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    Teaching Greek Myths and Geography

    I posted this in the Cottage School forum, but I'm hoping someone here has done this at home or in a co-op and can advise me. I am starting a 2 year classical program for middle school students, grades 5-8. My one concern is I will only have 30 minutes of class time per subject, once a week.

    I will be using MP to teach Greek Myths and Geography. Since the Greek Myths guide is written for third graders, I'd appreciate your thoughts on modifying it for older children, or if that's even necessary, considering my limited time. Please critique my plan:
    • At home, students will do the assigned reading, a written narration after the reading, comprehension q's, and memorize flashcards.
    • In class, we discuss comprehension questions and as many activities as we have time for.
    For Geography, I would like to use Geography III. Except for my daughter, none of these students have completed Geography I and II. Will they have difficulties? I will be spreading this level out over the 2 year program, so we can take our time, but I'm trying to plan what that will look like. Any advice on that? I have not seen Geography III in person, but it's on its way. Any advice on these is very appreciated. Thank you for reading!
    Rose
    DD1 - 16 (11th grade, Great Books student + dual enrollment)
    DD2 - 10 (MP 4A)
    DS - 2 (MP Preschool)

    #2
    I've taught Greek Myths in a small school and at home. I would not change anything for older kids. I think the course is very rich and demanding for 3rd graders and would be plenty for middle school. I like your plan, but I would suggest reading the following week's selection in class. The selections are not super long, and the language is so beautiful that I think it would be time well-spent to read it together, perhaps taking turns by paragraph. That way students practice their oral reading skills and also hear the teacher model good reading aloud. It also ensures that they heard and understood before completing questions at home. So perhaps you spend 20 minutes on discussion and activities and 10 minutes reading the next story.

    I also taught Geography III in a small school to a couple of kids. It would help to have prior geography knowledge, but this course starts again from the beginning and covers everything, so it's not necessary. Spreading the course over 2 years sounds very doable. Just plan out which countries you will need to cover each week. Students could do reading and workbook at home, with class time spent checking maps, discussing questions from the study guide, and completing quizzes and tests.
    Amy

    Fall 2022:
    DS 14 9th
    DD 12 7th
    DS 10 5th
    DD 7 2nd
    DS 5 K
    DS 2

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      #3
      Just adding that my 7th grader is currently doing Greek Myths as written and it is his favorite subject! He enjoys seeing all the cultural connections and how other authors (C.S. Lewis, Tolkien) have been influenced and inspired by mythology.
      DS 8th grade
      DD 6th grade
      DD 4th grade
      DS 2nd grade
      *Starting HLS Anderson Cottage School

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        #4
        Thank you for this advice, Amy! You're right, Greek Myths is pretty rich. I would love to read the selection in class, but I'm worried we'll run out of time for discussion and activities. When my third grader and I went through it, we spent 40 minutes or so on everything. She had a lot of questions. I wonder how you structured your time in a group setting, or perhaps you had more than I will have.

        Maybe we could read the selection together, do a few of the discussion orally, and a few of the activities. Perhaps they will need to do the vocab at home before class. Homework could be the remainder of the discussion questions, the remainder of the activities, vocab for the next lesson, and flashcards.

        I appreciate your help while I brainstorm!

        Originally posted by smithamykat View Post
        I've taught Greek Myths in a small school and at home. I would not change anything for older kids. I think the course is very rich and demanding for 3rd graders and would be plenty for middle school. I like your plan, but I would suggest reading the following week's selection in class. The selections are not super long, and the language is so beautiful that I think it would be time well-spent to read it together, perhaps taking turns by paragraph. That way students practice their oral reading skills and also hear the teacher model good reading aloud. It also ensures that they heard and understood before completing questions at home. So perhaps you spend 20 minutes on discussion and activities and 10 minutes reading the next story.

        I also taught Geography III in a small school to a couple of kids. It would help to have prior geography knowledge, but this course starts again from the beginning and covers everything, so it's not necessary. Spreading the course over 2 years sounds very doable. Just plan out which countries you will need to cover each week. Students could do reading and workbook at home, with class time spent checking maps, discussing questions from the study guide, and completing quizzes and tests.


        Rose
        DD1 - 16 (11th grade, Great Books student + dual enrollment)
        DD2 - 10 (MP 4A)
        DS - 2 (MP Preschool)

        Comment


          #5
          I appreciate this insight, Molly! I didn't think about older students making more connections, and how our discussions may be more insightful at this age.

          Originally posted by Molly in SC View Post
          Just adding that my 7th grader is currently doing Greek Myths as written and it is his favorite subject! He enjoys seeing all the cultural connections and how other authors (C.S. Lewis, Tolkien) have been influenced and inspired by mythology.


          Rose
          DD1 - 16 (11th grade, Great Books student + dual enrollment)
          DD2 - 10 (MP 4A)
          DS - 2 (MP Preschool)

          Comment


            #6
            When I taught Myths at a small co-op, we had about 30-45 minutes. We discussed the vocabulary and did the reading during class time. I can't remember if we did the questions in class or at home, but we only wrote the vocabulary and questions that would appear on quizzes/tests, plus one or two more that I felt were important. The extra ones kept the kids from knowing exactly what would be on the tests.

            Knowing what I know now, I would have opened with a flashcard and vocabulary drill.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            2022
            DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
            DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
            DS15: MP, MPOA
            DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
            DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
            DD10: SC3
            DD7: MPK

            Comment


              #7
              Yes! Knowing those flashcards at the end of the year is an excellent goal! To speed up the in-class reading, the teacher can read the selection instead of the students. This is a big time saver and if the students are already reading in other classes it is not necessarily that they read aloud in every single class.
              ​​​​
              I agree on only writing in the vocab and questions from the test if time is short together. The rest can be discussed out loud.
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
              DS Hillsdale College freshman
              DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
              DD 8th • HLN & Home
              DS 5th • HLN & Home
              Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

              Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Arrowmama View Post
                Thank you for this advice, Amy! You're right, Greek Myths is pretty rich. I would love to read the selection in class, but I'm worried we'll run out of time for discussion and activities. When my third grader and I went through it, we spent 40 minutes or so on everything. She had a lot of questions. I wonder how you structured your time in a group setting, or perhaps you had more than I will have.

                Maybe we could read the selection together, do a few of the discussion orally, and a few of the activities. Perhaps they will need to do the vocab at home before class. Homework could be the remainder of the discussion questions, the remainder of the activities, vocab for the next lesson, and flashcards.

                I appreciate your help while I brainstorm!


                Yes, we did have more time than you will have. It was a full time school, and we spent about an hour, twice a week. You have lots of good suggestions on this thread. I think you'll probably pick a good plan for your available time, and then when you get into it, you may decide to spend more time on discussion, or vocab, or flashcards, and need to adjust the other time spent. It's okay to adapt it to your circumstances!
                Amy

                Fall 2022:
                DS 14 9th
                DD 12 7th
                DS 10 5th
                DD 7 2nd
                DS 5 K
                DS 2

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