Wrapping Up Week 25 (2014-15)
As a follow up to what we talked about last week, we kicked off our history lessons by watching Julius Caesar from the Shakespeare: The Animated Tales series. I wasn’t sure how well it would capture Ian’s attention, but he and Elijah were both into the whole thing. When it was done he asked me if I had any other movies about Julius Caesar and was disappointed I hadn’t been able to find anything else at the library.
I asked Ian to tell me what he knew about Jesus and the beginning of the church and decided to move on to the persecution of Christians under Nero. I read to him about Nero in A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer, and then pulled out The Complete Storykeepers Collection, a book of all the stories in the Storykeepers video series.
The thirteen episodes include stories about Jesus (a nice Bible review!), but mostly they provide a glimpse at life as persecuted Christians living in Rome at the time of Nero. I don’t remember how I first heard of these stories, but I started trying to track down copies of the videos a couple months ago to get ready for this part of our history cycle. Amazon had some used copies, but they were all more than I could spend. Several of the episodes are on YouTube, but I couldn’t find them all. Finally I tracked down a fabulous clearance sale at happybuys.com, where I was able to get the entire series on 3 DVDs for $8 (plus shipping). The only problem (as we discovered this week when we went to watch them) was that the DVDs aren’t Region 1 and wouldn’t play in our DVD player. Luckily they played fine on my computer, so I still think it was worth it. (It’s hooked up to our TV anyway, so it really didn’t matter except that I couldn’t use my computer while they watched.)
The kids LOVED these videos. I’m letting them watch two each day (one for our morning Bible movie, and one at lunch time) so we can get through the whole series before I want to move on with our history lessons. The Complete Storykeepers Collection is easy for Ian to read, and he gets excited about the stories before I let them watch the videos (which have a lot more details). Then as interesting topics come up we pull out other resources to go into a little more depth. This week we looked through a book I’d bought in Rome about the catacombs, as well as doing a couple pages in The Storykeepers Activity Book to learn about the ichthus symbol.
It’s going to be hard to go back to our regular routine after spending this week (and weekend) with the Storykeepers. Secret symbols, underground hideouts, daring adventure… what’s not to love?
We’re currently getting familiar with several products. Watch for reviews soon!