History Review: The Story of the World Volume 2


This is a short review of our history curriculum and activities for the 2015-2016 school year. Our text book was The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Bauer. I also purchased the activity book, test booklet, and audio CDs to listen to in the car. For someone like me who needs a lot of help in the arts and crafts department, I loved the activity book. There were almost too many good ideas that tied the lessons together.


Every Monday, we read a chapter then briefly covered the review questions and did the accompanying map work from that chapter in the activity book.


Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays were color sheet days.


We usually tackled the project list as best we could during the week but usually ended up working on them Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday was a test review day as well and Fridays were for the test.

I catalogued our project attempts to put in Jack’s history notebook. Not every project listed in the activity book was attempted because there were simply too many of them. Some chapters we didn’t do a project at all but still did the map work, color sheets, review, and test.

Chapter 1-The Glory That Was Rome, Project: (fail) Cookie Dough Roman Pillar. Learn from my mistake and use the recipe provided in the activity book. Do NOT buy a tube of pre-made cookie dough-it won’t hold the shape of the “pillars” and you will be left with a flat, albeit tasty, sugar cookie mess.


Chapter 2: The Early Days of Britain, Projects: Celtic Double-Headed War Axe and Celtic Brooch and Cloak



Chapter 3: Christianity Comes to Britain, Project: Monk’s Cross Necklace


Sculpey makes a good clay monk’s cross and an old Gandalf Halloween costume works well as a robe. There may have been excessive Nacho Libre quotes this week.

Chapter 4: The Byzantine Empire, Projects: Crown of the Empress Theodora, Make Justinian and Theodora Paper Dolls, and Byzantine Mosaic





Sometimes cursive practice is easier when you wear a crown.

Chapter 5: The Medieval Indian Empire, Projects: Say “Welcome” with Sand Art, Paint an Ajanta Cave Fresco

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Diwali is the Hindu New Year celebration.


Our “frescos” were made with a small box of Plaster of Paris.



Chapter 6: The Rise of Islam, Project: Make an Edible Oasis


Brown sugar sand, tootsie roll and gummy trees, chocolate refreshment, and camel animal crackers. This was one of my the kids’ favorite projects.

Chapter 7: Islam Becomes an Empire, Project: Sinbad Spoon Puppets, Make Ali Baba “Open Sesame” Biscuits, Make a Hanging “Valley of Snakes,” Make Your Own Royal Scimitar. These were all too fun to pass up.


Sinbad and the Valley of Snakes


Open Sesame!


Paper plates really are terrifying in snake form


“Sinbad” vanquishes the Dixie snakes


The Royal Scimitar

Chapter 8: The Great Dynasties of China, Projects: Make a Jade Bead Necklace, Learn to Eat with Chopsticks, Make a Chinese “Lacquered” Bowl.


Sculpey jade beads


Lucy was more excited about wearing her jade jewelry than Jack


we cheated with a rubber band and a small piece of rolled paper

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Lucy’s non traditional bowl

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the lacquer is a coat or two of white glue

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Chapter 9: East of China, Project: Compose and Illustrate a Haiku


This Haiku is great
I did not help him one bit
I am so proud, Jack

Chapter 11: The Kingdom of the Franks, Project: Design Your Own Dynasty


Not quite sure why he named his imaginary kingdom, “Range rover super snake string,” but I did give him free reign.

Chapter 13: The Great Kings of France, Project: Puppet Retelling

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honestly, these puppet re-tellings end in sword fighting and splinters

Chapter 14: The Arrival of the Norsemen, Projects: Make a Viking Boat, Make a Viking Brooch or Thor’s Hammer Pendant


This is one of those times the project didn’t quite get completed. Our Viking ship never got its sails.


So, this was my first experience with Shrinky Dinks. I’m still not sure why this is a thing. This is a before and after to show the shrinkage.


Chapter 15: The First Kings of England, Project: Make an Alfred the Great Statue

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Chapter 17: Knights and Samurai, Project: Design Your Own Coat of Arms

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Lucy just wanted to paint

Chapter 18: The Age of the Crusades, Projects: Make Your Own Pilgrim’s Badges and Make El Cid’s Beard

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we tried

Chapter 20: The Diaspora, Project: Make a Tzedakah Box



Chapter 24: The Ottoman Empire, Project: Byzantine Icon, Make Turkish Dancing Bears

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Chapter 25: The End of the World, Projects: Make a Cycle of the Plague Wheel, Make a Plague Doctor Mask



this was a feel- good chapter

Chapter 26: France and England at War, Project: Joan of Arc Paper Dolls


hang in there, Joan

Chapter 27: War for the English Throne, Project: Build a Pop-Out Tower of London Card



Chapter 28: The Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, Projects: Isabella and Ferdinand Paper Dolls


power couple

Chapter 29: African Kingdoms, Projects: Make Your Own Gold Nuggets, Gold and Salt: The Fast Tax Game


Note: rocks, glitter, glue, and sugar cubes make a huge mess


Chapter 33: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, Project: Conquistador’s Mask


Chapter 34: Martin Luther’s New Ideas, Project: Illuminate the Book of Common Prayer


Chapter 35: The Renaissance, Project: What’s Your Name in Greek?


Jack really got into the Greek alphabet

Chapter 36: Reformation and Counter Reformation, Project: Make Stained Glass


We are looking forward to next school year already and will continue with this series with Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times-From Elizabeth the First to the Forty-Niners.

The Last of First

After out of state visits for job interviews and a cross country move immediately followed by a family vacation, I found myself STRUGGLING to finish out the school year with my first grader. The year had started out perfectly with all 36 weeks, 180 days mapped out, new curriculum, cute pictures, and even a mission statement. We would finish our school day before lunch and I ruled the world. The year ended with me looking at the clock and thinking, “oh no, we haven’t started yet and I have to get dinner in the oven.” Our last day of school officially ended on the third day of VBS, June 3rd. And we aren’t doing summer school. I didn’t take his last day picture until today (the 26th). Last year, I made a big deal about the last day and we did projects and played a game and took pictures and I let Jack pick out whatever he wanted at the store (Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch). This year, I chose to do absolutely nothing and prayed he wouldn’t notice. He didn’t. But, we made it. All 18o days. And I am blogging about it almost a month late. Second grade will be all about second chances.


His most recent picture showing off his missing tooth.


This year, we spent a lot of our writing time composing letters to friends and family. He officially has the best handwriting in the whole family.



This was our 100th day of school project.


I was very happy with our history and Latin curriculum. This was our first year to try Latin and Jack, no surprise, picked it up very quickly.


Yes. He wrote and can recite the Lord’s prayer in Latin. Memorizing does come easy for him, but he still works diligently. He memorized the second chapter of James this year and  is a true math whiz. He goes through his math facts flash cards faster than me. He also likes to do math problems in his head for fun. So that makes 2 children that are nothing like me.


I love you.

Love note for mommy. ♥

Our reading list this year:
Charlotte’s Web
The Chocolate Touch
The Magician’s Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Several Captain Underpants books (because we’re a classy homeschool) There is not much redeeming about this series in particular except for the fact that my super serious son will laugh and giggle out loud when we read about Captain Underpants and Professor Poopypants.
Several Animorphs books
The Phantom Tollbooth
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

He is a model student and and is forever asking questions and making connections. He learns and loves easily and I couldn’t be prouder of all he accomplished this year academically or otherwise. He is wise beyond his years and makes me look like I have my act together even when I’m failing. I cannot believe my first will be in second soon. Ego amo te, little man.

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