It feels like it has been ages since we had a History topic (dance shows and two bouts of chickenpox are the main culprits) but finally both kids have latched onto a new time period – The Middle Ages. I am over the moon. A fascinating time period. I am already thinking of all the home-ed trips we can do and the activities and yes I am getting excited as there are so many ways we can explore our new topic.
I must confess I may have had a slight hand in the new topic – I may have left some Medieval themed books casually lying around the house hoping that one of the kids might discover them. It worked. The kids paged through the 100 facts Knights & Castles together and then asked if we could do a family read of the book. (Family read is our way of reading a book together, we all take turns reading sections out of the book and when we discover something interesting we often branch off and chat about it).
The book was a hit. Both kids started asking lots of questions and it really was that starting point that I was hoping for. So I thought I would share a bit about the book.
It starts off with a big double page picture showing basic castle set-up and then it starts explaining how castles were initially as wooden buildings before becoming stone.
It covers the significant people within the castle and introduces the feudal system as well as knights. What being a knight meant, what they wore and used to fight with as well as the colours and coats of arms.. The book also touches on some famous knights, I really liked this as it is a great way of bringing in some extra characters that we can the read about later.
It covers more details about life inside the castle, like the lack of toilets, feasts, who a troubadour was, how jousting started as well as some facts about The Hundred Years’ War and a bit about defending the castle.
It introduces some famous events and people from that era.
And it gives a few examples of famous castles.
The book manages to introduce a lot of different facts about castles and the lives of the people who lived in them. It is a great book for introducing kids to what life was like and a great starting point for some discussions about a fascinating period of history.