Story of the World, Vol. 3, Chapter 23

The New Country dealt with the American Constitution and the first American president. A rather long and involved chapter, but oh so important for us. Their standardized test is looming in the not-so-distant future and Social Studies will be an important part of the scoring. The questions tend to be about American history.

Foam craft about the three branches of the American government

Foam craft about the three branches of the American government

I printed out the stencils for the craft on the three branches of government, the presidential timeline, and the map work. I did not think they would want to color Benjamin Franklin’s snake design. Well, they wanted it. It shows how much I know.

So I made two copies of it, as I usually do. My daughter, ever the artist, finished hers and requested a second one. This is the first time any of them has ever colored the same page twice. Children change from day to day and we had better keep up, I suppose.

I read to them while they color. It keeps them busy and focused. I can also consider the coloring a bit of artwork. It’s nice to see the color choices they make and yes, they have explanations for them. The theory of color by a seven-year-old – you have not lived until you have heard this one.

Coloring page with Ben Franklin flag design

Coloring page with Ben Franklin flag design

The craft was a bit stressful for me because I do not like the mess created by crafts. A friend of mine, homeschooling mother of five, has declared herself “craft-challenged” and refuses to do crafts with her kids. I would not go quite that far about myself, but crafts stress me out. I kept picking up the bits of paper and foam they made as they cut according to the stencils.

My daughter wanted to make two crafts. I indulged her. We have to use up all this foam we have around the house somehow.

We read the Preamble to the Constitution three times aloud and we added it to our memory work basket for the mornings that follow. I cannot get them to chant something five times in a row, as Susan Wise Bauer recommends. But three is not bad either, I think. It will just take 10 days instead of five to memorize something.

The presidential timeline was a bit tedious, but we made it through. One of them ran out of concentration and started goofing off toward the end. I knew we could not fill out index cards on all the presidents from Washington to Lincoln. With all due respect, this will be an activity better left for the Logic Stage.

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