Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

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

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485

{Previous entry on France's history; Joan of Arc, The Hundred Years War and Robin Hood  }
"In 1455 a bitter struggle broke out between two branches of the English royal family..."

This lesson requires so much of a knowledge of the kings of England that I did it only with my older two students. I printed out the family tree for the English kings and we sat down looked at the conflict. The English family tree nicely color codes the House of Lancaster in pink and the House of York in pale orange. I had the older students (Alex's example above) list the most important persons in this long struggle and to underline them in a color-coding to match the color of the roses that was each House's symbol. This list ended with Henry VII (or Henry Tudor, a Lancaster), who united the two branches with his marriage Elizabeth of York, ushering in the House of Tudor. (I also looked up and printed out the French kings family tree and matched it up where it overlapped with the English monarchy as they were connected so much during the Middle Ages.)

We are starting to read this wonderful book, which begins at about the time of the Wars of the Roses as it covers all the people of note through the whole time period of Columbus' life.. It is a wonderful living book as it tells the history of this time period as a story, and you get to know the greatness and the foibles of people involved. It is a book I look forward to reading again each time a child has reached the age for it. We will be reading it as we go on through the Renaissance.

Another lovely book is If You Were There in 1492: Everyday Life in the Time of Columbus. It is another living book because it is clear that the author, Barbara Brenner, is knowledgeable and passionate about her topic. In her introduction she tells about wanting to know so much about what it was like in Spain in 1492 that she researches and her passion resonates throughout the book. It is for 4-8th graders.

"I wanted to understand how it felt to be in a certain place at a certain crucial time."


  1. For some reason the War of the Roses has always amused me. I don't know why.

    I need to remember about the family trees.

  2. Wow, very thorough research. Great job!

  3. I am going to have to remember that last book. That sounds like a good book. Thank you for linking up this week!


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