Posted by Sarah in Homeschooling on October 25, 2010
We got the book The Story of Inventions half way through last term, I wasn’t looking for it, it just popped up as a You May Also Like This suggestion after I bought another book. I don’t usually like being sucked into spending more money but the cover illustrations looked so cute I couldn’t resist.
The book is a humorous introduction into the mad world of Inventors. That specific breed of scientist who has no qualms about putting their lives or the lives of their friends, relatives and chickens on the line for the sake of progress.
The information is sound and broken up into snippets easily digested by the young mind. Each page is peppered with cheeky illustrations that bring the text to life.
There is also a link in the book to the Usborne Quicklinks Website were you can have ago at being an inventor yourself in the safety of the unexplodable internet.
Anyhoo, I had set Sabrina up on the rug with her wooden blocks while we read our two pages above her on the lounge. We were reading about the invention of the wheel. We hit a bit of a brick wall when the idea of rolling logs to transport stone was mentioned, Lilly just didn’t get it, I don’t know why, the poor child must be deprived in the rolling things arena. So I commandeered a bunch of Sabi’s blocks for an object lesson.
Then of course they had to make it cooler.
Because they were having such a ball with the blocks I let them stay on the floor while I read our lesson from The Story of the World. I think this was probably the book I was trying to buy when I bought the other one as well.
I like this book, the kids are hooked on it which in my mind is the best rating a school book can get. If it doesn’t hold their interest they aren’t going to learn anything other than how to look like you are listening while you are actually daydreaming about fairies.
The Story of the World is history for the classical child apparently, I didn’t know mine were classical, I have always thought of them more sort of bohemian or even abstract at times but there you go.
The book combines factual accounts, ancient myths, legends and fictional stories based on life in the time you are looking at. It also explains, through the use of story telling, the definition of Archaeologists and Historians. My children now think of themselves as Archaeologists because they used the discovery of buried artefacts and other forms of physical evidence to prove beyond a doubt that the people who owned this house before us had a dog. Their scientific proofs are: A dog bone with teeth marks found under the house, A half chewed tennis ball found buried in the garden and the handle on the washing line was chewed to bits. Total geniuses.
The chapter that we read was about the first nomads becoming farmers. As I looked up from my reading about a girl and her family who had recently come to live on the banks of the Euphrates river and were being taught how to place seeds in the rich soil of the river bank to find….
..our own fertile crescent appearing on my lounge room floor. The more I read the more they added to their model, like the horse because the girl in the story ate horse meat so we know there were horses. It was very cute, I couldn’t stop smiling as I read watching their big round eyes hanging off every word to see what else they could add. But then the inevitable happened and as I read through the last paragraph I was constantly interrupted with plaintive cries of "AHHHH, Sabrina has her foot in my Tigris River!!" "Sabrina just threw a farm house at the Fertile Crescent!" and "Ahhh now she’s put the trees in the Tigris and run off with the Euphrates!!!"
"But They Are My Blocks!".