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Savermom

Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World

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I never said the intent was "evil."

I said it was *deliberate*... which doesn't always equate to EVIL. ;)

 

You're absolutely right. "Deliberately producing something that she knew would cause offence" is much different from "evil." It's more on the order of "purposeful nastiness" or "deliberate insult" or "planned rudeness." Very different.

 

And, it's "offense."

 

and I'm sure many "don't" understand why some would find content offensive. I'd say this thread is a good time to learn to look at life from another's perspective. Learn something new. :)

 

Maybe "many" don't, but I do understand why some would find certain content offensive. What I don't understand is why anybody would make such a big deal out of it, even to the point of accusing the author of *purposefully trying* to offend people. Don't take it so personally, sheesh. Buy a new book.

 

so you're telling me that you had NO CLUE that including those references would cause some families to squirm?? Even in a Classical Education setting? really? I find that incredibly hard to believe.

 

Is everybody in a "Classical Education" setting supposed to squirm at the same things? Sigh. Darn. Thought I'd found my home.

 

Now if you literally had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that including those quotes would cause offence, then i do indeed apologize. However, that would give me great pause as to what you do and do not realize about your audience and general American Christian culture/ societal morals.

 

Well, after reading some of SWB's stuff, I'd say she pegged this (admittedly small) portion of her audience (American Christian here, btw) pretty well.

 

Anyway, it sounds to me like you don't like one of her books. That is a shame. Maybe you could sell it, at least, and recoup a portion of your loss? If you wouldn't mind passing along the squirmy bits, that is.

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:iagree::iagree: And I am just shocked by the insinuations against SWB:(
:iagree:

I've been following this thread, but have stayed out thus far because I don't have anything nice to say. ;) [My tolerance for those who expect others to conform to their narrow interpretation of propriety is low.] Now I can't help myself. The logic in assuming that someone must have deliberately set out to offend simply because the content of their work would/could offend some seems downright Orwellian (of course, Orwell might offend, so let's just say "twisted"). I would suggest that parents who suspect they have a low threshold for offense not approve any materials without due diligence. Sheesh.

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Geez, Peek, you're being rude. You know what they say about people who assume ;).

 

I asked for a clarification of what she knew or didn't know. That's not rude-- that's basic Discussion 101. i apologized TWICE if I was still wrong.

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Honestly, Peek. You didn't find this clear enough?

 

Frankly it didn't occur to me that anyone who was also doing a Great Books course (Gilgamesh? Shakespeare? The Bible? Really?) would find the references offensive.

 

You may not agree with it, but it's clear.

 

The OP asked a serious heartfelt question and you're turning into a fight or an attempt to back me into a corner or something. That attitude, as you know, is not tolerated on this board.

 

Knock it off. Now.

 

SWB

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You're absolutely right. "Deliberately producing something that she knew would cause offence" is much different from "evil." It's more on the order of "purposeful nastiness" or "deliberate insult" or "planned rudeness." Very different.

 

And, it's "offense."

 

 

 

knowing that something may cause offense [i was responding w/ the same spelling that I was quoting, fyi] doesn't necessarily make it nasty, insulting, or rude either. There's liable to be SOMEone in every crowd that will be offended. You can't help that. But as a popular author, you can certainly plan for it, or at least admit that "yeah, I knew it cause some offense somewhere, but I'm not really that concerned about it. c'est la vie"

 

Maybe "many" don't, but I do understand why some would find certain content offensive. What I don't understand is why anybody would make such a big deal out of it, even to the point of accusing the author of *purposefully trying* to offend people. Don't take it so personally, sheesh. Buy a new book.

.

 

because it's a *discussion board.* I already showed how her posting actually helped other parents. That might not be a "big deal" for you, but other families may indeed find it to be a pretty big deal.

 

Is everybody in a "Classical Education" setting supposed to squirm at the same things? Sigh. Darn. Thought I'd found my home.

 

of course not. i mentioned something similar in the Focus on the Family's recomendations. not everything they list is something that everyone takes offense at. But it shows that they DO understand that there is a big variety of offensive material.

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You're absolutely right. "Deliberately producing something that she knew would cause offence" is much different from "evil." It's more on the order of "purposeful nastiness" or "deliberate insult" or "planned rudeness." Very different.

 

And, it's "offense."

 

 

Not that it really matters, but offence is a correct spelling where British English is used.

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Honestly, Peek. You didn't find this clear enough?

 

 

 

You may not agree with it, but it's clear.

