Read-Alouds - How are Iliad & Odyssey handled?

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kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Read-Alouds - How are Iliad & Odyssey handled?

Unread post by kellybell » Sun May 13, 2007 12:41 am

Michelle Jaeger wrote:How are the read-alouds in CTG- the Iliad and the Odyssey - handled in light of God's Word?
Thanks again,
Michelle Jaeger
While MFW uses secular books for some of their read alouds, it's tempered with strong Bible and I also trust that Christian parents aren't simply reading but stopping to discuss the underlying things. When we read secular works (I believe that The CHildren's Homer was secular) I often will refer the kids to Proverbs, or will ask "what would a Christian response to this situation be?" or "Can you see how his desire for fame (or wealth or whatever) has led to this problem?" I've yet to find a MFW-recommended read aloud that wasn't full of lessons.

Hth
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun May 13, 2007 12:08 pm

Michelle,
Kelly definitely covered a lot of ground already. As for the Children's Homer, I had a couple more thoughts on that:

* MFW does not introduce that until children have already been praying for the people groups who do not know God for at least a year and a half.

* MFW does not introduce Homer until you have read through most of the Old Testament and have seen the real God and his efforts towards mankind. By this time, the silly Greek gods don't seem like anything more than fables.

* Homer is important to learn. I recently listened to a tape by Carol Seid, a local speaker. She said that if your children don't know Homer, then they don't know the source of the name of their shoe company, car company, names of cities, streets, months, planets, or so many things that surround them. Without a background in Homer, they won't understand famous sayings, from "Pandora's box" to "Achilles' heel." She even mentioned several Biblical stories that referred to Homer & Aesop, because Jesus & the disciples were familiar with them, as were the folks whom they were teaching -- I have been meaning to look more into that in the future.

* I also appreciated the step-up in literature level being added to the program on occasion. Children today read such simplistic literature compared to when I was a child (speaking as a grandma now :o)

Well that was longer than I planned :o)
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Sun May 13, 2007 12:35 pm

I wanted to give my own flavor on it a bit here. agreeing with the others..

I found that this book, The Children's Homer, helped us to see the historical and cultural impact of these stories and how it tied in with the history and culture of God's people. I remember reading parts of it and then jumping to Acts 19 where Paul was in Athens. He had to know this stuff about the Greek values or he would have missed an opportunity to share the Gospel. (you have many statues here.... even one to an unknown God. Now I'll make Him known.)

Also, I can remember things from Children's Homer that made us have these "ah ha" moments while reading scripture. It helped us to understand the other cultures in the Bible. We had one of those ah ha! moments while reading Jonah. Just why in the world would those sailors think that tossing Jonah overboard would have some affect on the storm? Well, knowing that those sailors shared a "faith value system" based on things the Greeks believed, it all made sense.

So, maybe the question is bigger. How do we read anything in light of God's word --- even newspapers or blog spots or message boards? In their proper context and timing. You do not simply hand the materials to your children. You teach and walk and talk with your children in these younger years.

MFW doesn't teach Egypt and Greek stuff by themselves. MFW starts with Creation. You learn Egypt and Greece because they affected God's people and had importance in the Bible. In CTG we have the time to be able to learn more about the 10 plagues and how it was related to the false gods that Egypt worshipped. It's not the other way around. You don't learn about Egypt and then hear about some guys named Joseph and Moses. You learn about Joseph and Moses and how they went to Egypt.

If you end up reading that book with your younger kids, it's okay for mom and dad to read ahead and summarize the chapter as you go along. I had to do that.

In MFW, you don't start your chronological history cycle with CTG. This program comes later in the cycle after years of building a foundation on truth. Older children will filter it down for younger siblings by saying things like "that can't be real." It works out.

--crystal

Michelle Jaeger
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 8:02 pm

Thank you!

