Last year I didn't push the boys to be involved in history, but this year I insist on it. However, I do understand that their minds are apt to wander during a chapter of Story of the World. So I've done a couple of things to combat this. First, instead of having them do the mapwork or color the picture provided by Bauer AFTER the reading, I put the map and picture in front of them during our reading. That way, we can reference the map and mark it up as we read, and my kinesthetic learner has the freedom to keep his hands in motion as he colors while I read. A second thing I've done is to create a couple of rhyming lines for each chapter we read. While I don't think my rhymes will win any poetry contests, it is helping all three of the kids retain some facts. We just covered Chapter 9 today and therefore added a couple new lines to our developing poem:
The Middle Ages
Rome was so big they didn’t know what to do.
So in 395 the Empire split in two.
The West fell out of Rome’s hands.
The Celts lived in British lands.
In 449, the Anglo-Saxons settled there.
Then Augustine brought Christianity to share.
The East became known as the Byzantine Empire
with the Hagia Sophia and its tall spire.
The capital was Constantinople,
And Justinian was the Emperor hopeful.
He always worked very hard in his life,
and he ruled in 527 with Theodora, his wife.
In India, the Gupta Dynasty—peace it gave
While Buddhist Monks lived in Ajanta caves.
In Mecca, Muhammed began to preach
and in Medina from the Koran began to teach.
All over, Islam began to spread
with Muhammed as the religion’s head.
The Tang Dynasty ruled 300 years.
It was China’s Golden Age of no fears
Japan broke from China and Korea to go their own way
and followed the Yamato Dynasty which still rules today.
So I guess you could say those lines are our World History in a nutshell. I wish I had done this last year with "Ancient Times" so that the material would be more cemented in not only the kids' minds, but mine as well, but I guess we'll catch it when it cycles back around in 2 years.