Wednesday, September 05, 2007

History Crimean War.

I promise to put some of what my daughter is doing soon (I hope later today). I want to post this before I forget about it. I might need to do this again later in the year if we run into this problem again. I think posting it on this blog will help me remember it. T. and I read about the Crimean War the other day. He got a little confused with all the facts. We are using The Story Of The Word Volume 4. T. loves history! Most of the time he can repeat the stories back word for word but this was not the case the other day. Anytime my son isn't excited with school or doesn't know the story I read I take that as I was not a good teacher. This is just the way I view my childhood. When I look back at the teachers that didn't make learning fun all I can remember is not liking the teacher. I clearly remember the ones that would yell, punish or show frustration with some children in the class. I now think that is sad that that is all I can remember from spending a year with teachers like that. I think that the children I remember the teachers yelling at and punishing all the time learned even less than I did for that year. I hope from sharing that you can see "why" I spend so much time trying to make school fun and educational for my children. I am sad to say I did not know anything about the Crimean War. The year we went over that when I was in school all I remember is learning how to take proper notes. The school I went to gave A's for having notes in the correct form and I think all the history test I took that year I was able to use my notes so I never needed to learn the stuff in the books. I only had to write neat. Reading this story with my son even confused me trying to keep the facts straight. It is only a 3 page story but it has many facts to learn. 1. is the Ottoman Turks were Muslims and ruled over the land of the Palestine. They controlled Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Constantinople (3 cities important to Christians). 2. Nicholas, ruler of Russia, wanted to capture the city of Istanbul so he could send ships down the Mediterranean Sea. 3. Nicholas wanted the British to help him fight the Turks but the English thought the Russians were wild savages. 4. France didn't like the Turks but knew they were weak. France was afraid of Russia because they were a huge country. All of this confused T (and me a little). I read the 4 small paragraphs in the book 4 times. I then knew the facts but T. still was confused. He did know that people thought Russians were wild savages because he loves the to use the words wild and savage (you can tell he is a boy lol). I decided to just end our school day and try to come up with a better way for T. to learn about this war.

After 2 days of thinking about it I decided to come up with a game for him. This is not a real game more like a play set kind of thing. I can and will make it into a real game if he isn't able to learn the facts of the war. I think he will have no problem once I set it up for him.

I made this up by first going to one of my favorite sites and I printed out a world map. I think I used the 6X6 36 page one but it was late last night and I can't remember right now the exact size. I then needed people (soldiers for the countries). I did tons of searches online and I could not find men to fight in the countries. I am stubborn and will not give up on things that I should be able to see are taking up a lot of time and not worth it so I spent way to much time on this. I hope someday to learn not to waste so much time on little things. Anyway after some more creative thinking I got the thought that I didn't need men to fight I could use something else. I thought of uniforms, country leaders, colored pegs and such but they didn't work out for me. I then got the idea of flags. I thought flags the countries used in 1853 would work. I found them on this link then I just clicked on each country involved in the firs paragraph. I printed out 25 tiny flags for each of the 4 countries on paper and gave them little stands to stand up. I also printed out a picture of Nicolas I, Queen Victoria, Louis-Philippe, Alexander (Nicolas's son) and a copy of the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.

This is the little labels I made so T. will know what flag is for what country.

This is a picture of my "soldiers" flag armies to fight and defend.

This is a picture of the tiny tabs I folded and stuck on with a tiny piece of tape on back to make them stand up.

Picture of the leaders of the countries (The book doesn't say who the leader of the Turks was).

This is the back sides of the leaders. It tells the name of the leaders and the country they led.

Picture of all the pieces and they all fit in a tiny cup (so my 2 year old doesn't destroy them).

Picture of the map.

Next we will set up and do the lesson again. Only this time we will act it out with our map and pieces.


reprehriestless warillever said...

This is the way to learn history!

Thank you for the map link. It is a great site.

Life said...

It looks like you put a huge amount of work into your homeschooling. Are you a trained teacher or do you purchase curriculum? Why did you choose to homeschool? I am thinking of trying homeschooling but I can see some socialization issues. Thanks.

Amber said...

