The Middle Ages Review & Update

Hi everyone! As you may recall, we decided to try the Homeschool in the Woods Middle Ages history unit this year. Since we’re a few months into our curriculum, I thought I’d do an update on how it was going so far.

Right off the bat I have to say that our kids are really enjoying history this year. They’re always excited when it’s time for history and each day has a fun activity that makes learning fun!

Right now we’re knee deep in castle life. We’ve learned about the different casts of people, various jobs, and roles that each person plays in the system. We all picked which group we would want to be in, a few people wanted to be freemen, some went for the nobles, no one was brave enough to be king, and unfortunately no one wanted to be a serf. Go figure.

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We also made puppets of all of the different groups of people. This one took a little longer than expected to color, but everyone wanted their own full set of figures. So we just stretched it out for a few days. Once colored they added their puppets to popsicle sticks and Strawberry Shortcake wrote a short and comical play which I wished I would’ve filmed!

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Learning all about castles was one of our favorite activities so far. The castle is described in detail and then the kids did a transparency overlay that shows the insides of the castles as well. The pink page on the right has all of the details about castles so when you place it in your binder you have all of the information at hand.

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I have to say so far the castle building day was one of the most exciting. They knew this day was coming, and have been asking regularly if it is castle day yet. When I finally broke out the flora-bricks they were so excited!

I will say this project took a few days to complete, but they all did a great job. you might consider having your kids do one castle collaboratively. However my kids wanted to each make their own.

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So now we have 4 castles floating around the basement.

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We also work on our Medieval Times newspaper articles regularly. And the articles are fun and interesting, so I was happy to see that even Turbo,  my reluctant writer, seems to be enjoying these assignments.IMG_1290web

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Tinker Bell is currently working on a postcard that will go inside that pink and green postcard holder in her binder. As we’ve gone through the curriculum, they have various postcards that they get to decorate. The other side has a handwritten letter from different people that they read aloud with a British accent of course.

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And of course as we go through the lessons they are adding their figures to the timeline. My only comment on this is that the figures are kind of scattered, so I haven’t quite figured out why we’re adding them all over the place instead of going in order. But there may be a method of madness to the curriculum, I just haven’t quite figured it out yet.

So for now we search for the correct location of each figure as it’s added.

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And that’s it! So far we are enjoying all of the curriculum. And I’m super thankful that I decided to prepare it all before we started. I will say that makes doing history so much easier for us! And since I have all of the supplies on hand and ready to go, we’re not doing things like skipping crafts and fun stuff!

As you can see this curriculum is full of activities which help make our history lessons that much more engaging and memorable.

I’ll keep you posted on our year, but for now Homeschool in the Woods Middle Ages is a thumbs up for us!

18 Comments

  • Johanna @ Lillie's Lovelies January 7, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Thank you for this review? I have looked at a lot of your curriculum reviews. Makes it less confusing for us homeschool newbies!

    http://lillieslovelies.storenvy.com

    Reply
  • Katie January 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    How would you rate this compared to The Mystery of History? I really want to love MOH, but I’m struggling with it. I find the amount of time I have to invest in planning activities for MOH is excessive for where I’m at right now ( I work full time, plus school my 2nd grader and kindergartner. I also have a toddler and another one on the way! ) I guess I’m trying to figure out if this program includes projects ready to go? So, other than the initial planning, is there much more required in regards to activities?

    Reply
    • erica January 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Katie,
      I agree with you, I had a hard time with MOH due to the prep work on my part. This is SOOO much easier. As long as you prepare it ahead of time like I did. Which isn’t any research or anything, just printing materials so when you get to each lesson you can pull them out quickly.

      Reply
      • Katie January 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm

        Thank you! Looking forward to trying this out 🙂

        Reply
  • Jill B January 9, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Erica, I just purchased Truth Quest, which, I have not received as of yet. My husband wanted me to find a curriculum that started back with the Early Settlement ( for instance, we just finished learning about the Lost Colony of Roanoke ) I found a couple curriculum’s that I liked, purchased one. Did not care for it at all! Then I found Truth Quest. But I am afraid that this is going to be boring for my son( I honestly think this wld be better for him when he is a little older) He absolutely loves history and he is 10 years old. And I want to make things fun for him. I had also purchased the notebookingpages.com membership to see if this would assist. My question is, with Homeschool in the Woods, “the kit”, does this come on the CD or download version and you just print out ? And, 2, what did you make the castle’s out of?

    Thanks.
    Jill

    Reply
    • erica January 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Jill,
      yes you can either buy the download or CD version. Then you print whatever activities you want to do, and enough for your amount of children.

