The Middle Ages & The Duchess Bakes a Cake {Sonlight Core C + FI♥AR}

We covered the Feudal System with Sonlight Core C, did lots of Middle Ages art with Artistic Pursuits, and then rowed Duchess Bakes a Cake as the grand finale.

We rowed this 2 years ago when we covered the Feudal System with Sonlight Core A. (Has it already been that long?)

Social Studies: Medieval Times & Feudal System (Core C)

From Sonlight Core C, Weeks 7 - 14:

  • Tales of Robin Hood

  • Sir Lancelot the Great

  • Castle Diaries

  • Child's History of the World

  • Usborne Time Traveler/Book of World History

  • The Great and Terrible Quest (Core G)

We also listened to several audio books from Lamplighter Theatre:

  • Basket of Flowers

  • Teddy's Button

  • Peep Behind the Scenes

  • Charlie's Choice

  • Hedge of Thorns

  • Sir Malcom and the Missing Prince (this has some intense scenes that were too scary for my little ones)

  • Sir Knight of the Splendid Way

I bought these several years ago and never made time to listen to them, but glad we did now. I really enjoyed this series with the kids and I loved that they were all set in the Middle Ages!

Science: Simple Machines & Catapults

This spring I reviewed Supercharged Science and made these catapults for our study of the Middle Ages. While searching through the site, I found lots of experiments that would compliment Five in a Row science.  We covered simple machines in Supercharged Science as well as Science4Us and took a field trip to see them in action at a science center.

We converted our Sonlight castle box that I had been saving and loaded up on ammo!

Art: Medieval Artists and Their Techniques

"Stained Glass" Painting

I added black acrylic paint to clear glue and we each drew a design on watercolor paper. When it dried, the idea was to fill the entire paper with watercolor to give it a stained glassed look.

Mali and Elli were more creative in their designs.

Gold Foil Castle Scene and Cruck House and many other Middle Ages art projects with Artistic Pursuits: Stories of Artists and Their Art  ~ (link to projects we did and our review).

Language Arts: Alliteration, Synonyms, Plot, Characters, Vocabulary

We used the unit study and lapbook from Homeschool Share to accompany our row. I really liked how the lessons are laid out - easy to follow. I especially liked the point in one lesson about the ignorance of the people. People were uneducated and didn't think for themselves - they were told what to do. So, they had a hard time solving their problem of getting the Duchess down!

We did the Story Map again.

Math: Times Tables: Times Threes and Sixes, & Liquid and Dry Ingredients

"She raced down the turret, three steps at one leap." So, we did Learning Wrap-Ups x3.

Then she added yeast, "six times for good measure." So we did x6.

The Crew reviewed Learning Wrap-Ups if you want to learn more about them.

Crafting and Memory Making

These are activities from the activity book Days of Knights and Damsels.

Twist Some Wire Jewelry 

We learned that fine jewelry worn in the Middle Ages was made from gold and silver that was heated, pounded, or twisted into shapes or melted and poured into molds. We made a bracelet and ring by twisting gold metal wire.

Make a Medieval Outfit

We raided closets and the thrift store and put together simple peasant costumes. Malachi's Robin Hood boy's outfit consists of a cape made from 2 green cloth napkins, long pants and a loose shirt over with a belt at the waist holding a leather pouch. I had fabric to tie around his legs, but couldn't find it.

Elli's girl's outfit is an apron (that she has finally grown into) over a long dress with "ribbons" (I used yarn - again because I couldn't find the ribbon!) tied onto the sleeves and a fabric scarf on her head.

FI♥AR Cooking: Medieval Meat Pies, Fruit Pies, & "Honey Mead"

We had a Medieval supper (not an all out feast). Pies were eaten in the Middle Ages, so we made two kinds. Our "meat pie" was a homemade chicken pot pie. The fruits pies were crescent rolls rolled flat, cut into rectangles, filled with fruit filling, and then folded over and the edges pressed with a fork before baking. Our little fruit pies were like "pasties" which were handy for traveling.

The "Honey Mead" - a sweet drink to go with our meal,

was my version of Trim Healthy Mama's Good Girl Moon Shine: ginger, truvia, lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar, ice and water. The kids really liked it! I add tumeric to mine (pictured). So refreshing! {and slimming!}

The raw apple cider vinegar gave it a fermented taste (as it was in the Middle Ages). I explained that in the Middle ages spices were very costly. We learned that a pound of ginger was worth 1 sheep and a pound of nutmeg traded for 7 oxen. So, we had ginger in ours, and I sprinkled it with nutmeg on top.

And Eliana made (all by herself) a "lovely light luscious delectable cake."

We served it with whipped cream and strawberries.

Lap Journal:

We were done with our row for two extra writing activities I included in our journal, but we used the book to do assignments for two products we are reviewing. One is Moving Beyond the Page and we wrote a Story Pyramid for Duchess Bakes a Cake (I wrote while they dictated to me.) The second one was for Write Shop E. Malachi is writing a fable and one activity was to make a familiar story into a fable (with a moral!). His moral was "follow good advice." We had fun with this!

And that's a wrap on our official school year. I have some reviews in the works, including Veritas Press' Self-Paced History, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation and Write Shop E (Malachi), a unit study on the Land, and a unit study on Sarah, Plain and Tall (Mali and Elli both). I chose the last two because they tie into Climbing Kansas Mountains! :D I wasn't really motivated to row it before. But, Moving Beyond the Page inspired me in many ways! The end of our unit study will be the start of our row. I'm hoping to row a few more books this summer to see how it goes. I'd like to try to do Volume 4 this coming school year, IF I can do some planning over the summer AND keep my rows simple.

Delightful Links:


  1. Michelle, you continue to inspire me in my homeschooling journey! This looks like a really fun and in-depth study that your kids will remember! Thank you for your beautiful blog. I have so enjoyed reading it this school year.

  2. Love all the fun you had! We will be doing the Middle Ages next year.

  3. You make learning so fun, Michelle. As always, I wish I could send my kids to you so you could teach them!! I love how you bring resources together. We are reviewing VP history Middle Ages too!

  4. I know, Phyllis! I keep thinking I wish I was a year behind you! :)

  5. Thanks for letting me know, Rachel. :) I appreciate knowing when it can be hard to know if I am doing the right thing in sharing.

  6. Thank you, Julie!

    I'm looking forward to your review! I think I will continue using VP this coming year (to replace Sonlight!).

  7. What a fun row, I love how you combined resources to make it such a hands-on learning experience.