 

The OP asked a serious heartfelt question and you're turning into a fight or an attempt to back me into a corner or something. That attitude, as you know, is not tolerated on this board.

 

Correct: Based on the criteria i added in my reply [that #1 and 2], I didn't find it clear enough to address the reason the whole thing was brought up to begin with, which is why I rephrased the question -- to pursue clarity.

 

It's NOT a fight, and I'm not trying to "back you into a corner." It's your book, and your forum. However you decide to do it is your call -- I simply made a correlation drawn from what i know has been said on this board, in the homeschooling world, and from your extensive studying.

 

and I apologized TWICE if I was indeed wrong. I'll apologize AGAIN:

 

if you literally had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that including those quotes would cause offence, then i do indeed apologize.

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Welp..you've peaked my interest...I am now reading the History of the Ancient World. Can't wait to get to the good parts...(just kidding.)

 

My teens have read through the Great Books in High School and college and really, I can not even IMAGINE being offended by ANYTHING Susan could write after reading Gilgamesh the King, Oedipus Rex or any of the Greek Histories right on up to modern books...Really, if this sort of writing/ literature...and real life in general and the messiness thereof, cause you to flinch, maybe you ought to stick to a nice cushy textbook which has been drained of any "offensive" topics. For me, however, those types of books are offensive to my (and my childrens') intelligence.

 

If you don't like the book...sell it...and read something else....OY!

 

Faithe

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What I don't understand is why anybody would make such a big deal out of it, even to the point of accusing the author of *purposefully trying* to offend people. Don't take it so personally, sheesh. Buy a new book.

 

 

:iagree: I'm adopting the bolded as my own phrase, hope you don't mind if I borrow.

 

Has anyone really perused the history section at a bookstore? It's vast. The options for truly studying history can be overwhelming. I've purchased quite a few at Borders with the store closing sales.

 

I wouldn't dare proclaim a need for a disclaimer for the numerous books on my shelf. Would David Howarth need a disclaimer on his numerous historical books (using him because I like his writing style)? I'm sure he'd laugh at the notion. Does Churchill's history need a disclaimer? I'm just starting to read his books, is any anything "offensive" in there? I don't know, but I'm not easily offended by content.

 

Susan's own website has her listed as a writer and historian.

 

Wikipedia (I know, sorry, first source on google :tongue_smilie:) states a historian is:

 

"A historian is an individual who studies and writes about history, and is regarded as an authority on it.[1] Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all events in time."

 

SWB wrote a HISTORY book, not simply a homeschool curriculum. It happens to work nicely for some families, others prefer a different course.

 

I stand by my earlier statement. History is what needs the disclaimer, not a book about history. History is dirty, nasty, and full or wrong doings. Some of those involved sex. Now I will use my new phrase.Don't take it so personally, sheesh. Buy a new book.

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I asked for a clarification of what she knew or didn't know. That's not rude-- that's basic Discussion 101. i apologized TWICE if I was still wrong.

 

How big of you.

 

You might not have gotten the answer you wanted, but that doesn't make her answer any less clear. Taking another person at their word instead of assuming motives is basic Manners 101.

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and I apologized TWICE if I was indeed wrong. I'll apologize AGAIN:

 

if you literally had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that including those quotes would cause offence, then i do indeed apologize.

So Susan will get an apology from you if she follows YOUR "requirements" to a T? :glare:

 

Maybe you can agree to disagree. But you should still apologize for saying she did all this deliberately to offend people. :001_huh: That'd just be the right thing to do, since NOBODY knows another's intent!

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Posted · Hidden by Press Minion, November 22, 2013 - No reason given
Hidden by Press Minion, November 22, 2013 - No reason given

I wouldn't dare proclaim a need for a disclaimer for the numerous books on my shelf. ....

 

I stand by my earlier statement. History is what needs the disclaimer, not a book about history. History is dirty, nasty, and full or wrong doings. Some of those involved sex.

 

We did address [a few pages back] the studying sex in history vs reading direct quotes about sexual acts. ;)

 

and ftr, I was re-reading the thread and came across this little tidbit from Xander:

 

What if books that have been sanitized carried a warning, so that people looking for academic rigor could avoid them? Wouldn't fundamentalists find that a tad insulting?

(Just to be clear, I think that a 'dumbed-down' label would be every bit as bad as an 'inappropriate' label.)

