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How did you use Vandiver with The Iliad/The Odyssey?

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Did you read or listen to the text first, then watch the related lecture? Or did you watch the lecture first to help you follow the text?  Any other tips or hints about how you worked with Vandiver's lectures would be welcome.  We have Classical Mythology, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aneid on tap.

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We haven't done it yet, but I have listened to the lectures myself (after having read the texts many years ago).


I think I'd want the student to listen to the first lecture first for some context. Then after that do the readings before the lectures. Or alternatively: listen to the first lecture, then read the whole text, then go through the text a second time while listening to the lectures. The second time through would involve close reading of key passages. This is how we do Shakespeare and other more challenging texts and it seems to work pretty well for us.

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We listened to the first couple/few introductory lectures first, then began using the essential reading assignments in the guidebook. For Homer and Virgil we read the essential reading from the Homer or Virgil text (not the other random books that could occasionally land there) for lecture 5 before we listened to lecture 5.  For Homer and Virgil this will take you all the way through the books.


For Classical Mythology there are gobs of essential books. You could just listen to this set, or add Hamilton's Mythology, Bulfinch, etc if you haven't already. My DS was working on a mythology elective when we did that course.  DS did read most of those essential books, and I made my own syllabus lining up a mythology collection and a Classical Mythology textbook to the relevant lectures.


The guidebooks have great questions for basing essays on or using as discussion starters.

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Classical mythology: we just listened to te lectures. My kids were already very familiar with the stories.

Iliad, Odyssey: we read first, then we listened.

Aeneid: we attempted to read the Aenedi and did not like it very much. I think DD read part of it; DS listened to an audio version of a modern retelling. We listened to the lectures afterwards.

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