Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 25

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The French Revolution is the subject of Chapter 25. It gets gory at times, the story line, but thankfully Susan Wise Bauer kept those details to a minimum.

Patriotic button during the French Revolution

Patriotic button during the French Revolution

My son is very interested in wars and battles so he was excited to hear our chapter dealt with fighting and conflict. Of course, they felt for the kids of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 15

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Chapter 15 dealt with three things, all of them happening in the New World. First, we looked at the Wampanoag’s war against the English colonists, also known as King Philip’s war. Such a mess! It is one thing to inspire the children with stories of brave explorers who sailed across unknown seas in search of a shorter route to India. It’s another thing altogether to talk about the aftermath of such explorations and colonization attempts.

But history must be taught, no matter how painful and sad it may have been. Since history repeats itself, we want to make sure that we learn what happened in the past so that we may not repeat others’ mistakes.

Boy and girl in camo

Having fun in camouflage outfits

The second story dealt with the French having trouble in New France, today’s Quebec. One trouble was the lack of women and the other was the attack of the Iroquois. Since we are vaguely making plans to visit Montreal and Quebec City one day, we made a mental note of Marie-Madeleine de Vercheres and her statue which we should definitely see. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 deals with the Western War or the Thirty Years’ War. This was a fascinating lesson to me. I had forgotten the details of this war. After all, it has been decades since I studied it in school. Now that I know more about the difference between Catholics and Protestants, I looked at the story in a different light anyway.

Shredded apples

Shredded apples for the Swedish apple cake

First of all, religious wars are sad. We talked about the fact that war may be a necessary evil at times, but it should never start simply because you persecute somebody for their faith. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 8

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The Middle of the East or Chapter 8 was all about the Persian puzzle and the Ottoman Turks. Needless to say, I have a great deal to add to the history lessons on the Ottoman Empire, as someone who grew up in Romania. Thanks to our proximity to the Black Sea area, Romanians were always being invaded or threatened to be invaded. For centuries, the Turks were our greatest enemies.

Bridge of four arches

One soldier was enough to make the bridge of four arches bend.

The craft we chose was to build a bridge of four arches. It was not that hard, but it was not easy either. Scotch tape helps but it can be unruly, as I just used scrap paper for the arches, and scrap paper is flimsy. By the way, let us talk about the supplies needed. Typing paper? I had to look that up. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 5

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The children enjoyed Warlords of Japan or Chapter 5 because it is right up their alley with shoguns, battles, and the Japanese art of war. They take tae kwon do, which is Korean, but it’s martial arts and it comes from the Far East, so they feel the connection.

wind poem craft

Wind poem craft hanging in the tree – our wishes and silly poems registered for posterity

Of course, my heart skips a beat at all the violence in the chapter, but it’s history and the children need to understand freedom does not just happen. Throughout the centuries, no matter where you go in the world, there have been battles for freedom and control. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 34

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Chapter 34 or Martin Luther’s New Ideas is probably my favorite topic in medieval history. I love the Protestant Reformation and all that it entails. Luther is my favorite reformer, though I appreciate what each one has done for the cause.

Martin Luther coloring page

Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg and the world was never the same.

We learned the basic facts through the first story. Then, through the second story, which dealt with Henry VIII, we learned how these new ideas coming from Germany could be taken too far when people are blinded by greed, jealousy, pride etc.  Continue reading »

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 »

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 32

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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.  Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 22

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With Chapter 22, or Exploring the Mysterious East, we have entered the second part of the book. By the way, we are still reading a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother of Richard the Lionhearted and John Lackland, and other famous women from history. Also, we got a chapter book on Robin Hood from Dr. Bauer’s recommended list. We are swamped with reading material and we are on a deadline, as these are ILL items which cannot be renewed.

Needless to say, I am not inclined to be getting these extra readings from the library any time soon. First off, we are in catch up mode and I have decided that reading the lessons and doing the map and a bit of coloring here and there is sufficient for their age. Secondly, I am tired of having to stop in the middle of a sentence, when I read out loud to them, because of the violence portrayed in these books.   Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 18

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We covered The Age of Crusades or Chapter 18 in March, after our son’s standardized test and a spring break. By then, the terrorist attacks in Brussels had happened and it was very tempting to tell them the violence between Christians and Muslims are still continuing today. I am not afraid to call these people what they want to be called, i. e. Islamic terrorists or Islamic fighters.

However, we were getting ready to fly to Romania and I did not want to scare the children. It was eerie to be reading about this though just when we were ready to pack and travel. We even considered not going, as Europe seems to be in a state of confusion as to its own security.

In the end we decided to go and I have yet to update the blog and my readers about our trip to Romania. Suffice it to say that we had fun and the kids learned a lot.

This was a rather long chapter – four different stories, lots to keep in mind. I have learned to ask each set of comprehension questions after each story. That way, it is fresh in our minds. I can’t even keep all these details and people straight sometimes. So I don’t expect the kids to remember everything perfectly.

As long as we read the answers a couple more times, I consider it a review and another way for us to repeat and learn. History is not very fun unless you are emotionally involved with a topic.

Again, no crafts. We were in a hurry to catch up and I just wanted to get the map and the coloring page done. And no pictures because before we finished the 180 school days before we left for Romania. As such, I had switched them to new binders for history, having filed all the papers from “last year” in a place that is not easily accessible right now.