History of Inventions – The Walls of Jericho Edition

I tried to entice my son into studying history. I tried and I failed. And then I tried again some time later and he still wasn’t interested. I blame English grammar. You see, my son really dislikes English grammar. He loves logic and believes rules are there to be followed (ok, at least when it comes to phonics). So English reading is hard for him. Every time we learn a new reading/spelling rule, he finds an exception. And then he asks why it is so. And I give him a short answer “because of the long and rich history of English language.” And now he says “History is bad because it makes things complicated.” Go argue with that!

But he loves stories. And he loves inventions. And he LOVES-LOVES-LOVES stories about inventors and inventions. So in one of my brighter moments I realized that instead of learning history, we can just learn history of inventions. And guess what? He LOVED the idea!

I’m going to  skip our first few “lessons” on Stone Age. Mostly because I don’t have any pictures of our awesome timeline. But now, after a short summer break, we’re getting back to the Bronze Age.

So here’s what we did for our first Bronze Age lesson:

  1. Read the “Early Nomads Become Farmers” in the Story of the World Volume 1
  2. Searched for the Fertile Crescent on the world map. Looked at what countries are there now.
  3. Checked out a ton of pictures of Euphrates and Tigris online
  4. Read the entry on Agriculture in Isaac Asimov’s most excellent Chronology of Science & Discovery
  5. Talked about in what ways it was better to stay in place and raise crops and animals and in what ways it was worse (than a nomadic life)
  6. Looked at pictures of archaeological digs at Jericho
  7. Later that day in the “myths and stories that aren’t historical facts” part of our school (aka just another storytime) we read the Walls of Jericho story from a Children’s Bible.
  8. Trying to take the kid’s mind off of the horrific part where it says that everyone in Jericho, including women and children, was killed.
  9. Listened to the Radiolab podcast about the physics behind breaking solid objects with sound. And watched a YouTube video on how to do it with a glass.

So, as you can see, lots of theoretical knowledge (not to mention learning big words such as agriculture, irrigation, domestication, sedentary life, all in two languages – English and Russian). But not to worry, the hands-on part is coming up next.


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