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!

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Such a cute craft! Wow, I didn’t know some of those facts either…history is quite interesting, it’s a shame not many people are more interested in the subject.

  2. how fun! that’s a great columbus day acitvity – i don’t remember ever doing anything fun or different on columbus day

    ❤ katherineof corgis and cocktails

  3. Leto did a great job on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria! My Mom’s birthday is Columbus Day, and she used to joke that this made her quite old since it meant she was born in 1492.

    Showing God’s grace and mercy on Columbus and his crews while they were not faithful to God is a great lesson to pull from this part of history, Victoria. Nice job with your student.


    P.S. Did Columbus really land on the coasts of Central or South America? I though I read that he only landed on islands and never on the mainland of the New World.

  4. Gosh, I must have slept through the Christopher Columbus curriculum when I was in school. 😉 I just learned so much from your post! And what a cute craft! 😀

    • Glad you could learn stuff too! I remember learning slightly about his voyage in 1st grade, but definitely not to this extent. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂 History studies are very subjective! Digging, I found that he wasn’t power hungry or greedy. It takes a lot of money (gold) to fund these long voyages thus, he needed gold and searched for it. Although not a perfect man (um.. which of us are??!) He was a great hero that reached great heights in exploration. He was a terrible administrator that couldn’t govern (hence the slavery, etc. that he was removed from governing positions) but when left to his gift of exploration, he gave Glory to God. He worshipped God and not witchcraft; he was a great astronomer and used these talents to navigate. He was responsible for the evangilization of the “New World” by suggesting to Queen Isabella she send missionaries. The Canibs (where cannibalism comes from) and the Aztecs that were responsibe for over 50,000 human sacrifices per year were stopped because of Columbus’ discovery. Today we celebrate his accompishments! Bravo! 🙂

    • I didn’t say he worshiped witchcraft, but that he used his astronomy to lie to the natives there to believe he had witchery. 😉
      Thanks for the great comment!

      • Just not buying that he would want to be associated with witchcraft since that would directly oppose his faith that he was very devoted to. His journals are a beautiful testimony to his love of God. I do believe he certainly made some huge mistakes and was a real person with faults, though! Because of his errors he was denied the accolades for his amazing discoveries. Had he just remained a sailor and explorer and not insist on governing, he would’ve been better off. Perhaps this was his sin of pride taking over! Unfortunate for him, when he left others in charge when he was off exploring, the people refused to recognize the interim’s authority. Either way, those were his biggest mistakes, in my opinion. His achievements were amazing; what a courageous man! 🙂 Oh, I love your kids’ journals and crafts!! 🙂 Happy homeschooling!!

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About Victoria / Justice Pirate

Victoria. Anabaptist, Wife of Rob, Mom of two boys, minimalist, quilt maker, Resources Adviser/Social Media Manager for anti-human trafficking awareness organization Justice Network (justice-network.org).


homeschool, homeschooling


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