Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best Homeschool Lessons: Spontaneous Historical Battles

So, this history lesson was a digression. Normally Eric reads one section of Story of the World and we discuss it, making connections to previous empires, geography, economic pressures, religious innovations, suppositions about where various myths came from, and other 'social studies' implications. It frequently turns into me telling him a more detailed story. For instance, when he read the myth about Romulus and Remus founding Rome, I supplemented by relating an abridged version of The Aeneid.

On one particular day, though, Eric tried to stump me. He pulled out the "Everything You Need to Know About World History" book and asked me questions.

I took notes of the subsequent contest and counted it as his history class for the day.

I have edited the notes slightly and present the conversation here:

First Question

Eric: When was William the Conqueror crowned?
Mom: Well, he won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D... you mean, when was he crowned King of England, not Duke of Normandy, right?
Eric: Yes. [Note: I think Eric looked a little worried, like he was thinking "Uh oh, Mom seems to know a lot about this..."]
Mom: Then it would have been 1066 or the next year, 1067. I'll go with 1066.
Eric: But it was on Christmas Day. You didn't get the specific day.
Mom: [philosophically] Ah well.

Second Question:

Eric: When did Allende die?
Mom: Who?
Eric: Allende. A-L-L-E-N-D-E.
Mom: I have no idea who that is. [Pause while Mom muses/mutters to herself. "Is that a French name? What was the name of that British general in Palestine during WWI?..."]
[Note: I was thinking of General Allenby, whom I looked up later.]
Mom: [incorrectly hoping Eric was pulling questions from a timeline of medieval European history.] Okay, I'll guess 1350 A.D.
Eric: 1973.
Mom: What was he famous for?
Eric: I don't know.
Mom: That's going to drive me nuts, then.
[I looked it up and discovered Allende was the leader of Chile deposed by Pinochet.]


A tie. I got one and lost one. Of course, we also ended up discussing the Battle of Hastings and its impact on the English language, so I can claim I successfully taught Eric something by being sneaky. Hehehe.


Carolyn said...

I would have gotten the Allende question! Well...I would have gotten it within +/- 2 years. But that's also because one of the first papers I ever wrote in Spanish was on the Allende-Pinochet coup.

Jon said...

And if you'd said "Christmas Day" he would have said you were being too vague and needed to give an exact date and time. Would he have settled for the date according to our current calendaring system or would it have needed to be in the local one in use there at that time?

Jon said...

Is this "Everything You Need to Know About World History" book like a Cliff's Notes for history? I don't remember seeing it before.