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    Teaching Greek Myths and Geography

    Hello! I am starting a cottage school this fall. It is a 2 year classical program for middle school students, grades 5-8. There is a wonderful Great Books tutorial for high schoolers in our area (my eldest attends), and we hope to prep our middle schoolers for that program. We have accepted 10 students so far, and surprisingly have 17 interested parents signed up for our info meeting this week! It's exciting, but we are still planning our days and I need advice. A concern is that I will only have 30 minutes of class time per subject, once a week. I read through almost every post in this forum and most of you have much longer class times. ?

    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.

    I am cross posting this in the K-8 forum, in hopes someone has done this and has insight. Any advice is appreciated! Thank you for reading!
    Last edited by Arrowmama; 05-06-2021, 01:54 AM.
    Rose
    DD1 - 16 (11th grade, Great Books student + dual enrollment)
    DD2 - 10 (MP 4A)
    DS - 2 (MP Preschool)

    #2
    What a great idea to build a bridge into an existing program!

    For Greek Myths, I like your plan for all outside prep and then use class time for discussion of comp questions, flashcard drill, and so forth. That should be really enjoyable. I would recommend dropping the written narration as that's basically the function of the student guide questions. You could instead emphasize high quality wrtitten work in the guides. I would have them bring their work and lay it out at the beginning so you can see it each week for accountability. Two minutes spent looking at student books is a very good use of your time. Since they are older, you can emphasize their use of textual support and specific examples in class discussion. Don't just answer, show me where you are getting your answer. This is great high school prep. Will you be doing Greek Myths over two years or 1? If you've not already, I recommend reading Ovid's Metamorphosis to give you some more backstory info. It's very accessible! I taught Greek Myths for three years and countinue to reap a rich reward from soaking up those foundational classical stories. I'm excited for you.

    I think you'll need to see Geo III first before deciding. It's very thorough and we only do it on a cursory manner in my homeschool because we have other subjects taking up a lot of time. Your time might be better spent on Geo I & II if most of the kids haven't had it. I think you'll know more when you see it.

    Can you share more about what you plan to teach to which grades overall? It's very important that the workload be doable for students (and teachers!) so that everyone didn't get overwhelmed.

    Anything you spread out over 2 years will need to have a plan to onramp any new students in the second year that have missed the first year, in the event that happens.

    Where will you be located? Are you coming to Louisville this summer? Best wishes on your endeavor and teaching!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
    10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
    7th • HLN & Home
    4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much for your response, Jessica! It packed with so much wisdom that I needed time to research! I have ordered Metamorphosis and will read it this summer. I appreciate the suggestion to use it! We are doing Greek Myths the first year and Famous Men of Greece in year 2. I like the idea of focusing on high quality work for the guides, including textual support.

      Geo III just arrived. I love the Robinson Map project and definitely want to use it. I see what you're saying about it being thorough! With so much review worked in, I would need to cut a lot, maybe too much. if I focus on Geo I and II, it would benefit most of the students who have not worked on this foundational knowledge. Would it be odd to start with Geo II in year 1 and do Geo I in year 2? I want to make my lessons feel fresh and adventurous, and I know several of my students have had a good amount of exposure to geography of Europe and North America at this point. Studying Africa, Asia and the other Geo II countries may be new to most. I plan to play world music from the country while I display color travel photos from the projector (5min), read the Geo text (5 min) and perhaps a short literature selection with rich description of some aspect of the physical or cultural environment (5 min). We will incorporate current events, so one student will share a brief paragraph of an event occurring in the country we are studying (3min). Students would then practice their Robinson maps for the remainder of class time (at least 10min). For homework, they will complete their workbook, find a current event for the next country and write a summary to share, and complete their Robinson map. Thoughts?

      Our subjects:

      Intro to Latin (year 1), Intro to Greek (year 2) - using Latin and Greek for Kids from CAP
      Survey of World History - Notgrass from Adam to Us over 2 years
      World Geography - Geo I and II over 2 years
      Literature - 1 novel per month with homework being a written narration and in class being a guided discussion using lit guides.
      Composition - year 1 will only focus on writing paragraphs very well, year 2 will be complete papers, narratives, etc.
      Classical studies: Greek Myths (year 1) and Famous Men of Greece (year 2) using MP curriculum pretty much as written

      We will also have short periods for Christian character studies, logic games and singing hymns from Lingua Angelica - no homework for these. We have chosen not to teach grammar, math or science, but have a list of suggestions for parents.

      I will teacher Geo, Lit and Classical studies, and my partner will teach languages, history and composition. While one of us is teaching, the other will help check homework, assist students, etc, and prep for their next period.

      New students in year 2 could jump right into year 2. The only 2 year courses are history and geography, and we could recommended parents work in it over the summer. Open to suggestions!

      We are located in just north of San Diego in CA. I was planning to go to Louisville this summer, but it didn't work out, so I am going to be there virtually for teacher training!

      Thank you for your well wishes! We had 22 parents at our info meeting and as of now we have accepted 24 students. Today is our deadline to apply, and I'm actually praying everyone who wants to join already has applied so our numbers will be just right. We wanted to cap our class at 24, so this would be an answer to my very specific prayer. We're very excited!

      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
      What a great idea to build a bridge into an existing program!

      For Greek Myths, I like your plan for all outside prep and then use class time for discussion of comp questions, flashcard drill, and so forth. That should be really enjoyable. I would recommend dropping the written narration as that's basically the function of the student guide questions. You could instead emphasize high quality wrtitten work in the guides. I would have them bring their work and lay it out at the beginning so you can see it each week for accountability. Two minutes spent looking at student books is a very good use of your time. Since they are older, you can emphasize their use of textual support and specific examples in class discussion. Don't just answer, show me where you are getting your answer. This is great high school prep. Will you be doing Greek Myths over two years or 1? If you've not already, I recommend reading Ovid's Metamorphosis to give you some more backstory info. It's very accessible! I taught Greek Myths for three years and countinue to reap a rich reward from soaking up those foundational classical stories. I'm excited for you.

      I think you'll need to see Geo III first before deciding. It's very thorough and we only do it on a cursory manner in my homeschool because we have other subjects taking up a lot of time. Your time might be better spent on Geo I & II if most of the kids haven't had it. I think you'll know more when you see it.

      Can you share more about what you plan to teach to which grades overall? It's very important that the workload be doable for students (and teachers!) so that everyone didn't get overwhelmed.

      Anything you spread out over 2 years will need to have a plan to onramp any new students in the second year that have missed the first year, in the event that happens.

      Where will you be located? Are you coming to Louisville this summer? Best wishes on your endeavor and teaching!
      Rose
      DD1 - 16 (11th grade, Great Books student + dual enrollment)
      DD2 - 10 (MP 4A)
      DS - 2 (MP Preschool)

      Comment


        #4
        Your plans sound very exciting! I wish we had someone like you here in our area. Best of luck on such a wonderful endeavor!

        Comment


          #5
          Rose,
          I forgot about your post until JL just bumped it. Sorry I never responded! I don't really have any tips for Geo III in your setting since we do not teach it at HLN. Overall though, my advice on everything is to begin gradually and then adjust/add as you go. Starting everything from a full stop is tough, and the pace you've outlined for a few things (like one novel per month) is very robust. My advice to others is always to do less overall, or do things more slowly, but do what you do to a high standard. You can always add more later if there's margin.
          I wish you all the best and will be joining you in spirit as you join in virtually! Maybe you will see the back of my head in a classroom. Ha!
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
          12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
          10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
          7th • HLN & Home
          4th • HLN & Home
          Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

          Comment

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