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    Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false gods

    My daughter (4th grade) is very bothered by learning about Greek Myths. I've discussed with her that these are simply myths, and they are brought up time and time again in literature. It's good for her to have a basic understanding of who they are and the stories about them. She gets very emotional anytime I bring out the book, though. This is our 1st year using MP, and we're not doing the full curriculum. I thought it would be good to have her go through these lessons, though. She gets very bothered anytime we read in the Bible about people worshiping false idols, and she considers this to be similar. Any advice on how to approach this? Should I just put the book on the shelf or is it worth it to pursue these studies? I considered waiting until she's older, but I don't think that will help.

    #2
    Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

    Welcome! I see you are still very new to the forum. Glad you popped in and asked.

    What a tender heart in your daughter! That's something to be honored. I'm curious if you've talked about this with a pastor or priest? There might be something here that needs to be handled in a more delicate way that simply homeschool advice. Just a passing thought--

    For background, this is our family's third pass through Greek Myths and I teach it in our cottage school.

    As far as run of the mill homeschool advice, I can tell you this: once you start to read about Zeus and his buddies and their interactions with mortals you very quickly realize that these jokers are nothing like the one true God. The book itself is only about the gods/goddesses and not much about the mortals they interacted with. It's mostly like a single girl or a single king that comes into the stories. I like what Paul said to them in Acts 17, "I see that you are a very religious people..." and then he went on to reveal to them the gospel of Christ. Their culture was very religious, but not at all in the way that we think of faith and church and discipleship. I hear the struggle in your words to honor what is good about her objections, while still wanting to encourage her to explore this because it is really valuable. Most of bad theology comes from distorted or synthesized mythology (this is my take). When you see false gods exposed, it can help you clarify your narratives of the one true God. How many times have people said they couldn't come into a church building because they'd be struck by lightening? Um, that's Zeus you're talking about, not Jehovah. It's fascinating to me how different God himself is from everything else everyone had ever been exposed to in terms of religion and worship while still somehow being the answer to all the mysteries for which those religions had been begging for answers, Lewis' "true fairy tale." Thomas Cahill's book The Gifts of the Jews is amazing on this. Hard content to read--not for kids! G. K. Chesterton makes an important point in his book The Everlasting Man that if we set up a chart to "compare religions and religious founders" then we've already made our first mistake, comparing things as equals which cannot be compared because there is no comparison. There is no one like Jesus; there is nothing like the church. This just made me realize I think I've typed this all out before...wait....yes! Here it is: https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...de-Greek-Myths

    Maybe this thread will shed some additional light on it. You still may decide not to go there at all, or to wait. However, know that much of what is ahead of you in MP is going to be Greek and Roman mythology. This might be something you need to hit the pause button on and talk, think, pray through. Praying you know what is the right path for your family in this.
    Last edited by pickandgrin; 09-21-2017, 07:01 PM.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    DS 12th • HLN, Latin online, DE math/sci - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
    DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
    DD 7th • HLN & Home
    DS 4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, this summer: MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

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

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      #3
      Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

      Originally posted by melissabell0205 View Post
      My daughter (4th grade) is very bothered by learning about Greek Myths. I've discussed with her that these are simply myths, and they are brought up time and time again in literature. It's good for her to have a basic understanding of who they are and the stories about them. She gets very emotional anytime I bring out the book, though. This is our 1st year using MP, and we're not doing the full curriculum. I thought it would be good to have her go through these lessons, though. She gets very bothered anytime we read in the Bible about people worshiping false idols, and she considers this to be similar. Any advice on how to approach this? Should I just put the book on the shelf or is it worth it to pursue these studies? I considered waiting until she's older, but I don't think that will help.
      I don"t have any advice, but I know simply classical is delaying these stories for this reason. I wonder if Cheryl Swope might be able to shed some light on this?
      Christine

      (2022/2023)
      DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
      DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

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        #4
        Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

        Melissa,

        It is wonderful that your daughter is so cautious about wanting to adhere to what she believes already. It is truly good to know that at such a young age her faith matters to her so much. But it seems from what you have shared that one concern to hold out there - both for now and for the future - is that she does not become what we know of as "scrupulous." This can take many different forms, but in a case like this, it can be the tendency to have actual fear of learning about other faiths, learning about people who are different from you, or even reading something you know to be false. (It can also take forms where kids become overly concerned with their behavior...being very afraid of sinning, of getting overly upset by small things they do or they see others do, etc). You are right in wanting to help her be able to handle this sort of material so that she can still participate in a world that is very diverse without any sort of fear. It is true that you can simply delay, and wait for her to mature, but you also do not want to simply push off a valuable lesson that she may be capable of handling now. It is a delicate choice, and one that I will pray goes well for you!

