Category Archives: Middle Ages Unit Studies

Blaise Pascal

16bbeda3-bdd9-3f87-99a3-29cf85593965According to Special Days in June,   the 19th is Blaise Pascal’s birthday (1623).  Somehow we missed studying about one of the greatest mathematicians and philosphers of all time when we focused on that time in history.  So, we’re going to take a day or two of summer studies to devote to learning about Pascal and his triangle.  You know, that’s one of the many perks with home education – when you discover a gap somewhere, you can fill it right in.

Below are the online resources I found for our Pascal study.

Biography –

Blaise Pascal

Scientist Notebooking Printables –

Pascal’s Triangle and Usages  (from simple to complex) Explained

Free Printable Worksheet

Short Video – Patterns of Pascal’s Triangle –


Spiraling Square Math/Art Lesson                            

I hope your family has the chance to learn about Blaise Pascal, too.  He was an interesting guy with an unique understanding of numbers and patterns.


For my collection of  history themed and biography resources –

betty jo


April Birthday Biographies With Cake


1623722_714095368630096_992576892_nWhenever a birthday shows up on the special days list that goes along with the time period we’re studying, we take the opportunity to study that person, and perhaps bake a cake.

According to the special days listing for April, there are several important people’s birthdays.

Last year we learned everything “middle ages”.  And, April was a fantastic birthday month for our studies.  Here’s the links to the April birthday biographies we worked on complete with resource links.

Raphael April 6, 1483

Leonardo da Vinci  April 15, 1452

William Shakespeare April 23, 1564

Our study focus this year is American History.  This means that our birthday studies center around presidents.  These are the presidents that we’ll be learning about during April.

Thomas Jefferson  April 13, 1743

James Buchanan  April 23, 1791

Ulysses S. Grant   April 27, 1822

James Monroe April 28 1758

This link takes you to the resource list of what we use as we learn about a president.

And cake!  Baking and decorating cakes or cupcakes to eat while studying makes lessons delicious.  We like this site for online baking classes.  The 3 cake decorating pdfs are wonderful guides.

Of course everyday is historic and special somehow but we think birthdays are the best!

betty jo













Viking_BoatRecently a friend asked about our Viking studies from last fall.  Here are the links I had saved.  I thought I’d pass the collection on to those of you who might be thinking about a Viking study as well.

Movies to include:  Veggie Tales: Lyle the Kindly Viking,  Brave, and How to Train Your Dragon

Interactive History Games

Unit Study and Labook Printables

And another Unit Study and Lapbook Printables

Leif Erickson Biography Resources                                                                            

paper dolls printables  (this site is interesting, it is written in (perhaps?) Scandinavian so I have very little idea what it says, but wonderful art to browse)

Arts and Craft Projects

Walkthrough type videos

168 page English to Norse dictionary.  (we didn’t spend much time learning this, but it was an interesting list to look over a few times)

And this was our chalkboard wall mural!

chalkboard viking

betty jo

Our Homeschooling Week Ending June 7

The highlight from our week was Graduation/Achievement Night.  My daughter and I were on the decorating committee for our homeschooling support group’s year end celebration.

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We had an expected head count of 120 guests for the reception.  We planned for more, which was a good thing because we had close to 200 guests attend!

SALT (homeschool creative ministries) and Silver Lining (homeschool color guard) performed for the night’s entertainment.

grad 8  grad 16

As part of this celebration, families set up display tables featuring awards, photos and projects from the year.  This was our homeschool’s display.

971711_461016027313698_1140299628_nAlso, as part of the celebration, parents present their kids with awards for something well done during the year.  These are the ones my husband presented to our kids.

He gave our homeschool a history award for our unit studies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

970432_468957796519411_2101113680_nE17 received  Honor Roll and Supergirl awards.

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B15 was awarded for “Scriptural Character Studies and Application”.   J10 earned the “All Around Improvement” award.

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Z7 was given the “Independent Study” award.  I wasn’t left out of the awards.  My family gave me one too, “Computer Achievement”.

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Saturday morning we awoke to a flash flood!  Our front yard looked like this.

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Our back yard was worse.

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The water poured into our cellar and flooded our garage.  Thank goodness we had access to a pump.  It took nearly 6 hours to get the water out from under our house.

944286_468262039922320_1872947432_nWe were quite concerned about our garden when we saw it. Our pepper plants were partially uprooted and leaning over. The box floating away in this photo was our homeschool’s weather station.  I’m still not sure where it ended up.  We found some of our yard things in the empty lot on the next street over, but not the weather station.

