Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Living Books by Level for Mystery of History Volume 2: The Early Church and Middle Ages

Key:  MOH = Mystery of History, SCM = Simply Charlotte Mason, SL = Sonlight, TT = Tracy's Treasury

I'm just going to jump right in to posting this book list. If you're feeling a little lost and want to know what this list is or how to use it... OR if you want to find my similar book lists for other history timeframes, click here! Without further adieu, here we go! 

Family Books...

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay - In typical Macaulay style, the story of planning and constructing a fictional Roman city is presented and detailed with lots of illustrations. Fascinating for all ages.
 (SCM family book. Rated 4.8 stars. This one looks really neat.)



Peril and Peace (History Lives series, Volume 1: Chronicles of the Ancient Church) by Mindy and Brandon Withrow - Living stories that introduce important men in church history. Students in grades 10–12 will read all of this book, while the Family reads selected biographies from it.
 (SCM family book, Am grades 3 and up. Rated 4.5 stars.)

The Story of the Romans by H. A. Guerber, edited by Christine Miller (Nothing New Press edition) A living narrative that weaves the story of Ancient Rome. This edited version removes evolutionary comments and honors the Biblical accounts.
 (SCM family book. We really like another book in this series, The Story of the Greeks, so I anticipate that we’ll like this one also. There are several editions of it, so be sure to get this one. The publisher must be “Nothing New Press.”)

The Roman Colosseum by Elizabeth Mann - An interesting introduction to the Colosseum; similar in style to David Macaulay’s books but not as much detail. (SCM family book. Rated 4.4 stars. Between MOH lessons 9 & 10. We really like another book in this series, The Great Pyramid, so I anticipate we’ll also like this one.)

Famous Men of the Middle Ages, edited by Rob Shearer – (SCM Family book, rated 4.4 stars. This book introduces children to the middle ages through short biographies.) 

Castle by David Macaulay – (SCM Family book, rated 4.7 stars. We have City by the same author and it’s great. I’m looking forward to Castle & Cathedral when we get to them.)

Cathedral by David Macaulay – (SCM Family book, rated 4.4 stars. Looks good.)

Ink on His Fingers by Louise Vernon - Louise Vernon has a wonderful series of books that makes the characters of this time period come alive. This one is about Gutenberg.
 (SCM family book, rated 4.1 stars. MOH lesson 84.)

The Beggars’ Bible by Louise Vernon - The story of John Wyclif. (SCM family book. Am grades 4 and up. Rated 5 stars. MOH lesson 78.)

Story of the World: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer - Volume two in the series covers the events from 400 to 1600, and tells not just the events in Europe, but also in the Americas before colonization, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Information is succinct and simple, yet deep and engaging. This volume also includes information on art and music of the period, as well as some literature of the period written in a way children can understand. (SL Core G for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 1-adult, read alone grades 3-adult. Rated 4.6 stars.)

The Samurai's Tale by Erik C. Haugaard - Riveting story of an orphan boy who grows up to be a Samurai in 16th century Japan. Excellent introduction to Japanese culture. (SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 6 to adult. Rated 4.2 stars.)


Younger...



Pompeii: Buried Alive by Edith Kunhardt - Famous volcanic explosion "freezes" an ancient Italian city in volcanic ash. Full color. Easy to read. (SL Core B grade 2 reader. Am grades 2-4. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 9.)

The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla - Lord Weldon's son and wife, displaced by a wicked uncle, appeal to King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table to see justice done. Exciting! (SL Core B grade 2 reader. SCM grades 1-3. Am grades 3-7. Rated 4.9 stars. MOH lesson 23. )

Viking Adventure by Clyde Robert Bulla
 - Sigurd, a Viking boy, cannot see the value of learning to read and write. All he can think of is adventure. But then he has an adventure that he cannot help but tell. And to do that, he decides, he must learn to write. A fine story for young readers. (SCM grades 1-3. Rated 4.4 stars. MOH lesson 39.)

Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky by Schiller - The story of Lief Ericson's discovery of North America. Very well done. (SL Core B for grades 1-3. Not adequately reviewed, but rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 51.)

Leif the Lucky by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire - Considered to be one of the finest works of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, children and adults alike will delight in the adventures of Leif the Lucky, son of Erik the Red, who “sailed with his father to Greenland and who later sailed farther west and found the continent of America.” (SCM grades 1-3. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 51.)

Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts by Margaret Hodges - A young man rejects his wealthy background to lead a life of poverty and good works, always befriending animals. (SCM grades 1-3. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 64)

The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
 - Set in 1291, William Tell's son, Walter, recounts the 1291 Swiss struggle for freedom.The dramatic tale of William’s arrest and escape and the daring revolt of the Swiss against the Austrians has become a legend around the world. (SCM grades 1-3. Rated 4.8 stars. Between MOH lessons 71-72.)

The Minstrel in the Tower by Gloria Skurzynski - Exciting tale of intrigue from the middle ages. (SL Core C grade 2 reader, SCM grades 1-3. Am grades 1-5. Rated 4.5 stars.)

A Medieval Feast by Aliki
 - A beautifully illustrated, award-winning, and fascinating look at the Middle Ages by Aliki, the beloved creator of many popular books for children. The King is coming to visit! The lord and lady of Camdenton Manor must work quickly to prepare for his arrival. It will take weeks to ready rooms, set up tents, and prepare the feast itself. Everyone is busy hunting and hawking, brewing and churning. “A veritable feast of a book. (SCM grades 1-3. Am grades 1-5. Rated 4.3 stars.)

