story back to me. As soon as he stops, they say, “Next story! Next story!” So it’s not like I am stressing them out or making them suffer. They love history.  Continue reading »

It was interesting to see they were making connections today. When I mentioned Westminster Abbey, my daughter said, “That’s where Handel is buried!” She has been listening to some CDs about the lives of different composers and obviously she is connecting the dots.

One thing they did differently today was my daughter decided to copy her brother in his coloring. So if you see a cat in the original coloring page, you can also see it in her page, except hers is reversed (she is left-handed).

If you look closely, there’s even a lion on the sails – probably an inspiration from the Dawn Treader – the Narnia book we are reading right now. They have Aslan on their sails. They were impressed with the number of scholars King James got together to translate the Bible (54).

I decided I was not ready to do crafts so we did not do them.

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 36

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Chapter 36 explains more about the Reformation and the Counter Reformation. Personally, I have read a few books about the reformers and the amazing work of Melanchton. So I was glad to see Ms. Bauer mentioned his contribution to the Reformation. If you are looking for some good reading on the matter, you should read The Great Controversy – it’s about church history from AD 70 through the Protestant Reformation and beyond. You can read it for free here.

Stained Glass Coloring page

Stained Glass Coloring Page

The kids liked the story about the Council of Trent because of the two bishops who were acting silly. Also, because it took 18 years for this meeting to accomplish all its goals. That’s quite a meeting. Next time you have to sit through a one-hour meeting somewhere, before you complain, remember the Council of Trent.  Continue reading »

Now and then I had to stop and make them repeat the terms Catholic and Protestant. We don’t use them every day and these are longer words. I liked how it was explained that these two groups are still different today. Incidentally, today is the anniversary of the doctrine of the pope’s infallibility. That’s one difficult charism to wrap your mind around, whether you are Protestant or Catholic.

The map was easy to do and then they colored the Holy Family. The crafts seemed cute (a Catholic priest’s hat, a Protestant preacher’s hat, stained glass). Alas, I am still in vacation mode and want to stay there. As long was we keep moving along, I am happy. They are learning historical facts and names and places. That’s what matters.

Oh, my daughter had forgotten who Martin Luther was and my son explained to her that he was the man who nailed the 95 Theses on a church door to show how the Catholic Church teachings were different from the Bible. I was happy to know my son knew who Martin Luther was.

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 35

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Chapter 35 dealt with the Renaissance – another dear topic to my heart. I liked how Ms. Bauer explained the new way of thinking and the scientific method. Observation is at the heart of this new way of thinking and one of my children in particular, who loves science, really tuned in for these concepts.

Paper Maker Coloring Page

The printing press is the most influential innovation in the history of humanity.

Narration went well and so did the questions. Sharing the markers for coloring – not so much. Sibling rivalry takes on new heights in the afternoon, when they are tired and have had a full day. This week they attend Soccer Camp in the morning. Then, today, it just so happened they had their weekly violin lesson via Skype.  Continue reading »

Even though I allowed them plenty of free time between these two activities, they still came to the history lesson with an attitude lacking gratitude. I have learned to just bow my head and hold my tongue when they start arguing. Sometimes I pray, other times I just desperately hold my tongue and think of better times, when they declare their love and devotion for each other. I visualize them getting along.

Today I told them, with a kind and earnest tone, that Jesus still loves them and that He would not behave like this. It did not change anything. After another round of the same, I felt inspired to tell them that the angels Jesus sent to our house to guard us and to keep us from harm are weeping. The angels know these two kids love each other, but right now it looks like they hate each other. So the angels are sad and they are crying.

One of the children did not want to show emotions, but another one actually bowed the head and you could tell they were visibly touched by the picture of the crying angels. This child ended up standing up from the table and walking away. I asked what they were doing. They replied, “I’m going to my room.”

They needed some time to think things over. I allowed it and paused the reading until they came back. I did not hear another bickering tone after that from this child. The other one kept on and on, but this time there was no fighting back from the other one, so it died down. I’m sharing this so you know it’s not always easy to go through these history lessons and I am teaching real kids, who get in each other’s face at times.

The printing press is one of my favorite subjects in the development of human civilization and Gutenberg gets a special mention here, in this chapter.

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 33

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Spain, Portugal, and the New World or Chapter 33 continued the violence theme but from a different perspective. I think it is important for children to understand that Europeans used to look at black-skinned or brown-skinned people as if they were not fully human. Also, that slaves were brought from West Africa and how this was done and why.

Conquistador mask with a pink beard

Conquistador mask with a pink beard

We got a chance to color a conquistador and to learn the word itself. We made a conquistador mask. My daughter was appalled that the mask had a beard. “I’m a girl! How can I wear this with a beard?” she asked. So she colored the beard pink. Problem solved.  Continue reading »

The second story was about Cortes and Montezuma. My son liked it so much, he asked to hear it again. I read the narration paragraph to him. He wasn’t satisfied. I told him I would not read it again, but he could read it to himself later on.

These kids… they will ask for the moon. They push the boundaries over and over again. If you don’t stop and place firm edges to what you are willing to do, they will take away all your energy. Learn to say no. That’s my advice to you. It’s hard, I know, but for your own protection, you have to learn to say no to your kids.

The map work was rather easy. By now they know Portugal was not a part of Spain, but just another country. They understand where West Africa is. This lesson teaches the meaning of “West Indies,” too.

Chapter 33. Done. Check.

Story of the World, Vol. 1, Chapter 9

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The First Cities of India was a delightful chapter. We listened to it in the car on the way to an appointment. The kids were intrigued by the story of the quail. A week later, I played the chapter again on another trip.

They colored their maps. I chose not to have them color the ceremonial mask. It looks a little scary.

Map Work SOTW

My daughter with her mapwork for Ancient India

My daughter colored the picture of the statue from Mohenjo-Daro, but my son did not. I am beginning to see a pattern here. I really don’t like to enforce coloring for a boy who is into drawing more than coloring. So I let it go.

We made little bricks out of air-drying clay and let them dry overnight.

Rolled Out Clay

Rolled Out Clay

Because I did not press their corners down, the bricks dried up with one or two corners tipped up, which made them unstackable. Oh well… I guess we can recycle them into math manipulatives.

Air-Dry Clay Bricks

Air-Dry Clay Bricks

But I have to say, this project would have been daunting, requiring a lot of patience. The bricks are really thin and it would take a lot of them to build a whole village. Just my $.02.

Air-Dry Clay

Air-Dry Clay

We enjoy our history lessons, but other things get in the way. We will have to catch up in the next semester. But if the next semester happens to be just as busy as this one, we will have to finish our history curriculum during the summer. We homeschool year round anyway.