Our first Facebook Live event just happened today. You can watch it below or on our Facebook page. The topic was Story of the World, the history curriculum for elementary students. In 10 minutes, I explain what this curriculum consists of and how to use it twice – once with grades 1-4, then with grades 5-8.
Orthodontist visit – field trip on the first day of school
The beauty of live video is that things can go wrong. When I heard a cat meowing, I thought our two cats were fighting, so I went to ask one of the kids to separate them. It turns out, they were not fighting. One of them was outside. The other one was meowing at my daughter’s bedroom door, asking her to open it. Epic. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 42 (titled “The End of the Twentieth Century”) is the last chapter in volume 4 and, as such, the end of our journey through Story of the World volumes 1-4. It has been a long and pleasant journey. Every year, we covered this curriculum in a different way.
Bust of one of three US presidents from TN, Andrew Johnson – at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville.
One year, we faithfully followed every suggestion in the book, did all the reading comprehension questions and narration exercises, read most of the books recommended, did the mapwork, and at least one craft. Another year, I just could not seem to find time for history. So we crammed it all in during the second semester. Actually, it was more like from the middle of March until June. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 41 deals with communism again, namely how it crumbled in Europe but survived in China. Arguably the most impactful event of my life – or one of them, for sure – was the fall of the Berlin Wall. Romania left communism behind two months later. We knew our lives would take on a different trajectory than what we had thought previously.
Each child has one of these binders in which they place stickers with important people and events in history.
Did we do a craft? Nope. We did not connect with anything. We are just so close to finishing this book, we did the mapwork and called it a day. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 40 covers the 1980s in the USSR. I remember when Chernobyl happened and my dad warning us to really wash our apples well. As if radiation can be washed away from an apple.
Nuclear Warning Sign
Meanwhile, over in the US, my husband says they used to do bomb drills when he was in school. The lesson was, you go under the table. As if being under the table will save you from a nuclear blast. Living so close to Oak Ridge, my husband and his friends actively engaged in speculation that a Russian attack would hit Gatlinburg as well as other parts of East Tennessee. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 39 talked about my childhood. Our history book has finally caught up with me. It feels strange to read about one’s lifetime in a history book. We called it “contemporary history” when I was growing up but I see they only call it “modern” here.
First step in a langar meal: roast potatoes and cauliflower, chop tomatoes
The 1980s in the East and the Mideast took us to India after partition and Iran and Iraq. In all honesty, I did not know much about those places. I mean, I knew Indira Gandhi got assassinated by her own body guards but why I did not comprehend. Now I know. And I had never heard of the Bhopal disaster. So this was very educational for me. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 38 is titled Two Ways of Fighting, referring to Soviet invasions and the rise of international terrorism. Fascinating chapter, of course, for someone who grew up in Eastern Europe. We did not know much about the invasion of Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan under communism. So every new detail I learn or every new angle means a lot to me.
They made signs and I placed them in the wrong direction so that they would not find the toy.
The first invasion happened before I was born, so I cannot tell you what the communists reported in their highly controlled news at the time. But I do remember reading in the newspaper about the Mujaheddin in the early 80s, when I was in elementary school, and we had to prepare a news flash for a report. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 37 has a funny title: Two Short Wars and One Long One. The Vietnam war represents the long war. Two wars in the Middle East appear as the short ones in the titles. After all, they only lasted days.
Apricot coconut rice cake for the Vietnamese Festival of Tet
The Six-Day War lasted exactly six days, miraculously enough. The Yom Kippur War went on for 20 days or so. Of course, the Vietnam War went on for twenty years, with American involvement shifting from economic pressures to actually sending troops. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 36 is rather dark, covering the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. On the bright side, we have the Civil Rights movement and the victory over segregation.
Pop art: comic strips and book cover
When the chapter mentioned Rosa Parks, we Googled it and found the famous pictures of her bus protest and subsequent arrest. Also, we pulled up a copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” I would start crying just reading it, so I let them do the reading to themselves. What is it with me and crying these days? Am I getting soft in my old days? Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 35 is titled The Cold War. The space race between the Soviet Union and the USA covers the first story. The second story takes us to Cuba during the 13 days in October, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war.
My son weighed himself with a stack of books.
Once again, I teared up during reading because of my personal experience with communism. The kids make me laugh with their reactions to my tears, so I end up crying and laughing at the same time. Continue reading »
In Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 33, we visit Argentina to learn about Evita Peron and oh, yeah, her husband, too. Later, we travel to the Belgian Congo for one sad story after another. The history of Africa has been such a source of heartache for us, but we are mere spectators. Africans have endured much injustice and cruelty during colonization.
We get passionate about combining science and history.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” plays in my head any time we talk about Argentina and President Peron. I teared up while reading the story for the children because the story is so artistically ingrained in my memory, it touches me all over again. Continue reading »