In December, I wrote how Madelyn had found a new favorite movie. The characters in "How to Train Your Dragon" are Vikings, so I have made a few attempts to learn/teach about this culture while the student has something to relate it to (versus when you learn stuff helter-skelter without interest or connection).
Let me give props to interlibrary loan. I love it; I use it; and if any institution were to inherit my estate, it would be the library. I found and borrowed a BBC video about the Vikings--at a reasonable 60+ minutes running time. It was in one of our history lessons for this week--and for Madelyn's sake.
Last week, for our winter break, we watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Today, I was looking up what inspired Tolkien and found references to Finnish poetry. He learned Finnish just to read these old myths/epic poems.
While we sat in dim light watching the Viking movie, the narrator spoke of the "giants, dwarves and dragons" of Viking lore. The Vikings were all about their stories--telling them for generations and then finally writing them down (the sagas). BTW, a "saga" means "it was said" or "what was said." The Vikings come from the same Northern countries that generated the stories Tolkien read that inspired his own stories.
Nathan turned to me as the actors rushed the screen with their swords, wearing their helmets and tunics, and said, "Mom, this could be out of Lord of the Rings." When the camera spanned Iceland and Greenland from a bird's view (more a helicopter, but not as poetic), I thought--that's Middle Earth come true: waterfalls, green rolling plains, volcanoes and icebergs.
The coincidence of our pursuing Vikings and having watched LOTR--and that they intersect-- is why I wanted to homeschool. We can make and observe and pursue these connections. This is where it counts.
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