The father of Plutarch had him learn his Homer that he might get heroic ideas of life. Had the boy been put through his Homer as a classical grind, as a machine for the development of faculty, a pedant would have come out, and not a man of the world in touch with life at many points, capable of bringing men and affairs to the touchstone of a sane and generous mind.
- Charlotte Mason, Volume 3, p. 152
Plutarch AND Homer in a quote from Charlotte Mason? Yes, please! And in that quote lies the key to how to go about reading Homer. Avoid the "classical grind" and keep in mind those "living" goals mentioned - a man of the world in touch with life at many points (science of relations, anyone?) and the ability to bring men and events into correct perspective and the richness of life.
Mason's Parents' Union Schools read The Odyssey (Chapman's translation) over the course of 2 years (8th and 9th grades), covering 4 of the 24 chapters each term.
|My favorite teacher resource for The Odyssey. This little series is excellent!|
We have a group of high school students that meets once a month for Chemistry (now Health), Government, Citizenship, Literature, Composition, and a few other subjects. The assignments and readings are all done at home and we get together to do experiments, share narrations, have conversations, and challenge one another.
We took 6 months to read through The Odyssey. Here are some of the resources we used and things we did. First, we read the Fagle's translation. Some even used the audio with Ian McKellen reading this translation along with their reading. I had the students fill out this sheet as they went along. The column labeled "Retelling" was a place to write a reminder of at least one episode from each chapter that they would narrate to the group when we would meet next, which could possibly be 4 weeks later! The "Chapter/My Title" column was interesting as each student was to give each chapter their own title, other than what the Fagle's translation stated. That was pretty fun to listen to everyone's take on what was key to the chapter.
Here are some other narrations that we implemented.
1. Write an obituary on a character of your choice.
2. Pick an element of an epic and demonstrate how that was shown in The Odyssey.
3. Draw a picture of a favorite scene.
I think that when we were done, each student had a few new heroic ideas and became more in touch with life at many points.
|Retelling that I read with youngest daughter.|