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D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it!!

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    D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it!!

    Please tell me why I need to push to do these......or do I? My kids are really not enjoying these at all, I see their eyes glaze over when I start reading & it seems the only way they retain anything is if I push for them to do their flashcards! And (I know, some of you will think I'm crazy), I don't enjoy them either! I remember briefly learning them in school, high school I think! We are pretty much loving everything BUT this from MP. Because of the resistance/lack of interest from my kids (& my admitted lack of love), we are way behind on them....about 4 weeks behind on Greek Myths & just stopped Norse Myths & went on to the next read a loud. Help me, please.
    Lutheran (LCMS) Mom to 4:

    2017-2018
    DD (10 yo)- MP 5th
    DD (8 yo)- MP 3rd
    DS (6 yo)- MP K
    DS (3 yo)- Just getting read to & hopefully picking up something from the olders!

    #2
    Re: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it

    Good morning!

    Gosh, it is hard to tackle a subject you just don't like and it's especially difficult when your kids don't like it, either!

    Greek myths is one you don't want to skip altogether because they are really important when it comes to understanding Greek/Roman history and literature, astronomy and Shakespeare - oh, The Bard makes so many references back to these! Most of us never learned Greek myths in school - I know I didn't. However, when we started reading Shakespeare in high school, many of his references were lost on me. It was only after I studied along with my two older kids that I was able to smack my head and say, "OOOOHHH, so THAT'S what he was talking about!". When you get to Roman and Greek history, you better understand people's motivations. When you read Homer's epics, you can go right back to your catalog of Greek gods and know their natures - you better understand why the gods - and the humans - behaved the way they did.
    They are enriching, they teach us a lot about human nature and they help us to see why Christ's timing was so spot-on. The Greeks had nailed human nature...they just hadn't gotten the "God" part down. *weary laugh*

    It is hard when you're in the forest to see the light ahead. It feels clunky to learn about a bunch of ill-behaved gods and wonder where the beauty and truth lies. It's also difficult to answer questions like, "when will we ever use this?" when you've never studied it yourself. As a parent, you have to trust the process - and this is tough to do sometimes! You're going against what you've learned and your kids' education flies in the face of what most conventional people are doing. You also have to reassure your children that this is important, both because you know that what lies ahead will rely upon a knowledge of the Greek myths and because you don't know where their own lives will take them beyond your cozy homeschool. Much better to know something than not to know it, no?


    Now, for nuts and bolts:

    I think your first step would be to figure out what about this is boring to you. Do the names seem to run together? Are the stories so far-fetched that you're having trouble following? Is the writing style not to your liking? Is history just not your thing? Know that if it bores you, your kids will pick up on that right away! Even though they don't listen to your pleas to pick up dirty socks or refrain from belching at the dinner table, they are watching you and picking up your cues. Depending on your relationship with them, you might even let them know that while this isn't your favorite subject either, it's one that is important to know. **Only do this if you can resist the temptation to wallow in despair with your kids every time you drag out the GM book!**

    Second, this may be a subject for which you'll need to model perseverance for your kids...and mask your own boredom. (This is hard but it does get easier!) "Hey guys, it's time for Greek Myths!", along with a little soft shoe. *LOL* Or, taking turns reading aloud and doing voices for the characters. Sometimes reading the lesson and then acting it out (complete with bed sheets for togas and beads wrapped around their foreheads for laurel wreath crowns) makes the task more enjoyable.

    You can also go to the Pomodoro method. Cindy Davis, math teacher at HLS Indianapolis, talks about this a lot. You can break Greek Myths into smaller chunks each day. Set a timer for 20 minutes and agree to read until the timer goes off - no complaining, no distractions, just reading. Or, if you've finished your reading for that day, set the timer for that same amount and sit working on composition questions for that week's reading until the timer goes off. The point isn't to race the timer, but to assign a specific period each day where you just work on this one thing.

    Basically, what happens is that our brains begin to associate unpleasant tasks with actual pain and the more we drag our heels and complain, the worse that task becomes. By using a timer (or by making light of the situation, as outlined above), you're short-circuiting that mechanism and diving headfirst into something that feels unpleasant...but you emerge feeling better because you've crossed that obstacle off your list. Over time, it gets a little easier and you may not need that timer anymore. You get through it and you learn something.

    Now, all that being said, can you simply make GM a read-aloud? Certainly! Not every subject needs to be studied super-in depth; however, Greek Myths is one that will come up a lot in other subjects as time goes on. My worry would be that when both mom and kids are bored out of their skulls, not much would be retained by merely reading aloud.

