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The Ultimate Guide to Medieval History Lessons For Your Homeschool

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

Medieval History Lessons In Your Homeschool

Why is medieval history so fascinating for children? Maybe it’s the long-ago aspect. Perhaps it’s the excitement of castles, knights, and dragons. Or maybe it’s the idea of character and chivalry embedded in well-known and loved stories passed down through the centuries. 

So much of our make-believe play, legends, and lore come from the medieval time period, making it a fascinating one to study.

While medieval alchemy isn’t real, the opportunities to turn this historical time period into “learning gold” are absolutely available to you as a homeschool parent! Grab yourself a good booklist, a toy sword, and your chalk pastels, and dive in.

Medieval History Homeschool Lessons Your Family Will Love

I always like to start our learning with literature. Stories are a gentle way to introduce time periods, people, and events. 

Begin your medieval history art lessons with a read through well-loved tales of this time period: Robin Hood, William Tell, King Arthur, fairy tales, and other classic books are all great options. 

Then, you can draw some of these literary characters and scenes and unfold the true history of the Middle Ages for your kids.

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

Robin Hood

Robin Hood is a book beloved by children and adults. We love this action-packed adventure and rooting for the underdog. Plus the story provides and excellent conversational jumping off point to talk about historical accuracy and ethical behaviors. 

Read a children’s version of this classic tale and then join Nana to draw Robin Hood in his classic green outfit with his ever-present bow and arrow! 

You can even use the Court Dress lesson to create a Maid Marian for this literature-based art lesson. 

Robin Hood homeschool lessons

Medieval Castles

Monarchies were the government of the era, so a foray into court life is definitely in order! 

Study architecture by painting a medieval castle and discussing how buildings have evolved over time. 

Cathedrals and Stained Glass

As architecture advanced during the Middle Ages, buildings became more elaborate. The church was the center of life and power for most countries in Europe, and their cathedral buildings demonstrated their importance and influence. A fascinating book to read alongside this art lesson is David MaCauley’s Cathedral

Painting stained glass windows with Nana is a colorful lesson everyone will enjoy creating and hanging on the wall. 

Illuminated Letter

Take a short detour to talk about the evolution of printed books and materials. Illuminated manuscripts are both beautiful and an important part of history! Kids can imagine how reading and learning would have been different during a time when every piece of written material was elaborately created by hand. Make the connection between the cathedral lesson and church life, and the work of monks and priests to create and preserve written materials. The Illuminated Letter video art lesson can be a jumpstart to having kids illuminate their own initials and more!

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels
Immerse yourself in even MORE history with Erin Vincent’s Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Knights, and lords, and ladies, oh my! 

Paint each of these important peoples of medieval court life and learn more about clothing, court dress, social status, and life at court.

Of course, no one is more important than the King, so be sure to take time for the Crown drawing lesson!

Court Life: Lutes, Jesters, Gardens, and Banquets

Since courtesans spent months or years at the King’s castle, entertainment was important. Lute players and jesters often entertained the wealthy lords and ladies. 

My boys love telling jokes, juggling, and in general being silly, so the Jester art lesson was the first one they wanted to draw when we started talking about medieval times! My oldest even customized his with a fancy mustache!

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

For leisure, you might walk through a medieval garden, and you could pick a bouquet to send a message to a friend or someone you liked—flowers in Medieval times held meanings of great significance, so be sure you pick the right blossoms!

A King or a Lord would often showcase their wealth by hosting extensive feasts at Banquet tables loaded with exquisite foods. Kids can learn and discuss how social status was indicated by where you were seated!

Festival Tent

If you lived in the country, you might attend a festival for your town or in the King’s honor. Festival tents would pop up for these events. You might even find Renaissance Fairs in your area that replicate these events to go along with your festival tent chalk pastel art lesson on this time period. 

festival tent

Falconer-Hawk

Sports started to become important during this time, and hunting was both practical and an exciting pastime. Falconry is a fascinating medieval sport to study and draw with Nana’s Falconer-Hawk lesson.

Dragons

Of course, where there are castles and knights, there be dragons, right? Nana’s colorful dragon art lesson is a fun and fantastical study. 

What is so great about all Nana’s chalk pastel art lessons is that although she always recommends great color combos, she encourages kids to be creative and self-select colors that appeal to them. So we ended up with a green dragon and a red one, too! I love that each of my boys got to show their personalities with this lesson!

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!
Use these medieval history lessons to give a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

Crusade Banner

Besides fighting dragons, knights often traveled on Crusades. This simple lesson can illustrate how people identified their family through heraldry and other symbols.

The Knights Templar lesson is a great companion for the Crusade Banner as well.