Pippo the Fool by Tracey E. Fern
 - Was Pippo the Fool really Pippo the Genius? The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence was a marvel of art, architecture, and engineering. But it lacked a finishing ornament, a crown--a dome! The city fathers had a solution: to invite the finest masters to compete for the chance to design a dome. The rumors of this contest reached the ears of Filippo Brunelleschi, better known in Florence as Pippo the Fool. As soon as he heard about the contest, Pippo knew it was the chance he had been waiting for. "If I can win the contest, I will finally lose that nickname once and for all!” (SCM grades 1-3, Am grades 1-3. Rated 5 stars. Sounds great.)

Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson
 - Set in Paris in the 1400s. A young girl named Marguerite delights in assisting her father, Jacques, in his craft: illuminating manuscripts for the nobility of France. His current commission is a splendid book of hours for his patron, Lady Isabelle, but will he be able to finish it in time for Lady Isabelle's name day? (SCM grades 1-3, Am grades 3 and up. Rated 4.9 stars. Around MOH lesson 84.) 

Younger/Middle...



Roman Diary, The Journal of Iliona, Young Slave by Richard Platt - In AD 107, young Iliona of Greece is captured and sold as a slave in Rome. Her masters treat her well and she experiences school, the wonders of Rome ... and the sad realities of a society where all were not equal. Full of humor, excitement, and accurate historical details of daily Roman life, you'll see the Roman Empire through Ilona's eyes. (SL Core B+C for grades 1-3, Am grades 4-7. Read aloud grade 1 to adult, read alone grade 3 to adult. Rated 4.7 stars.)

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick - A wonderful introduction to this scientist of Ancient Rome. (SCM grades 4-6, Am grades 5 and up. Rated 4.5 stars. Between MOH 11/12.)

Castle Diary by Richard Platt
- You are definitely "there"! Toby Burgess, a page in his uncle's castle, keeps a detailed journal of his experiences during the year 1285: from boar hunts and tournaments to bread baking and toilet cleaning! Fascinating. Beautiful black and white illustrations. (SL Core B for grades 1-3, SCM grades 1-3. Am grades 4-7. Rated 4.4. Get the large first edition, not the small second edition!)

Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli – SL says: Newbery Medal-winning story of the crippled son of a medieval lord. Amazon says: Set in the fourteenth century, the classic story of one boy's personal heroism when he loses the use of his legs. (SL Core C read-aloud for grades 2-4, Am grades 4-8. Rated 4 stars.)

The White Stag by Kate Seredy - 
Tells the story of Attila the Hun from the Huns’ point of view. The actual battles and violence are downplayed in favor of giving the big picture. Almost a fairy tale style. Good discussion starter, especially the parts that include their religious beliefs. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 3-7. MOH lesson 20.)

Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great by Gerald Morris - Sir Lancelot served the Great King Arthur as a gallant Knight of the Round Table. He was a knight so fearless, so dashing, and so ... shiny and clean that to be rescued (or challenged!) by him would truly be an honor. He was quite good at defending the helpless, protecting the weak, and jousting with strangers--as long as he'd had a nap that day. Adventurous, unabashedly silly and fun. (SL Core C grade 2 reader. Read aloud K-8, read alone 3-8. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH lesson 23.)

King Arthur and His Knights audio recording by Jim Weiss (SCM grades 4-6. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH lesson 23.)

The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway
 - Leif Erickson came from a long line of Viking seafarers-men who for hundreds of years had sailed the Atlantic, North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and everything in between. He determined to sail unaided from Greenland to Norway to meet the famous king Olaf Tryggvesson. (SCM grades 4-6. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH lesson 52, but could start after 39.)

Tales of Robin Hood by Tony Allan, Felicity Brooks - Eight action-packed tales recount the most exciting exploits of Robin Hood and his band of followers. Superb illustrations and fast-moving storytelling bring Sherwood Forest to life like never before. (SL Core C grade 2 reader, Am grades 5 and up. Rated 4.5 stars. This would probably be a fun family read-aloud. MOH lesson 62.)

Marco Polo by Charles Parlin Graves - Illustrations and readable text provide a fascinating introduction to one of the world's great explorers, a man who befriended one of history's great leaders: Kublai Khan. (SL Core C grade 4-5 reader, Am grades 4 and up. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH 71.) 

Incans, Aztecs, Mayans by John Holzmann - Fascinating account of three major civilizations that existed in the "New World" before Europeans arrived. How did they live? What did they achieve? What happened to them? Seeks to interpret history from a biblical perspective. (SL Core D for grades 3-6. Rated 3.8 stars. MOH lesson 74.) *AMHIST

Hidden Tales from Eastern Europe by Antonia Barber – (SL Core C grade 2 reader. Am grades 2 and up. Read aloud K-A, Read alone 2-6. Rated 5 stars.)

Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz - Meet maidens, monks, millers, Lords, peasants and more. Twenty-two riveting portraits, each from a different perspective, create an unforgettable story about what it took to survive the Middle Ages. (SL Core C grade 2 reader. Am grades 5 and up. Read aloud grades 2 and up, read alone grades 4-8. Rated 4.7 stars.)

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman - A prince who has to learn the hard way what makes for true character. He'd never known, since his "whipping boy" had taken all the punishment for him whenever he failed to do what was right. Delightfully thought-provoking. (SL Core C grade 4-5 reader. Am grades 3-8. Rated 3.9 stars.)

The Pied Piper of Hamelin - The classic poem set in medieval times. You should be able to find this poem online. (SCM grades 4-6. Rated 4.8 stars.)


Middle...



