Friday, March 22, 2013

Black Death

As a homeschool family we get the luxury of choosing our curricula. What a daunting task for a mother in her rookie years. Luckily we are in our third year of homeschooling and I feel like I have a better grasp of what we are doing. We have found our groove, one might say. Not to imply that things are smooth sailing everyday. We also have an infant and a toddler in the house! Homeschooling takes a lot of preparation on the front end, starting with goal setting. Once goals were in place, we scoured the masses of curriculum and found what met our needs. Today, I LOVE the curriculum that we have chosen for the most part. The kids are doing exceptionally well and make me unbelievably proud. 

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One of our favorite subjects is History. We chose a curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer called Story of the World. It has four volumes. We are currently in the second volume: The Middle Ages. I love the fact that it encompasses reading, geography, map reading, chronological historical accounts, a biblical worldview, crafts, activities, and even recipes all in one curriculum. The second volume picks up at the fall of the Roman Empire. We have studied the Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Turk invasion, the Normans from the north, the settling of European countries such as France, England and Spain, and even touched on India, African Kingdoms.

 Recently we studied the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe, Africa and China in 1347, wiping out a third of the worlds population. At the time, it was unknown how the disease was being spread, but many blamed the Italians. Scientists later discovered that the fleas living on rats that roamed through cities, spread the infection. It was given the popular moniker, the Black Death. The European citizens made plague masks which they believed would stave off the infection. This lesson coincidentally came as we were recovering from our own black death. A week of sporadic vomiting by all, except Shy. In the truck, in a carseat, in beds, in toilets, in garbage cans! Lots of laundry!!! Then, on the heels of that virus, another intestinal virus. To top it all off, many of us had the sinus crud. We felt like we had been repeatedly run over by Mack truck. Thankfully we all survived our black death. We praise God for restored health. To commemorate the weeks of illness and our subsequent lesson on the plague, we made our own plague masks. The kids loved it and hopefully they will never forget get! I know I certainly will not!

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