Tag Archives: social studies

All About Egypt

This year, my younger children are  going to be diving back into world history. Because we did a little bit over the summer, I decided to start off the new school year by reviewing ancient Egypt. While we’re using the Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer as our primary text, we’re also supplementing with some great books from the library. And, as always, I’m learning a lot right along with them!

If your family is studying ancient Egypt, here are some resources you might like to look into:


Ancient Civilizations – Egypt by Christy Steele.  A nice book to read aloud together or assign as silent reading for older elementary students. Includes a glossary in the back.

The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann – The story of the Pharaoh Khufu and the construction of the Great Pyramid. Contains both actual photos and traditional illustrations. While older students could read this book  on their own, it’s one I would choose to read to them, as we could go over all the information as it’s presented.

Tutankhamun by Robert Green – A book full of information about King Tut and the discovery of his tomb. Contains  interesting photos, including one of Tut’s mummy and one of the dig site at the Valley of the Kings.

Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself – To add in some hands-on learning, check out this book with projects such as making boats, papyrus, bread, jewelry, and hieroglyphs.


Other Resources:

Ancient Egypt Unit Study and Lapbook by Jodi Small – Contains a library list and over 30 “minit” books.

Ancient Egypt Lapbook by JoAnn S. – Includes a reading list, activities, crafts, and cooking ideas.

Ancient Egypt Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities
by Mr. Donn – lots of lesson plans featuring the geography, history, religion, art, and daily life of ancient Egypt.

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery for Kids
– Ancient Egypt – online activities featuring ancient civilizations, including Egypt.


Photo by embalu

The Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate

001 Secrets of the Cheese SyndicateEach day at lunchtime (when the days don’t get too crazy), I read a story out loud to the kids while they eat. We’ve read a number of different books, some which appeal to my younger children, and some which the older ones enjoy more. This fall, we read one that they all enjoyed: The Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate by Donna St. Cyr.

Talk about an adventure story! Written for 8 – 12 year olds, this book is the story of Robert Montasio, who must go on a quest to find the Mystic Cheese of Eliki.  Not only does he need it to help his shrinking little sister, but hopefully it will lead him to his long-lost father as well. With the help of the members of the Cheese Syndicate, this ordinary boy ventures out on an extraordinary mission.

What makes this book so unique is its creative and unusual blend: cheese and Greek mythology. Who would guess the two could go together? Robert’s biggest obstacles are mythological creatures, such as the chimera and the gorgon. He must get past each of them before he can face his final foe, the manticore. As Robert moves along, he discovers that the various types of cheeses help him in different ways.

If you are a more conservative homeschooler, this may not be the book for you. The creatures are from Greek mythology; there are no Christian references. Though there are no magic spells, it does contain fanciful elements, such as talking animals, gnomes, sea monsters, and cheese with special powers. But if your children enjoy the imaginative and love ending each chapter in suspense, The Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate would be a great book to read. You could use it as part of a unit study on ancient Greece, or you could create a study from the book itself. So many different types of cheeses are mentioned; you could research and taste-test each one as you went along. Either way, I think you’ll enjoy the adventure. Right after we finished it, my children wanted to read it again!

God’s World News

GWN_fanA couple of years ago, a friend introduced us to God’s World News. There was a group of us who had placed orders, so we received a bit of a discount. Even at full price, this supplement is well-worth it.

God’s World News is a full-color magazine featuring current world events designed for students from preschool through high school. Each issue of God’s World News contains age-appropriate articles from a Biblical worldview.

The first four magazines are monthly publications. Early Edition is designed for the youngest beginning readers, with each issue including lots of pictures and large text. Preschoolers through first graders will not only find articles and maps, but also activities and puzzles designed to help build number and sequence skills. 

Taking Off is the magazine for children in grades 2 -3. These also include news stories, maps, and puzzles. While you may find the same story in Early Edition as you do in Taking Off, each is written with the age of the audience in mind.

News Current is for students in grades 4-5. Besides the regular features found in Early Edition and Taking Off, News Current also includes editorials to encourage critical thinking skills, vocabulary, and quizzes for reading comprehension. 

Top Story is the publication for students in grades 6-9. In Top Story, students will find age-appropriate articles, editorials, word derivation, and reading comprehension quizzes.

WORLD magazine for high schoolers arrives bi-weekly and includes national and international news articles; editorials and commentaries; political cartoons; movie, television, music, and book reviews; and detailed coverage of issues relevant to Christians today.   

If you’d like to try God’s World News, I’d encourage you to get an age-appropriate issue for each of your children. The company offers large discounts when multiple orders are placed, so if you have friends who are interested as well, that’s even better. It’s a resource I know we’re going to sign up for again this year.