        One suggestion I have for you is the way I approach the Greek myths with my kids, which actually brings to light for them how special the Israelite people were. What I share with them is that as the world become populated, many different peoples developed. They all had a desire for God - to know about Him, to understand the world that He created, and to try to please Him. But they were trying to figure it out completely on their own. They were using clues from nature, and from human behavior, to try to explain something that we know is so far greater than our understanding. Take something that she loves for instance - some food, like cake or muffins or something. Imagine if she ate that for the first time, but no one told her anything about how it was made. If she wanted to have more of it, she would have to figure it out on her own - what to put into it, how much of everything, how to cook it, how long, etc. Think of how long that would take her, and how confusing it would be! It would be doubtful whether she would EVER figure it out on her own. That is what it was like for the Greeks. They were going at this blind, without God's Revelation, trying to figure out what to think about Him and how to live with Him. So they made up these stories to try to do that for themselves. This is why there are little bits of some of them that actually hit on the truth - they were trying, after all. And they were a very intelligent people - they loved to figure everything out! No wonder they wanted to figure out God too.

        But God only chose one people to whom to reveal Himself - the Hebrews. They did not earn this relationship, and they did not choose it. God chose them, and He gave them what they needed to know about Himself, little by little, over many centuries. It took a long, long time for them to understand, and they messed up - A LOT! But they wrote down what they learned about God, which is why we get to know what they knew too. We don't have to wonder at what God is like, or what He likes, or what He wants, because we have the Bible to teach us. Even more, we have knowledge of His Son, Jesus, who came into the world to complete what we needed to know about God. Being included in this heritage of faith is a gift, and a privilege. We are so much better off than trying to figure it out on our own. But there are still people in our world today who try to figure it out themselves, from scratch. This is why we pray to God to be thankful for the gift of faith, and we pray for those who do not have that gift.

        I hope this helps give you some ideas of how to talk to your daughter about it. What I always try to instill in my kids is that since man is God's creature, we don't actually have a "right" to anything....everything we have, especially our gift of faith, is a gift from God. It can be helpful to read about people who do not possess that gift because we learn to treasure it even more. And being familiar with what people have thought about God from very ancient times can be helpful as she grows and begins to see traces of those beliefs in other things she reads.

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        Last edited by KF2000; 09-22-2017, 09:00 AM.
        2020-2021
        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
        DS, 17
        DD, 15
        DD, 13
        DD, 11
        DD, 9
        DD, 7
        +DS+
        DS, 2

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          #5
          Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

          Originally posted by melissabell0205 View Post
          My daughter (4th grade) is very bothered by learning about Greek Myths. I've discussed with her that these are simply myths, and they are brought up time and time again in literature. It's good for her to have a basic understanding of who they are and the stories about them. She gets very emotional anytime I bring out the book, though. This is our 1st year using MP, and we're not doing the full curriculum. I thought it would be good to have her go through these lessons, though. She gets very bothered anytime we read in the Bible about people worshiping false idols, and she considers this to be similar. Any advice on how to approach this? Should I just put the book on the shelf or is it worth it to pursue these studies? I considered waiting until she's older, but I don't think that will help.
          I'd listen to your daughter and not discuss Greek Myth at this time. I'd explained to her that she has a wonderful gift (see the gifts of the Spirit). I used a different book to go over Greek Myths as I did not feel comfortable at all discussing these myths using D'Aulaires at such young age. Also, I did not require my kids to memorize any of the names or stories. I know this is very different from other families but it seemed to work for us.
          ***Using some 6A materials for 2021-2022***

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            #6
            Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

            Originally posted by melissabell0205
            she gets angry that people would disrespect God and sad that some willingly would go against God's word.
            Does she understand that these myths come from well before the time of Christ? As others have said, the myths are attempts to explain the world without God's revelation. However, this is not because the Greeks rejected Him. Rather, these explanations were invented because God, as part of His plan, had not yet revealed himself to the Greeks. In His good time, God used Paul and others to bring the truth to the Greeks and all the Gentiles.

