The High King Lives

The Middle Ages Week 6: France, England, & Spain February 19, 2014

In this post: This week we learn about the Bubonic plague, the Hundred Years War, and such iconic figures as Joan of Arc, and Queen Isabella of Spain. Join us for medieval fashion, soap whittling, oozing boils, french knitting, and more!

Hello dear ones! I hope you are well. This is the last week of the Middle Ages. Next week we begin the Renaissance. So welcome to week 6! ūüôā It was a very interesting week. I stayed up late sewing these medieval clothes and I am NOT a seamstress. Yeah, my dress is not supposed to come off the shoulders. That was an accident. If you could see the stitching, you would cry. But I am amazed that we were able to wear these outfits and that they look good from afar.

We began by learning about the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) and how it changed the face of the Middle Ages. The Black Death was a horrible disease that swept the Medieval world and killed over half the population. They had no clue what had caused it. In modern times, we now know that the plague was carried by fleas on rats. Death happened on such a massive scale which caused the feudal system to fall apart. So in a way, this horrible thing helped usher in the Renaissance. We painted bubble wrap to form our own “plague“. Okay, so these oozing boils were not symptoms of the Black Death but they were the easiest to make. Surprisingly, I got into this craft more than my son. Michael thought it was gross and freaked out if I got near him. So we painted the bubble wrap with yellow and red. Most of it flaked off when it dried. I probably should’ve used acrylic. Then I used concealer to stick the boils on and make it look like skin.

In the top pictures I’m reading Story of the World Book 2 and Michael is doing his Middle Ages lapbook which he finished this week.¬† We did get outside in our outfits. I taught Michael the nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie”. ¬†We took to the trampoline and had fun with the song. The thought did occur to me that people driving by might think we’re in a cult, lol! You know…all dressed up in Medieval wear ¬†and dancing around. Ha! I LOVE homeschool! Anywho, some believe that the rhyme is talking about the Black Death. Morbidly creepy, I know! We also watched Horrible Histories Plague song. It was definitely morbid.

Michael drew a picture of a greyhound and falcon, which is near the bottom. We read about the Hundred Years war¬†and watched several videos on Joan of Arc. Joan was a young French woman that took up the sword and led her people into battle against the English. Sadly she was captured and burned at the stake as a heretic and witch. So Michael put together a foil knight. The links with directions are after the picture. ¬†Then we learned how to do some French knitting using a tp roll and craft sticks. It’s addictive! Now I have to figure out what to do with my long rope of yarn….a baby scarf? He he…just looking at the pics. Michael is so somber when he’s concentrating. Too cute!

The English had their own wars at home. We learned about the War of the Roses and the fight for the crown. Oh, too many Henrys! Seriously, my history class in public school was boring and I didn’t remember half of this. So I’m having fun relearning the hands on way…even though I’m teaching. Michael decorated his royal crown and pretended to have a coronation.¬†Later we had a tart for our English food. ¬†I made a sugar cookie heart shaped pie crust and topped it with cheesecake and a berry glaze. ¬†We watched another episode of Monarchy.¬†

On Valentine’s we read about Princess Isabella and Prince Ferdinand¬†of Spain and their beautiful love story. We had a somewhat Spanish supper. Okay, so we had yellow rice and the bread was actually Mexican but the fried shrimp is a Spanish recipe. Chris and Michael did some soap whittling. It’s safer than whittling wood I’m sure. Chris did a great soap whale. Michael’s car was a bit rough but he had fun. My attempt was pitiful and I ended up hacking it to pieces.

I made Michael a PB&J sandwich with a heart shape in it. We took turns reading several books for Valentine’s. I shared some of those with you in a previous post. Michael gave me a chocolate scented stuffed bear. What a perfect idea! Chris surprised me with roses that morning. And I got this neat Valentine’s tic tac toe printable which we used with conversation hearts.¬† It was a great week!


God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Here are the links:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

French Knitting:

Foil Knight:

English Tart:  (I tweaked this a lot. I used sugar cookies for the crust.)