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

Weapons of the Middle Ages: Shield, Sword, Catapult

Pick your weapons wisely! If you are a knight in hand-to-hand combat, a sword and shield are essential. Of course the most famous sword is Excalibur, pulled from the stone. Be sure to read this story to your kids as well before or after you paint the famous sword in the stone! 

knights and crusaders

Armies often used large war machines like catapults to besiege castles and towns. After drawing a catapult with Nana, you can create your own catapult with popsicle sticks and cotton balls!

Famous People and Events

In addition to famous stories and fictional characters, medieval history contains true life people and events that kids can learn and draw. Joan of Arc is a strong female figure from this time period. The War of the Roses (remember how important those flowers were!?) art lesson explores England’s own time of civil war between rival royal families. 

Viking Life

Sometimes we limit our medieval studies to England, because so many wars, peoples and events are well-recorded from that area. But the medieval histories of northern Europe is fascinating as well! Viking life and exploration can be an entire unit study of its own. 

Draw a Viking ship and study their seafaring way of conquering and exploring new worlds.

Then draw a Viking helmet and discuss the differences between Viking warriors and knights. Comparing and contrasting civilizations creates the opportunity for deeper learning and discovery. 

viking ship art lesson

Additional Resources For Studying History In Your Homeschool

I’m sure you will find you simply have more and more questions as you study this time period. And that is exactly how true learning happens: one question leads to another, and your kids will be drawn into learning without even realizing it, because they will be so curious and fascinated by this historical time period.

For extra literature and art study, I created a Medieval to Modern Classical Morning Menu for homeschool morning time. Each month features two poems and a Picture Study work of art to study and learn more about this time period. Get a free sample here! 

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

The I Drew It Then I Knew It Medieval History art lessons in You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse membership come with a companion I Drew It Then I Knew It Guide that will help you pull together all these lessons for your kids. You will find: 

  • Calendar planners
  • Biographies
  • Book Lists
  • Fact Sheets
  • Plus Lesson Overviews

Once you see how art can help you explore all the aspects of history, you will want to study history through art all the time!

Good news! You can, because the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse Membership offers you ALL the 700+ lessons taught by Nana. In addition to this long lineup of medieval history lessons, you can study:

Each of these has an I Drew It Then I Knew It Clubhouse collection of lessons with companion workbooks. You can access all these lessons all year with your Clubhouse Membership

Homeschool Fine arts and music appreciation program for grade six has it covered. Leonardo, Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more are all planned out for you to view and discuss with your whole family. Do you want to listen to a little Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, and a few more composers during your school year? The homeschool plan is all outlined for you. You will have the freedom and flexibility to use You ARE an ARTiST Homeschool Fine Arts for your whole family and at a pace that suits your lifestyle.

Medieval and Renaissance Homeschool Fine Arts

Leonardo, Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more are all planned out for you to view and discuss with your whole family. Do you want to listen to a little Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, and a few more composers during your school year? The homeschool plan is all outlined for you. You will have the freedom and flexibility to use You ARE an ARTiST Homeschool Fine Arts for your whole family and at a pace that suits your lifestyle. Homeschool Fine arts and music appreciation program for grade six has it covered.

Even better – You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse members get 50% off all Homeschool Fine Arts titles!

Use these medieval history lessons as a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for your children in your homeschool!

I have enjoyed knowing that I can pull up an art lesson at any time for any subject or topic in history without having to worry about availability or extra expense, because the Membership includes everything! 

My boys never get tired of learning through art, because it gives their hands something to do while we learn. Not only are they gaining art skills and proficiency, but they are also adding facts and understanding as they paint away with their chalks. 

I love how Chalk Pastel video art lessons give me a multi-dimensional way to bring history into full color for my children in our homeschool.

Bonus! When the lesson is done, we have beautiful artwork to share and hang around our classroom. These visual reminders of our lessons help us review and retell our learning long after we clean the chalk off our hands. 

Medieval History Education Bundle

Julie of Happy Strong Home and Tricia of You ARE an ARTiST suggest this medieval history education bundle!

A stack of medieval books!

  • Saint George & the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
  • Classic Starts: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights
  • A Medieval Feast by Aliki
  • Tales from Shakespeare by Tina Packer
  • Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

Plus:

  • Prismacolor NuPastels color sticks, 12 count
  • Knights and Dragons TOOB Miniature Toy Figurines

And, when you enter you will receive:

  • A sample Classical Morning Menu from Julie Kieras of Happy Strong Home
  • Get Started in Chalk Pastel Art video lessons with Nana!

Giveaway closed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Julie is a teacher, writer and homeschool mom. Her blog Happy Strong Home shares encouragement for cherishing children, enjoying motherhood, and growing strong families. Discover homeschool resources, natural living tips, and family activity ideas. Julie has been featured on Million Praying Moms, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and the Melissa and Doug blog. She offers writing workshops and a “homeschool neighborhood” community to support parents in their homeschool adventures. Find Julie on Instagram to be the first to know when new workshops and community events are available. 

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Hands-On Homeschool Literature Study: Robin Hood

This homeschool literature study of Robin Hood has everything you need for engaged and hands-on learning.

The Story of Robin Hood

What do you think of when you hear the name, Robin Hood?

Like many medieval tales, the story of Robin Hood has many versions.  There are oral legends, passed down from generation to generation, a wide variety of books, and even several movies about Robin Hood.

“IN MERRY ENGLAND in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood.”  – Pyle

Robin Hood: Legend or History?

The basis of the Robin Hood story that we all know today is that a man named Robin of the Hood would steal money from travelers in the forest.  He was a remarkable shot with his bow and arrow and loved among the people.

The legend goes that he would steal from the wealthy and share that money amongst the poor.  Another common thread is an evil sheriff known as the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Robin and his companions, known as the Merry Men, would help the common people and retaliate against the corrupt sheriff.  The story takes place during the reigns of King Richard and his brother King John in England.

It is a fun legend that is action-packed for children who want adventure and includes a little romance between Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

There is much debate on the historical accuracy of the tales and the ethics of his tactics. True or not, they provide great literature, entertainment, and a peek into life in medieval times.

This homeschool literature study of Robin Hood has everything you need for engaged, enjoyable and hands-on learning.


Online Homeschool Literature Lesson: Robin Hood


Robin Hood is well known for wearing a green outfit and hood to help him better hide in the woods.  Nana has created an engaging chalk pastel lesson of Robin Hood with his bow and arrows.

This lesson is only about fifteen minutes long and is perfect for elementary through high school-age students.  As always, with Nana’s lessons, you do not need a lot of supplies, just some construction paper and chalk pastels.

This art activity is a great way to add a hands-on component to your study.  Painting Robin Hood with chalk pastels will help students make connections and remember what they have learned.  As Nana says, “I Drew It, and Then I Knew It.”

Your artists may want to continue with even more Medieval Times Homeschool Art Lessons which include a catapult, castle, court dress, dragon, knights and crusaders and much more.


More Resources for Studying Robin Hood In Your Homeschool


There are so many ways to include the story of Robin Hood throughout your homeschool curriculum. You can tie it all together to make a complete study.  In addition to Nana’s wonderful chalk pastel lesson, the You Are an Artist membership includes a lovely I Drew It Then I knew It Literature Workbook.  The workbook consists of fun facts and writing prompts to go along with your study of Robin Hood.

There are many different versions of the Robin Hood story in print.  Depending on the ages of your children, you could choose one of the shorter picture books or the more complete story by Howard Pyle (written and illustrated in 1883).

We particularly enjoyed The Story of Robin Hood by Usborne for young children and Robin Hood by Carol Heyer for elementary-aged children.  Both were available at our local library.

Robin Hood fits in well with a study of knights, the Crusades, or Medieval history in general.  Our family is adding this Robin Hood unit to our current Medieval studies with Story of the World.  However, you could also use this to start an independent medieval study.  Nana has many art lessons that would coordinate well with a medieval study!

“He has been loving our Robin Hood unit so much that he decided to make a ‘bow and arrow’ and dress up like Robin Hood!” – Dawn

Adding Hands-On Nature Study to Your Homeschool Study

You could add a bit of nature study by tying in a study of forests.  You can study the forests around you and then do a little research and compare your local forests with Sherwood Forest.  On our sister website, there is an excellent Forest course available in the Homeschool Nature Study membership that would be perfect.  You could also add more art with the lessons from the Forest Nature course for clubhouse members.

Homeschool Share has a great free Robin Hood unit study and lapbook that would be an excellent addition to your unit.  It includes literature, science, and history components.


Additional Homeschool Literature Studies


Linking literature with art and then tying in other subjects to make a complete unit study make a fun family study.

If you enjoyed Robin Hood and want to continue with more medieval history, check out the Sword and the Stone. Then pair it with Nana’s Excalibur lesson.

Another family favorite that lends itself to pairing literature with art and nature study is Charlottes Web.  We just finished that one up this fall, and it was so much fun.

Living in the south, I never know if we will have a snowfall in the winter, but Snowflake Bentley is a beautiful option for winter study.  The book and study are a great way to incorporate learning into your snow day fun.

Nana has many more art lessons combined with literature, and the I Drew It, and Then I Knew It workbook will help you with fun facts and creative writing prompts!  Be sure to check out this post on The Power of Adding Art to Your Literature for more great ideas.

Dawn is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife to Chris, and homeschool mom of four. In her spare time she loves to read, hike, and write on her blog Schoolin’ Swag. She enjoys reviewing curriculum and helping moms find the right fit for their family.

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Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Learn about Medieval times with Nana’s I Drew It Then I Knew It chalk pastel video art lessons! Medieval Times homeschool art is the perfect hands-on way to bring a bit of color and excitement to history.

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels: Learn about Medieval times with chalk pastel video art lessons! It's the perfect hands-on way to bring a bit of color and excitement to history. #medievalhistory #medievaltimes #medievaltimeshomeschool #medievaltimeshomeschoolart #medievalunitstudy #homeschoolart #chalkpastels #YouAREAnArtist

Medieval Themed Art Lessons with Chalk Pastels

Do your kiddos love dragons, and knights, and princesses? Or maybe you are studying the Medieval world this year with your history curriculum. The Middle ages were an interesting time. The Roman Empire had fallen, and smaller kingdoms were vying for control. There were Barbarian raiders, wars on faith, and the Black Death to contend with, but there were some pretty exciting inventions too! The printing press, flying buttresses in gothic architecture, eyeglasses, and knights in shining armor, to name a few!

Nana at Chalk Pastels has got you covered with oodles of Medieval times homeschool art lessons! We’ve done a few Medieval chalk pastels in the past, but she keeps adding more! All you need is a pack of construction paper, a starter set of chalk pastels, and the You Are An Artist Complete Clubhouse Membership to enjoy all that Nana has to offer!

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Medieval Castle Art Lesson

We started our Medieval unit study by gathering all of our visual encyclopedias to the table. My kiddos wanted to learn about castles. Did you know the Normans built the first castles in England? We learned quite a bit about castles, mainly how they evolved from earth and wood to thick stone walls, tall towers, and even moats!

Did you know that the largest castle in the world today by surface area is built of brick? It’s the Malbork castle in Poland and was created by the Teutonic Knights. I love learning interesting tidbits like this along with my kids!

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Medieval Dragon Homeschool Art Lesson

“There be DRAGONS in our chalk pastels!”

That’s what I declared loudly for the children. They LOVE dragons. We have ever so many books about dragons. So, it was a delightful surprise to see a dragon in our homeschool art lessons. Of course, in the Middle Ages, dragons were something to be feared, not celebrated.

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

FYI: Nana has another art course for Mythical Creatures where she has a baby dragon hatching from its egg! Just in case you have dragon enthusiasts too.

We enjoyed the Court Dress, Catapult, Stained Glass, and Robin Hood art lessons. I may have given a sword to the fair lady of the court after my daughter complained that she had no weapon. Afterward, the kids said maybe she was Maid Marian of Robin Hood’s story, and she was robbing one of the wealthy nobles of the court, ha! Maybe it was Robin Hood himself in one of his many disguises!

My daughter created her stained glass window to look like a rose which I thought was pretty creative. Then we talked about the rose window in the Chartres Cathedral in France and their techniques to create the stained glass windows of the Middle ages. If you haven’t heard of the rose window before, be sure to look it up. It is beautiful!

Catapult Art Lesson for Homeschool

We would randomly yell, “CAT-A-PULT!” as if we were commanding an army of soldiers about to attack a castle keep while drawing our catapults. Then, we’d laugh at our silliness. Seriously folks, who yells, “CAT-A-PULT!” at the kitchen table while doing art? My kiddos and I do!

FYI, there are four types of catapults:

  • trebuchet
  • mangonel
  • onager
  • ballista

You ARE AN Artist Complete Clubhouse Membership for Your Homeschool

There are so many fun history art lessons to explore. With the You ARE AN Artist Complete Clubhouse Membership, you’ll have access to 700+ video art lessons, including these Medieval Times Homeschool lessons plus Knights and Crusaders lessons:

  • Dragon
  • Stained glass
  • Cathedral
  • Viking ship
  • Viking helmet
  • Castle
  • Catapult
  • Lute
  • Jester
  • Crown
  • Court dress
  • Illuminated letter
  • Medieval garden
  • Crusade banner
  • Robin Hood
  • Knight
  • Banquet table
  • Shield
  • Falconer-Hawk
  • Excalibur in the stone
  • Festival tent
  • War of roses
  • Joan of Arc

With the Complete Clubhouse Membership, you’ll also get the Companion I Drew It Then I Knew It Workbooks. These workbooks are perfect for adding layers of extra learning to your homeschool art studies.

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Expand your history studies and make them come alive with Nana’s chalk pastel homeschool art lessons! Art is the perfect way to encourage hands-on learning and exploration through time. Engage your children with color, lines, and form as they recreate these periods of the past. Medieval history is just one of the four eras you can study with chalk pastels! Nana also has courses for:

We had lots of fun with these Middle Ages history art lessons. Letting the kids be silly or adding their unique twist to a drawing is where the magic happens. Remember, they are learning even when yelling “CAT-A-PULT” at the kitchen table.

Medieval Times Homeschool Art with Chalk Pastels

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.