 

 

We already have this-- it's called ABRIDGED. :)

and I tend to avoid those. ;)

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"If anyone wants to address the OP's perfectly reasonable concern, please do.

 

SWB"

 

Sounds like a wonderful idea, and thank you for the ignore button.

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Mind you, we loved SOTW. We loved FLL. We love HOAW--my ds, (9th grader) read it out loud together. BUT, I'm confused as to why SWB throws in s**ual content. I don't want to read out loud to my 14 yr old son about exploits and personal details. They do nothing to enhance our understanding of history. Actually, it's detracting from it and making me a little mad as I, once again today, had to skip over a couple of sentences. Why is this stuff in there? I'm now regretting the fact that I already purchased History of the Medieval World for next year and wondering what's in there.

 

Am I the only one? No one has seemed to mention this.

 

I will try and answer this question the best I can...without being snarky...I promise.

 

I don't think SWB "threw" sexual content into HAW just to get a rise out of anyone or offend our senses. I think as a historian, writing about life, there is bound to be sex, adultery, murder, violence and atrocities better not spoken in nicer company.

 

In homeschooling our teens, we are sometimes put into some very awkward positions, such as reading about certain exploits, or scenes which make us uncomfortable. It happens in literature too. It will happen all the more if you are following a Great Books reading schedule along with your history spine.

 

I am a bit of a chicken and have handled this a bit differently. Instead of reading these books aloud to a teen, I have them read them to themselves, and I usually read the same books at the same time and we have discussions. My children can gloss over the more adult themes if they are uncomfortable with them...or they can bring them up if they wish. We have always had a very open relationship and they know they can talk about whatever they want with me. they also know that I will not always bring it up. Sometimes I will. Do you think so and so was moral...what does God's word say about this? How did it effect the outcome or the rest of the persons life ...etc.

 

There WILL be books your child reads that you will not have the pleasure of screening and fretting over...This happened to me with one ds whaen he was 16. I read the book after him...and HOO BOY! It was a killer. He saw my face and the red grow up my neck. I just commented..."That was SOME book!" He just sort of grinned...but I noticed he is more careful about his choices now....YEESH!

 

Anyway, I don't think it possible to write an engaging, accurate history without both sex and violece. Heck, the Bible is riddled with both ....from cover to cover...and I do screen certain scenes from my children (Think Lot and his daughters...no reason my little people need to know THAT!) As the kids get older, they can read ALL of it themselves and then discuss what they want to discuss.

 

Life is messy. History seeks to tell that messy story. I do think SWB has done a wonderful job in telling that story in SOTW for a young audience...and now is telling that story again to a more mature audience...High Schooler- adult.

 

And, just so you know...if you do decide to look through other High School curricula (unabashedly Christian curricula) I think you may be quite surprised at what you find. Even I was shocked at the books Omnibus suggested for 7th graders...some of them were YIKES!!! and I pulled them from my 12 year olds list...however, they did read them later on in 10th grade and on...(Aged 15 and up.

 

I hope you find a curriculum book that works for you...bu I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater yet. If you like HOAW and your son likes it as well, maybe he can do his own reading/ outlining...and you can also read the book and be ready to answer his questions openy and honestly without having to actually read those parts aloud.

 

HTH

Faithe

 

ETA: I don't have time to proofread and my keyboard is wonky ...sorry for the typos...

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Have to say I'm not appreciating "She deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence" (actual quote).

 

Speculation as to motive, instead of analysis of what's actually on the page, isn't helpful. You can't possibly know my intentions.

SWB

 

One thing that irks me is when people assume an author's intentions. I was reading adult books before I was 14 and was able to handle them for the very reasons SWB has stated.

 

We liked HOAW enought to buy the second book, and dd, who hates history, even started reading the second book all on her own (I found it stowed under her bed.) She didn't continue, but the fact that she even started says a lot about how well it's written and how much more engaging it is than most books. I highly doubt that I'll be giving it to ds when he's 14, but since he's not even 11, I can't say for certain what I'll do.

 

Whether I agree with every single thing SWB writes or not, I find it interesting that someone thinks they know more about the motives of a writer than the writer does! That's a bit (or a lot) over-the-top to me!

 

I agree, although there are plenty of postmodernists who think they can interpret an author's motives all by themselves merely by reading their books and I'm talking about literature, not history. This is a point where I disagree with Peek a Boo. Christians have such a vast difference of opinions on what is or isn't appropriate for their teens, and I don't see HOAW as a Christian text such as Apologia or BJU.