The Ides of April by Mary Ray - A Roman slave, accused of murder, is helped by a "secret" Christian. When a Roman senator is found stabbed to death, his secretary manages to escape arrest but knows he must find help if he is to save his mother and fellow slaves from death. Roman law says that if a slave commits murder -- or is suspected of murder -- then all the slaves must die. "Part Agatha Christy, part Eloise McGraw," writes one reviewer. We agree. This is a winner. (SL Core G reader for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 6 to adult. Rated 4.2 stars. Around the time of MOH lesson 4.)

Beyond the Desert Gate by Mary Ray - This sequel to The Ides of April tells of the volatile and dangerous times in Palestine during AD 70. The book brings to life the time period of the Jews revolting against Roman authority while the Greek cities get caught in the middle. (SL Core G & W read aloud for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 4-adult, read alone grades 6-9. Rated 4.2 stars. Around the time of MOH lesson 7.)

Flame Over Tara by Madeleine Polland - The story of a fourteen-year-old girl in Ireland whose safe and comfortable life is turned upside down. Her plans to return home and get married are disrupted by the arrival of St. Patrick, whose new ideas make her question her Druid upbringing. She must decide if she wants her old, comfortable life, or to follow the new ideas of this warm, humorous Bishop from Rome. (SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 6 to adult. Rated 4.2 stars. MOH lesson 19)

Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker - A young boy in fifth-century Greece was raised in Athens and then separated from his family and forced to live in Sparta. This book includes danger, adventure, courage and triumph. (SL Core G for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 3 to adult, read alone grades 4 to adult. Rated 4.6 stars. Around MOH lessons 19-21)

Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey - The story of a Celtic boy who serves Lord Artos (who will later become King Arthur) and his companions in fifth-century Britain. The men search for horses strong enough to carry troops in full armor into battle against the bigger armies of the Saxons. This unique tale of King Arthur will give you a new perspective on this period in history. (SL Core G reader for grades 6-8, Am grades 7 and up. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 5 to adult. Rated 4.2 stars. Leads up to MOH lesson 23.) 

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
 - A classic retelling in old English style. Students will be assigned only “The Book of Arthur” from this collection of stories. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 5 and up. Rated 3.7 stars. MOH lesson 23.)

King Arthur: Tales from the Round Table by Andrew Lang – Discover the ruler said to be the model of governing with good over evil. Thirteen of the best-loved legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. One of the world's great storytellers recounts how young Arthur pulled a sword from a stone to become king; his meeting with the Lady of the Lake and acquisition of the mighty sword Excalibur; gatherings at the Round Table; the death of Merlin; the quest for the Holy Grail and more. (SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9, Am grades 3-8. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 5 to adult. Rated 4.2 stars. MOH lesson 23.)

The Hidden Treasure of Glaston by Eleanore M. Jewett - In the year 1171, the confrontation between Archbishop Thomas Becket and King Henry has come to a bloody end. Abandoned and crippled, young Hugh takes refuge at Glastonbury Abbey under the care of a kind abbot. Legends of Arthur and of the Holy Grail, old forgotten passages, a mad hermit and a mysterious manuscript lead Hugh and his friend Dickon through adventure and danger into the faith and peace as much a part of the time as the political upheaval. (SL Core G read-aloud for grades 6-8, Am grades 6 and up. Read aloud grades 4-adult, read alone grades 5-adult. Rated 4.8 stars. MOH lesson 23.)

The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff
 - Adventure and heroism against impossible odds create a moving, robust tale set in Britain in the eighth century and based on actual events. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 5 and up. Rated 4.3 stars. Set in the time period around MOH lessons 32-29.)

Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard - In the year A.D. 781, Carl's father, Charlemagne, reveals that Carl will inherit the throne instead of the oldest son, Pepin. But Carl has his misgivings. How can he accept this honor? Discover the story of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, who united most of Western Europe and was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by the Pope. See inside his family life, his children's education and his quest to unite Europe. (SL Core G & W for grades 6-9, Am grades 5 and up. Read aloud grades 3 to adult, read alone grades 5 to adult. Rated 4.5 stars. Between MOH lessons 37 & 38.)

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg - The story of Eleanor of Aquitaine waiting in heaven for her husband, King Henry II, to join her. She meets up with some old friends who reminisce about her amazing life in the Middle Ages when she was the wife of two kings and the mother of two others. (SL Core G reader for grades 6-8, Am grades 5-9. Read alone grades 5 to adult, read alone grades 6 to adult. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH lesson 59.)

The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett - Set in the late Middle Ages, a quick-witted orphan risks his life to care for a wounded knight who is on a quest but can't remember what he is searching for. Exciting, engrossing, enchanting! (SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9. Read alone grades 3 to adult, read alone grades 5 to adult. Rated 4.4 stars. Around the time of MOH 55-63.)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park - Set in 12th-century Korea. A young orphan boy raised by a beggar under a bridge becomes an apprentice to a master potter and grows in his own talents. His journey shows faith, perseverance, and courage. (SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9, Am grades 4-7. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 4-7. Around the time of MOH 58-63.)

Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
 (SCM grades 4-6, Am grades 3-7, SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9, 5 day package. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 6 to adult. Rated 3.8 stars. Set around the time of MOH lessons 64-72. ) OR The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (SCM grades 4-6, Am grades 4-8 or 7 and up. Rated 4 stars.) - Both books give a great feel for life in the Middle Ages and have somewhat similar storylines. The Door in the Wall is shorter and has more interaction with a kind group of monks. SL says it’s a heartwarming story about the son of a traveling minstrel who is separated from his father and forced to live by his wits and music. Adam of the Road contains a little more adventure and plot twists and is about twice as long. 

