I know, I have been super quiet around the blog sphere lately. For many reasons, nothing I want to get into now...
But I did want to share our latest history hands-on. We are so behind my carefully laid-out history plans. I shouldn't feel as surprised as I do. That's the way it's been it seems.
Anyway, we finally had our long-awaited Roman Feast.
We are loosely following RC Connecting with History, Year 2. Well, supposed to be anyway. We're still in the tail end of Year 1.
The last bit of history brought us to the early Romans and on up to the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. We read the little bit written in Land of Our Lady Book 1 Founders of Freedom by Neumann Press (no longer in print unfortunately). I intended to read books recommended by RC's guide, but instead came across this fun and wonderful book, Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster:
We are 2/3 of the way through (it's a big book), and so far I love it. It is filled with the life of the times, the history, the rest of the world, and all in a story format, explaining Octavian's rise to power. It really has brought history alive for the kids, Skipper in particular (it's geared more to his age and above). The author also drew many illustrations for the book, which only add to its attractiveness.
Currently we are hanging out around 23 B.C. and while continuing on with it, we will take a detour to return to the Israelites, Jesus' grandparents, parents, and the coming of the Messiah and on into Jesus' life, with a little more Roman stuff on the side. Stuff... that's what history is made of, right?
Personally, I find reading plenty for history at this point in our homeschooling career (with the odd copy work thrown in for fun), but the kids begged for a Roman feast, and hands-on is fun (if exhausting at times for me). So... ok, after a month of stalling, we did it.
Our Roman Feast
First, the kids had to dress appropriately, or at least modern Roman:
Then we set up our feasting room (aka, the living room) in Roman style. Apparently, the Romans feasted 9 to a table. Cushions formed a "U" around a low table. The people would lie on their left side, three to each side, and reach with their right hand to eat. So yes, they ate with their hands mostly. They would bring their own napkin though. Isn't that nice? They used it to keep the cushions and their hands clean, and to take home leftovers (because 10 hours of feasting wasn't enough time to eat).
Our modern and kid-friendly Roman feast included: "wine" (white grape juice), boiled eggs, honeyed dates (cut up dried dates mixed with honey), cubed cheese, little fat sausages, olives, and apples.
My mom walked in on the kids chowing down (and boy, have they been eating a lot this past week!), and had such a funny look on her face when she saw the kids eating off the floor. Well, that's life in this household for you.
Additional resources I used:
- Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome by Laurie Carlson
- From the blog, A Pinch of Everything -- on Hosting a Roman Feast
- How to Make a Stola, from the blog Roman Mysteries and Western Mysteries
Turn your two eyes
This was and see this people, your own Romans.
Here is Caesar, and all the line of Iulus,
All who shall one day pass under the dome
Of the great sky: this is the man, this one,
Of whom so often you have heard the promise,
Caesar Augustus, son of the deified,
Who shall bring once again an Age of Gold
To Latium, to the land where Saturn reigned
In early times.
--The Aeneid by Virgil (translation by Robert Fitzgerald, 1990)
The kids so loved The Odyssey, it would be interesting to find a kid version of the Aeneid telling the story from the Trojan side (and mirroring the Odyssey in subject matter).
Well, that's all the Roman fun going on around here. Mostly the kids are jumping on the trampoline, reading, fighting, getting along, eating, fighting, not sleeping, and saying, "I love you" quite a bit lately. God bless them.