972020_532695726788562_1251817401_nBy Sunday afternoon, all looked fine.  The yard barely even had a puddle left in it.

970153_468262373255620_998148550_n The garden recovered from the down pour.  We even have some baby tomatoes and peppers growing now.

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Monday and Tuesday we put summer school on hold to dry out some of our things we had stored in the garage.  Our Christmas books got the worst damage, but most will be alright.  We feel blessed not to have had more ruined.


June 5 was the anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight (1783).  Last year as part of our summer school calendar studies Z,  J, and I decided to learn everything we could about hot air balloons.  Last year’s lapbook made a good review for us this year.

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We are hoping for the upcoming weekend and next week to be uneventful and peaceful.  And maybe we’ll start a new art project for our chalkboard wall.  We erased the last mural and now our kitchen/school room looks very plain.  I’m thinking we need something summery and fun, maybe a summer camp scene?


Here’s the links to related posts:

Year End Celebration

Homeschool creative ministries

Homeschool color guard

Homeschool Gardening

Our one day study on Hot Air Balloons

Our chalkboard wall murals

betty jo

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Johannes Gutenberg


This week we are concluding our Middle Ages/Renaissance unit studies.  We were privileged to add Gutenberg to our Bible, history, science, literature, vocabulary, and writing lessons.  (I love it when one subject covers several classes)

Johannes Gutenberg is one of my heroes!  He invented the printing press and printed the first Bible!  Some of those early Bibles still exist and are among  our world’s greatest treasures.  My printed Bible as well as several favorite books are among my greatest personal treasures.

This lovely book,  Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor of the Printing Press by Fran Rees, is from our local library.  We enjoyed the photos of Gutenberg’s earliest projects.

gutenberg 2Below are the links we followed for our study.

Gutenberg biography, worksheets, quizzes, online games

Tracing Gutenberg’s Footsteps, a photo tour of Mainz, Gutenberg’s home

Demonstration of the Gutenberg press

Project Gutenberg offers 42,720 free e-books to download.  I have this site bookmarked for the next time I hear “I’m bored, Mom”.

betty jo


Homeschool of Rock

treble clefPsalm 98:4   “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,  burst into jubilant song with music;”

We are within days of having completed our state’s yearly required 185 days of education.  However, this means very little, because we continue learning throughout the summer months just not all day long every day.  We did not include instruments or composers during  our middle ages unit studies because we had decided to learn more about music during our summer school session and they would fit in nicely there.  But the kids and I were wanting our music studies to cover more than just the middle ages.

For the past few weeks I’ve been collecting “music” resources to use for summer school studies.  We’ll be including composer biographies, theory, appreciation, instrument recognition, reading notes, and different styles of music in our lessons.  It’s shaping up to be a good study, but I was thinking it needed a little something more.  The kids thought Jack Black’s movie, School of Rock, would add some fun and I agreed.  I love that movie.

school of rock

Oh, but I was wanting even more.  A friend of mine recently shared this link on Facebook.  I was WOWED!  This was exactly what our upcoming music studies need.

Watching this made me realize how we can easily incorporate culture, geography, and technology into our summer music studies.

I am anxious  to watch this on a bigger screen and listen on better speakers than my laptop has. But,  I’ll wait until our summer school begins and view them with my kids.

For the complete playlist of Playing For Change music videos

I’ll be blogging more about our music studies and sharing links as I get it somewhat organized.

betty jo

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National Day of Prayer


We are leaving the Middle Ages and it’s plague victims, strange treatments, fleas, and rats for a  day.  Something much bigger than our unit study is occurring.  Something Current Events, American History, and GOD is occurring.  This important something is America’s National Day of Prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14  “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

We believe that we are “MY people”.  We consider ourselves to be GOD’s homeschool. .  Our name implies it, The Hendrickson Covenant In-Home School.  That “Covenant” part comes from our agreement with our Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus Christ to home educate our children as long as The Holy Spirit guides us every step of the way, because I wouldn’t know how on my own.

Our language arts lessons will be writing prayers and Scripture journaling.  We’ll be using free customized writing paper from

Our social studies lessons will come from here

We will let God take care of the science lessons as we observe Him healing our land.

Oh yeah, math lessons.  We’ll just forget about them this one time.  My kids can have the testimony that GOD does answer their prayers.

betty jo

Thriving-Thursdays1 buttonHeartsforHomeButton250_zps0bf17d36-1_zps2609e0a3-1_zps7355f539Ultimate mom

Avoiding It Like The Plague


I’ve been designing our homeschool’s curriculum for several years.  I base our unit studies on a historical period timeline.   One year we study everything “ancient”.  The next year we move on to studying everthing “middle ages”.  Then the following year our unit studies are based on “American history”.  The fourth year we focus on “modern world history”.  After these four years, we start over, but with more advanced assignments.