The Magna Charta by James Daugherty
 - Out of the rich turbulence of English history, June 15, 1215 stands apart as a significant milestone in the progress of human liberty. On that day, a brave band of barons, led by the noble Stephen Langton, and calling themselves the Army of God, stood up to the wicked King John and demanded that he restore the ancient laws of England that he had so unabashedly trampled underfoot. (SCM grades 7-9. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH lesson 66.)

Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman - The humorous diary of a spirited 14-year old girl in 13th century England. Her father wants to marry her off to the richest suitor available, but Catherine has other plans and finds many creative ways to repulse her many suitors. (SL Core G reader for grades 6-8, Am grades 4-7. Rated 3.9 stars. Set between MOH lessons 71 & 72.)

In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce by G. A. Henty - At the end of the 13th century, the people of Scotland suffered cruelty under the heavy hand of their English ruler, Edward Longshanks. This stirring tale recounts their valiant struggle for freedom under the legendary leadership of William Wallace and Robert Bruce. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 3-8. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 72.)

The Beduins' Gazelle by Frances Temple - When Halima and Atiyah were babies, they were pledged in marriage. Now Atiyah has been sent away, a political pawn in a war between Beduin tribes in 1302. An award-winning story that highlights and sensitively portrays unfamiliar and ancient cultural values and practices. (SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9, 5 day package. Read aloud grades 4-adult, read alone grades 6-adult. Rated 3.5 stars. Around the time of MOH lesson 72 – 73.)

Foundations in Romans: A Romans Bible Study by Sonya Shafer (one for each student) - Students will work their way through the book of Romans, digging deeper into word meanings and narrating every paragraph. An in-depth study of this letter Paul wrote to believers living in Ancient Rome. (SCM grades 7-9. This is exclusive to SCM so search for it in their bookstore. It’s a good idea to read Romans this year, but we can stick with our own Roman’s commentary.)

Older...



The Apostle: A Life of Paul by John Pollock
- A superbly-crafted, extensively-researched living narrative of the life of Paul that fills in the spaces between the glimpses of his life that we see in Acts, interweaving them with details on Jewish culture, geography, and Ancient Roman practices. Of course, some details must be speculative, but those are clearly labeled as such and do not detract from the power of this resource. What Adam and His Kin does for Genesis, The Apostle does for Acts and the epistles. (Reserved for the upper grades because of some of the descriptions of sinful cities that Paul visited and preached in. Their sinful practices are not in any way sensationalized or presented inappropriately, but they are mentioned to give a better idea of the culture in which he ministered.) (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lessons 2-3.)

Peril and Peace (History Lives series, Volume 1: Chronicles of the Ancient Church) by Mindy and Brandon Withrow - Living stories that introduce important men in church history. Students in grades 10–12 will read all of this book, while the Family reads selected biographies from it.
 (SCM grades 10-12, Am grades 3 and up. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 5.)

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
 - Focuses on the battles happening in Britain at the same time the Huns and Goths were attacking Roman territories on the European continent. (SCM grades 10-12, Am grades 5 and up. Rated 4.7 stars. Set around MOH lesson 20.)

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle - A great look at the politics and intrigue behind English nobility during the 1400s, as well as a great insight into knighthood and all it stood for. (SCM grades 10-12, Am grades 7 and up. Rated 4.5 stars. Set around MOH lessons 80-84.)


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Living Books by Level for Mystery of History Volume 1: Creation to Christ

Key:  MOH = Mystery of History, SCM = Simply Charlotte Mason, SL = Sonlight, TT = Tracy's Treasury

I'm just going to jump right in to posting this book list. If you're feeling a little lost and want to know what this list is or how to use it... OR if you want to find my similar book lists for other history timeframes, click here! Without further adieu, here we go! 

Family Books...


Bible

Children’s Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings – (TT grades preschool and up, Am grades 1 and up. 4 stars. This is our bible story book, which I scheduled along with all the corresponding MOH lessons. Don’t confuse it with this one b/c it’s TINY and the illustrations need to be full sized!)

The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann - A story of the Great Pyramid and the people who built it. Similar to David Macaulay’s Pyramid, but shorter and not as much construction detail. (SCM Family Book. 4.7 stars. Great book. MOH lesson 11.)



 The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann – Meet a nation of farmers living on the green edge of a harsh desert with a king who was a god in life and in death. Tens of thousands of farmers left home each year to chisel hard stone without iron tools and move 10-ton blocks up steep grades without the use of a wheel, all to the glory of the Pharaoh. (TT K-8, Am 4-8. SCM recommends other books in this series. It was great! It shows what a massive undertaking it was to build a pyramid. It's similar to David Macaulay’s Pyramid, but shorter and not as much construction detail. My first grader and I both loved it. Rated 4.7 stars. MOH lessons 11, 22-24.)


Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors by Lorene Lambert - A fascinating narrative of life in Ancient Egypt intertwined with captivating stories of the other civilizations that existed alongside her—neighbors far and near. (SCM Family book. This has been an excellent book to supplement so many of the MOH lessons! We’ve all enjoyed it. It may be cheapest here. If that link doesn’t work, search for it in the SCM bookstore. MOH lessons 7-85)


Pharaoh’s Boat by David Weitzman - Two stories in one: how and why the boat was made for Pharaoh Cheops, and how it was discovered and reconstructed in the 1950s. Fascinating detail woven into the story. (SCM Family book. Rated 4.6 stars. This was fine to check out from the library but we were not compelled to own it. MOH lesson 11.)