      The castles were made using FloraCraft Styrofoam blocks and regular school glue.
      http://www.amazon.com/FloraCraft-Styrofoam-Kits-Make-Fun/dp/B002HMI6W8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420923992&sr=8-1&keywords=flora+craft+blocks

      Reply
    • Wendy @ Ladybug Daydreams January 10, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Jill,

      I just wanted to chime in here because I’ve reviewed TruthQuest history (not for my blog, but for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine online – it’s not posted yet or I’d link to it). The one thing to be aware of in TQH is that it’s really just a giant text book with a lot of suggestions for living books to supplement. One of their claims is that all you need is Ms. Miller’s book and library card. Well, this is going to depend on how Christian friendly your library system is. I wasn’t able to find ANY of the book recommended in our library, so it would have been really expensive for me to continue using the curriculum. I had to set it aside until we can (slowly) build our library with the books she recommends. I don’t want to scare you away from using TQ, because it’s a great program. Just be aware that it might require a lot of additional expense to utilize fully. (I reviewed the Old Testament/Ancients/Egyptian book.)

      Reply
      • Jill B. January 14, 2015 at 8:23 am

        Erica, Thank you so much for the info. I guess I could I have reviewed the Home school in the Woods website a little more closely. LOL. But I do the love the project. I showed my son and he was like ” COOOOOLLLLL”. LOL. Thanks so much again.

        Wendy, I just received the TQ the same day as I asked Erica about Homeschool in the Woods. I was not impressed at all, this was just like the one I purchased not long ago. My library does not have a lot of books period; which is odd for a big city ( I guess they have to share with 5 or 6 other libraries) this is what I ran into with the last curriculum. I reviewed TQ website and I honestly thought It was going to be something different. I will keep the book and use it for a guide. Thanks so much I greatly appreciate it. I might send you a chat on your site, not to tie up Erica’s site. Thanks again, Jill

        Reply
  • Danielle January 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    This program looks awesome about how days do you devote to history?

    Reply
    • erica January 10, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Right now we only do history twice a week, and then science twice a week. We alternate days. I used to do both daily but it was too overwhelming and eventually one would get skipped.

      Reply
  • Erica January 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Do you have to purchase books to go along with this curriculum or is it all inclusive? The activities seem like so much fun for kids and adults!!

    Reply
    • erica January 13, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      It is all inclusive, you just need card stock, printer ink, and some time to print it all out!

      Reply
  • Kristey January 20, 2015 at 6:55 am

    We are using the same curriculum and we love it! I believe I saw the link on your blog last summer and decided to give it a try. I am so happy I did. There was a lot of printing to do at the start but now we just pull out their binders and we are ready to go. Great review!

    Reply
  • Nkoya January 21, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Erica, thanks for the review. I’ve decided to go with this next school year. My middle child likes hands on work and he always seems to more interested in what his older brother is doing so I’ll use it for the both of them. Questions, will you use Renaissance & Reformation from company next year? This is my first year homeschooling so I get a little confused when a curriculum states you can use it from K to 8th grades. Are they just stating it can be used anytime throughout those grades? Also how will you teach this material again to your little one? I also have a toddler and I wonder how I’ll cover materials with him that he’s sat in on with his brothers. Thank you.

    Reply
    • erica January 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Yes, I already have it, but I haven’t printed it all out yet! I hope to get to it later this year, we’ll see how we do! And yes, you can use it for K-8th grades. I use it with everyone, I just expect a different level of work completed based on their age and skill level.

      Reply
  • Cassie from The Thrifty Couple February 2, 2015 at 6:51 am

    HI Erica! I have been a devoted reader for a while, but I don’t see your emails often due to the time they come out – however, I am expecting and in the last trimester and can’t sleep, so I searched my inbox for your emails so I could catch up on them and spent most of the night reading. 🙂 Hopefully it doesn’t beat me up today as we have a full homeschool day! Anyway, I read this last night (this morning) and I spent a long time looking at their materials and watching youtube videos on their product! I am so excited about this that I couldn’t wait to tell my hubby when he woke up! History is and has always been my favorite subject (I was one of those rare homeschooled kids in the 80’s and 90’s and was homeschooled all the way through) and I ate up every bit of history my mom put in front of me. I have tried many materials, and many that I love – but were certainly lacking in the “hands-on” department. So I ordered the Middle Ages and going to give this a go. We are also going to take a side-step and complete the free mini-author study. I look forward to working through it and continuing on, using as the hands-on supplement with our other textbook history. Also, we are part of Classical Conversations and can see how this is a nice supplement to that as well. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing as I know how much work blogging is and bloggers are under-appreciated, but even us silent readers are faithful readers. 🙂

    Reply
  • jane April 5, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I have found two blog entries on this program. Do you have more?

    Reply
    • erica April 6, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      If you search my blog for The Middle Ages that will be all of the info I currently have on it.

      Reply

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