I know what it is like. The kids ask to do something fun for homeschool and you cringe. “Fun for whom?” you want to ask, because it definitely is not fun for mom.
Several weeks ago (when I was still quite pregnant with Creed), my 7 year old kinesthetic/tactile learner begged me to do a “Knight Party.” I was planning to do something of this sort to finish off our history section on Medieval Times, but I kept putting it off.
Why? Because it seemed too stressful.
I finally told him, “After baby gets here.” Well, baby has been here nearly 6 weeks. Time to make good on what I promised! But, did it really have to be a stressful event for mama?
I decided I had to change my expectations of what
fun homeschool things look like.
There was no way I was going to pull off an elaborate feast, but surely I could still make it memorable without a lot of fal-de-ral.
Today, I’m going to share with you how I did it, the resources I used, and what our family thought of the festivities.
The Planning Phase
My friend Ashley of Life by Ashley Pichea
told me about a neat online tool called Evernote
. I had tried using it before, but I really didn’t find it all that useful…until this past week. While I LOVE Pinterest and even had a Teaching Medieval History
board, there was no way to take all my disconnected thoughts on Pinterest and pull them together into a cohesive Medieval Celebration. Evernote lets me put all my thoughts in one place and work from there. I use the app on my iPad and the online version on my laptop. They sync no matter what device I am using.
The screenshot above are my notes for the day we did our celebration. This is not all that can be done with Evernote (you can take photos and add lots of other things to your notes), but this shows you a bit about how I coordinated everything in one place.
The Day of the Celebration
We started the day by pulling up some of the resources from the Lesson Plans section. I chose things that would appeal to both the little ones and the older ones. Next, we talked about heraldry and they each made their own Coat of Arms while looking at examples from the link in my notes.
The only thing we needed to do this project was paper and markers. The older kiddos got poster board cut in half ($.15 a piece) and the little ones got plain ole copy paper. We hung them over the fireplace in the dining room where we would be having our feast that night.
We watched a YouTube video on medieval dancing and my daughter played Greensleeves for us on the piano. After that, the girls and I started the bread and my boys started the pudding. These were both done from scratch.
I also made challises from plastic disposable cups and clear packing tape. (yep, not fancy at all, but super fun to drink out of and super cheap!)
While we waited for Daddy to get home, the kids made crowns, built LEGO castles, and practiced their sword fighting.
Our meal was very simple and did not include everything I wrote down in my notes (those were just ideas). There was a snow storm coming and I decided it was best to simply work with the foods I had on hand. So, the menu included:
Sausages and hot dogs
Leftover buffalo roast
Sparking grape juice
After dinner, the entire family enjoyed sword fighting demonstrations
from the children and the movie Pendragon
What the Family Thought
They LOVED it! They talked and talked about all the fun they had. They asked when they could do it again. They asked what the next feast would be themed as. And Mommy wasn’t the least bit stressed! Yay!!!