Unread post by Michelle Jaeger » Sun May 13, 2007 9:19 pm

I just wanted to commend all of you moms. You are ministering to other moms' needs and concerns so well, as you have mine. You take the time and truly answer questions as best you can, even if it takes a whole page. Your answers are very honest, informative and encouraging. It shows how much you love your ministry. Thank you so much for your time and energy! I will be back with more questions... us newbies have a lot of them.
Sincerely in Christ,
Michelle Jaeger

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Sun May 13, 2007 9:51 pm

Julie and Crystal,

So well put about Homer, etc. Thanks. You covered a lot that I wasn't even thinking about.

You know, working through ECC and CTG has been a great introduction to some important concepts. One concept is that either you have God or you have a huge void and people do some pretty wild stuff to fill that void.

This year, the kids simply loved the pre-Christian Viking stories. We had fun cooking "Viking Fish" and making "Viking Stew" (no, it's not in RTR TM but it was one of my crazy add-ons) and reading about Vikings and their culture. We discussed how they lacked morals and they pillaged and stole and burned down. That's how people that don't know Christ often act. As we were enjoying reading about the Vikings, we read a fun book on Norse mythology including their story of creation, etc. The kids could see that the stories were really wild and they were amused by them. They were sad, though, when I explained that people believed these myths and prayed to these "gods." It was just another example of how folks have this void and invent ways to fill the void.

Fast forward to 2007. Today we had a bbq party at the house of a family from our adult Sunday School class. The kids know many but not all of the people in our SS class, which is really an eclectic group including missionsaries, families, grandparents, singles, etc. Anyway, one of the more interesting people is this guy who has some tattoos, a funny haircut, and these tall black boots. He's about 25 years old or so. He grew up in a Satanist family (really!) and is now a Christian. The kids later asked (after the party) who that guy was and we explained how he lived a terrible life until he was saved. He now has a great ministry witnessing to the crowd of people he used to hang out with before his conversion. Here's another example of how only Christ can fill that void. And, due to our homeschooling and the conversations we have had, the "moral of thes story" is that Christ is able to change anyone and that everyone hungers for Him although not everyone recognizes what that hunger is. My kids can understand that.

I am rambling again.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Tue May 15, 2007 10:30 am

Hi Michelle and all,

I totally agree with what has been said so far.

I have come to realize since we have read Homer that it is his stories that give us the greatest insight into the Greek culture. In a since it is like the "bible" of the Greeks, it gives a good understanding of how they viewed their world and how that effected their choices. Also my high schooler next year will read the entire old testament, and the entire works of The Iliad and The Odyssey. I think it will help that it is not the first time she has heard the story. She already knows the basic story so this will help her as she goes deeper. These books will be read in light of the O.T. and compare the world view of Homer and the Greeks to that of the bible. This is teaching to always look at whatever you read in light of God's word.

I hope this helps you Michelle as you keep looking. I think it is great that you are asking these questions because you want to know what to expect ahead of time.

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

CTG Homer?

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:07 pm

gratitude wrote:Thinking ahead again! So I am not all concerned about the way Marie might use or present Homer in CTG. I know enough of her Teacher manuals to trust that it will be done in a Biblical and Godly way. I also realize BIble is the spine for CTG, which brings even less concern.

Thus, my question on Homer is more along the lines of why even do Homer? What are the educational benefits of Homer? I will admit this is a book I have never personally read. So I find myself wondering why we would read a book whose purpose is to convey the faith and gods of the Greek gods for their culture 3,000 plus years ago. And are gods that I don't myself believe in or worship. (I really hope the tone of this came across well on the computer. I am not questioning the Hazels choice, so much as wondering: Why ? )

:)
Hi, Carin -
I'll confess: We're doing CTG this year, and ... um ... we skipped Homer. :~ Even so, our dd's knowledge and understanding of Greek history and culture is out of this world!! We love studying Archimedes. The information on Greece is so fascinating, indepth, and rich: Athens, Sparta, the Mycenaean and Dorian influences, Ionia ... We love it!

