This is what we will be doing for our Renaissance Unit Study:Tweet
Archive for the ‘Homeschooling: History’ Category
Part of teaching Renaissance history is learning about the Reformation. My husband and I listened to some Reformation sermons years ago before the kids were born, and we bought a set of six tapes. Yes, the church sold cassettes 15 years ago, even though no one uses them today. When we arrived at this point in history in our homeschooling, I whipped out the cassettes for my children to listen to. Only one of them got swallowed up in the cassette player and had to be thrown in the trash. It must have been the hundreds of sermons my children listened to back when we were at a family-integrated church, but my kids actually learned by listening to the Reformation sermons. They commented and wanted to discuss different issues, and they enjoyed the Gregorian chants.
For some reason, I didn’t feel like we had adequately covered the Reformation, so I was still looking for more materials about this event in history. While at a used curriculum sale, I found a boxed video curriculum of six half-hour programs on different major characters from the Reformation. This “Reformation Overview” came with a booklet with teacher’s notes and discussion questions. I forced myself to read all the teacher stuff so that I could accurately discuss the videos with my kids, but I did not use the discussion questions. We enjoyed the video, and I often paused the video to explain something like “indulgences.”
Before I put the first video in, my 8-year-old son asked, “Is this going to be boring?” I said, “I have no idea if it’s boring or not, but I want you to pay attention to it anyway.” Thankfully, the videos were actually interesting and moved at a good pace. They did not drag on or feel musty or like you had to force yourself to watch it. No, they were good. I never learned so much about the Reformation until I went through this program with my kids. The series includes John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists, and William Tyndale. It was actually enjoyable.
Since I only paid $5, I have no idea where normal people would buy it, so you can do your own search for “Reformation Overview.” I don’t care if you buy it or not, but I know someone will ask me who produces it. It’s Christian History Institute. Now that I think about it, this would be a good purchase for a larger homeschool group, who could get together for discussions. The discussion questions are really for high school students or adults, so it should be more free-form if you are teaching it to elementary kids. And you could have a Reformation Day at the end of a six-week study where everyone dresses up like Reformation people. Only make sure to tell the kids not to be nailing things into doors without permission…Tweet
I always wondered what it was like to put together a 3-D castle puzzle. Well, now I know. It’s anti-climactic. The box claims that you will love every minute that you put this puzzle together, and my husband and I laughed at how ridiculous that statement was. The foam pieces don’t even fit together properly. (See close-up of clock tower cross.) I should have paid attention to the enormous amount of hours down the drain for attempting to put this puzzle together. Yes, I say attempting because close to the end, we realized we had missing pieces as well as extra pieces, none of which fit into anything.
My sweet children spent up to an hour before finding ONE piece. That’s ridiculous, people. And yet, every time I said to the kids, “Let’s just throw this thing away,” they would say, “No, we want to finish.” But they never wanted to work on it, because it was too hard. Just about all the pieces were gray bricks. You can’t actually work on a specific area when everything looks the same. So after the children were in bed, my husband and I tried to make some headway so that my children wouldn’t feel like failures.
Oh, and never mind the fact that there is about half an inch of air between the outer and inner walls of the castle, so if you find a piece, woe is you, because you must put the piece in, only to crush the entire wall. I taped two popcycle sticks together, and my husband carefully fished it between the walls, to get the pieces to not crush the wall.
Right near the end, I wanted so badly for it to be over and done with so that I could have the table back. I said to my husband, “I don’t care what you have to do! Fake it if you have to. Just give the kids the illusion that this thing is finished…” I begged with pleading eyes. And my husband came through for me, like he always does. My knight in shining armor finished our castle, and the kids squealed for joy in the morning. Don’t ask me where the castle now resides. Ahem. (Trash can.)Tweet
My husband bought a medieval wax seal before we were married and never used it. I jumped up and down and said, “Can we use it, please?” He finally relented. It was brand new, and I suppose he never intended to use it. He just thought it was cool.
The kit included three waxy metallic candles in blue, dark red, and gold. It also included the letter “E,” which stands for “Evans,” our family name.
If you don’t have a medieval wax seal, I suppose you could use candle wax and a rubber stamp. But it might ruin your rubber stamp, so choose a stamp you don’t like. You could use a stamp that represents your child, like a monkey stamp for my daughter, who climbs on top of everything, including the roof of the neighbor’s shed.
Now the children each have a letter that has been sealed with our family seal. My husband let each child press the seal into the melted wax.Tweet