The second chapter of volume three had two stories about Protestant Rebellions: first in the Netherlands, then in Scotland. We got introduced to the many times over great-grandfather of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who reigns today with his lovely Argentinian wife, Maxima. The royal couple have three cute daughters and he is the second youngest reigning European monarch.
But let me not get carried away with modern-day monarchs. Back to their ancestors. So William of Orange or William I, or William the Silent, or William the Taciturn are one and the same person – the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. He was a Protestant who lived in a Catholic world until he could not take it anymore and he lead some serious rebellions against the Catholic king of his country.
From the Netherlands, we moved to Scotland, where we got introduced to the parents of King James I, of KJV Bible translation fame. Queen Mary of Scotland returned a widow from France, where she had been sent to grow up and get educated. She got remarried to Lord Darnley and they had Baby James who was destined to become King James I of Great Britain and Ireland.
I could talk about monarchy all day but this is not a history encyclopedia. It’s a blog post about how our children interacted with this history lesson. First off, there were beheadings in both stories; mentioned, not described. Even so, it was shocking to the six-year-old, who was coloring Queen Mary. She asked several times if she was coloring the lady who got beheaded in the story. She was very sad for her.
Secondly, they enjoyed the story but it was rather hard to keep all the details straight. I don’t expect them to, at their age. Again, we are simply introducing an approximate timeline, names, places, concepts – history gives everybody a foundation. I even gave up on narration for this chapter.
History repeats itself and if we don’t know it, we are bound the repeat the mistakes of the past. Homeschooling allows us to not repeat the mistakes of our educational past, for instance, right? We remember what it was like going to school and being bullied or misunderstood. I remember how traumatic sixth grade was for me socially – and I was one of the good students in the class.
I showed them pictures of the kilt-making craft but we did not make one. I don’t have Scottish ancestry and I do not want my son to wear a kilt any time soon. To make one for my daughter seemed bizarre, so no kilt craft for us. But it sure explained a lot about the way the clans chose their colors and patterns.