When we decided that Astronomy would be on our docket for the year, we also thought that the mythology that accompanies much of what would be included in that study would also be helpful. So, as I am the eBay deal-finding-Queen, I searched eBay for copies of both Memoria Press’ Greek Myths study books and D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths. We wound up with a steal of a deal, at about $40 for two copies of Greek Myths, a teacher guide and two student guides.
We’ve enjoyed it so far – and the boys love reading from Greek Myths. For those not familiar with D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, they are slightly softened in order to give the stories without the lascivious details of the … ahem … affairs … of the Gods and Goddesses. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not try to explain Zeus’ sex life to a pair of 9 year olds!
The illustrations in D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths are beautiful, colorful and help you dive right into the story, the kids will love looking at them while you read them together! It starts with the Greek’s creation mythology, from the beginning with Gaea and Uranus all the way through Helen of Troy, Jason and the Golden Fleece, and more.
The study guides from Memoria Press are, as is to be expected from them, very well planned and organized. Memorization exercises are included in every lesson, and the vocabulary that is a part of each lesson this set is excellent! Because children tend to gloss over difficult words, the author chose some of the more challenging words to include in the list. You could easily include these words in other assignments to help integrate the word more fully into their daily life.
There are some references to Bible stories, where they ask students to compare Greek Mythology to Christian Theology. For example: “Compare the stories of Pandora’s jar and the Garden of Eden. What is the common element between the release of the miseries and the awareness of sin?” There are three such questions in the entire student book. Hardly something to give a Pagan like myself a problem. I’m sure others will disagree though! You can either skip the questions or use them as conversation starters. Most of the Bible references are found in the teacher handbook, in the answer sections for some of the questions where they try to draw comparisons between Christian belief and ancient Greek belief, and are easily skipped if you choose.
I recommend this set along with the Book of Astronomy, they work very well together and add a lot of depth to each study. I really don’t think I’d enjoy either without the other!
D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths from Memoria Press can be found at: www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/classical-studies/daulaires-greek-myths
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