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So, all that to say, I've decided I probably won't be using HOAW in 9th grade. If my dh is any example, it could linger in a young mans mind FOREVER! :lol: I don't think my dh will ever be able to hear/read/say the word 'plow' again without an invading mental pic. Funny for us adults, but not sure it's what I want for my, just turned, 14 yo ds. ;)

 

This is exactly why I altered our cycle to put Ancients in 12th grade--so much of the content is too much for many 14yos, but just right for 16-18yos. My 16-17yo (turned 17 in late Feb) read HOAW to himself this year, and learned a great deal. He also liked it--which is saying a lot, because he isn't really very fond of history. (I only had time to read the first 6-7 chapters myself, though I hope to finish it next year while my little ones are studying ancients with other books. I did read enough to be aware there was sexual content, but I didn't worry about it for this son at this age.)

 

For the original poster--You have apparently already decided that the material in this book is not suitable for your son at this time (or perhaps ever). You said that you already bought the second book in the series before you realized this. Can you still return it? If not, some suggestions/options:

1. You can resell the book. As you have no doubt seen, many people have no problem with the book. Then you can choose a book that is more suitable for your needs.

2. You can use the book the same way you did the first, reading aloud and omitting sections that are not suitable for your son.

3. You can choose a different book for your son for next year. Then, you could read this book for yourself, and add additional information in discussions where you see fit.

4. (similar to 3). You can choose a different book for your son. Then, you could add suitable chapters or portions of chapters from SWB's Middle Ages book where appropriate.

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Welp..you've peaked my interest...I am now reading the History of the Ancient World. Can't wait to get to the good parts...(just kidding.)

 

My teens have read through the Great Books in High School and college and really, I can not even IMAGINE being offended by ANYTHING Susan could write after reading Gilgamesh the King, Oedipus Rex or any of the Greek Histories right on up to modern books...Really, if this sort of writing/ literature...and real life in general and the messiness thereof, cause you to flinch, maybe you ought to stick to a nice cushy textbook which has been drained of any "offensive" topics. For me, however, those types of books are offensive to my (and my childrens') intelligence.

 

If you don't like the book...sell it...and read something else....OY!

 

Faithe

 

:iagree:

 

I read a bit of it a while back. I always meant to get back to it--never realized what I was missing. ;)

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It's been a few months since I was reading this book, but I will pick it up again soon. What I remember from the sections I read wasn't a feeling that it was especially lurid, but that the ancients had similar motivations (lust for power, covetousness, jealousy, etc) that more modern kings and contemporary rulers have displayed. In my reading, it made them seem more human, not as something to turn away from. (So in a way, it did enhance my understanding of some of the history of this time.)

 

There sure are a lot of flawed humans in history. They show up in a lot of the books that end up on Great Books lists. There are even a pretty good number of them in the Bible.

 

I sometimes find that I have a cardboard image of historical figures. I'm not lining up to go and read Satyricon, but I'm not shocked to read that someone plotted to get rid of her husband and put someone else she could control onto the throne or that someone else pushed one wife aside in favor of someone younger or better connected or more likely to bear sons.

 

FWIW, around the same time I was last reading HOAW, I was also watching the series Kings. It was by no means a literal representation of the Bible as history. But it did such a job of bringing those figures to life. Instead of being wholly good or wholly bad figures worthy of a flannelgraph, they were vibrant people, with all the contradictory bundle of goals, fears and emotions that I feel. That is sort of the same reaction that I get reading a well crafted history. The people of the past come alive for me.

 

Would I hand it to a teenager? Difficult to say. Teenagers are all so different. And they are different from one year to another. I think that I want to have many of those conversations long before they are out of my house. Especially about how people use longings like lust and covetousness and envy to control others. Because that is still part of human nature and I want them to be able to identify it and deal with it.

 

I do hope that you can come up with a good decision for your family, either a way to use the book, or another resource to use. You might want to see if your library or used bookstore has the Story of Civilization series by Will and Ariel Durant. We've been using that a lot for readings in the medieval period. I don't think that the Durants shy from mentioning liaisons or adultery, but they might not use the same direct quotations or phrasings that have troubled you.

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I don't think SWB "threw" sexual content into HAW just to get a rise out of anyone or offend our senses.

