Story of the World vol. 2 and History Through the Ages

I have already shared that we love  Story of the World history books and History Through the Ages timelines by Homeschool in the Woods. (See post about Story of the World, vol. 1) I am working my way through compiling lists of what timeline pieces correspond with which chapters from Story of the World.

Here is the list for volume 2. If you have suggestions to update, please let me know.

Note: The ones that are in italics are not in the History Through the Ages set. I have managed to find some of these online, and had to skip some. MOH 3 Additional Figures Set is an add-on set that goes with Mystery of History, volume 3 that can be purchased for $2.95 and downloaded from Homeschool in the Woods. (Scroll to almost the bottom of the page, if you follow my link.) World Geography Timeline Figures are timeline figures by Amy Pak that are sold by Heart of Dakota.

HTTA Timeline Figures for SOTW Vol. 2


  • [None]

Chapter 1

  • Fall of Roman Empire
  • Diocletian
  • Middle Ages

Chapter 2

  • Epic of Beowulf

Chapter 3

  • Dark Ages
  • Augustine

Chapter 4

  • Justinian I
  • Theodora
  • Byzantine Empire
  • East-West Schism
  • Nicholas

Chapter 5

  • Golden Age of India
  • Ajanta Caves
  • Skandagupta
  • Chandragupta I

Chapter 6

  • Mohammed
  • The Hegira

Chapter 7

  • Abu Bakr

Chapter 8

  • Sui Dynasty
  • T’ang Dynasty
  • Grand Canal

Chapter 9

  • Yamato Dynasty

Chapter 10

  • The Maori
  • Aboriginal Australians

Chapter 11

  • Clovis

Chapter 12

  • Arab-Muslim Sweep

Chapter 13

  • Charles Martel
  • Charlemagne
  • Pope Leo III (not named, but is the pope mentioned in the chapter)

Chapter 14

  • Viking Invasions
  • Erik the Red
  • Leif Erikson

Chapter 15

  • Alfred the Great
  • Sweyn Forkbeard
  • Battle of Hastings
  • Edward I (Edward the Confessor)
  • Harold I
  • William I

Chapter 16

  • Feudal System
  • King Arthur
  • Medieval Castles
  • Old English

Chapter 17

  • Samurai Warriors
  • Knights

Chapter 18

  • The Crusades
  • Saladin
  • El Cid
  • Peter the Hermit
  • Urban II (not mentioned by name, but was a Pope that ordered crusades)
  • Pope Innocent III (not mentioned by name, but was a Pope that ordered crusades)

Chapter 19

  • Richard I
  • Optional: Eleanor of Aquitaine (Queen Mother of Richard, not mentioned)
  • Robin Hood
  • Magna Carta
  • King John (Lackland)

Chapter 20

  • Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Optional: Masada (not mentioned)
  • Optional: Bar Kokhba (not mentioned)
  • Jews of the Renaissance & Reformation (MOH 3 Additional Figures Set)
  • Yohanan ben Zakkai
  • Diaspora

Chapter 21

  • Genghis Khan
  • Kublai Khan
  • Song Dynasty (not mentioned, but overthrown by Kublai Khan)
  • Mongol Invasions

Chapter 22

  • Marco Polo
  • Silk Road
  • Ming Dynasty
  • Great Wall
  • Forbidden City

Chapter 23

  • Vladimir of Kiev
  • Ivan the Terrible
  • Ivan the Great (MOH 3 Additional Figures Set)
  • Rurik

Chapter 24

  • Fall of Constantinople
  • Suleiman I (MOH 3 Additional Figures Set)
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Mehmed the Conqueror

Chapter 25

  • Black Death

Chapter 26

  • Hundred Years War
  • Joan of Arc
  • Henry V of England
  • Charles VI of France
  • Battle of Agincourt (1415)
  • Henry VII of England
  • Dauphin/Charles V of France

Chapter 27

  • Wars of the Roses
  • Richard III
  • Henry VI
  • Princes in the Tower

Chapter 28

  • Ferdinand V and Isabella I
  • Henry the Navigator

Chapter 29

  • Empires of West Africa (MOH 3 Additional Figures Set)
  • Mansa Musa
  • Leo Africanus 

Chapter 30

  • Babar
  • Akbar
  • Moghul Empire

Chapter 31

  • Christopher Columbus
  • Amerigo Vespucci
  • Ferdinand Magellan

Chapter 32

  • Maya Civilization
  • Tenochtitlan
  • Inca Civilization
  • Aztec Empire

Chapter 33

  • Montezuma II
  • Hernando Cortez

Chapter 34

  • Martin Luther
  • 95 Theses
  • Henry VII
  • Henry VII’s wives

Chapter 35

  • European Renaissance
  • Artists of Northern Renaissance (MOH 3 Additional Figures Set)
  • Gutenberg

