Ancient History – Week 3

We are in our 3rd week of studying ancient history and really enjoying ourselves. The Mystery of History is making a terrific spine. The lessons are short (usually about 10 minutes or so), Biblical, easy to understand for my 5th grader and very informative (enough to keep me interested, as well as Otter). You can take a look at a free sample at the MOH website. I like it that I can cover the main part of our history lesson in such a short time and then leave the rest of what I’ve scheduled as gravy.

The Story of the World is also making a great compliment to MOH. I’m glad I decided to do them together. The Mystery of History is giving me a Biblical based account of history, while SOTW is adding in a “story” element to it all that is memorable.

Here’s a map Otter completed after reading about Shamshi-Adad of the Assyrians in The Story of the World. The map is from the activity book.

Story of the World map

After reading about the Tower of Babel in The Mystery of History, he made a mini-booklet that summarized the story. You can get it for free from Gospelhall.org.

He’s also doing some notebooking. I got the page on the right here (scroll down the page) and the one on the left here. Otter is using the pages to write down short narrations of the things I’m reading out loud to him. At the end of studying ancient history, he’ll have a nice portfolio of the things we’ve covered.

notebooking pages

In History Pockets, our lesson today was about frontalism. After looking at some examples from the History Pocket book, as well as online, Otter used the Ralph Masiello’s Ancient Egypt Drawing Book to help him draw in this ancient style.

Frontalism

Last week in History Pockets he made a small timeline featuring some main events in Egyptian history.

Timeline

I’m glad I chose to use History Pockets this year to compliment our studies. The activities are a good overview of Egyptian basics. I didn’t want to bother with trying to plug in lapbooks this year and I wanted something a little hands-on that would still leave us plenty of time for other activities. History Pockets is really working out for us.

However, if you prefer lapbooks, here are some that are free:

We Started Ancient History

Otter started a new core program – ancient history. I created a schedule for us to work from that combines Mystery of History, Story of the World, lots of great literature, optional activities, movies and more. When we are done working through it, I plan on posting it. So far, we both like it. The MOH lessons are short but interesting. SOTW has always been fun to use. This week we covered the beginning of history and archeology. Here’s Otter’s first MOH map:

Mystery of History Map

I like starting a new program along with the new year. It helps keep things fresh while we are still working on the same math, language arts and other items.

While I was reading some of the lessons out loud Otter created the following out of Play-Dough (yes, he is homeschooling in polar bear pajamas):

Play-dough

It’s kind of hard to tell what it is from the picture – but there is a river with a bridge, benches, a house with a garden and a pond, etc. I’ve found it to be really helpful to keep his hands occupied while he’s listening to read-alouds. It actually helps him pay attention better and retain what I’m reading. Sometimes he plays with quiet toys (cars, arranging army men, fiddling with a slinky) and other times he colors. I bought the Play-Dough for him as a stocking stuffer since I knew he had a specific project coming up in ancient history requiring clay. I thought Play-Dough would be easier to manipulate. I never realized what a HUGE hit it would be. He has been playing with Play-Dough all week during our read-alouds and was lamenting that we got rid of all the Play-Dough tools and toys years and years ago (when he, ironically, hardly ever played with them at all).

I’m glad I’ve always felt comfortable allowing my kids to like specific toys, books and even on occasion curriculum – long past (or even before) the “recommended ages”. Each child is such an individual! I remember Emily bringing her American Girl doll to a homeschool park day when she was about 13. You could tell all the other girls were a little shocked. Wasn’t she too old for that??? Emily was confident in who she was and what she liked. She didn’t care that 13 year olds are not supposed to tote their dolls around let alone play with them…in front of other people!! It was kind of cute to see a bunch of girls with their dolls the following week.

I promise, she didn’t turn out to be maladjusted by playing with toys as a teenager. She is currently a well adjusted young adult attending college. And you know what? She is still very much her own person who doesn’t care one whit if she’s not in style or likes something or is too old for something or not. She won this year’s college costume contest and received a gift certificate for $50 dollars off her college books. This is the same 18 year old that suddenly appears in the family room after she’s done with school for the day (or work) dressed as a pirate, or a lady from the 20’s, or any number of other things. LOL. Seriously, my 18 year old still likes to play dress up! But hey, it got her $50 bucks for college books!

I love it that homeschooling gives my kids the opportunity to be free of silly cliques and made up “rules” about who they should be and what its O. K. and not O. K. to like or dislike. I’m glad Otter doesn’t feel pressured to have the cool $100 shoes or that he has to watch xyz show on T. V. or that he is ever “too old” for Play-Dough.