Warillever, I hope your children like the maps as much as my children do! They love to color the huge maps. My hubby puts them together for me because he is a lot quicker with puzzles than I am.

I don't feel like I put a huge amount of work into homeschooling. When my children have a hard time learning something I will spend a lot of time finding a fun way to teach it but I think parents do that kind of thing with children even if they go to public school. I am not a trained teacher but I am starting to feel very confident in my abilities to teach my own children. I feel that I know them better than any school teacher ever would. I have tried several curriculums with my son. We have been following the book The Well-Trained Mind for several years (this is our 4th year). Before that we used Hands on Homeschooling, Sonlight, Learn at home,some Monetessori, and some CM. For me I find that most curriculums teach the same things at around the same time they just use different ways to teach it all. I don't always give the lessons the way they are in the books I try to make games and activities to teach concepts so my young children don't have to sit all day long with faces in text books. I would rather them have time to read books they find exciting or have lots of play time in the afternoons. Homeschool children get lots of socialization. My son does his school most days in 3 hours. He doesn't have to sit in a 1 hour math class. I can go over the material and he can do the sheet in about 20-30 minutes time. He is done with school before lunch most days and that is with a toddler in our house and me being 9 months pregnant. He is in soccer with public school children and seems to fit in without any problems. I don't think any of the children even know he is homeschooled. We have homeschoolers in my area and even a co-op that I can put the children in. One of our local libraries has homeschool resources like classes for homeschoolers. My husband is a very bright man and he was picked on in public school for being smart. He was bored in school and acted up some. My husband says he could have done so much more if he didn't spend so much wasted time with the public school system. I LOVED public school and never had any of the problems he did. I never thought about homeschooling my children until my son was 3 years old. My son learned to read at a young age. He loved learning so much I made up a lot of games to teach him so by the time he was old enough for public school he was so far ahead of the public school we didn't think we had any options but to homeschool him. He is 7 and would be starting grade 2 in public school. We tell him he is in 2nd grade. His school books are all 4th and 5th grade books. I guess you can say that my husband liked the idea of homeschooling because of the socialization issues he had in public school. We have drunk bus drivers in my area, fights on busses, teachers with anger issues, bullies, hazing, and lots of other socialization issues I am glad we are not having to worry about. I don't know how long we will homeschool for I only ever plan one year at a time. Even way out in the country like I live lots of children are around. My son has homeschool and public school friends. If my son wanted to go to public school next year we would consider it. I would worry about him but I feel confident that he is mature enough to fit in to school with other children his age. He is young and not old enough for a gifted program so the big worry I would have is what my son would choose to do when he was not learning. I think he would be more likely to daydream or clown around but I don't know for sure that would happen. He could just sit quietly and not have any problems. I do remember teachers telling me to be quiet in class that I needed to wait until AFTER SCHOOL to socialize with others. What kind of socialization issues do you think you would run into? I feel that homeschoolers have more time to spend in after school activities with other children than public school children do. They can do school work quicker (they don't have to wait on the entire class to move ahead with school work) and they don't have homework to do later in the day to keep them from having time for lots of activities. Even in the area I live in (way away from everything) we have lots of activities for children to join for socialization. Many things in my life I look back on and think I would do that different if given the chance but homeschooling a young child pre k-6th grade is not something I will ever regret. I do understand how it is not the right choice for everyone. I hope you find the perfect thing for you and your children. Feel free to write me if you have more questions. I am due to have my baby so if I don't get right back to you it is because I am having a baby. My email address is I hope I have answered some of your questions.

Life said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the ton of information. This must have taken you awhile to type (or maybe I am using my snail speed as a gauge).

I am worried about learning across-the-board social skills, including how to deal with negative behavior from others. I figure life is not perfect and knowing how to deal successfully with bullies is unfortunately an important skill to learn.

I am also worried about whether I can create an environment that my girl will learn in succerssfully but also learn how to have the classroom skills she will need later when I can no longer instruct her, like raising her hand, etc. How do you handle this? Do you have a home classroom or somethig more relaxed (which actually sounds wonderful to me although I am not sure about the impact future schooling).

One concern about public schools is actually my behavior. I am afraid I will be a helicopter mom!

i will get some of the books you recommended and browse through them. Thank you SO much!