Chapter 2 of Story of the World Volume 1 is called “Egyptians Lived on the Nile River.” It would be really easy to spend three months on this chapter. We spent almost three weeks.
I read the first section to them, “Two Kingdoms Become One,” and we looked at our wall world map to locate Egypt and the Nile river. We did the map work recommended, Student Page 6. With that fresh in mind, we built a model of the Nile according to the directions given in the Activity Book. My Egyptians got very sow-happy with the grass seed, as you can see from the picture.
We read “The Longest River” as a substitute book for “The Nile River,” but it seemed extremely dry and boring. I’m all for nonfiction books. Yet, my children just could not get excited about this one. Not all nonfiction books are created equal, obviously.
What I learned through this switch is that, if my library does not have a particular title, I may have to buy it. The library’s “equivalent” may be free, but we may not get anything out of it, either.
It helps that during our Bible class/devotional we are working through Old Testament stories. Egypt gets mentioned again and again. The idolatry, the abundance of water and crops, etc.
So I made the connection for them with the Nile. I think it gives the kids a better understanding of our history lessons. I really like linking our subjects through the backbone of history.
One other craft I found cute and easy to make, relatively speaking, is a pharaoh’s headdress inspired by this blog.
I read the second section to them a few days later – “Gods of Ancient Egypt.” My son said he enjoyed the story. A few days passed before I asked him to color the Osiris and Set coloring page. He remembered the story and told me the plot in one sentence. I did not even have to ask him.
These narration exercises are interesting to me because sometimes I have to ask him questions to get him to talk about the story, while other times I don’t need to do anything. He just starts talking about it and gives me the story in a nutshell.
We also read Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and found it rather creepy. The kids were almost afraid of some of the pictures in there. We did not read it again. Usually, we read books several times. Not this one.
As you can tell, I am still getting used to the whole teaching process. There are so many things to prepare and so many manipulatives to bring out. Then, the lesson itself happens super fast. My children move on to other things and I am left to clean up the mess. We went outside on the patio to prepare the Nile river model. The sandbox is on the patio, too. As soon as we flooded the Nile and watered the grass seed, the kids moved on to the sand box. I was happy, because my other goal was for them to play outside after we finished history. So it worked out.
I am explaining this lest my readers think I have it all figured out and brim with self-confidence. I don’t. It’s OK to tackle this homeschooling thing with butterflies in your stomach. It really is.
As you can tell from his map work and coloring page, I don’t require perfection. He is only six and I accept his best effort and praise him for it. Just because we study ancient history in the first grade and lean towards classical education does not mean we are perfectionists.