    One other thing...if your kids like audiobooks, this particular one is available for download on a couple of those audiobook sites (others will have to chime in - I am completely inept when it comes to technology!).
    Last edited by Mary; 11-13-2017, 09:26 AM. Reason: Punctuation. It's not just for breakfast anymore!
    Mary

    DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
    DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
    DD8 - SC level 2

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      #3
      Re: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it

      Here are two threads where this issue was discussed recently:

      https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...n-Latin-Please

      https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...2854#post62854

      Tanya

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        #4
        Re: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it

        I want to echo and support what Mary said, and specifically offer the point that many times, how we handle an early situation like this, will make later situations either easier, or harder.

        Consider what lesson your kids will learn if you shelve this right now because of your mutual dislike. You are all in agreement that you don't enjoy it, so yes, it is a unanimous decision, but there is one very important thing going on here: if you allow this to be a decision they participate in, you have lowered the amount of parental authority you have over their education, which can come back to haunt you when one of them balks at say, prealgebra or chemistry or composition. On the other hand, this can be seen as a great opportunity to strengthen your authority and their confidence in your decisions. You have the chance to teach them the lesson that there are things in life that are unpleasant but are worth it. They (and right now, you) may not be convinced of the importance of the Greek Myths, but someone with greater insight into the long-term value of this subject does know its importance and you are going to all trust that. And at the end of the day, you are the parent and will make the decisions you know to be best for them. You can thank them for their feedback, but the decision has been made that you will finish and that's that. End of discussion, and no complaining allowed.

        I hope you know I don't mean this to be harsh, but rather something that you handle with confidence, and a matter-of-fact manner. You are in the verge of having pre-teens, who are experts at creating drama. If they get the sense they can win you over early on, there will be no end to the number of times they try to get out of things they don't like. This is why I think you should handle this situation well. It is sort of like the testing you go through with a 2-3 year old. You want to nip these behaviors in the bud so that they do not become a larger problem down the road.

        So, not at all related to the importance of the Greek Myths - but hopefully a perspective that will be helpful nonetheless!

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
        DS, 16
        DD, 14
        DD, 12
        DD, 10
        DD, 7.5
        DD, 5.5
        +DS+
        DS, 18 months

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          #5
          Re: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it

          I support your decision to stop Norse Myths and move on. The read alouds should be joyful and not a duty. Norse myths are nice to know, but not nearly as foundational to Western literature as Greek Myths. It can also be confusing to do them at the same time as other myths. If your children ever want to come back to them, for example, when they are teens and want to go see an Avengers movie with Thor , they can do so then!

          Kristin

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            #6
            Re: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths & Book of Norse Myths......struggling, kids NOT liking it

            Originally posted by klwalukas View Post
            I support your decision to stop Norse Myths and move on. The read alouds should be joyful and not a duty. Norse myths are nice to know, but not nearly as foundational to Western literature as Greek Myths. It can also be confusing to do them at the same time as other myths. If your children ever want to come back to them, for example, when they are teens and want to go see an Avengers movie with Thor , they can do so then!

            Kristin
            Agree, with the caveat that what Sarah and Mary said be taken in account if dropping this read aloud. I'd make sure you don't appear to be "giving in" if you shelve it. You could just say something like- "I've decided we will do this read aloud another time, for now I'd like to try something else and come back to this." That way your parental authority remains intact... (learned this one the hard way myself with another subject)

            My kids had a few struggles with the Greek myths because of their sensitivity to the evils of worshipping false gods. They were fine with it after I explained to them that these are sort of like fairy tales to us- and how silly the behavior of these "gods" is when compared to the Living God. After that, they started to see humour and a certain absurdity in the myths, and they started to have fun laughing at some of the antics of these silly "superheroes." They crack up laughing that Pelops got "pel-opped right into the stew" and then was compensated for the trouble with... tah-dah! a new-improved ivory arm bone! Silliness and a strong appreciation for the absurd has just really, really helped us with these. I have no idea if that approach encourages appreciation of the true, the good, and the beautiful or not- I suspect our approach doesn't go deep enough, in fact- but it worked for the time being, and I hope that later when they are older we can work out some of the kinks. In fact I am now starting to explain to my older child how this was a way for a godless society to try to find Him, or to try, make sense of a shadowy and sad world that had no concept of the good news. You see the thread of their searching for Him in these stories, and there is a certain tenderness to that.
            Last edited by Girlnumber20; 11-13-2017, 01:20 PM. Reason: OCD...
            DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
            DS 10, using 5M core

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