But we're not doing Homer. And I think it's fine. :) (Still, I'm SO glad to know that the "curriculum police" do not really exist...Whew! :-) )

Melissa B.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

cbollin

Re: CTG Homer?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:45 am

and agreeing with Melissa... it's ok not to use it. for any reason! and you're still a real mfw homeschooler if you don't! or if you do. curriculum police... LOL hee hee heee... want some cookies? LOL

Marie posted briefly on this once
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=548

and Bret's high school post
He posted on high school level, not ctg...
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 564#p57564

and a few more since this is a commonly asked question and topic and maybe some of what was written previously would help someone today
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7621

I know I wrote something on that last linked thread.. but
I know why I do it or maybe just how it turned out for me. It's nice to have a book that ties into the culture/way of living/thinking/major influences or some other kind of cool connection to what we are studying in history at the time. in CTG, we of course get to read and study the Old Testament and it's the main spine. The Israelites lived among a lot of other cultures. The Greeks had a really big influence on a lot of people and that influence extends even today to our culture. So, a book like The Children's Homer - helps to add to the unit study feel that way without being too icky. My children liked the adventure. I liked an audio version so I didnt' have to read all them there big words. turned audio on, put book in front of middle gal... oldest had her crocheting... youngest - eh... she was in the other room dancing to the wiggles or something. this was before we let her cook on her own obviously.

for me it had that unit study read aloud feel - to help understand a war that took place, how legends are carried forth. The book steps it up a notch or two in terms of read aloud level. That was good academically for us. It's a story originally written during the history time we are studying. so it's not a 21st century writer creating a story. so that's part of the academic part of it.


anyway.. Carin, I know you're looking ahead ahead. not just next year. one of the good things about CTG? is that is comes after ECC where you have spent a year studying about other people and praying for them to know and love Jesus.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: CTG Homer?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:46 am

Most excellent answer, Crystal. (And good alternative, Melissa.)

You know, I don't think of Homer as being "about" the Greek gods. I wish I was home to pick the Children's Homer up off my shelves and double-check that version, but my son read that in 4th, read the Sutcliff versions in about 7th, and of course the real thing in 9th with AHL. And to me, it's several things but I' m pretty sure I wouldn't classify it as a book about gods.

I do see it as a history book, with the traditional tales of Greece (and the Trojan War led directly to the founding of Rome, according to these traditions). I know it's not certain, but personally I suspect the Trojan War was a true event. And the descriptions of historical events are always going to be interwoven with worldview - from views on religious things to views on heroism.

I also see it as a literature book. It's set in a historical time period, but it tells a story, and especially in the original version, it tells it in a "historical way" (a very long poem, read aloud). The Children's Homer version starts with the part that I think is very funny - Odysseus's wife has a house full of suitors who want to take over since he's been gone for 20 years! Some of the fantastical events on Odysseus's way home read more like a story than like any kind of theology.

And, I see it as an apologetics. I think each of us called to teach and shelter and expose our children according to their needs. But I grew up being told what to believe, so I was very vulnerable to other people who told me to believe other things. So I wanted to raise my children by saying, here, this is what we believe, it's all here, open The Book and know. And here, this is what their heroes behave like, what their hope is. Open it up (well, the children's stories at this point) and compare. You will not need to spend much time wondering which is true. You will not be deceived when college mates tell you that all beliefs are the same, that all ancient stories cover the same things, or that others are better.

P.S. I was writing my own little study for my high schoolers on how these Greek/Roman beliefs are all around us *today* --and I was astounded at how these references are woven in and out of the names of our cars, our planets, our geographical names. I ended up feeling even more strongly that just as Paul knew the Greek beliefs, we also can benefit, even today, from understanding what those names represent in our world.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: CTG Homer?