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              #7
              Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              Does she understand that these myths come from well before the time of Christ? As others have said, the myths are attempts to explain the world without God's revelation. However, this is not because the Greeks rejected Him. Rather, these explanations were invented because God, as part of His plan, had not yet revealed himself to the Greeks. In His good time, God used Paul and others to bring the truth to the Greeks and all the Gentiles.
              I think this is a very important point! Although He chose to reveal Himself to Israel before Christ, God used the attempts of the Greeks and other cultures to prepare the rest of the world for the Truth.
              Last edited by jen1134; 09-22-2017, 12:11 PM.
              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

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                #8
                Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                There were so many good points that I don't have much to add. I will say that Acts 17 is one of my favorite chapters. It also helps to remember that God chose the Israelite to be the keepers of faith and chose the Greeks to be the keepers of reason. Christianity brings the two together. (Stealing this from Sarah.) There is a talk by Angela Stanford with CIRCE that addresses the myths. It was very enlightening to me as a parent teaching the myths. If memory serves me right, she teaches how the myths relate to medieval fairy tales.
                Christina

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                  #9
                  Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                  Everyone has done a masterful job lending an apology for learning about Greek mythology, but I want to point out one simple thought. Many of the stories are just ugly and especially so as illustrated in that version. Some children are sensitive and may benefit from a little maturing before delving into the material. I know I am in the minority opinion in not loving D'Aulaires' version, so I thought it might be helpful to give some voice to that opinion.

                  My boys hated D'AULAIRES when we attempted back when they were in 3rd grade. Friends would tell me how their kids would devour the book on their own. Mine were not even interested, and I wouldn't have described them as very sensitive to such things. I normally wouldn't drop something because of student disinterest, but this particular time I did. I decided they were young yet and there was plenty of time to get to it. Will they have difficulty mastering the Greeks coming into the 7th core? Perhaps, but at that academic level they can breeze through the myths using D'AULAIRES or take more time in the beginning of Famous Men to master.

                  Peace in Christ,
                  Amy

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                    #10
                    Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                    Amy,

                    You are correct that if a student isn't ready for Greek Mythology at a young age, they can quickly catch up later. I would consider it necessary to have a knowledge of Greek mythology before reading The Trojan War, Iliad, Odyssey, Shakespeare,etc. But not having this knowledge in 4th or 5th grades won't necessarily be detrimental. I will say, however, that when introducing the constellations in Astronomy, it would be nice to go ahead and read the stories directly related. I think that background would make the constellations more interesting. And you could just retell them if you don't want to expose your student to the d'Aulaires book. I personally loved that book with my young children though, so I'm prejudiced toward it. You could use another source if the drawings bother you.

                    My point is that you do need that mythology background if you want to fully appreciate all the references to it in great literature and poetry. But as you pointed out, it doesn't need to be in 3rd grade.

                    Tanya

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                      #11
                      Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                      Dear Melissa,

                      One of my children had a similar reaction to the Greek Myths. He does have a developmental disorder, and Cheryl Swope's suggestion on the Simply Classical forum was to forego reading the stories for now and just memorize the flashcards for cultural literacy. That might be a possibility for now, and then you could read or listen to the audio version (if the illustrations are disturbing) of the D'Aulaires book later on.

                      Peace,
                      Catherine

                      2021-22
                      DS18, 12th
                      DS15, 9th
                      DS & DD13, 8th
                      DS9, 3rd
                      DD6, 1st
                      DS3
                      DS & DS 6 mos

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                        #12
                        Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                        It looks like I'm late to the discussion, but we had a great thread (different from the one Jessica referenced) back in 2014: https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...n-Latin-Please

                        In that thread I brought up another point that I don't think was mentioned this week: Greek mythology sheds light on the human condition. I also addressed how to use the guide to bring that particular light to your studies. I hope it helps in your discernment whether to continue studying mythology with your daughter at this time.

                        Paul
                        Paul Schaeffer
                        --
                        Academy Director
                        Memoria Press Online Academy

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Child very bothered by learning Greek Myths - does NOT want to learn about false

                          My 3rd grader (who just turned 8 in August) was at first pretty bothered by the pictures in D'Aulaires. She goes to a cottage school though so I think discussing it with others her age has helped her work through some of her concerns. I told her it was fine to cover up the pictures and not look at them if they bother her (Hey, I'm an adult and I don't really like some of them!). I think exposure to Greek myths is important as I have a very poor understanding of it and am learning I have missed out on cultural references because of it, but I think it's good to be sensitive to your child's developmental needs. You might be able to try again in 6 months or a year and it be a non-issue. Im sure you already have, but I would really talk to her and make sure it's really the false Gods issue she's concerned about. If so it may be an anxiety that she is feeling because she is being convicted of her own sin and the Gospel if she has not become a believer of Jesus yet.
                          Last edited by KariE; 09-27-2017, 05:07 PM.

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