The Great Wall of China by Leonard Everett Fisher - Twenty-two hundred years ago in China, King Chen's greatest responsibility was to protect his people from their fierce enemies. To do so he built a Great Wall 3,750 miles long. An awe-inspiring look at why and how the Great Wall of China was built. (SL Core B for grades 1-3, Am grades 1-5. Read aloud grade 1 to adult, read alone grade 4 to adult. Rated 4.1 stars. MOH 90. Beware of violence and the mention of workers being buried alive. Perhaps read it yourself first. MOH lesson 90)

The Story of the Greeks by H . A . Guerber, edited by Christine Miller (Nothing New Press edition) - A living narrative that weaves the story of Ancient Greece . This edited version removes evolutionary comments and honors the Biblical accounts.
 (SCM Family book. I’m really glad we bought this one. It’s an enjoyable book about Greek legends and history. There are several editions of it, so be sure to get this one. The publisher must be “Nothing New Press.” MOH lessons 39-93)

Story of the World: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer – This easy to read-aloud text will engage your whole family. History, told in a story-book style that covers the events from 500 BC to 400 AD, journeys from Ancient Mesopotamia through Egypt and Babylonia, to Greek culture and Ancient Rome. This fact-filled tome comes in a voice that is easy even for young children. Chapters in narrative form occasionally even include ancient fairy tales and thoughts of what life would be like for a child during that time period. (SL Core G for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 1-adult, read alone grades 3-adult. We own the audio version of this. Rated 4.4 stars.)

Usborne Encyclopedia 12000 Years of World History - This newly updated book takes readers on a tour of world history, from ancient times to the start of the 21st century. Ancient Egypt, the Aztec Empire, Medieval Europe, the First World War and many more fascinating subjects. Includes an illustrated time chart, more than 100 maps, fabulous illustrations and photos, links to more than 800 Usborne-recommended websites and more. (SL Core G, W for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 3 to adult, read alone grades 5 to adult.)

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia - Chock full of riveting facts, revelations and revolution, this reference book brings world history (from early humans to the war on terror) to life! Organized chronologically and then thematically within each period, with a timeline on every page. Includes biographies of important people and features on art, architecture and technology. (SL Core G for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 2 to adult, read alone grades 3 to adult. Rated 4.5 stars.)

The Kingfisher Atlas of World History by Simon Adams - Discover how the past developed into the world we know today. A brilliant book that looks at the world during the major periods of history: the Ancient World, Medieval World, Age of Exploration and Empire (1450-1800), and the Modern World (since 1800). (SL Core W for grades 7-9, Am grades 2 and up. Read aloud grades 2 to adult, read alone grades 3 to adult. Rated 4.7 stars.)


Younger...



Archaeologists Dig for Clues by Kate Duke - Join an archaeological dig and learn about the tools and techniques archaeologists use! Find out how even the smallest bits of chipped rock, burned seeds, and stained dirt can provide clues to how ancient peoples lived. Fascinating! (SL Core B for grades 1-3, Am grades K-4. Rated 4.6 stars. I scheduled it with MOH lesson 7.)

Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones -
A mystery set in Ancient Egypt and solved by a ten-year-old boy and his father. Our favorite Ancient Egypt book for the younger grades! (SCM grades 1-3. Rated 5 stars. MOH lessons 11-24. I think this is a great read-aloud for grade-schoolers. This was my first grader’s favorite book, which he’s read several times now. It will probably be cheapest here. If that link doesn’t work, search for it in the SCM bookstore. MOH lessons 11, 22-24) 

Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne - This is a magic tree house book about Jack and Annie going back in time to an ancient Egyptian tomb. (TT & Am grades 1-4. Rated 4.4 stars. MOH 11-24. I think it was my first grader’s first-ever “long” chapter book to read for himself. It’s a magic tree house book. MOH lessons 11, 22-24)

Tut’s Mummy, Lost… and Found by Judy Donnelly – Easy reader about King Tut’s Tomb with pictures. (SL Core B for grades 1-3, Am grades 2-4. Read aloud grades K-4, and read alone grades 2-4. Rated 4.5 stars. Since L was currently checking out lots of easy readers from the library, we added this one in too. MOH lessons 11, 22-24)

Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne – This is a magic tree house book about Jack and Annie visiting the Olympic Games. (TT & Am grades 1-4. Rated 4.4 stars.)


Younger/Middle...



The True Story of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dooley – (SCM grades 1-6. Rated 4.4 stars. We just borrowed this from the library as it isn’t 100% accurate. MOH lesson 4)

Ancient Egypt from Mysteries of History – This is a richly illustrated book with lots of fold-outs, envelopes, hidden flaps, thermo-ink, etc. . I will mention here that the next few books listed are not on SL or SCM lists, but we spent almost a year on Ancient Egypt, so we found several really great books about it. (TT grades K-8. We love this series of books!!! MOH lessons 11, 22-24.)

Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki – I checked out this book from the library but we ended up buying it because it went along so well with our studies. It’s a great kid-friendly introduction to mummification in ancient Egypt (TT grades K-6, Am grades 2-6. Rated 4.7 stars. MOH lessons 11, 22-24.)

Seeker of Knowledge by James Rumford – (TT grades K-5, Am grades K-3. Rated 4.8 stars. Between MOH lessons 21 & 22)

Life in Ancient China by Paul Challen – This is a well-illustrated book about the people, history and culture of Ancient China. (TT grades 1-8, Am grades 4 and up. Rated 5 stars. MOH lessons 18, 29, 65, 90, 92, and some in Volume 2.)