Medieval Crown:

Michael’s shoes:¬†

Michael’s cloak:¬†

My dress: (I had a silky fabric and used Fall leaf buttons)

Soap Whittling:

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Other posts:

Middle Ages Week 5:

The Renaissance Week 1:


Middle Ages Week 4: Robin Hood & the Crusades February 8, 2014

In this post: The Canterbury Tales & a craft, poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer, Robin Hood, the Crusades, stained glass windows, blawmanger (Medieval chicken & rice), dragon feet, & a study of Snowflakes with actual snow! Also Greensleeves, the song that brought King Richard home! 

Well, I am finally caught up! This coming Monday I will be back on schedule and I can’t wait to share our study of Medieval Russia and how it awesomely coincides with the Sochi Olympics. But for now let’s go to a very dark time…the time of the Crusades.

First off, most history books and videos are very biased during this time in history. Catholics (Christians maybe..maybe not. The commoners didn’t have much knowledge of scripture back then) are seen as villains who got crazy and bloody. While the Muslims are usually portrayed as completely peaceful. I like Story of the World because it shows the good and bad of both parties involved. We see that Muslims had taken over the Holy Land and the Pope had a misguided quest to redeem it. ¬†It seems that at first pilgrims were treated fine in the Holy Land but then Christians and Jews were being banned from it and persecuted. ¬†The Pope guaranteed a spot in Heaven for those who fought. I don’t say that these were all Christians because how can you be a Christian if you don’t even know Christ’ teachings. The people could not read the scriptures for themselves and they went by whatever the often corrupt leaders said at the time. Had they known the scriptures then they would know that Heaven doesn’t come by fighting a war. Also they’d know that Jesus said to love our enemies. The very fact they believed salvation came through the Pope’s blessing and a crusade, proves they were not Christian. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, by believing ¬†in him and confessing with our mouths. ¬†This is what Christ teaches.

The Crusades were just sad. Both sides back n forth doing horrible things to each other. The only light in all this is that the crusaders gained knowledge of ¬†Muslim technology. The Muslims were very advanced compared to the rest of Europe. Also it’s good that Christianity still exists. The war was not good but had Islam continued to take over then Christianity probably wouldn’t exist today. All but one of the crusades were unsuccessful. The reconquest of Spain however was successful. Jerusalem was built by the Jews and later taken over by Catholics, then Muslims. The Jews were scattered during the diaspora, after Rome destroyed the temple. It is a sad time in history. Jews have always been persecuted. Unfortunately, so called Christian leaders tried to convert people by force. This is completely unbiblical. We’ve learned though that many leaders adopted Christianity so they could have control of the people. Their religion was unsincere and the proof is in their unchanged hearts. ¬†Jesus never mean’t for Christianity to be used as a tool. Alas, the middle ages were really dark and corruption rampant in every religion and culture.

If you’re interested in a unique take on the crusades watch BBC’s Robin Hood. ¬†I love how Robin of Locksley (Robin Hood) is portrayed as a lord that went to war in the crusades. ¬†There’s a great episode in season three where a monk has started writing the scripture in the common language, though it is forbidden by the church. It’s a great series for the middle ages. You also get to see Muslim technology because one of Robin’s “men” (actually a woman) is a Muslim.

During this time, King Richard (from the stories of Robin Hood) went off to fight in the Crusades. He left his people to be governed by corrupt rulers. You know the story of the sheriff of Nottingham and ¬†Richard’s younger brother, Prince John. Well, Robin Hood is most likely a legend but Prince John was real. And people were really being drained of their money and left with nothing. ¬†No wonder people dreamed of a hero that stole from the rich and gave to the poor. ¬†The people were so upset that they forced Prince John to sign the Magna Carta. This made things a little bit fairer. ¬†The Prince could no longer do whatever he pleased with the people’s money.

Meanwhile, King Richard went missing. The stories say that he was found by his friend Blondel ¬†who went around singing “Greensleeves” and waited for an Englishman to sing the next verse. He supposedly stood beneath a tower and sang a line. Then he heard King Richard sing it back. The people (against Prince John’s wishes) begged the Duke of Austria, who had captured Richard, to let him go.

