The Stuff They Left Behind

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  • Jonessa16

    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if The Stuff They Left Behind portfolios are meant to take the place of the artist picture study portfolios when studying the ancients? Or should I be doing TSTLB in addition to three artist studies over the course of the year?



    They are supposed to be part of the history study, separate from the artist study.  (for what it’s worth, we only make it through 2 artists a year, so that saves some money)


    They feature some interesting artifacts that were left, so while they are artist type things, it would be hard to sub them since most of them are done by different artists. Artist study is to focus one artist’s works long enough to learn the artist’s style. So you should do them in addition to the artist study alongside the history lessons.

    I appreciated TSTLB more for the other aspects – proof that these people really lived. They are a great way to introduce children to the types of things they will see in museums. This is where selecting one type of item to follow through the centuries in a Book of Centuries is so neat. Following the changes in ladies hats, necklaces, transportation, architecture, chairs, medical implements, whatever your child is interested in really makes history come alive.

    Architecture is so cool when you study pictures to learn the different components of it, and then recognize those same components in real building around you.

    They also can foster an interest in literature. Reading about the Trojan War suddenly becomes more interesting when you show them the pottery artifacts with the characters on them, or Agamemnon’s Mask – a real golden mask of a man’s face unearthed in one of the many layers of cities built on the site of Troy (it’s probably not his actual mask, but it was named that by the financier of that archaeological dig). The Iliad and The Odyssey suddenly take on more life and interest. Using maps to trace Aeneas’ journey through the Aeneid brings an understanding of the longing for a home and roots the displaced Trojans experienced for so many years – and the celebrations of coming home at last and the joyful work of building a new life with permanent roots. It’s not always easy and painless, but is such a worthy goal that they do not give up.

    There is enough variety in TSTLB to snag interest in most children. And I will admit they bring a welcome and needed visual component to what could seem like an endless round of verbal readings and narrations.


    We substituted these in place of artist study for one term, changing them out weekly and discussing.  It was a nice, temporary change in our routine.  We enjoyed them.


    Thank you for your comments, ladies, that’s very helpful! 🙂

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