The Olympians

September 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm (Education) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

thelightningthief__spanWe finally finished The Lightning Thief (book one of the Percy Jackson series) a week or so ago.  Man, reading that thing out loud was a bit of  a doosey and took us a whole month of before bedtime reading.  While reading Percy Jackson by night, bless his little adventurous demi-god heart, we’ve been going over our next Magic Tree House Adventure by day…

Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics

Magic Tree House Research Guide: Ancient Greece and the Olympics (which we just finished this morning over breakfast and coffee).

Also during this little stint we’ve read and re-read the Golden Books: Disney’s Hercules… over and over and over again.  And the little Grecian wanna-be has enjoyed the movie probably too many times than can be good for her little developing brain.

Hercules_DisneyThe Odyssey retold by Robin Lister is a gem, but at this point – with kiddo not even three yet – we’ve only browsed through the pictures while actually reading Gods & Goddesses in the Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks.  Kiddo is really into all this stuff and is still insisting we have her “Percules Birthday Party with three candles.”  Which is poor people code for: all the children shall wear sheets and we’ll do a laurel wreath craft and play with cardboard swords because I’m not buying decorations.  Also, it will be a good excuse to serve a lot of grapes…

All in all, tromping through this stuff now with her so little has helped me wrap my brain around the plans we have for ages 5 & 10, roughly.  Keep lots of wiggle room in mind.

Ancient Greece & Rome Lesson Plan/ List Age 5

Start Latin Lessons

Haywood pages 46-57

Black Ships Before Troy – Sutcliffe (Iliad) along with Haywood pg. 206

The Odyssey Retold by Lister

Memorize some facts about the people listed on Haywood pgs. 50-51

Haywood pgs. 108-115 (2 crafts)

Gods & Goddesses from Greek Myths

Haywood pgs. 168-175 (2 crafts)

Haywood pgs. 228-233 (2 crafts)

Haywood pgs. 342-349 (3 crafts)

Haywood pgs. 404-411 (3 crafts)

In Search of a Homeland – Lively (Aeneid)

Haywood pg. 466 + Mosaic project

Haywood pgs. 472-477 (2 crafts)

Of course I’d like to include a trip to the museum.

Relevant Magic Tree House Books: #13 Vacation Under a Volcano, RG Ancient Rome & Pompeii, and of course #16 Hour of the Olympics, RG Ancient Greece & The Olympics

Relevant Magic School Bus during any Pompeii study: #15 Voyage to the Volcano (although this title occurs in modern Hawaii, it explains in true Magic School Bus form all the inner workings of a Volcano)

Then come age 10-ish, we will start repeating the Ancient school lessons, as per our classical education plan.  We’ll re-use Haywood, do projects we may have skipped over, repeat ones she liked a lot… but add these things…

Ancient Greece & Rome Lesson Plan/ List Age 9-10

Start covering the Greek Alphabet (we hope to be pretty Latin literate by then)

Archimedes and the Door of Science

Gods & Goddesses in the Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks

The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Roman World

The Odyssey as Retold Mary Pope Osborne (to be read on her own or together as a family), the author of the Magic Tree House books.

The Percy Jackson series by Riordan

 

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Falling in love with History…

April 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

ancient bauerTitle: The History of the Ancient World

Author: Susan Wise Bauer

Publisher: Norton

Genre: History

Length: 868 pages

I enjoyed history in school, but only when it was taught by certain teachers.  I distinctly remember thoroughly loving Coach Masters, my World History teacher in high school.  In hindsight, I’m not sure if it was because he was so awesome, or because it was the first time someone actually presented me with history I could be passionate about – not just enjoy in passing.  Masters made you dive in with all you had and really learn it; it wasn’t just dates and factoids, it was people, their dreams, their loves, and their wars.

As an adult, reading history has become a little more specific.  I tend to read a lot of Ancient and Medieval history most, they are kind of my go to topics.  There is so much that was skipped over in school and it is so riveting! So naturally, when I decided to homeschool my daughter I started collecting the Susan Wise Bauer history books – they are fascinating overviews of history as well as wonderful teaching tools.

Reading Susan Wise Bauer reminds me of that history class with Coach Masters.  She gets personal.

It took me a full year to read The History of the Ancient World, mostly because I made a promise to do at a snail’s pace.  I plan to use it as a loose textbook for kiddo’s high school years and I wanted to make sure that you could pause, go read other things, and come back to it.  Is it reasonable to assign this for a year in addition to x number of other books? Yes, oh, well then lovely.

The book is wonderful and impressive.  Bauer makes history accessible and easy to understand in a world filled with dull and extensive flow charts  that will make even the most knowledgeable scholars heads spin.

My absolute favorite is a lengthy footnote on the Borg (from Star Trek) and how similar the mentality of the Borg was to a tribe of people sweeping the land in the very earliest parts of history.  ‘See?’ she practically says, ‘It’s good to be a sci-fi nerd.’

My only lament – and this may simply be a first edition issue – is that toward the end I began to find typos (I think).  There’s an amputed that should be amputated.  I honestly thought maybe it was a variance of the word I had never seen used and had to look it up.  There’s a died that should have been die.  These two things tripped me up for a second, but I found it a little refreshing.  Having just written a book myself it was good to know that someone I esteem so highly also makes errors when writing her books.

But then there was the bit that tripped me up a LOT.  During the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death there are two spellings for what I’m 99% positive is supposed to be one person.  Welcome to the great Cassander vs. Cassender dilemma…

The first time I saw this, I thought: Is there one person or two? Am I really ignorant with poor reading comprehension and these are two distinct people? There’s no way I can be the only person to find the longest running series of typos ever… But for pages on end Bauer switched from Cassander to Cassender.

If it is a typo, I get it.  In my novella I couldn’t keep my fingers from typing Lilly Hollow to save my life, when the name of my imaginary town is Lily Hollow.  It drove me absolutely crazy going through and fixing them all.  If there is a typo found in my novella post publication, I would bet money that it will be in the form of an extra L.

With Cassander and Cassender there are soooooo many times that it is written as both.  Part of me is still convinced that there is a strong possibility that I am just that dumb.  I will be seeking out a second edition just to figure it out.  The ancient world is full of mystery and excitement and long winded Chinese dynasties and Egyptians going crazy with who they marry and who they kill, but the acting king(s) of Macedonia post Alexander the Great is the guy(s?) that throws me for a loop.

All in all, though, I STILL think this is a must have in any historian’s or homeschooler’s library.  It was worth every penny and I think that this one – for once – is one I actually paid full price for at Barnes & Noble.  Bauer will remind you that there is so much to discover and be passionate about in history, because there’s just so much of it in general… you may even fall in love.

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