Every June I start planning the upcoming school year’s unit studies.  And I start this process by making a list of everything found on on a timeline that could/should be included in our lessons for the year.

As this homeschooling year comes to a close,  I am pleased that our Middle Ages/Renaissance unit studies have covered almost everything on my original list.  We will be ending our regular studies with church reformers .  Our summer school studies will include the great composers as we have elected music as one of our summer classes.

However, there is one topic on my list we haven’t studied yet.  Truthfully, I have been avoiding this particular study like the plague!  Actually, that is the study, the Bubonic Plague, Black Death.  This was such a terrible time in history as nearly one third of the European population died from this epidemic.  With less than three weeks left of our school year, and not wanting to end with this study, we will be covering the plague this week.

We will be reading about the Bubonic Plague from these library books.

plague books

Here’s the resource links we’ll be using

Teacher notes for the younger boys

Black Death lecture for the older kids

The younger boys will work together to make lapbooks from

I’m not surprised that I couldn’t find notebooking pages for this subject.   I’ll be designing our own notebooking pages using that  horrible art photo at the top of this post for my older kids.

Knowing that we are so close to finishing our homeschooling year will hopefully brighten our moods as we learn about Black Death.

betty jo


Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare

ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564. And, in his honor, April 23 is “Talk Like Shakespeare Day”!  A couple of years ago, we learned about his life and works as part of our Renaissance Unit Studies. Below are online Shakespeare resources for today or any day.

Fun Facts and Timeline                                                      

Guide for How to Talk like Shakespeare

Shakespeare Translator to Modern English                              

Shakespeare Invented Words and Phrases                             

Teacher and Student Resources                                                                      

Shakespearean Sonnet Generator                                                                                  

Globe Theater Educational Resources                         

Tour Stratford Upon Avon                                                                  

Notebooking pages

And, the kids will like playing some of these online puzzles and games

Tales from Shakespeare for young readers                        

Stories of Shakespeare’s plays written for children             

Literature Guides (scroll down a little bit for the Shakespeare collection)

Wishbone Shakespaw

Animated Tales Video Playlist                                                        

Of course, there should be cake, because studying anyone on their birthday is better with cake!

Shakespeare Party Ideas and Printables       

betty jo

For more of our Middle Ages/Renaissance Unit Studies click

And here

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And here

And here



RaphaelKnowing that Raphael was born April 6, 1483 we included him in our homeschool’s Middle Ages/Renaissance unit study this week.  (I like it when historic days can be fit in to our learning.)  (My kids like it when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be fit in to our learning.)  So this art study was a win/win situation.

Garden of Praise has a short but good biography of him as well as quiz, word puzzles, coloring page, and more printables.  Here’s there link to Raphael’s page, but spend some time here browsing around.  They offer a wonderful selection of resources.

Inspired by Raphael’s work on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, we’ve been drawing angels.

Raphael art

Z7 and J9 linked here for their art practice

B15 and E17 gave this lesson a try,-angel-statue.htm

For those of you who might be wondering how our angels turned out.  Well, there’s a good reason why I’m not sharing photos of them.  We were a bit disappointed in our work.  Wings are tough to draw.  The lesson learned falls more into the category of Art Appreciation this time instead of Art Application.  And I even have a link for this

You might be an artist if …

–The only piece of new furniture you have in your home is a $2000 easel.
–You’ve ever cleaned your fingernails with a palette knife.
–You butter your toast with your fingers, just to feel its texture.
–You’ve ever considered framing your palette instead of the painting.
–You notice the burnt umber in the background of the Playboy centrefold.
–Your children are forced to share a room so you can have an art studio.
–You routinely drink the rinse water instead of the coffee.
–The suggestion that you should “teach” or “open a flower shop” or “go to law school” makes you want to scream and throw things.
–You know the difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
–Your favorite fragrance is eau d’ linseed oil.
–You do judge a book by its cover.


Leonardo da Vinci has a birthday coming up April 15.  We will be learning about him that week.  And blog posting about him, too.

I’m regretting not having the time to make Raphael a birthday cake.  Maybe, I’ll buy him one.  Eating birthday cake while practicing drawing those angel wings sounds like a plan to me.

For another post about our Renaissance artists studies click here

betty jo