The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne
- One of the few Landmark series books that continues to be in print. A conversational narrative of the main pharaohs who ruled Egypt. (SCM grades 4-9, Am grades 3-7. Rated 4.5 stars, with no reviews lower than a three. MOH lessons 22-24)

The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G. A. Henty - Historical fiction by a master story-teller, written in 1888.
 (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 3-8. Rated 4.1 stars. Public Domain. MOH lessons 22-24.)


Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago by Julia Darrow Cowles… and…

Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago by Julia Darrow Cowles- Both of these great books introduce young students to daily life in Ancient Greece through a storyline of a young person who lived there . (SCM grades 1-6. Rated 4.8 stars. MOH 39-87. These sound good. Both are Public Domain books. MOH lessons 39-93)



Greek Myths for Young Children by Usborne - Colorful introduction to the more significant gods, goddesses, and legendary figures of ancient Greece: Pandora, Heracles (Hercules), Midas, Icarus, and many others. (SL Core B read-aloud for grades 1-3, Am grades PreK and up. Read aloud K to adult, read alone grade 4 to adult. Rated 4.3 stars. I skipped it because we have Story of the Greeks. MOH lessons 39-93)



The Greek News by Anton Powell, Philip Steele - The news and lifestyles sections from an ancient Greek tabloid that never existed but should have. Interesting. A colorful and creative way to present the names, dates, and events of ancient Greece. (SL Core B for grades 1-3. Am grades 4-7. Read aloud K to adult, read alone grades 3-7. Rated 4.2 stars. I skipped this one because we have Story of the Greeks. MOH lessons 39-93)

Jerusalem, Shining Still by Karla Kuskin - a poetic rendering of Jerusalem's history, from David, who made shaking sky clouds bump against each other, through the present day paradox of physical magnificence with interfaith tensions. (Rated 4 stars. MOH K-5. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 57.)

7 Wonders of the Ancient World by Lynn Curlee – Seven Wonders has a lucid narrative, complemented by full-page, full-color illustrations. (MOH lessons 11, 58, 64, 77, 84, 87, 89.)

The Aesop for Children by Mio Winter - (SL Core C read-aloud for grades 2-4. Rated 4.5 stars. There are plenty of Aesop’s fables books out there and I imagine this one is fine, but I’ll just borrow one from the library. MOH lesson 60)

Ancient Asia from Mysteries of History – Travel into the past with this fascinating series. Young readers can play ancient games, touch the kabuki's mask, hold the real black mark and the Chinese coin in his hands. Novelty elements include 3D details, convertible envelopes, flaps, thermo-ink, magic candles, puzzles and secret hidings; rich illustrative material reveals the atmosphere of the past. (TT grades K-8. We love this series of books!!! MOH lessons 63, 90, and several more in MOH volume 2.)

Ancient Rome from Mysteries of History – Travel into the past with this fascinating series. Each richly illustrated book opens to a different world through 3D details, convertible envelopes, hidden flaps, thermo-ink, magic candles, and puzzles. (TT grades K-8. We love this series of books!!! MOH lessons 70, 91, 96 and several more in MOH volume 2.)

Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick - These two living biographies are a wonderful introduction to a scientist and historian of Ancient Greece . (SCM 4-6, Am lists no grades but I’m guessing it’s probably 5 and up like the previous book. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH 72.)

The Parthenon by Elizabeth Mann - This short, beautifully illustrated book gives a nice overview of Ancient Greece and the role of the Parthenon. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 4-8. Rated 4.8. I haven’t previewed this one but we have the another book in this same series, The Great Pyramid, which I’d classify as a family book. We’ll probably buy this one too b/c we really liked the Great Pyramid. MOH lessons 80-81.)

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
(SCM grades 4-6 & grades 1-3 listen in, SL Core B+C read-aloud for grades 1-3, Am grades 3-5. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH 95-101 and the beginning of volume 2)

Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld - Both books by Winterfeld are fun mysteries set in Ancient Rome. Students will be introduced to daily life in that era even as they seek to solve the not-too-simple mysteries. (SCM grades 4-6 & grades 1-3 listen in, SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9, Am grades 3-5. Read aloud grades 3-8, read alone grades 4-8. Rated 4.9 stars.) MOH 95-101 and the beginning of volume 2)

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley – (Am grades 3 and up. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH lesson 98.)

Middle...


Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson - Uriah, a Hittite warrior, lived in the time of Deborah, 200 years before David and Saul. This is his story. It makes those ancient times, cities, and peoples -- the Hittites, Canaanites, Hebrews, and Achaeans (Greeks) -- all come to life once more. Well-written, intriguing. (SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9, Am grades 6 and up. Read aloud grade 4 to adult, read alone grade 5 to adult. Rated 4.7 stars. Around MOH lesson 21 or 26)


The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
- Another classic mystery set in Ancient Egypt and written for children but with more twists and conflict than Boy of the Pyramids. (SCM grades 4-9, Am grades 5 and up, SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 4-adult, read alone grades 7-adult. Rated 3.8 stars. It’s probably good. MOH lessons 11, 22-24)

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw - Mara, a slave, plays the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies--each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. Exciting story of adventure, romance and intrigue in Ancient Egypt. (SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 7 to adult. Also recommended by MOH. Rated 4.8 stars. MOH lesson 24.)

Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff
- A narrative of the Trojan War by a master storyteller. (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 7 and up. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 25.)

Greek Myths by Olivia Coolidge - High drama, hazardous quests and unforgettable characters (mortal and immortal) reveal the landscape of early Greece and its most famous legends. From the loves of the gods (think Cupid and Psyche) to their rivalry with man (think King Midas) the stories in this introduction to classic mythology will thrill adventure seekers. (SL Core G & W for grades 6-9, Am grades 7 and up. Read aloud grades 3 to adult, read alone grades 4 to adult. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH lessons 39-93.)

