East and West collide quite literally in chapter 18 as we looked at the Ottoman Empire and its last attempt to conquer Vienna – the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a symbol of Western civilization. Unfortunately, recent terrorist attacks in Europe have reminded us all too often about such chapters in history. It may have happened a long time ago and it may have been a huge army, but the idea is there: East is fighting with West, Islam is fighting with Christianity.
Moving right along… we had fun learning about how one of the sultans admired tulips and brought them to the Ottoman Empire. Also, we enjoyed making tents. The craft template provided in the Activity Book seemed so enjoyable to the kids, they made me print a second page of little tents. I printed them on card stock, so they could stand better.
We wondered what kind of people we should put among the tents? Lego people? Duplo people? Math counting bears? They knew it was a chapter about war, so they wanted soldiers. Well, the trouble with that was the grenades and fire arms these soldiers are sporting.
They did not care about anachronism. They wanted soldiers among the tents and that was that. Oh well. What is a mother to do? They were having fun, learning, really engaging with the material we were studying, and I declared myself satisfied with it.
Since Romania was under Ottoman influence and reign for a long time, this was a story that was very relevant to me. Our kings fought a lot of battles against the Turks. It is one of those chapters that stands out for me due to its personal connection with me.