Michael watched Disney’s Robin Hood and I made him a quiver for his arrows. We made tissue paper stained glass windows with contact paper. ¬†We also made dragon feet out of cardboard and had medieval chicken and rice, blawmanger. It’s made with almond milk. I played Greensleeves on the piano.

We watched and read a story about the Children’s crusade (which some believe to be fictional or maybe the basis for the pied piper story). ¬†The movie we saw was another time traveling movie; Crusade: A March through Time.

Speaking of the Holy land…people would take pilgrimages. An important poet named Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote down stories from pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Most of the stories are crude and perverse but the Nun’s story of the rooster and the fox is perfect for kids. ¬†We made puppets and Michael acted out the story as I read it. Thankfully my old story books I told you about, have several stories/poems by Geoffrey Chaucer. We also read his poem “A Perfect Knight” and we read his short biography. Geoffrey Chaucer is said to be the Father of English literature.

More after the pic…

Robin Hood & Crusades

Lastly, we had three snow days and we took advantage of them. They coincided with our snowflake study. ¬†Michael was so sad when the snow started to melt. I told him to scoop up some snow and put it in the freezer. Now he will have snow all year round :). I wanted to get a microscope to look at the snowflakes but we couldn’t find one. I did however, get a telescope and Michael found Jupiter.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Search for Blawmanger on this site:

Canterbury Tales Puppets:

Dragon Feet:

Robin Hood’s No Sew Quiver:¬†

Snowflake study:¬†—Two-Day-Study-Series

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Middle Ages Week 3:

Middle Ages Week 5:


Middle Ages Week 3: The Vikings, the Feudal System, & Castles

In this Post: Viking fun, food, and crafts. A magnificent chocolate castle cake, a homemade Hnefatafl viking game set, and more!

Dear ones, the vikings kicked our rump! What a week this was! We really did overkill. We crammed a ¬†2 week Viking lapbook into 4 days and also did some of our Middle Ages lapbook. We won’t do so much next time. ¬†We got this great Viking ship kit on sale at Barnes & Noble. It happens to be very complicated so we haven’t finished it yet. If we ever finish it, I’ll update this post.

We made drinking horns and had fake meade (gingerale and apple cider). I post my inspiration links at the end.  Michael wore a viking mask. We made Viking toilet paper roll people and for fun we watched How to Train Your Dragon. We continued with Story of the World of course and we watched more Monarchy. Seriously, the Vikings were mean!

I made our own Hnefatafl,¬†viking game set. It’s similar to Chess but so much easier. You can find instructions online. I used leather and a sharpee for the board. Then I made game pieces out of clay. We had so much fun with this game. A piece is missing now. I think Annabelle ate it :(.

I was inspired by High Hill Homeschool’s tree of life pendent kit. I didn’t have a kit. ¬†I made my pendent using gold wire and fake pearls. ¬†I have a really old book collection passed down from my Aunt and ¬†Dad. It’s a series of 12 books with fairy tales, legends, and history. I can find stories from all over the word in these books. I found a Norse tale that was similar to a Celtic story we had read in our new Celtic book. What a funny coincidence! Michael drew a really kewl dragon that I for some reason don’t have a picture of.

We also watched a Norse song being performed on youtube. The link is on my Pinterest. ¬†Chris helped Michael make butter by shaking heavy cream in a bottle. It was very soft butter but tasty. Sadly, we didn’t have time for MLK Jr. crafts. Michael did however read “Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?”¬†I love the “Who Was?” series. Michael loves them too. MLK Jr. is one of the few heroes that I have a picture of hanging on my wall. I admired him growing up. After Michael finished the book he had a sour expression. He informed me that MLK Jr. was dead and that he was mad at the guy who killed him. I chuckled a little since obviously the Doctor has been dead for awhile. It’s just a new revelation to Michael. I’m glad he admires my hero too.

More after the pic….

We learned about the feudal system and how the English language developed. We


studied the process of becoming a knight and Michael made his own code of chivalry in the Middle Ages lapbook. I used M&M’s to show the distribution of wealth in the feudal system. Michael did a worksheet on the armor of God. I gave an object lesson on spiritual armor by using an orange. The orange with the peel (armor on) floated in the water but the peeled orange (without God’s armor) sank. It was a tasty lesson that got the point across. I peeled a little at a time and explained the process of slowly taking off our armor (willful sin, not praying, not reading God’s word because you don’t want to be convicted of the sin, and lastly losing faith).

