March 4, 2011


I was going to do a whole sub-unit on explorers during the Africa segment of the Babies Unit. First we read about the explorer Mary Kingsley. Then, we read through (skipping when it became too much info) Exploring the World: Da Gama, Vasco da Gama Sails Around the Cape of Good Hope by Robin S. Doak.

It is a really good book. The maps are very useful and the pictures are interesting. It is designed for middle readers so there were a few places where we bogged down. Certainly not the fault of the book--just the ages of my children. Then I pulled out an outline map that included Europe and Africa and had the kids add a line for da Gama's trip, with dots at all the places in Africa that he stopped.

It is the first time we've done a map to demonstrate something besides the location of places. It was fun, we enjoyed it, and I forgot to take pictures.

So that was all pre-Harriet. After Harriet, I thought I would jump back into things to help my kids stay happy and not bored.


I didn't jump back into anything except exhaustion. Baby wakes up at 11:00 pm, 2:00 am, and 5:30 am (or 6:00 am--sometimes even a little later than that), so I cannot complain about her sleeping habits. She's an angel for a two-week old.

However, I'm still exhausted.

So rather than read Exploration Through the Ages: The Travels of Livingstone by Richard Humble to all my children and do a similar map of his travels, I just had Miriam read the book to herself and we chatted about it. I read the book (as did my hubby--we both enjoyed it) first so I could guide the discussion to exploration and what was cool about it and what would be hard about it and what the Africans probably thought about these white foreigners telling them to change their lives and become Christian. This leads into a discussion of our missionaries and why we tell people they should change their lives. Good stuff.

I definitely recommend this book for any studies on Africa, missionary work, exploration, or colonialism. It is a great read.

Dr. Livingstone, I presume.

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