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

Tudor England (1485-1603), and an Introduction to Shakespeare

We have been learning about Tudor England, which started with Henry VII and...
 ended with Queen Elizabeth I.

Reading The Queen's Progress
We played Nine Men Morris, a game from this period.

 We learned about the explorers from England during this period.
Henry VII sent Cabot in 1497 and Queen Elizabeth I (and then later, the Dutch East India Co.) sent Hudson to the New World.

I started my younger boys with their first introduction to Shakespeare this week.
We learned about who Shakespeare was, where and when he lived.
We looked at the Globe theatre.
We read Bruce Coville's version of Romeo and Juliet. I like his work the best because he uses Shakespeare's own words as much as possible and they are illustrated beautifully. For kids a bit older, you could use Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare or Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, because they do a great job of describing the plot and so we focus on what is going on in the story and why. At this stage, I read sections of Shakespeare's plays as well, but too much only fatigue them until they are comfortable with the language. I sometimes do copywork from the section we focus on.  By high school, perhaps earlier, you can begin reading Shakespeare's own words. This is a good time to watch the plays on DVD as well. If you have a family of mixed ages, I will let the little ones sit in for as long as they wish, which varies considerably depending on the child. They can always leave if it becomes too much for them without any feeling that they have failed.

We made puppets by making color copies of the characters from the book and cutting them out, but you could buy puppets instead.

We made playbills from the printing set from this kit. It says that the kit is for ages 8-13, and I would agree with that as it was a little tricky for my younger children, so I wouldn't advise it for students under 8.
And then the boys did a narration of the story using the puppets.
For wonderful lesson plans for Romeo and Juliet, go to Dixie Homemade.


  1. I love your tips for learning about Shakespeare with kids. We have read some of the Bruce Coville versions before, and I agree with your opinion. I have a free ebook version of Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, but honestly I haven't looked at it yet...I need to do that.

  2. Bruce Coville has a Shakespeare book? Like the same guy who wrote "Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher?" My friend says she's reading Shakespeare to her kids using graphic novels.


    I'm going to jump ahead of you in history, we're going to do American History with some friends.

  3. Phyllis, we are fine. The storms were just a bit above us. Thanks for being concerned. It's nice to know you have friends that care.
    Get to the postcards when you can. I know how busy things get being a homeschool mom. Things don't just always happen when you want them to.
    We read Romeo & Juliet this week also. Did you guys see the movie on TV Monday night titled Romeo & Juliet? It was very different, a 20th century version, very different.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.