We made a castle out of a box and tp rolls.  Michael watched a youtube video on the parts of a castle.  Monarchy showed us how stone castles came from the Normans (French Vikings) in the UK. William the Conqueror also brought the idea of knights and the Feudal System in the UK.

I threw in the Lego picture for fun. I moved Michael’s Lego table under his bed and it works better. Michael played the Lego Castle Adventure online. He was able to design his own Coat of Arms.

I hope you take a good look at it because this was my favorite: the chocolate castle cake. I made mine smaller than the inspiration and it’s not as professional. But I’m sure it tasted just as good. ¬†I only used one box of cake mix but I used two tubs of chocolate frosting. I used half a bag of generic chocolate creme cookies for the towers. I used several mini candy bars. I used sprinkles for the grass. My guys were impressed!

Well, join me next time for Robin Hood and the Crusades! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~ Amber Dover

Vikings Lapbook:

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Viking TP People:

Tree of Life Pendant:

Viking Drinking Horn:

Viking Mask:

Feudalism Chart for M&M’s:¬†

Chocolate Castle Cake:

Armor of God worksheet:

Lego Castle Adventure:

More Medieval posts of mine:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 2:

Middle Ages Week 4:


Middle Ages Week 2: Japan and the Franks

In this Post: Sushi, pirates, theater, and a fan with Japan. Also a lapbook and Samurai crafts! Charlemagne & the Franks with a glitter map. Lastly, Winter habitats. 

Hello dear ones! Thank you for reading and for letting me catch up on all these posts. Part of the reason that I’m this behind is because this study of the Middle Ages is packed with crafts and food. It’s just a busy study. It’s a lot of fun but boy, a lot of work too!. ¬†So it worked out that I didn’t have a car to drive (wreck), because we really haven’t had much time to go places. It’s been intense. ¬†I so enjoyed Japan. Let me share with you…

We found a free Medieval Japan lapbook and we also did a brief study of Japanese pirates at the time. We learned about Baunraku (Japanese theater using life size puppets) and we watched a couple shows on Youtube. ¬†We made a neat Baunraku pop up theater. ¬†We had fun with paper Sushi and Michael tried real Sushi for the first time (he didn’t like it). ¬†I don’t like raw fish much or seaweed. So I made my own “Amber version of Onigiri”. ¬†I used shrimp with cocktail sauce, rice, and cabbage. It was an interesting combination. I made Green Tea Panna Cotta, which none of us liked but you might have a taste for it.

Michael made a Japanese fan. He also drew a Samurai from his Draw and Write Through History book. ¬†Lastly, Chris and I tag teamed to make a Samurai helmet for Michael. He already had a sword. ¬†We learned about the Japanese Feudal system and the Samurai code of honor. More after the pic…

Japan & the Franks

We learned a bit about Islam but never got to the craft because we were catching up from our time off after the wreck.  We learned about Charlemagne and watched Monarchy. Michael colored a picture of him.  We made a glitter map of the Frankish Empire. We watched Timeline, a great time travel fantasy that takes you back to medieval France. As always, I encourage parents to preview movies to see if they meet your standards. You can see from the picture that we had a candlelit dinner with sparkling grape juice.

Lastly, we caught up on our study of animals in the winter. We did a Hibernation lapbook that I did not take a picture of. We watched some videos on hibernation and we did this great Winter habitats picture. It’s Pre-K-ish but fun.

Well, join me next time for Vikings, Feudal England, and Castles!

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Hibernation lapbook:¬†—Speedy-Lapbook

Japan Pinterest:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Charlemagne Coloring Page:

Winter Habitats Picture:

Green Tea Panna Cotta:

Medieval Japan Lapbook:

Japanese Pirates:

Pop Up Baunraku Theater:

Onigiri ideas:

Paper Sushi:

Samurai helmet:

Japanese fan:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 3:


Middle Ages Week 1: Celts, Anglo-Saxons, & King Arthur

In this Post: Anglo-Saxon wattle & daub houses, an Anglo-Saxon  feast, Celtic crafts (pin & cross), and illuminated manuscripts. Also a neat castle and our attempt at ice bubbles. And more!

