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

Elementary Middle Ages {grades pre-k-3}

  1. Pick an interesting text to be your spine. For this grade/age range, we have used The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, and A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer.
  2. Make notes of key words as you read on a whiteboard. 
  3. Have your student write a few sentences about what he has learned in his history notebook. If desired, add an illustration to the page, either sketched or copied from the internet. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey, which gives specific directions on what to write about and illustrations to add to the notebook pages.
  4. Have your student read or you can read aloud additional fictional books of the time-period. (Examples below.)
  5. Help your child identify and label major bodies of water (such as Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean), and label areas that pertain to your study for that week (such as Spain, Greece, and Italy).
  6. Begin a timeline that covers the period you will be covering. After each notebook entry, mark significant dates on your timeline.
  7. Optional: Create a hands-on project that relates to the topic studied. (Examples below.)
  8. Feel free to further explore topics that come up during the study.

Week 1 - Overview of the Medieval World

Week 2 - The Byzantines

  • Make a mosaic.

Week 3 - The Barbarian Kingdoms and the Return to Christianity

Week 4 - Islam

  • Read Mosque by David Macaulay. What is a mosque? 
  • Why do Muslims try to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime? 
  • Map: Label Mecca on your map and draw dotted lines from the Islamic Empire to Mecca to show Muslims going on pilgrimages to their holy city.

Week 5 - Arabs

  • Read a book about Aladdin and other tales from the Arabian Nights.

Week 6 - Vikings 

  • Read Eric the Red, Leif the Lucky by Ingri D’Aulaire 
  • Have a Viking MealWhile 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 porridge. Barley was often used to make ale.
Week 7 - The Anglo Saxons (Danes)

Week 8 - Charlemagne 

  • Read an appropriate story about the Knights of the Round Table.

Week 9 - Holy Roman Empire 

Week 10 - Normans

  • Copy a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry onto some cotton cloth and  embroider the cloth.

Week 11: 100 Years’ War and Robin Hood

  • Read about Joan of Arc.
  • Read about Robin Hood and make a Robin Hood costume to reenact the stories.
Week 12: The Feudal System

Week 13: Knights

  • Make a coat of arms.
  • Make a sandcastle model of Restormel Castle where Edward the Black Prince held court in 1360.
  • Research weapons, armor and the code of chivalry.
Week 14: Castles

Week 15: Medieval Villages and Towns 

Weeks 16-19: The Christian Church 
  • Read Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson, Bibles and Bestiaries: A Guide to Illuminated Manuscripts by Elizabeth B. Wilson, Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola, The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris, The Sailor Who Captured the Sea: A Story of the Book of Kells by Deborah Nourse Lattimore, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer.
  • Make an Illuminated letter.
  • Make a stained glass project.
  • Make a gargoyle project.
  • Read about Medieval architecture.
Week 20: The Black Death

Week 21: Celts 

Week 22: Burgundians, Habsburgs and The Wars of the Roses

Week 23: Eastern Europe 

  • Discuss the differences between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox.
  • Research about Good King Wenceslas.
Week 24: The Rise of the Russians
Week 25: The Struggle for Spain
Week 26: Medieval Africa
Week 27: People of the Pacific
Week 28: The Americas

Week 29: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295) Part I: Venice

  • Make a collage of a water road in Venice.
Week 30: Marco Polo (1271-1295) Part II: Travels Through Persia

Week 31: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295) Part III: The Mongols 

  • Read about the silk road and the spice trade.
  • Learn about the life cycle of a silk worm.
  • Learn about spices and make a recipe using spices.
Week 33: The Travels of Marco Polo, (1271-1295) Part V: Traveling Through Tibet
  • Learn about Buddhist monks.
  • Make a mandala or a Tibetan palace door.
Week 34: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295): Part VI: Medieval Japan
  • Learn about Samurai. How are like like and how are they different from knights in Europe?
Week 35: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295), Part VII: South East Asia and Medieval Indian Ocean Trade Routes

  • Learn about the Hindu religion.
  • Make a Rangoli.
  • Make an Indian dish.


  1. I must remember to do some of these ideas in a few years when we cover middle ages again even if my kids are a little old for it.

    1. I will have a post for Middle School and one for High School up soon. Those might have what you are looking for in them.


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