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Getting started: geography & classical studies

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    Getting started: geography & classical studies

    I’m new to Memoria Press and I’m trying to decide where to start, particularly with my boys who will be entering grade 6 and grade 7. We have used Sonlight history and literature in the past and I hope to continue this. What I’m interested in is giving them a better handle on geography and opening the door for them to classical and Christian studies. Should I start them both in geography 1? Would this increase the workload too much for the 7th grader? I plan to use the whole MP curriculum aside from the history. I ask because I notice that geography is not scheduled for the 7th grade curriculum.
    I was also wondering if I should start the classical studies at grade level, or do I need to back up at all?

    Hello, and welcome!

    Geography I would be a nice addition to 7th grade. If you have already done an American history survey in grammar school, you could actually skip the Guerber study in 7th grade and do geography instead. If you need the American studies program, it will be a lot to add a geography program on top of the full MP 7th grade though until you and your students are used to the rigor of our curriculum. So in that case, I would just wait for Geography 3 in 8th grade, which will cover the world. For the 6th grader, I would switch out and do Geography I instead of II because Geog I is the areas of the world we study most in classical and Christian studies, so it goes along nicely.

    As far as other subjects go, you would need First Form Latin instead of Third Form, the Fable Stage in Classical Composition instead of the Chreia/Maxim, and either English Grammar Recitation I or II instead of EGR IV. And for Christian Studies, you might want to switch out Christian Studies IV to do CS III (which is the New Testament) so that both students can do it together. For classical studies, the Famous Men of Greece set is a good choice. We are preparing students to read Homer the next year, so Greek history is a nice prelude to that. The Trojan War is also in preparation for Homer.

    If you want your 6th and 7th graders to do classical studies together, that would be fine. If your 6th grader is a good academic student, reading Homer in 7th grade may be fine. But your other option would be a slower pace, letting both students do Famous Men of the Middle Ages this year and Greece the following year, so that they would be reading Homer in 8th-9th grades. That is a perfectly fine plan.

    The other thing I want to note is that if your students haven't studied Greek mythology, they would want to read through D'Aulaires' Greek Myths this summer. A knowledge of mythology is necessary for Homer and will enrich their reading of great literature throughout their lives (Shakespeare, Vergil, etc.).

    When you get ready to order, we have CSRs available to help you subject by subject to get the exact books you need. Just give us a call. But your students are close enough in age that you should be able to keep them together in Latin, classical, and Christian studies (and Classical Composition if you are interested in that).