Christy, aren't you a fan of N. T. Wright? How do you not have Creation Renewed in your list? Sorry - I read Surprised by Hope a few months ago, so I got the message of New Creation drilled in me pretty well.
I'm sorry I didn't chime in on this in time to give you any helpful advice, but I think you and your daughter handled the matter really well. Even if one classmate took a step towards understanding that the historical and cultural setting are important to comprehending the text and that the point of the story is to teach about God and God's ways, and not necessarily to give a "play by play" account of an event in ancient history, I'd consider that a success.
Well, as a kindred-spirit nerd I'll tell you that I count studying maps together as father-son bonding time!