Saturday, August 24, 2013

Medieval Times, Lesson 1

Overview of the Medieval World

As mentioned in my Earth Science, Unit 1 post, we are continuing with the four-year cycle for both history and science this year. Second year history is Medieval Times. That means we will study the events and people from about A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500 with most events having taken place in Europe.

Once again, we are using Usborne, History Odyssey and The Story of World Activity Book as the basis of our yearlong study. I am not overly impressed with Days of Knights and Damsels: An Activity Guide by Laurie Carlson that is recommended in History Odyssey. After considerable research, I found there really isn't much choice in the way Medieval craft books for children, though. I'm hoping to find or create my own crafts and activities along the way. I also purchased the recommended Coloring Book of the Middle Ages by Bellerophon Books, although I'm not sure why. I don't think we'll have a lot of time to color. I think it's more fruitful for Tessa to draw and narrate a few sentences every now and again.

Due to our need to keep a tight schedule this year, we will study history a strict three times per week. Last year, I tried to complete a unit/lesson per week. This year, we will simply do whatever is next on the schedule. Sadly, I think this will cut back on the depth of our studies, so I will have to be a bit pickier about our book, video and craft selections. As a result, I will list our blog posts by lessons (as they correspond with History Odyssey) instead of weeks this year.

Note: We will not complete any of the dictionary work for History Odyssey this year. Last year, we discovered that the time commitment was not worth the academic reward. We will leave dictionary work for language arts time.  

We don't own a copy of The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History since I like using the smaller period-specific versions of the encyclopedia. Our The Usborne Medieval World doesn't have the full introduction for Medieval Times, though, so I checked out a copy of the big book from the library for this lesson.

Also, I bought a used copy of The Kingfisher Atlas of the Medieval World to use as a geography supplement this year. I thought it looked like fun online. After reading it for this week's lesson, I'm dumping it. As it turns out, it's rather boring and isn't very cohesive.

Tessa and I both really enjoyed this book. I plan on keeping it around to complete a couple of the crafts later on.

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