Chapter 36

  • Council of Trent
  • Reformation and Counter Reformation
  • Philip Melanchthon

Chapter 37

  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Galileo Galilei

Chapter 38

  • Mary I (Tudor)
  • Elizabeth I

Chapter 39

  • William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth

Chapter 40

  • Walter Raleigh
  • Virginia Dare
  • Roanoke/The Lost Colony
  • John White

Chapter 41

  • John Cabot
  • Jacques Cartier

Chapter 42

  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado,
  • Philip II
  • Sir Francis Drake
  • Spanish Armada
  • Lord Charles Howard

I am not receiving any remuneration from either Story of the World or Homeschool in the Woods for this post or any of the links in it.

Curriculum for 2014/2015

Well here it is—another school year is upon us. Last year I managed to hardly spend any money on school supplies, this year caught me by surprise by the expense. The really expensive part is that my daughter will be taking Biology this year. Hopefully we can use some of this stuff three more times for all the younger people.

We have decided to take a slightly different approach to some things this year. My oldest starts high school this year and my youngest is now four and I’m getting pulled a lot of directions. We have purchased some prepackaged curriculums that were put together by homeschool families. We are not going to be combining everybody into one unit study. This is partly because my kids are taking interests in different directions and also because I decided that studying the ancients with my 7 year old last year didn’t go as well as I liked. This means that we will have two different history time periods being studied and two different sciences being studied. We will continue to do our Bible class together.

Here it is.

Zippy — age 14

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Ancient History (starting in the middle as we did part of the Beginnings/Ancients by Truth Quest History last year) then Beautiful Feet Medieval History
  3. Mathematics: Saxon Algebra 1, third edition, probably with a tutor
  4. Science: Apologia Biology with the new DVD course
  5. Language Arts: Student Writing Intensive Level C in conjunction with history
    also Spelling Power for spelling.
  6. Music: Piano and violin lessons
  7. Other electives to be determined by real life!

JD — age 11

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Ancient History (starting in the middle as we did part of the Beginnings/Ancients by Truth Quest History last year) then Beautiful Feet Medieval History
  3. Mathematics: Saxon Math 8/7
  4. Science: Noeo Physics 2
  5. Language Arts: Student Writing Intensive Level B in conjunction with history
    also Spelling Power for spelling
    and Italic Handwriting Book F for penmanship
  6. Music: Piano and violin lessons
  7. Etc.

Ace — age 8

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Early American History for Primary Grades
  3. Mathematics: Math 3 by Teaching Textbooks
  4. Science: Noeo Physics 1
  5. Language Arts: Rod & Staff and Christian Light Readers
    and Italic Handwriting Book C for penmanship
  6. Music: Piano and cello lessons
  7. Lots of nature study

So there you have it. That doesn’t count everything, I guess. It counts everything that I had to spend a lot of time and money on. If you looked at our curriculum choices last year, you will notice a few changes—Saxon math from Teaching Textbooks, Beautiful Feet History from Truth Quest History and Noeo Science from Apologia Elementary Science. It’s not that we disliked our choices last year. We were happy with all of the things we used last year, but for various reasons, we decided to do something different.

The reason that we chose Saxon is because my oldest is in high school and we had always intended on using Saxon for high school. You’ll notice that my 8 year old will still be using Teaching Textbooks. From the reviews we’ve read, it seems that Saxon is a bit more thorough than Teaching Textbooks, and better prepares kids for college and hopefully scholarships.

The reason we went with Beautiful Feet History is because, I needed something that my older two could more easily follow on their own so that I could spend more time with the younger ones on American History. I will be doing history with the older two, but they will need to be somewhat independent. Beautiful Feet just lends itself more to that for several reasons—it has a schedule; the specific books are chosen; the activities are already planned out. The reason that I have used Truth Quest History for so long is that it made it easy to not use fiction. I will still be substituting non-fiction for the fiction books assigned in the Beautiful Feet program.

The reason that we switched to Noeo science is that we were ready to read some other authors. We have enjoyed the Apologia Elementary books that we’ve done, but I like variety. Also last year, we read a lot from the book The Way Things Work, and my boys wanted to do  more physics and learn more about electricity. Noeo is a bit for Science like Beautiful Feet is for History. They gather up books from several different publishers and authors, which we hope will add to the interest.