 

:iagree: I don't think she "threw" it in there to offend or get a rise out of anyone either. In fact, we don't know SWB's exact intention in including what she included at all. I honestly, sincerely, don't think it was to be offensive, I give her more credit than that, but we can ask why she did, can't we, without being flayed alive and talked down to? Even if that 'why' is only rhetorical, it seems fair that the question be respectfully allowed and discussed. :leaving:

 

When I look at the context of the plow quote, I honestly don't see a reason for it, myself. It could have very easily been left out. Nothing was added to the understanding of the relationship between Dumuzi and Inanna by including it. Which brings me back to the OP, and why she felt so much frustration with the text. Why she felt a heads-up would have been nice. I thought she had a legitimate question/concern, which is why I tried (though not very successfully) to pursue an answer for her. ;) My debating and logic skills are severly lacking though. No way could I keep up with Xander! Yikes! :lol:

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Scuse me, must go back to writing. (This would be the writer's version of "Bean dip? Oh, yes, thank you!!")

 

Every single time I make hummus in my food processor, I think of the forums. :lol::lol: I've got some in my fridge right now; would you like some?

 

I just have to say...

 

I mentioned this whole thread to my DH on Thursday, and told him about the "Plow her damp field" quote, and the poor man has had plowing on his mind ever since! All he talks about is 'plowing'. How he needs to get home to 'plow'. How after dinner he wants to 'plow'. That he must be a farmer at heart because all he has is 'plowing' on his mind. :lol: He's driving me bonkers, but we're getting a good laugh out of it. :D

 

:lol::lol: "poor man??" He sounds pretty happy to me! :D

 

And, I think the OP made her decisions and stocked up on correction tape a few days ago - long before Peek arrived to stir things up.

 

And, one more thing. I just learned another little tidbit from this thread - the bit about high school students being anxious to become adults. Thanks for mentioning that - it's yet another little tidbit that helps me mother an early teen. I saw a glimpse of that this past week. I read Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and laughed my way through it. My son kept wanting to know what was so funny, so I told him about how strict she was, and how she seemed to be poking fun at herself all through the book. He kept trying to read over my shoulder, and begged me to let him read it when I was done. After I read it, I saw no reason to not let him read it. So he did, and he pointed out the few swear words to me, lol. But anyway, he enjoyed reading it, and told me afterwards that she was way too strict. We had a little chat, and he realized that at the end, the author was sort of throwing what she thought were mistakes out there for the public to see, while at the same time showing us the difference between cultures. He got that. It was just FUN to be able to talk about that stuff with my growing son.

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I think the OP's question was valid. We come to these boards b/c some of us (gasp) have not read, nor do we have time to read EVERYTHING before we buy it. It's difficult enough to homeschool 3 children, take care of all the domestic duties, and all the extra-curricular duties and pre-read everything my kids might read. I can't even keep up w/their literature reading, which is sometimes shocking as well. One of the Canterbury Tales discussed in our co-op caught me off guard w/my 5th grader (the co-op leader switch tales w/o telling us). I was not prepared to discuss rape with my 10 year old. Some of you might be. But, I was not.

 

I'm surprised by the number of posters who have attacked OP for thinking that there might be talk on this subject beforehand. Seriously look at all the reviews that everyone does here. Surely it couldn't be unheard of that someone else might have felt this way. But, after seeing the response that she got, I'm certain that I would certainly think twice about posting about the amount of sexual references in a book, especially a SWB book. (And before you crucify me, let me establish my PHP credentials--I think I own almost everything they have ever produced). And I honestly believe SWB encourages discussion such as this as long as it isn't insulting. But, obviously so many of you fell that the OP's question was insulting.

 

I started reading HOAW and thoroughly enjoyed it as far as I got. My first thought was that I didn't think it would be appropriate for my ds when he's 14. I don't let him go to R rated movies for the same reason--EVEN IF THEY'RE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. I don't think my 14 year old needs to be exposed to rape, torture, brutality at that age EVEN IF IT'S HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. I personally was traumatized by some of the adult stuff I accidentally saw as a young teen when I was going to the movies. The Bible analogy is irrelevant because most of us are aware of the stories such as Lot, etc. What the OP was talking about was being caught off guard by a book being recommended for 9th grade and surprised that she hadn't seen reference to the sexually oriented discussions in the book. I had the same reaction.

 

For me the answer is to wait until ds is a little older. I see a big difference between a 14 year old reading HOAW and a 17 year old (the same with the original Gilgamesh). I think the book is one of the better books out there on ancient history. Extremely accessible and entertaining.