God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson - Story of an Egyptian prince in 701 BC who reluctantly and unexpectedly succeeds to the throne and is then forced to run for his life. When he escapes he must choose alliance with either the Assyrian King or King Hezekiah of the Jews. (SL Core G read-aloud for grades 6-8. Read aloud grades 4 to adult, read alone grades 5-8. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH lesson 47.)

A Young Macedonian in the Army of Alexander the Great by Alfred Church - A wonderful historical fiction that brings to life some of the details of life and battle in the time of Ancient Greece, as well as how the various countries and their citizens interacted with each other . (SCM grades 7-9. No ratings yet. Public Domain. MOH lesson 85)

Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick - A delightful biography of Archimedes, the Greek mathematician who made a number of wonderful discoveries—or proved their practical application. He is the one who learned how to measure a boat's displacement—and was so excited by his discovery, he ran naked through the streets yelling "Eureka! Eureka! (I've found it! I've found it!)." Science and history rolled up into one. (SCM grades 4-6, Am grades 5 and up, SL Core G & W reader for grades 6-9. Read aloud grade 3 to adult, read alone grade 5 to adult. Rated 4.5 stars. MOH lesson 87)

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare - A classic historical fiction that centers around life during the time of Christ and how one boy meets Jesus. (SCM grades 7-9, SL core G & W reader for grades 6-8. Read aloud grade 3 to adult, read aloud grade 5 to adult. Rated 4.4 stars. MOH 103-108.)
Middle/Older...


The Kingdom Strikes Back by Dr. Ralph Winter and John Holzmann - An overview of God's heart for the nations as expressed in history from Abraham to the present. This unique overview of Scripture and world history paints a clear and compelling view of world missions and evangelism. Covering many cultures, historical events, and the times when followers of God have reached out to others -- and the times they have not -- this booklet is an excellent overview of a global outlook that permeates Sonlight. (SL Core G &W for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 5-adult, read alone grades 6-adult.)


Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick
- Speculative yet intriguing narrative of what life may have been like for the main Bible characters through Abram. (SCM grades 7-12. Rated 4.1 stars. MOH lessons 1-13.)

Jashub’s Journal by Rebekah Shafer, Ruth Shafer, Sonya Shafer (one for each student) - A living story combined with a Bible study designed to highlight God’s wisdom in the laws He made. (SCM grades 7-12. No ratings. This book is exclusive to SCM. Search for it in the SCM bookstore.)

Leviticus: A Commentary for Children by Nancy E. Ganz - Don’t let the name fool you into thinking that this book will be too babyish for your older child. Adults can learn a lot from this commentary. It explains the priests’ responsibilities, the holy days that God instituted, the moral law, the civil law, funding for the Lord’s work, and more. An excellent, God-honoring overview of Leviticus, a book too often overlooked. (SCM grades 7-12. Rated 4.8 stars. MOH 20-21.)

Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay 
- A humorous look at the guess-work that plays a part in archaeology. Leads to great discussions about what is known and what is speculation in ancient history. (SCM grades 7-12. Rated 4.7 stars.)

The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff - A narrative of the Odyssey by a master storyteller .
 (SCM grades 7-9, Am grades 7 and up. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH 39.) 

The Trojan War by Olivia E. Coolidge - An exciting and readable version of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, a thrilling saga of heroism and magical adventure. (SL Core G & W read-aloud for grades 6-9. Read aloud grades 3-adult, read alone grades 5-adult. Rated 4.3 stars. MOH 39.)

Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster
- Though the author does a wonderful job giving a sense of all that was happening in the world during Augustus Caesar’s lifetime, she does present all of the religious beliefs as equal. If your child is able to discern as he or she reads, this book should prove valuable and provide good discussion material. If your child is not as grounded in truth, you may want to use the alternate books listed next. For the older child, encourage him to discern as he reads; this book should prove valuable and provide good discussion material. (SCM grades 7-12. Rated 4.8 stars. MOH lesson 101.)
OR Beric the Briton by G. A. Henty and For the Temple by G. A. Henty
Historical fiction by a master storyteller. Beric the Briton focuses on life in Britain before Rome conquered it. For the Temple is set in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 when Titus desecrated and destroyed the Temple. (SCM grades 7-12. Rated 4.6 stars. Public Domain.)

Older...


Uarda by Georg Ebers
- A historical fiction written in the late 1800s that makes the political and personal aspects of Ancient Egypt come alive. Extensive footnotes document ideas and descriptions in the storyline. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 3.7 stars. Public Domain. MOH lessons 11, 22-24)


Unwrapping the Pharaohs by John Ashton and David Down
- An interesting and compelling new Egyptian chronology that confirms the Biblical account. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.6 stars. MOH lessons 11, 22-24)

The Odyssey by Homer - Literature from Ancient Greece translated into English . This epic poem recounts the fanciful and adventurous journey home from the Trojan War by one of the Greek warriors, Odysseus. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.4 stars. Public Domain. MOH 39.)

The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato - Written by Socrates’ pupil, Plato, this work examines the events through dialogue (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.7 stars. Public Domain. MOH 83.).

Plutarch’s Lives, biography of Alexander, by Plutarch - A biography of Alexander the Great written by a man who lived soon after. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.5 stars. Public Domain. MOH 85.)


A Victor of Salamis by William Stearns Davis - A historical fiction written in the late 1800s that makes the political and cultural aspects of Ancient Greece and Persia come alive. (SCM grades 10-12. Not adequately reviewed. Public Domain. MOH lessons 71-87.)

Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
- A classic historical fiction set in the time of Christ. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.6 stars. Public Domain. MOH lesson 103-104.)

Plutarch’s Lives, biographies of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, by Plutarch -Biographies of great Romans written by a man who lived in Roman times. (SCM grades 10-12. Rated 4.5 stars. Public Domain. MOH 105.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Supplementing Mystery of History with Living Books from Sonlight & Simply Charlotte Mason

I love Charlotte Mason style “living books”, and think they are a great way to teach history! My favorite two sources for finding these fabulous books are Sonlight and Simply Charlotte Mason.


I’ve taken the time to go through the SCM (Simply Charlotte Mason) book lists and SL (Sonlight) book lists, and organize them chronologically and by age to easily go along with our Mystery of History study. Anyone who's looked at either list knows what a massive undertaking this is. But looking for the books as we went didn't really work for me, not to mention that I found myself looking more than once at the same thing which is really not an efficient use of my time. So I bit the bullet and went through them both in their entirety... once... and made a master list.



This list is for:

  • Anyone wanting to supplement Mystery of History with Sonlight
  • Anyone wanting to supplement Mystery of History with Simply Charlotte Mason
  • Anyone who plans to use any combination of MOH, SL, or SCM over the years and wants to avoid buying duplicate books. 
  • Anyone interested in finding carefully-chosen quality literature book suggestions organized by time period and reading level. This may be to supplement ANY history curriculum. 
If any of the above describes you, you should love me right now. Feel free to send Amazon gift cards my way.  Just kidding. :D But not really.


My intention in making this master list is so that each time we start a new year with the next level of MOH, I can grab this list to choose which living books to supplement with, based on what fits our family best that year. Also, since I want to try some of the Sonlight cores at upper levels, I can avoid buying the books now that would be a duplicate later. 

I’ve gathered the book recommendations from SL and SCM, and organized them:
  • Chronologically - I also referenced their corresponding MOH lesson if there was one.
  • By approximate grade level - I'd trust the level recommendations from SCM and SL more than I would from Amazon, but I included all that I found. Most of these books appeal to quite a range of ages, making them great for families learning together. Each list also begins with the family books, which make good read-alouds for the entire family together. 
  • Including notes - I pasted in the book description (from SCM, SL, or Amazon), my own notes if I have any, and the current Amazon rating (1-5 stars). 
So hang on to your hats. I'll be sharing the lists in my next couple posts, organized as follows:

Sonlight / Simply Charlotte Mason Living Book Recommendations For:




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Let's Learn About Ancient Egypt!

Here are a few of our favorite books, activities, and online resources for learning about Ancient Egypt...

Online Resources

Explore Ancient Egypt! You've got to visit this site!! We took a virtual tour through the Great Pyramid, walked around the Sphinx, and visited other tombs and temples with 360 degree tours. It was excellent!! Thank you PBS!

Discover the world of Ancient Egypt playing our games! Explore the Egyptian landscape, join an exploration expedition through Egyptian tombs, dress like an Egyptian queen or craftsman, translate hieroglyphics, and run a temple store! My son loved these games from National Museums Scotland!!!

Our Favorite Books

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hands-On History: Ancient Egypt

I lead the hands-on History portion of our Co-Op, so I thought I'd share the projects we did this year. This was our first year in Ancient History, and most of our projects this year related to our study of Ancient Egypt. Here's what we did...

We talked about how ancient people wove fabrics, and then the kids got to weave with a  loom. To do this, I propped a dowel rod between two chairs and tied strings to it, weighted at the bottom by washers. Then the kids wove it as you see here...
(I found this project idea here.)

They made mummies by wrapping little duct tape people with strips of linen, and gluing them in place with "resin." (I labeled our Elmer's glue as "resin" and no one was allowed to call it glue. They had to say "please pass the resin" not "please pass the glue" when they needed it.) Inside of the wrappings they also added "amulets" (rhinestones). For the sarcophaguses, we used this free printable pattern.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My New & Improved Home Education Planner (With Downloadable Cover Art)

As we're wrapping up this school year and I plan for the next one, one step is making my planner to track our school days. You may remember My DIY-Planner from last year. It worked out really well for me so I used much of the same format when printing one for this coming school year, BUT I got a major upgrade for the cover! I love the artwork, complete with a couple Charlotte Mason quotes.


Isn't it lovely? The artist is Ally, a fellow home school mom in the Simply Charlotte Mason Facebook group. She shared it with the group saying that she thought a few other ladies might like to use it, and was kind enough to give me permission to post it on my site as a free download as well. I just love it! Thank you so much for sharing Ally!!!

To view or download Ally's Home Education 
Planner Cover, click the links below...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Some Sewn Cuteness From My Featured Readers!

I love receiving pictures back from readers who make projects using my tutorials! (Although it may take me a while to finally post them!) Here are a few new ones... 

Mary G in North Carolina used my Custom Bible Cover tutorial to make this pretty case for her bible... 
After corresponding with a few people making their bible cases, I also updated my post with a few new tips and FAQ. 

Kristie H from Baltimore Maryland shared her little one's frog costume, which she made using my Hoppy Halloween Tutorial. (This tutorial includes instructions for making both frog and tadpole costumes)...

Melissa used my Pack & Play Sheet tutorial to make this cute sheet for her future foster kids...

Jennifer, from St. Louis Missouri used my ear flap hat pattern to make this hat for her son...
 

And Beth, from Iowa, used my dishtowel bib tutorial to sew her first dishtowel bib... 

Thank you ladies for sharing your pictures! :D