• history,  homeschooling

    a non-sports person watches a jousting competition

    My husband and I took the kids last night to watch the Knights of Valour Jousting Competition. It was quite an interesting experience. Jousting is an incredibly strange form of target practice where both opponents have targets on them and the goal is to break one’s weapon or unseat one’s opponent. The Knights had pretty impressive armor but injuries sound pretty common place. The evening began with a couple of side acts – a bareback riding demonstration from someone dressed to resemble Alexander the Great, a quick mock fight between a gladiator and a legionary, and the site of a chariot delivering the legionary to the fight. Then the M.C.,…

  • books,  history

    Learning about medieval religious plays and poems

    Yesterday I finished reading the book A Little Lower Than the Angels by Geraldine McCaughrean. It is a great historical fiction novel, set in Britain during the middle ages and one of the wonderful things about it is that it isn’t about knights and castles. Instead its about a stone-mason’s apprentice, Gabriel, who runs away with a group of travelling mystery players. Gabriel enjoys the care given to him by Garvey, the playmaster who plays God, but he’s a little nervous around the Frenchman Lucier, who plays Lucifer. When they run into some trouble Garvey decides to turn Gabriel into a faux miracle worker and tensions mount. Gabriel is innocent…

  • books

    Pied Piper: questions and themes that arise in the different books

    The Pied Piper is a very bizarre story. I remember the first time I heard the summary – that a piper was promised money to lure rats out of town and when not paid he lured away the villagers’ children – I wanted to hear the rest of the story. That’s all, I was told, but it didn’t make sense. There has to be more. So now I’ve been reading all the Pied Piper stories I can find and I’m thrilled with the variety of ways in which the stories are interpreted. Different books deal with the challenges in the story different ways. Links in this page are affiliate links…

  • history,  homeschooling

    Medieval History, Robin Hood & Homeschooling Ideas

    We’ve been working on learning about Medieval History. Of course I’m interested in the intrigues of European royalty, but I know if I start my children off with that their eyes will glaze over. So I start with what they are interested in: longbows. We watch a video about weapons that made Britian, which introduces them to the mention of Henry III (who apparently passed a law requiring all British youth of a certain age to spend part of Sunday practicing the longbow, although I haven’t been able to find any other references to it) and Edward III whose longbow many proved invaluable in the attack in France. It also…

  • books,  history

    Book Review: Robin Hood by David Baldwin

    What does it mean to search for the “true Robin Hood”? It isn’t a question of whether your loyalty is to Richard Greene or Keven Costner. It isn’t which story is the better, but who the earliest stories were based off of. The book Robin Hood, by David Baldwin, identifies four early poems of Robin Hood – The Little Geste of Robyn Hode and His Meiny (a compilation of five poems) Robin Hood and the Potter Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne Robin Hood and the Monk Summarizing the poems very briefly, and noting other early references to Robin Hood, he goes on to discuss how the poem’s details have been interpreted…