Unread post by MelissaM » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:33 pm

Carin, if you have the talk "What 21st Century Christians Should Teach Their Children," David Hazell answers this exact question. I can't remember exactly what he said, and I don't want to misquote him, but I remember thinking of you when I heard it - and also thinking, oh right, THAT makes sense. Anyway, if I can pull out the exact quote I'll put it up, but otherwise, I highly recommend that talk anyway, lots of excellent stuff in there.

:)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: CTG Homer?

Unread post by gratitude » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:00 pm

cbollin wrote: It's nice to have a book that ties into the culture/way of living/thinking/major influences or some other kind of cool connection to what we are studying in history at the time. in CTG, we of course get to read and study the Old Testament and it's the main spine. The Israelites lived among a lot of other cultures. The Greeks had a really big influence on a lot of people and that influence extends even today to our culture. So, a book like The Children's Homer - helps to add to the unit study feel that way without being too icky. My children liked the adventure.

for me it had that unit study read aloud feel - to help understand a war that took place, how legends are carried forth. The book steps it up a notch or two in terms of read aloud level. That was good academically for us. It's a story originally written during the history time we are studying. so it's not a 21st century writer creating a story. so that's part of the academic part of it.

anyway.. Carin, I know you're looking ahead ahead. not just next year. one of the good things about CTG? is that is comes after ECC where you have spent a year studying about other people and praying for them to know and love Jesus.
Thank you Cyrstal! The way you said the above really made something click for me. It explained why Homer worked for you & the academic benefits that you found. The benefits made a lot of sense.
Julie in MN wrote:I also see it as a literature book. It's set in a historical time period, but it tells a story, and especially in the original version, it tells it in a "historical way" (a very long poem, read aloud).

And, I see it as an apologetics. I think each of us called to teach and shelter and expose our children according to their needs. But I grew up being told what to believe, so I was very vulnerable to other people who told me to believe other things. So I wanted to raise my children by saying, here, this is what we believe, it's all here, open The Book and know. And here, this is what their heroes behave like, what their hope is. Open it up (well, the children's stories at this point) and compare. You will not need to spend much time wondering which is true. You will not be deceived when college mates tell you that all beliefs are the same, that all ancient stories cover the same things, or that others are better.
I agree with you Julie that children need to learn 'what' they believe & 'why' they believe what they believe, and what other young people in our culture do believe before college. When I was on campus the major world religions were really merging into one big world religion; people were picking and choosing what they liked from this and that. I just wasn't sure how Homer contributed to the understanding of what is present today. ALL of the links though made it clearer how it has benefited people. I eventually do want them to know about other religions, etc., and the reasons of why we believe what we believe and don't believe what some others believe. We have already discussed idols some due to some of the books in our first curriculum, and due to local restaurants. I think those discussions only strengthened their faith though as they tied it to what they know of the OT and the 10 commandments. They also like the Bible story when God answered Elijah's prayers for fire and Baal failed to show up.
MelissaB wrote:I'll confess: We're doing CTG this year, and ... um ... we skipped Homer. :~ Even so, our dd's knowledge and understanding of Greek history and culture is out of this world!! We love studying Archimedes. The information on Greece is so fascinating, indepth, and rich: Athens, Sparta, the Mycenaean and Dorian influences, Ionia ... We love it!
Thank you Melissa! I now have 1 1/2 years to think about all of this and decide how we want to handle mythology in our home. I am glad I asked now and read through all of these links. It gives plenty of time for thinking. :) It is really nice to know from your post too that really those curriculum police that have haunted me at times really don't exist. Hee... hee... :)

Interesting Trivia fact, that is a little on topic; it relates to Bret's reference on a link to mythology being used by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his writing:
A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O.F. Walton sold 2.5 million copies, and out-sold the Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne by 2 million copies in the late 1800s. In the late 1800's readers of literature were much more interested in literature with high moral character than a book like the Scarlett Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne was upset that people would be more interested in a book about a girl meeting the Good Shepard (A Peep Behind the Scenes) than his own book of the Scarlet Letter.

Thanks you ladies. I have been given much to think about regarding literature as we move further into grade school & beyond.

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