Renaissance: Tudors & Stuarts – Resources

DSC_0053tudors and stuarts

This year we will be covering the time period between 1485 to 1714, otherwise known as the time when England was ruled by the Tudors and Stuarts.  We are doing a separate study focusing on the explorers of this time, and over the summer we will be immersing ourselves in Shakespeare.  For the next wee while we will be concentrating on the Tudor reign.  I thought long and hard as to how I wanted to go about this.  We were needing to fit so much in and yet I really wanted to maintain the depth of study alongside the breadth.  In order to do this seamlessly I knew I would need to make sure study methods weren’t being repeated.  I already had decided to use Home school in the Woods Renaissance History Passport, which would contain the bare facts, along with many interesting ways to record learning.  To bulk out our study of this era I would be using all of the following books to some extent.  These are books I either had already or that I have picked up over the past year from various charity shops:




Ribbet collagetudors3

I also bought in one of Hawkins books.  I have used his thinking history site many times before.  I like how much his focus is evidence based and every text is supported by much primary and secondary evidence which allows room for critical thinking and historical discussion:


I intend to rely on good historical fiction to give the children a wider view of the historical backdrop within which important events happened.  We will be using the My Story historical novels to this end:


The set of Lady Grace Mysteries:


and other miscellaneous titles (of which there are three additional ones the children are currently reading):


We’re hoping this will last us the six weeks.  So far though it’s not looking good……

As these books will play a greater than normal part in our home school this year and to slow their reading down a bit, I will be expecting the children to write a simple book report on each one, to check they’ve understood the finer details.  These books are fairly easy read books, so I’m not expecting any problems in understanding, but I did want a more formal way of assessing how much they were taking in.  So far I have received over 16 reports.  No, it doesn’t seemed to have slowed them down AT ALL.

Home school in the Woods has many interesting ideas for recording the learning which will take place.  I have decided to combine their lap book type pieces with some of my own ideas and create a Tudor Tymes newspaper.  I have chosen this method because I have lots of butcher’s paper to use up from a couple of our other newspapers we have made.  In addition the Home school in the Woods curriculum lends itself well to this.  I already own a magazine about the Tudors and thought I would use it to learn a bit about lay out and capturing your audience’s attention and the like:

Ribbet collagetudor1

In addition, anything which doesn’t go into the newspaper will undoubtedly find its way onto our presentation boards.  We will be giving a presentation at the the end of the term and it would cut down on some of the work nearer the time if the children prepared their boards as they went along.

Our studies for the rest of this year will culminate in the children hosting a masked ball (in our cottage – so not very, very renaissance-ish) which will include feasting, dressing up, dancing and an opportunity to present their ideas for a Elementary level Tudor curriculum as well as showing off their work for the year to friends and family.  We enjoyed our Medieval feast so much last year and so are hoping to replicate its success somewhat.


    1. I know!! We can’t afford it. I’m thinking of taking away the clothes allowance and giving them a book allowance instead, I’m sure I’d save hundreds of pounds a year!

  1. “My Story” series is very well received here too. Looks like your children are going to have a thoroughly enjoyable time learning about this time period. I always have problems with keeping our period study to 6 weeks, since I inevitably find more and more things to study along the way! 🙂

    1. It’s not the study I was keeping to six weeks just the books. I refuse to buy any more until 6 weeks is up! The actual study is lasting the whole year.

  2. So many good books – how could you do this to me! It’s like putting out a delicious cake at a Weight Watchers’ meeting 🙂

  3. Amen on the too many good books part! It’s tantalizing….Except my children have chosen to study ancient Egypt and Old Testament for history this year (We’re starting in March) and the two boxes of Egypt books that I’ve accumulated, I might be tempted to go browsing for some of these! LOL

      1. I have in my head this idea that my older two will complete the whole elementary cycle and then move on to the omnibus, but I have to tell myself to just slow down and be glad that they’re happy to do history right now 🙂

  4. Look at all of those marvelous books!!! Right now I am collecting books from the fall of Rome to Shakespeare. Maybe I should consider breaking history into smaller groups of time like you…

    1. I’d be over whelmed if I had to plan and get resources for such a large time span. I keep to shorter time spans in history to make it easier on me!

  5. I do see why you have such a large book collection! You do find so many resources to go with each study. That is great. So much better than a dry textbook, I think. I am looking forward to seeing all your activities for this unit.

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