One of the reasons I do not send my little ones to regular school, and why I removed them from the online charter school the older ones are enrolled in, is the weak treatment of history. Many teachers will tell you that children cannot grasp history. Although I understand that children have a hard time understanding the breadth of time involved, they certainly can learn and learn from the stories of history. Public school replaces the study of history with “social studies”, which is mostly just pap mixed with politics. When the charter school asked my 3rd grader to write a letter to a politician explaining why dams should be removed from the Missouri River, I knew that we needed to go back to homeschool history. We use The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer as the basis for our study of history, and right now we are in the Early Modern Times book. We also use the activity book by the same author to give us ideas of what to read in literature and activities we can do to enhance our learning.
Since our study of history includes geography, we often visit the cuisine of the country that we are focusing on. In our study of history we have visited restaurants for Greek, Indian, and Korean cuisine, and we have attempted our own recipes for Indian, French and German traditional foods.
Our history lesson this week was about Louis XIV of France, so we have been having some short fantasy vacations to France. We watched portions of a Marie Antoinette documentary, looked at pictures of Versailles, and today we made crepes for lunch. First, we read the book Crepes by Suzette by Monica Wellington. This book is based on actual photographs of Paris, turned into imitations of famous artwork and including a crepe cart. We were having our crepes for lunch, so we included broccoli cheese crepes with some of the sweet ideas in the book. We had a “crepe buffet” including crepes au sucre (with powdered sugar), crepes au chocolat (with Nutella), and crepes au confiture (with strawberry jam.)
Crepes are so easy to make in the blender, and so great for kids especially when doubling or tripling the recipe, because there are lots of eggs to crack!
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
To make crepes, first measure all ingredients into the blender and whirl. Scrape down the sides of the blender, then whirl again. Refrigerate for about one hour. To cook, prepare a small skillet or two. Measure about 1/4 cup of batter into the bottom of the hot skillet, turning to coat the bottom of the pan. In less than one minute, the sides of the crepe will by dry and bubbles will have formed in the middle. Flip and cook for about 20 more seconds. Stack on a platter while cooking the rest of the crepes.
For the broccoli crepes, I chopped steamed broccoli and we put a spoonful of broccoli on one quarter of the cooked crepe. We topped with about 1 Tablespoon grated cheese, and folded the crepe in half and then in fourths. These stayed folded better when we flipped them over so that the filled quarter was on top.
Since the kids were the chefs, they had to eat last, while they took orders and rolled crepes for everyone else. It was like a salad bar, only better!
We enjoyed our imaginary visit to France, and can’t wait for another trip!
As you can see, a good time was had by all. Do you enjoy introducing your children to food from various cultures? How do you enhance your study of history? Please leave me a comment.