Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

From the Rise of Islam to The Vikings (750-1260)

We read about and discussed the beginning and rise of Islam. Maps were drawn or colored of the Arabian peninusla. We read about the Vikings and drew and colored maps of where they came from and where they traveled. We colored Viking ships and reinacted many stories with them. Quentin and James have also been enjoying the figures from Quentin's Medieval Costumes Paper Dolls.

Geography

The Vikings were once great explorers, traders, and warriors who originated in Scandinavia. They were also known as Norsemen, which means "men of the North." Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Point out these countries on a map or globe and discuss how they are peninsulas. Some people call these the Nordic countries, but the Nordic countries include the Scandinavian countries and Finland and Iceland. Show your students these as well. Eventually the Vikings spread to these countries too, as well as to Greenland and New Foundland (Vinland) and other areas.

Viking Life
The Viking life was harsh. Most Vikings lived in cold lands with hard winters. Even in good years farmers struggled to provide enough food for their families. Vikings needed to know how to make things. Families isolated on farms had to be self-sufficient. The men had to be carpenters, blacksmiths as well as farmers. They had to be good in trade and they were good sailors.
Most of their living came from the land and they fished as well.
Viking women made butter, cheese and ale from the goats and cows they milked. They also made all the cloth the family needed. After sheep shearing they carded the wool. Then in every spare moment, they spun it into the thread from which they would weave cloth for clothes, blankets and wall hangings.
Viking children helped on the family farm, caring for the poultry and pigs.
Vikings had great family loyalty. Often three generations lived together and helped in the family workshop and farm.
Famous Vikings
Eric the Red, Leif the Lucky (Eric’s son), Vladimir ruler of Rus (Viking settlers in Russia) was the earliest Viking saint.

Religion
Most were Pagan in the beginning. The Viking philosophy was get even so forgiveness was not something they practiced.. As Christianity began to spread throughout the regions many converted.
have been, traditionally, drawn as unkempt and unclean. This is mainly due to the work of two men, Adam of Bremen and Ibn Fadlan, who both wrote inaccurately about the Vikings. It is now known that Vikings did take care with their personal hygiene. They combed their hair, bathed weekly, washed their hands and faces daily (usually when they awoke), changed their clothing frequently.
Have a Viking Meal.

While their homeland was cold and did not grow things well, they were traders and would trade for food wherever they went. They ate a lot of fish, beef, pork, chicken, duck because that was what they had the most of. They often dried, smoked, salted, or pickled their meat to make it last longer. The Vikings also ate plums, apples, berries, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery, spinach, peas, beets, onions, leeks, and mushrooms. They also sometimes ate edible seaweeds. Vikings primarily used cow's milk, although they also sometimes used goat's milk, however, the Vikings did not use milk to drink but rather to make sauces, cheese, and butter. For grains, they ate rye, barley, and oats. They were used to make flat breads and porridges. Barley was often used to make ale.

Make an Viking costume.

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