Monday, August 20, 2007

Our plans this year: History

We're headed into the Middle Ages here, and our reading list (or, at least its beginning) reflects it:

Augustine Came to Kent
Son of Charlemagne
If All the Swords in England
The Hidden Treasure of Glaston
Big John's Secret
The Trumpeter of Krakow
Robin Hood
The Black Arrow
Twelve Bright Trumpets
King Arthur (Jim Weiss audio)
Parts of The Once and Future King

Reading about some saints of the time:

Francis and Clare
Elizabeth of Hungary
Thomas Aquinas
Joan of Arc
Catherine of Siena
The Holy Twins by Tomie de Paola
Mark Twain's Joan of Arc

Some of our Artists and Composers of the Month will dovetail nicely.

Activity Books:
I got Knights and Castles from our library, but haven't given it an in-depth look. Opinions?

For me: Mike Aquilina's The Grail Code

Other favorite resources for the Middle Ages, anyone?


Christina Martin said...

I will definitely bookmark this post. My girls are getting ready to start studying the middle ages, and I'm still tweaking our own reading list. We have most of our history ready, but we haven't worked out much literature yet.

We're doing a big chunk out of a book called The Story of the Irish Race, but just doing the sections relating to the middle ages. We'll also be doing a study of the history of the English language called The Story of English. It's one daughter's senior year, and I wanted to focus it on something she'd love; she's totally infatuated with Ireland.

For literature, all I have so far is Augustine's Confessions, The Song of Roland, and if I can find it, an interlinear Canterbury Tales. We won't study the whole thing, but I thought the introduction would make a great addition to our language history.

Jennifer said...

Woo hoo! We are studying the Middle Ages too. I ordered King Arthur Junior Classics CD read by Sean Bean. I love it.

Faith said...

My 12 yo is doing Middle Ages as well.

I was thinking of reading The Once and Future King out loud to him. Which parts are you going to read, Karen? I read the first book, but I never got to the second and third. Are they appropriate for a 12 year old?



Meredith said...

Cool, we're doing Middle Ages too!! What a great year, blessings to you!

Melanie B said...

I have a great cd of Seamus Heaney reading his translation of Beowulf. I think it would be fun for kids to listen to, a great way to encounter a classic work from the early middle ages. I just love his voice.

Cher Mere said...

We did Middle Ages last year. We really liked the Roger Lewellan Green version. And we read the Howard Pyle version of Robin Hood.

Christy said...

I don't have any resources, but I do have an idea! When I was in elementary, my favorite part of our middle ages history lesson was a feast. We drew roles out of a hat, dressed appropriately, and ate food typical of the time. IIRC, we had millet, roast beast, and a few other vegetables.

The Bookworm said...

Ha ha! You asked!

Beorn the Proud by Madeleine Polland. Great book about pride and conversion, with a good story to boot.

The Striped Ships by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. The story of the Norman Conquest told from the perspective of a Saxon girl. I think your girls would love it. Unfortunately out of print and hard to find. I read it when a friend here got it on interlibrary loan from Texas!!!!! So I know there is at least one copy available in the US!

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.Konigsburg. Tells the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine from the perspective of four of her contemporaries as they wait in heaven for King Henry II to make it "up" from purgatory.

Castle Diary by Platt and Riddell. Maybe a little old for Ramona and a little young for Betsy, but very fun. The "diary" of a page, with lots of detail about medieval life.

Geraldine McCaughrean's retelling of the Canterbury Tales

Anything by Cynthia Harnett. She wrote a quartet of books set in 15th century England. All excellent. They do not interrelate, so there is no need to read them in any particular order.

For yourself ...

Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages by Richard Southern. A lively summary of Church history from 400 to 1500.

The Penguin History of Medieval Europe by Maurice Keen. As good a brief introduction to medieval history as any.

Those Terrible Middle Ages!by Regine Pernoud debunks the myth of the middle ages as a dark age ... though in historical circles that was debunked long ago. She also wrote Women in the Age of the Cathedrals, which I haven't read, but think would probably be an interesting read.

Have fun!

Karen E. said...

Faith, I know the first book of Once and Future King will be fine, but I need to do some previewing and rereading before I can decide how far we'll dig into it. I can't remember how detailed things get ....

Great ideas, everyone -- thank you! Keep 'em coming ....

Anonymous said...

Have you read Twain's Joan of Arc yet because The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is available online here
Thought you would like to know.