 

However, in my view (if I'm allowed to have one) in our attempt to educate our children we are pushing down books that were mostly taught in college (during our adulthood) to kids who are barely teenagers. Not only might the material be considered inappropriate for some of us as parents, but much of it goes over our teens' heads. Ok, maybe just my kids because they don't appear to be as astute or discerning as other board members' kids.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there were other sympathetic moms similar to those of us who have posted in support of the OP, but after seeing the treatment of the OP and those who came to her defense, they are wisely keeping their mouths shut. Which is a total shame given what I thought the purpose of this board was.

 

Laura

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I see a big difference between a 14 year old reading HOAW and a 17 year old (the same with the original Gilgamesh).

 

Ok, maybe just my kids because they don't appear to be as astute or discerning as other board members' kids.

 

I don't know...I think it depends on the individual kid. My son naturally pushes my comfort zones in various areas, and I sometimes give in after consideration; whereas my daughter is quite content to be my snuggly baby still, and not really care about pushing and questioning the limits. I have to parent each of them differently.

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I don't know...I think it depends on the individual kid. My son naturally pushes my comfort zones in various areas, and I sometimes give in after consideration; whereas my daughter is quite content to be my snuggly baby still, and not really care about pushing and questioning the limits. I have to parent each of them differently.

 

I agree completely. And I think this proves the OP's point. Some of us have kids for whom this material is not appropriate in our estimation. We might have another child for whom this material would be ok.

 

And I just finished reading the King Arthur thread in which this same type of discussion arose. No doubt that certain retellings of King Arthur are considered part of a classical education, but some of the movies might be a little more than some of us wanted. Yet, there's a great discussion of what would be appropriate for a co-op class of certain ages. No one is surprised that someone might consider parts of Monty Python's version (or some of the others) inappropriate. It's just a good-natured, explicit discussion of what some parents might want to skip.

 

Laura

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I think the OP's question was valid. We come to these boards b/c some of us (gasp) have not read, nor do we have time to read EVERYTHING before we buy it. It's difficult enough to homeschool 3 children, take care of all the domestic duties, and all the extra-curricular duties and pre-read everything my kids might read. I can't even keep up w/their literature reading, which is sometimes shocking as well. One of the Canterbury Tales discussed in our co-op caught me off guard w/my 5th grader (the co-op leader switch tales w/o telling us). I was not prepared to discuss rape with my 10 year old. Some of you might be. But, I was not.

 

I'm surprised by the number of posters who have attacked OP for thinking that there might be talk on this subject beforehand. Seriously look at all the reviews that everyone does here. Surely it couldn't be unheard of that someone else might have felt this way. But, after seeing the response that she got, I'm certain that I would certainly think twice about posting about the amount of sexual references in a book, especially a SWB book. (And before you crucify me, let me establish my PHP credentials--I think I own almost everything they have ever produced). And I honestly believe SWB encourages discussion such as this as long as it isn't insulting. But, obviously so many of you fell that the OP's question was insulting.

 

I started reading HOAW and thoroughly enjoyed it as far as I got. My first thought was that I didn't think it would be appropriate for my ds when he's 14. I don't let him go to R rated movies for the same reason--EVEN IF THEY'RE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. I don't think my 14 year old needs to be exposed to rape, torture, brutality at that age EVEN IF IT'S HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. I personally was traumatized by some of the adult stuff I accidentally saw as a young teen when I was going to the movies. The Bible analogy is irrelevant because most of us are aware of the stories such as Lot, etc. What the OP was talking about was being caught off guard by a book being recommended for 9th grade and surprised that she hadn't seen reference to the sexually oriented discussions in the book. I had the same reaction.

 

For me the answer is to wait until ds is a little older. I see a big difference between a 14 year old reading HOAW and a 17 year old (the same with the original Gilgamesh). I think the book is one of the better books out there on ancient history. Extremely accessible and entertaining.

 

 

If you read all the way through the thread, you will see that many people gave good, thoughtful answers to the OP. Most threads end up getting side-tracked, as this one did.

 

I can understand the concern you have. I can! I wish this post could have just stated the concern instead of..................

 

However, in my view (if I'm allowed to have one) in our attempt to educate our children we are pushing down books that were mostly taught in college (during our adulthood) to kids who are barely teenagers. Not only might the material be considered inappropriate for some of us as parents, but much of it goes over our teens' heads. Ok, maybe just my kids because they don't appear to be as astute or discerning as other board members' kids.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there were other sympathetic moms similar to those of us who have posted in support of the OP, but after seeing the treatment of the OP and those who came to her defense, they are wisely keeping their mouths shut. Which is a total shame given what I thought the purpose of this board was.

