Saturday, July 17, 2004

Ancient history meets the Olympics

Since last fall the boys & I have slowly read our way through The Story of the World, Vol. 1: Ancient Times, by Susan Wise Bauer (see the sidebar, under Family Reading). It covers 5000 BC to 400 AD, "from the earliest nomads to the last Roman emperor."

It's a homeschooler's history survey, meants as a read-aloud for the younger set or as solo reading for independent readers. Son #1 could read it easily now, but I read it aloud. Both boys really enjoy hearing a chapter or two over afternoon snack, or whatever.


I must have had my fill of all things Egyptian in my childhood (I vaguely recall enjoying ancient Egypt), 'cause this time I got weary of reading about the Egyptians oh, about February. Son #1 had enjoyed writing in cuneiform "code" to Dad when we were reading about the early ancients. Babylon, Assyria, Sumer, ancient Africa, ancient China, etc., all fun, but Mom got tired of Egyptians. Hope I didn't let on to the kids other than sort... of... fading out of reading the book to them.

We picked up the book again at the end of the school year, and I discovered that we were done with the Egyptians in just two more chapters! Now we've read some about the Phoenicians, the return of the Babylonians and the return of the Assyrians. We're poised to read about early Crete and encounter the early Greeks, just in time for the Olympics in Athens this summer.

Over the last year and a half we've encountered the Greeks several times. A great video of the Iliad, with kids playing all of the parts. An excellent, wonderful-to-hold, series of three small books by Mary Pope Osborne that covered main episodes from The Odyssey in an early chapter-book style that Son #1 could handle before his reading turbo-chargers kicked in and surprised us all.

Thanks to a wonderful set price through the Scholastic book club, we have the following two books laying around, and they are awfully nice to read. Wonderful illustrations to great stories.
coverFavorite Greek Myths, by Mary Pope Osborne.
cover Favorite Norse Myths, by Mary Pope Osborne (Son #1 finished the Greek myths and immediately picked this up. Who am I to argue?)

I also found The Greek News at the library. It looked like great fun, and Son #1 seemed to agree. cover

Time to get into the Greeks in The Story of the World, Vol. 1, and crack the waiting library book full of photos & other visual stuff about ancient Greece.

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