Middle Ages and Renaissance Living History Books and Projects for Elementary and Middle School - Sisters, What!

Middle Ages and Renaissance Living History Books and Projects for Elementary and Middle School

middle ages and renaissance living history study homeschool
        This past year we have finished up our study of the middle ages. We didn't get to all the topics that were on my list, but we got to what topics we could. A crazy side in me always wants to overwhelm my circuit board and expects that we should have covered every topic possible. But, I've been taking the advice from Feasting in the Mountains and Charlotte Mason by trying to dive deeper in fewer topics instead of skimming many different topics. That means that we might have missed some key things from the middle ages, but hopefully we'll get to them next time. 
        Last fall, the stars alligned for our study of Medieval Europe. My parents were serving a mission in Poland so I was fortunate enough to take my 3 older kids to visit them. Poland is an old country with so much history, especially medieval history. It was a perfect place to visit while studying the Middle ages. We saw catherdrals, medieval salt mines and castles. So many castles. You can read about that trip here.

How to choose the history topics or captain ideas:

       One way I get ready and excited for our next history cycle is researching months in advanced. I really enjoy this, but it can be time consuming so here are a few ways to figure it out.
+ Search Google: 
I will search google for history curriculums within my time period. I don't want to use those curriculums, but I do like to see what topics they cover. I can also ask google what are some important topics from this time period. I really like the way google lists the main ideas sometimes with pictures. 
+ Use ChatGPT: 
I actually only recently used this after receiving the advice from my friend Jessica at Simple Wonders. It's very similar to google but without all the stuff in between. But, just like any AI, you should always fact check, but this should be easier if you have something to go off. Ask questions like "The most important events or people during --- time period". See Jessica's post here for more advice for using ChatGPT
+ Look for spine books during this time period: 
A spine book is a book that shows the chronology of history. A spine can give you an excellent idea of captain ideas to cover. For example, we used A Castle with Many Rooms and it had many great topics during the middle ages all in one book. 
+ Look at other peoples lists:
I like to look on pinterest and blogs to see what other people have read. Beautiful Feet has so many great book lists for different periods of history. We have also enjoyed using some of their guides, particularly their Geography guide (which you can read about here). Heritage Mom is also a great resource, especially helpful to diversify your reading list. Simple Wonders is starting to make history booklists and she also has a great selection in her guides. And of course Ambleside has recommedations as well. 
+ Buy a list:
Sometimes we just need someone else to do the work for us so we can focus our time somewhere else. Brittany (Feasting in the Mountain) has done just this! You can buy a list of topics for different time periods. She was a history major and has done thorough research on the topic. Find her guides here

        Once you have all your topics, you can divide them by year or by topic. I started doing it by year, but we were bouncing all over the place, which I didn't intend but so it happened. So, I ended up just puting everything by topic. When we come back to this time period, my kids will be older and I think dividing it by year will be much more important for them. 
middle ages homeschool history study living book list

Medieval History Living Book Recommedations:

*I added stars to ones we didn't get to but hope to next time we study this time period. 
Collections & Spines:

Middle East, Africa & Asia

Europe & Castles

Monastaries and Illuminated Manuscripts

Artist and Inventors

Middle Ages Projects my Kids did:

I like to end a unit with having the kids do a project to show what they learned or really enjoyed from our study. Sometimes it's big and sometimes it's as simple as a drawing (which I love just as much). Here are some of the projects my kids did. Viking ships were a favorite of all my kids:

  • A mini cardboard medieval feast 
  • A paper cathedral
  • a paper castle
  • castle drawing
  • Illuminated page (with drawings on the edge of the page) and an illuminated letter
  • cardboard knight costume
  • a paper castle
  • chalkboard viking ship 
  • magnatiles viking ship
  • lego viking ship

medieval history living history books for homeschool elementary and middle school ages
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