:confused: Wow. This is one thread, NOT a total view of the whole board! I'm not understanding the reasoning for the bolded parts! Why the jabs? I understand your concerns, I just don't understand why your jabs are any better treatment of others than what was said previously??? :001_huh:

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I wouldn't be surprised if there were other sympathetic moms similar to those of us who have posted in support of the OP, but after seeing the treatment of the OP and those who came to her defense, they are wisely keeping their mouths shut. Which is a total shame given what I thought the purpose of this board was.

 

Laura

 

Yes, there are several sympathetic moms that I know of who were too afraid of being crucified. They kept their thoughts to themselves, which, I agree, is a shame. No one here should be made to feel that their questions or concerns are not valid, or [gasp] somehow ignorant and uneducated. :glare:

 

I am usually one of those people who shy away from hot topics, though I've been in a few. But, for the most part, I don't particularly like getting beat up by my peers. :D

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If you read all the way through the thread, you will see that many people gave good, thoughtful answers to the OP. Most threads end up getting side-tracked, as this one did.

:confused: Wow. This is one thread, NOT a total view of the whole board! I'm not understanding the reasoning for the bolded parts! Why the jabs? I understand your concerns, I just don't understand why your jabs are any better treatment of others than what was said previously??? :001_huh:

 

Hmmm, I don't know, Brindee. I don't want to go back to the beginning and start over by rereading every post of this thread. Ack! But I DO know that the only reason I jumped into the foray was because I felt the OP wasn't getting treated fairly. There WERE some thoughtful answers though...that's a given. :001_smile: But there were some demeaning ones too (probably by both sides), and unfortunately those often stand out more than the thoughtful ones. ;)

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:iagree::iagree: And I am just shocked by the insinuations against SWB:(

I am too. :mad:

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Brindee, I don't want to go back and pull in quotes and point fingers. I felt compelled, as did Melissa and a couple of others, to come to OP's defense.

 

I don't think SWB needed to put a disclaimer on her book. I was just supporting the OP's surprise that this hadn't been discussed before. Seeing the negative reaction in this thread that she might find something inappropriate for her children in classical education as heresy was what inspired me to post. Ok, I need to diagram that last sentence so it sounds more coherent, but alas, it's after midnight I need to go to bed.

 

Laura

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Hmmm, I don't know, Brindee. I don't want to go back to the beginning and start over by rereading every post of this thread. Ack! But I DO know that the only reason I jumped into the foray was because I felt the OP wasn't getting treated fairly. There WERE some thoughtful answers though...that's a given. :001_smile: But there were some demeaning ones too (probably by both sides), and unfortunately those often stand out more than the thoughtful ones. ;)
Yeah. Like I said, I understand where she's coming from! I just think if you look around the boards you'll see that this is a great place. Lots of helpful lovely people! To take one thread and generalize that she's not safe writing things here.... I dunno, it seems a bit overboard. Both sides went overboard at times and were made to feel "stupid".

 

Wish it all wouldn't have happened the way it did. But jabbing back isn't going to solve it either.... :tongue_smilie:

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Brindee, I don't want to go back and pull in quotes and point fingers. I felt compelled, as did Melissa and a couple of others, to come to OP's defense.

 

I don't think SWB needed to put a disclaimer on her book. I was just supporting the OP's surprise that this hadn't been discussed before. Seeing the negative reaction in this thread that she might find something inappropriate for her children in classical education as heresy was what inspired me to post. Ok, I need to diagram that last sentence so it sounds more coherent, but alas, it's after midnight I need to go to bed.

 

Laura

Oyyy, I wasn't so great at diagramming. Good luck with that! :lol:

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I just think if you look around the boards you'll see that this is a great place. Lots of helpful lovely people!

 

:iagree: Like YOU for instance! :D I've always found your posts very helpful, and I very much respect your opinion.

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OK, this is kind of a side issue, but a related one...having just (finally) read this thread...

 

So, when I was a kid, expurgated materials ruled everywhere, right up through 9th grade for sure, and I think through high school in history at least.

 

And I kept finding out to my utter surprise that there was all this s*xual material, a lot of it quite explicit, some of it just bawdy or off-color, in all literature and history. And pretty much the only place I ever saw it, oddly enough, was the Bible, but our version was KJV which gave it a certain distance. Furthermore, it was just over our heads--there was this feeling that everyone knew this except for the students. Kind of like when adults talk over your head when you're a child. And it was embarrassing, to realize that, oh, look, here's a ton of 'off' jokes in Romeo and Juliet, which I studied thoroughly and completely and wrote at least two literary papers on in 9th grade but the version of which completely left out about 1/4 of the text, most of it bawdy, in a way that over-romanticizes the whole play to a ridiculous extent. And, over there, there is an article about cave pictures, and my gosh! they are mostly not about those hunted herds of game animals after all, how about that? and what are the implications about the conclusions that we draw about that culture?

 

I mean, this is really over the top.

 

So looking back on this, I read all of even the gross stuff in the Bible to DD by the time she was 6 or 7, and although we did not discuss it in depth, she was aware of it. And when she studied R and J in 7th grade we discussed a few of the bawdy jokes and how interesting it is that people often talk differently with their friends than in polite society, and what are the implications of that? I went out of my way to get there first with my version of how to interpret this kind of thing, but I didn't hide it. I did censor descriptions of s*x or violence that were sort of puriant or very explicit, but not broad allusions.

 

I'm really glad I did this. She is more comfortable with this kind of material by far than I would have been at her age, she has a more well-rounded picture of history and literature than a censored one, and she is far, far better prepared to handle college classes--they won't be a complete culture shock.

 

I think that we should consider this to some extent. How much of a culture shock is college going to be for our children? I don't mean that we have to let 'anything go' but really, what are they going to do when they go to college all completely sheltered and suddenly are taught that:

 

1. All literature is pervaded by s*x, especially the classics, even the ones that they thought they knew.

2. And so is most of history and a great deal of mythology, again, even the material that they thought they knew.

3. Evolution is so accepted as fact that any alternatives are mocked to shame. This effects the teaching of earth science, geology, biology, archeology, astronomy, physics, anthropology, zoology, physiology, and even history.

4. Belief in God is thought to be delusional.

5. Social norms aren't normal here.

6. Or traditional morals either.

7. Many serious Bible scholars don't believe that there is any historical accuracy in the Old Testament earlier than the time of the prophets.

 

Are we going to shelter our kids to the point where they don't know that they will face these things, and let the chips fall where they may? Or are we going to get there first with our own versions and guide their responses from the comfort of their own homes? Are we going to let them know that yes, we are aware of this or that theory or event, and here is our take on it, or are we going to let them think that we are innocent and can't be talked with on these subjects?

 

Really, I can't see how it is good for kids to be shocked from all directions the first time they leave home. It's better that they find out this stuff from us and are prepared to deal with it.

 

HOAW is just a tiny little step in that process. So is an unexpurgated version of R and J. So is ample discussion--that's the key. And before that key item is our own thinking about and reflecting on these issues so that we are prepared to prepare our children for them.

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I'm certain that I would certainly think twice about posting about the amount of sexual references in a book, especially a SWB book.

 

I'm pretty sure numerous people in this thread have put forth the idea that no one thinks "Hey, is there any adult themes I ought to be aware of in this book before I buy it?" is in any way insulting. People ask questions like that all the time.

 

Rosie

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I'm surprised by the number of posters who have attacked OP for thinking that there might be talk on this subject beforehand. Seriously look at all the reviews that everyone does here. Surely it couldn't be unheard of that someone else might have felt this way. But, after seeing the response that she got, I'm certain that I would certainly think twice about posting about the amount of sexual references in a book, especially a SWB book. (And before you crucify me, let me establish my PHP credentials--I think I own almost everything they have ever produced). And I honestly believe SWB encourages discussion such as this as long as it isn't insulting. But, obviously so many of you fell that the OP's question was insulting.

 

 

I don't think people have been taking issue with the idea that someone would want a heads up as much as with the way the OP worded her post. If she had come here with a thread titled "mature content in HOAW" and merely mentioned that she was surprised to find sexual references and wished she had done more research before reading it to her 14yo the responses would have likely been much different. But the tone was very accusatory, and doesn't display much by way of personal responsibility. (Did the OP do a search, read the samples, pre-read the book, or start a thread to ask questions here before purchasing? All options available to her if she's very particular about her resources.) That attitude of "you did something wrong and this is all your fault!" can really put people on the wrong side of your argument, regardless of how they feel about your personal stance overall. So I do think criticism of the OP has really been about how she approached this more so than her actual concerns with the text.

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