Homeschool Convention

Okay, I love homeschool conventions. For some reason, it’s where I get my homeschool recharge each year. Just as I’m finishing up a school year and bemoaning the things that I wanted to do that we didn’t do, I get all excited about the next year and what we will do then. If you need a little homeschool encouragement, go to your local/state homeschool convention it. It’s great!

I remember the first homeschool convention I went to. I was so scared. There were so many people. I wondered: What should I look at? What shouldn’t I look at? Who should I listen to? Should I take all my kids? (I did.) What should I buy? Which programs were as amazing as touted? I was so overwhelmed.

But I loved it and was hooked, even though that first time: I had gotten out of wearing a boot on my broken foot just the day before. (There’s a lot of walking to do for an injured foot. My foot was killing me.) I took all three of my kids and the youngest one was in a front pack. (If I’d have known how much I wanted to purchase, I would have at least brought a stroller for my purchases, even if I didn’t intend to put the baby in it.) And my little kids and I all skipped lunch because the food at our convention is just plain nasty. (I’m a vegetarian for starters, and secondly I don’t like food that just drips with grease.)

I have continued to go almost every year since. I haven’t taken my kids every time. I have sometimes though. Now I pack a lunch and bring a water bottle. I have continued to bring a backpack to haul my purchases in, and wondered why I didn’t bring a rolling suitcase, because my back is breaking by the end. (I have this addiction to the neat art supplies that Miller Pads and Paper sells, and they’re heavy.)

So it’s that time of year. My state homeschool convention is just a few weeks away. This time I did a little planning and I’m taking my new roller suitcase that I purchased at one of those super duper sales from Sierra Trading Post. (See picture.)

I’ve made a list of everything to take, so I don’t forget anything:

  • Comfy shoes
  • Sweater/Light Jacket
  • Water bottle
  • Packed lunch (Go light, because you have to carry it and you don’t want any leftovers.)
  • Babysitter for the kids, if possible (I took my 6 year old last year. He was a great partner and talked me into purchasing all kinds of things, that went into my backpack!)
  • Backpack (It’s a great way to turn the day into a workout and also a great way to force yourself to stay within your budget!) or a roller suitcase
  • Small pad of paper and a pen
  • Printed address labels with name, address, and email address (This is so that you don’t have to write your address down fifty times for all of the mailing lists and drawings that you want to sign up for. Maybe even grab a few 3×5 cards to stick them to in case you make/meet a friend that you want to keep in contact with.)
  • Camera (This is especially important if you take a backpack. This way you can take pictures of everything you want to purchase and the company’s website address and then go back later and order, when you’re feeling a little more sensible or not feeling heavy laden from an overstuffed backpack. I just use my phone for my camera.)

Well, happy conventioning everybody! Can’t wait to spend a day at mine, which, by the way, is the Washington Homeschool Organization, known affectionately as WHO. If you are going to that one, let’s find each other and say “hi”.

Book Review—Mindset by Carol Dweck

I recently listened to an audiobook that was recommended by a friend, so I decided to give the book a review on my blog as it did somewhat apply to homeschooling.

The book title was Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. The author was Carol Dweck.

This book is based on years of research by the author on the power of the mind over our lives and what causes different mindsets. She proposes that there are two mindsets, what she calls the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The fixed mindset, according to her, is very bad, and the growth mindset is very good. She spends the first chapter developing why she believes this and then she spends the remainder of the book giving examples of people that she thought had the fixed mindset and the ones she thought had a growth mindset. She has a chapter on sports, a chapter on education, a chapter on business, a chapter on family and more. I found her theory to be very interesting and I really enjoyed the first chapter. However, I got really weary of all of the examples. I just wish she would have spent more time talking about how to change from the fixed mindset to the growth mindset and a lot less time on stories.

I did take a few pointers from the book though that I have been trying to apply in my home. I would like to help my children develop growth mindsets about everything and not be stuck in a fixed mindset about anything. And when I’ve been facing challenging situations, I’ve been trying to evaluate if I approach things with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. I think, unfortunately, that I have a bit of each, but I’m going to set out to change that.

So I guess, I’d give the book three stars out of five. If I had only read (I mean, listened to) the first chapter, I think I would have given it five, as I enjoyed the first chapter so much more than the rest of the book.

Back to School—2013

School began in earnest for us last Monday, as we took a deep breath and cracked open new books and started away.

This time of the school year is always so fun and new. We all wonder how it will go this year; if the new science curriculum will be as fun as the pictures look; if math will be as easy as the first lesson; what we will learn; who we will learn about; and what memories we will make this year.