Hello dear ones! It’s been forever I know! We just finished our fifth week of the middle ages and I am just now posting week one for ya’ll. I just didn’t catch up like I wanted to after the wreck. Things have been great though but crazy. I just found out that I’m going on a missions trip to Belize this Summer. So much is going on and I’m pumped! I can’t wait to share the highlights of 2013 and my bucket list for 2014. But first I want to catch you up on the Middle Ages.

Ya know, the ancient world was fun but I really love the Middle Ages. I would not want to live in that time but it’s fun to romance about. We began our study with the Celts and Anglo-Saxons. We’re still using Story of the World (now book 2) and lovin’ it. I got inspiration from a couple Mommy blogs. I’ll post the links after the picture. PS: We don’t use the SOW activity pages. We just read the books.

I found a Celtic melody online and played it on my flute. I’m wearing the Jester hat that I made last year for our trip to Medieval Times. Michael, Chris, and I made an Anglo-Saxon wattle and daub house out of clay, tooth pics, and yarn. We made a Celtic (or Byzantine) cross out of cardboard and fake gems. I made a Celtic pin out of gold wire. ¬†I ordered this Celtic book of fairy tales here:¬†

More after the pic….


Our wreck happened half way through so some crafts waited til the next weeks. ¬†We watched several shows on Netflix. *As always I encourage you to review the movies before you let your child see them. All parents have different standards. ¬†My least favorite series was by Terry Jones. It was not family friendly for a history on the Middle Ages. Michael had to turn his head several times and we just quit with it. I liked The Dark Ages by the History Channel but it is blunt and made for adults. So we skipped a few parts. My favorite series is Monarchy and we’ll be watching it through out our study.

We learned about the legends of King Arthur. There are many opinions on who King Arthur was based on but there is no evidence that he was real. ¬†I personally believe that he’s based on King Offa. ¬†We watched a few episodes of Merlin.¬†It’s not based in any fact. The castles back in those days before the Normans were made mainly of wood. And of course…people weren’t born with the magic. ¬†But it is a basically clean series that shows medieval medicine and dress. Just watch out for the spiritual side and some scary episodes in the last season. We only watched a few episodes because of the spiritual element. Michael had never seen the show before though I enjoy it. We never got to Disney’s Sword in the Stone but it’s on our to do list. We also watched First Knight, again parental discretion advised. I think as a kid I fell in love with the Arthurian tale because of this movie. It stars¬†Sean Connery as Arthur and¬†Richard Gere as Lancelot. There’s an intense kiss and battle action but it’s very PG compared to most movies today. King Arthur gives a wonderful speech on God, morality, and the law.

We had a huge Anglo-Saxon/ Celtic feast. Turkey comes from the New World so it wouldn’t have been eaten during the Middle Ages. Still, huge turkey legs are a favorite at Ren. fairs and Medieval festivals. So Chris grilled turkey legs and I made Anglo-Saxon pottage. I didn’t have Maslin bread but I bought something similar.

We learned about Medieval monks and St. Augustine. My favorite craft was the illuminated manuscript book. I actually used medieval fonts and typed out The Apostle’s Creed. Then we made the cover out of a paper bag. There’s a link later with instructions. Michael helped color/ illuminate the writing. I made a page with blank spots so Michael could practice his cursive. ¬†We also looked at some funny “Star Wars Illuminated script”. I set up a Monk’s post in Michael’s cardboard castle (that we got on sale at Michaels craft store). ¬†We’re putting our medieval jewelry, decor, and clothes inside the castle. It’s fun :).

Lastly, we had a cold week and attempted to blow ice bubbles. It came close but popped. Anywho, I have several links for you and later the link to week 2. We’ll be learning about Japan and the Franks. I can’t wait!

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Anglo-Saxon pottage:

Medieval Fonts used for Illuminated Manuscripts:

Medieval Book Cover:

Celtic Pin:

Celtic/ Byzantine Cross:

Rome Week 3:

Middle Ages Week 2: