I never respected or liked Christopher Columbus. I used to just feel anger at him because of the slavery that took place after he landed in portions of Central and South America. I blamed him for it. However, the great thing about teaching homeschool, is that I have the ability to learn some things too. During history lessons, we recently studied Leif Erikson and Christopher Columbus and the discoveries they made and their struggles and love for God. While going over each study I found myself learning things I had no clue about.
The great thing about Leto’s Christopher Columbus curriculum, was that the study didn’t make everything sound like peaches and cream. They were blunt that Columbus was power hungry and greedy; longing for riches and to make a name for himself. The whole time though he wanted to preach the gospel to the natives and treat them well but his crew was not kind and were greedy as well in every way and wanted to do whatever they could to get what they wanted (including harming Columbus at one point by chaining him up and sending him away to Europe). His crew were the ones who were the slave drivers, not him, and he did try to stop them from mistreating others, but once the crew saw gold, they only listened to their own sin nature of selfish desire.
Columbus didn’t spread the gospel at all and even lied to the people of Jamaica on a voyage so he could get what he could by making himself to be a man of witchery in some form (by knowing astronomy so well that he told them the moon would disappear so the natives there would feed him and his crew until they received help from Cuba, where they had other crew-men living. It was just an eclipse, but only he knew that). They ended the whole study with how bitter Columbus had become because he didn’t receive credit for sailing so far in the Atlantic Ocean and people didn’t care about his adventures. It proved he was prideful and wanting not to please God at all, but himself.
Throughout the study, Leto learned about how we all fail from time to time, about how we need to not glorify ourselves but our God, and how God really did help Columbus at various times and was protecting him, regardless of how he acted.
The study of Columbus took a couple of weeks, and after it all we listened to the story of Columbus again on a CD while doing a craft. Leto also had to spend two days working on an oral report to give to us on Columbus’ life.
Here is the craft we made found on pinterest. Instead of toothpicks I used Popsicle sticks that I broke/cut. Toothpicks would be better, but it was a cute craft for my first grader!