Here is a rundown of what we are doing this year. I’m listing the things that we are all doing together first.

Bible: Finishing Patriarchs and Prophets and starting Prophets and Kings. We will also be working on Bible memorization. We now have a Bible memory club at our church, so we are also participating in that. Currently we are all memorizing Isaiah 51.

History: History of Science by Beautiful Feet for first semester, Ancient Greece by Truth Quest History and Famous Greeks by Great Courses for second semester (We decided to take a brief interlude from a our chronological study of history and do the History of Science, just for fun.) We continue to work on our Record of Time timelines.

Science: The (New) Way Things Work

Art: See the Light video course

Now to where the subjects diverge.

Zippy (grade 8)
Math: Pre-algebra by Teaching Textbooks
Writing: Student Writing Intensive Level B by Institute for Excellence in Writing
Spelling: Spelling Power

JD Boy (grade 5)
Math: Math 7 by Teaching Textbooks
Writing:  Student Writing Intensive Level A by Institute for Excellence in Writing
Spelling: Spelling Power
Penmanship: Italic Handwriting, Book E, by Getty & Dubay

Math: Math-It and Math-on-the-Level
Phonics: The Reading Lesson & various readers
Penmanship: Italic Handwriting, Book B, by Getty & Dubay

Other things we plan to work on this year is copy work from random age-appropriate sources, poetry memorization, artist studies, composer studies, hymn memorization, nature study, home-ec, and instrument lessons.

There is more, I’m sure, that I’m forgetting. I’m a homeschool mom after all, and everything is school, right?

Spelling Practice

So JD Boy (fourth grade) does not like spelling. After spending too many days demanding that it has to be done the way I say, I decided to try to figure out ways to make it more appealing to a nine-year-old boy.

I finally came up with one way for him to practice his words that he thinks is fun. Plus, it leaves him too worn out to complain. He’s doing jumping jacks while practicing his words. He also has some creative jumping jacks, I have no idea what they are called in real life, but he likes to do those too. Those were his idea, so they’re even better.

Jumping Jacks for Spelling JD Boy practicing his spelling

Another thing that I found is that it is the writing that he doesn’t like. You would think, by fourth grade that wouldn’t be an issue. What I can say–he’s a boy! So we have now switched to doing all spelling verbally. He does have to work on penmanship every day though and is doing a writing class too, so I am making sure that he gets some practice with that pencil. For spelling, he writes the words that he needs to practice, on the white board. So I guess, it’s not completely verbal, but the tests are all verbal. So far, this has improved the outlook on spelling dramatically. Yeah!

In case you’re wondering, we are using Spelling Power for our spelling program, but with a slight adjustment for him.

Curriculum 2012/2013

I have three kids to plan for this year: Zippy (girl, age 12), JD Boy (boy, age 9) and G’tums (boy, age 6). I have to plan for the two year old too, but that kind of planning changes from day to day. I’ve found it to be a challenge to figure which subjects can all be done together and which ones can’t. Here is the curriculum as it stands now, anyway.

History/Bible (combining) – Ancient History using Patriarchs and Prophets and Beginnings by Truth Quest History for the whole family

Composition/GrammarWriting Strands

MathTeaching Textbooks for Zippy and Math on the Level for the boys

SpellingSpelling Power for Zippy and JD Boy

Phonics/Reading for G’tums – Three R’s by Ruth Beechick and Phonics Pathways by Delores Hiskes

ScienceExploring Creation with Human Anatomy & Physiology for Zippy and Exploring Creation with Creatures of the Fifth Day (Zoology 1) for the boys

Music – music lessons (violin and piano for Zippy and JD Boy), and Charlotte Mason style learning of hymns and composers (which hymns and composers still to be determined)

ArtSee the Light Shine DVD’s and Charlotte Mason style artist appreciation (which artists still to be determined)

Nature Study – follow the Handbook of Nature Study blog

The Kindergartner

I happen to think that I have one of the cutest kindergartners on the planet living at my house. Here he is with his scooter. He spends hours on that scooter. He tries to keep up with his older siblings on their roller blades, but scooters are hard to get to go as fast as roller blades. But he’s mighty cute with that scooter anyway.

Smiling with dimples

I’m quite proud of my little kindergartner. He just loves life and loves learning. And he’s learned so much over the last few months. One of those things was how to ride his bike. One of my education theories happens to be that kids should learn to ride bikes before they learn to read. I know, that’s just an opinion, but it’s a good one.

Here is a video of him riding.

