Seasons of Joy

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Category: Story of the World (page 1 of 2)

Story of the World

How do I love Story of the World, let me count the ways!

OK, first let’s get out of the way the fact that it’s not Waldorf. Not even close unless the moon and the stars align just so and you happen to be reading the right chapter at just the right time, like we are for Katie Grace right now. We’re reading the Middle Ages and she’s doing the middle ages. Awesomesauce.

Story of the World: Ho, Hum.

I must say, Volume 3: Early Modern Times, isn’t really doing it for me. Don’t get me wrong. We do the reading, fill in our little maps, answer the review questions and do our narrations, but it’s just not terribly exciting.

I did crack up at Katie Grace’s narration today re: Peter the Great:
Peter the Great wanted to make Russia more Western, but not so Western that he was no longer czar.

We will be heading into Colonialism soon, and the the Revolutionary War, so I’m hoping things will get a little more exciting. Or at least interesting.

Main Lesson Book

Michael’s narration and illustration of the Susan Constant and how she carried Englishman to North America on King James’s command to find gold.

Michael’s definitions and illustrations of the three types of rock.

Katie Grace’s multiplication wheel for factors of 3.

And factors of 4.

And factors of 2. She’s really been enjoying these!

One was the only wheel with curves.

Michael’s diagram of the layers of the earth.

Story of the World: The Lost Colony


Everybody loves a mystery, and my children are no exception. Today, when we were all finished with school except for reading a little Story of the World, I could tell they just wanted to be done. As I read about Roanoke and how all the inhabitants went missing, I could feel them leaning in and paying attention. Where did the colonists go? Why was the village stripped not only of its inhabitants, but also its dwellings? What did “Croatoan” mean?

Something wicked this way comes…

Today we found the best Story of the World activity since mummifying a chicken– Eye-of-Newt Soup. We have been studying Shakespeare. Macbeth, to be exact. Michael made the connection between Shakespeare’s “weird women” and the Weird Sisters from Harry Potter. They also enjoyed seeing how many common phrases were originally coined by Shakespeare. But they were pleasantly surprised when they discovered that we were making Eye-of-Newt Soup for desert.

Imagine their surprise when they walked into the kitchen and found this:
Eye of newt? Severed fingers? Hey, are those chocolate frogs?!?! Yes. Yes they are.

How does a nice Catholic girl teach the Reformation?

I really dislike Martin Luther.

It’s the whole package– I don’t like his looks. I don’t like that he married a nun. I don’t like that he broke the church.

Imagine my discomfort when I realized we had reached the Reformation in Story of the World.

I like this book for the most part. I’ve had a few uncomfortable moments when I felt like it was leaning towards the “Oh, these silly natives! *wink wink, nudge nudge*” style of writing, but for the most part, I’ve found it fairly well written.

Story of the World: Aztec Hot Chocolate

Mmmmm… we’re looking forward to trying this!

In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and a pinch each of ginger, cloves, and red pepper.

Heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat.

Using a wisk, beat in 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa and a teaspoon of vanilla extract until frothy.

Serve in mugs and top with whipped cream.

Story of the World: Exploring New Worlds

This week we move into some hairy territory in Story of the World. We’ll be learning about Vespucci and Magellan, Cortes and Columbus. And while they may have been exploring a world that was new to them, the “New World” was already home to thriving civilizations.

I suspect it’s going to be a week full of questions, as we not only talk about brave explorers, but also about slavery, genocide, and oppression.

Story of the World: The Mongols and The Mysterious East

We’re doubling up on our Story of the World chapters this week. We don’t have much going on by way of extra activities. I was going to make peanut chicken, but the kids still haven’t gotten over the peanut butter noodles I made a few months ago, and they outvoted me.

We did learn today that Genghis Kahn was not a very nice person. And that the Mongols could go days without food. If they got hungry, they would open a vein on their horse, drink its blood, close the vein, and ride on. Ew.

Story of the World: The Bottom of the World and The Kingdom of the Franks

Last week, we visited the bottom of the world: Australia and New Zealand.

One thing that’s been interesting to the children is the universality of creation stories. The one that’s popped up again and again is the idea of world/island beginning on the back of a sea creature. First Sinbad the Sailor visited an island on the back of a sea monster. Then the Maori people believed their island started when a small boy caught “the biggest fish of all” that turned into an island when his older brothers hacked at it to stop it from eating them. In Michael study of Pennsylvania Native Americans, we learned the creation story about the first man and woman coming from a great turtle’s back. And in Katie Grace’s Celtic saints block, St. Brendan visited an island that was actually a whale.

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