History is an important part of our homeschool work. Through it we learn about people around the world, how they lived, the geography of the place where they lived and how their lives impacted the world around them. We do projects around some of the topics where we get to explore art and design as well. Language, both oral and written, can be integrated with history studies. So a number of things can be integrated with the study of history. And if history is told as a story and literature about the period of history is read, it is quite interesting. Who doesn’t love stories?! We follow the book ‘The Story of the World’ by Susan Wise Bauer and the associated activity books as a guide for our journey through history. Follow along to learn more.
The last few months we learned about the Roman empire and its collapse, about the kingdom of the Franks and the great kings of France such as Charlemagne. Last week we learned about the arrival of Norsemen and the Viking invasion of Europe. The Vikings were farmers in Scandinavia who could no longer find good land to farm and set out to find new homes. In the language of the Norsemen, a man who went adventuring by sea was said to have gone “i Viking” !! Interesting name, isn’t it? Viking ships had an interesting design. They were built with unusual, flat bottoms. So their boats floated right on the water without scraping against the bottom of the sea/river. With this design they could sail right into shallow water!! Design mattered back then too and I guess this is a good opportunity to discuss the design of boats with kids!! We did a project and the kids made a model of a Viking ship.
We then relived the experience of a child living along the Rhine from ‘The Story of the World’: ‘Imagine that you’ve come down to the banks of the Rhine River with your water-buckets. It’s a cool, foggy morning. Your farm is right up the road, and you have cows waiting to be milked and grain waiting to be hoed. But first you need to haul water up from the river. The Rhine is shallow here, so you wade out knee-deep and bend down to scoop water into your buckets. Little waves splash gently around you as you pull your buckets through the calm, clear surface. But another sound is mingling with the splash of the waves. Could it be the muffled sound of oars? You strain your eyes to see into the mist. Long, dark shapes are moving indistinctly in the fog. Suddenly a carved dragon’s head spring out of the mist. It is the front of a Viking longship!’
We later read about two important Vikings: Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky. This book on Leif the Lucky by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire is simply outstanding both for text and illustration. We enjoyed the book and its illustrations.
We wound things up with a reading on Norse mythology, map work, narration and some written work.
As we read about Norse mythology, we read about Thor, now made famous by Marvel Studios! One of the stories on Thor took us to a feast of the Norse Gods where they ran out of mead – a medieval drink. The kids ended up making mead – well, not quite, because it wasn’t fermented! It’s a drink made of honey, lemon and nutmeg.
There we go – that’s history, geography, art and literature with a sprinkling of design. A truly eclectic composition for the mind !!
Would you like to give your child a holistic education? Elfwood Children’s Library and Activity Centre has a Library and Makerspace to enrich the curious minds of your children. You can find more information here:
We also have storytelling sessions and courses in Music, Theatre and Math among other things. These courses are hosted online, so you can attend these from the comfort of your home. You can check them out here:
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This blog is part of the Education@Home series. To know more about this series, please click here: http://elfwoodlib.com/services/educationhome/