He got a bit frustrated with me for procrastinating in taking his training wheels off. I kept saying, “I’ll get to it, when I get time.” (That’s a bad thing to say to kids.) Then his 8 year-old brother gave up on me too and went and took them off. So this video is the first time I even saw him try without his training wheels. According to the big brother and sister, he didn’t even fall over once, he just started riding. He was a very happy boy that day, as you can see in the video.

He also lost his first and second tooth this fall. That’s also an important event. (Although, I don’t try to make that happen before my kids start learning to read.)

Missing First Tooth

We have so much fun together learning. I think kindergarten is my favorite time to teach. I don’t feel any pressure, because I think kindergarten was an invented grade just to take kids away from their parents earlier. But it is also such a fun time, because the lightbulbs are turning on. G’tums loves to add and count and draw and paint and especially loves to learn about nature. I haven’t started him on reading yet, although when you’re a third child, sometimes the older siblings step in where mother isn’t. So his big brother has been teaching him letter sounds. It works well, gets those phonics more rooted in my third grader’s mind.

I just have to share one of my favorite quotes from a book that I have read multiple times. “Mothers, let the little ones play in the open air; let them listen to the songs of the birds and learn the love of God as expressed in His beautiful works. Teach them simple lessons from the book of nature and the things about them; and as their minds expand, lessons from books may be added and firmly fixed in their memory.” Ellen White, Child Guidance, p. 34

Does Vacation Count for School?

So how do you receive counsel about homeschooling from non-homeschoolers? Do you grin and bare it? Do you stick your fingers in your ears? Do you nod your head in agreement with something you know you’ll never actually worry about or do? Do you roll your eyes? Do you give the reasons why the speaker doesn’t actually know anything about what they are talking about? What do you do when people, seemingly with the utmost concern, come up and offer you advice on how to homeschool?

Kids playing at the beach

I recently vacationed to a foreign country with my family, which includes two school-aged children. I was a bit bemused by the number of comments that I got about my children and school. I especially got lots of comments while in airports and planes.

It always started, “so you must have just been down here for the weekend”, or “you must just be coming down just for the weekend, because of school. So how long are you here for?”

My answer (said with a little hesitance, because I knew what was coming next) “No actually we’re down here for almost two weeks.”

Looks of shock and dismay. So I always rushed to explain without waiting, “We homeschool.”

The first time I stopped there, but got one of those knowing looks like, “Ahah, bold faced truants.”

After that I rushed on to say, “We brought our school with us.”

That calmed the fears of some. I don’t know if it was completely true though. It depends what the definition of “brought our school with us” is. I have the feeling that if they watched us, they wouldn’t have agreed with my statement at all. We really truly vacationed. My school-aged children brought along books to read. A couple of them actually were readers. See, I told you, that we brought school with us. They brought along their nature journals and some pencils. Isn’t that bringing school with us? We had our snorkel gear. Surely that counts for school stuff. We read a book on the life of Christ everyday. We studied from the most important textbook of all, the Bible.

Orange Fronted Parakeet in Captivity

Maybe I should have said, “We’ll make it up in the summer.” But I haven’t planned our summer out yet. I’m sure it will be full of nature study too, so will it actually be more school-like than our vacation? Maybe, I don’t know.

So, do I think that my kids were schooled while we were vacationing? I do. While I do think that they need to get some math done now that we’re home, I happen to think that they learned tons while we were vacationing and I’m off to record our learning experiences in my journal.

They snorkeled and saw lots of neat fish. They went birding every day with their dad and saw and identified some of the neatest birds, you can imagine. They had hands-on social studies and geography lessons. They were encouraged that learning Spanish was a practical thing to do.

Now I have this question for you. What do you count as school? Do you have to do math, reading, language arts, penmanship, spelling, history, science, Bible, etc. before you count it as a homeschool day? Do you count field trips? What do you call a field trip? Don’t you think that vacation counts as one long field trip?

I still don’t consider our family unschoolers. I do however appreciate the learning opportunities that come from things other than textbooks.

I do believe in “doing school”. I’ve just started to really believe that sometimes we overdo school, when actually it’s the experiences around us that help our children to learn and remember.

Mama and Baby

P.S. I actually wrote this post last year after a vacation. We did just return from another vacation to the same spot and it reminded me that I had never actually posted this. This year, I didn’t hear anybody ask about school. Maybe I was too busy trying to keep a squirmy baby in my arms and to look like I was in complete control of her, I don’t know. We did get in a really fun math lesson on this trip. My husband spent a couple of hours teaching my two school-aged kids all about cameras–aperture, shutter speed, etc. They know it better than I do. Hurrah! Score for including math on our vacation! It was school for sure!

These pictures are from our most recent trip.