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hi

I was wondering if anyone has some helpful advice of what books are easiest to read, understand from the year 9 reading list in WTM. we need to pick at least 8. this is for ds 14. my son ISN'T a book mad person, in fact he only reads his assigned book every day. he never reads just for pleasure.

. We will be starting year 9 in January which is the start of the school year here in Australia.

the books I have tentatively picked so far are

Genesis

Epic of Gilgamesh

Homer, Iliad and Odyssey

Daniel

Corinthians

Josephus

Plutarch

 

I thought maybe some Aristotle, or Herodotus.:confused:

not real sure

all advice is most welcome:001_smile:

thank you

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We are not, however, following WTM per se so our plan is less reading intensive than SWB would recommend.

 

My son is somewhat as you have described...he only reads what he has to kind of guy. That is not completely true, but you know what I mean. We are doing a 1 semester Ancient History course, using Spielvogel's Western Civ as a spine and The Teaching Co. video lectures as a main feature. So, I'm hitting lit as a supplemental thing.

 

We did Genesis (he is reading this for his personal Bible study time), the Epic of Gilgamesh, Illiad (reviewed just the story form to save time), and Odyssey so far. We have also used an unabridged version of the Odyssey on audio to make use of time in the car to move ahead. I want to hit something from Rome, but I'm not sure what we will choose yet at this point.

 

I think you have to be realistic about what you and your ds can live with. Year 9 is pretty young to handle lots of unabridged ancients if you are not a person who loves a reading challenge, you know? I'd think about making some of them books on tape or (gasp...) abridged. We knew we could not possibly read both the Iliad and the Odyssey so we read Black Ships Before Tro, an elementary school version but really good, to review Iliad and then went for the real thing for the Odyssey. I know that is sort of heretical to say on these boards, but you have to do what works for you and your child and you still benefit from the material.

 

Don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I hope so

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We just did the ancients (ala Well Trained Mind style) last year with our 8th gr. and 9th gr. boys. We also did the Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings (LLftLotR) full year study, so we also read the LotR trilogy. Here's the booklist we managed to accomplish in a school year:

 

 

LLftLotR (read aloud/discussed together):

1. Fellowship of the Ring (12 weeks)

2. The Two Towers (12 weeks)

3. The Return of the King (12 weeks)

 

WTM ancients (read aloud/discussed together):

4. Epic of Gilgamesh (abridged version by Westwood) (3 weeks)

5. The Iliad (Fagles translation) (12-14 weeks)

6. The Odyssey (Fagles translation) (12 weeks)

7. Oedipus the King (1-2 weeks)

8. Antigone (1-2 weeks)

9. various Greek myths (2 weeks)

10. The Aeneid (abridged version by Church) (3 weeks)

 

Historical Fiction (solo reading on their own time; books were at 5th-8th gr. reading level):

10. God King (ancient Egypt)

11. Shadow Hawk (ancient Egypt)

12. Hittite Warrior (ancient Egypt/Hittite/Hebrew)

13. Archimedes and the Door of Science (ancient Greece; non-fiction)

14. various ancient Greek myths (about a book's worth)

15. Ides of April (ancient Rome)

 

 

We also read through the first 200 pages of the history textbook Human Odyssey by Spielvogel. That was the section which covers the ancients. We also occasionally dipped into a few other non fiction resources to supplement.

 

 

Even if we hadn't done LLftLotR, I don't think we would have done the full translations of all three ancient classics of: Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid. Honestly, we were getting pretty sick of those ancient Greeks/Romans by the end of the school year (lol). There really IS such a thing as too much of a good thing. ; ) Doing Lord of the Rings was a GOOD thing, because we really needed a break from the ancients. Plus, the LLftLotR study really enhanced our study of the ancients -- one of the additional units of that study is on "epic conventions"; we read that unit at the beginning of the year and so had a good idea of things to look for in all the epics.

 

The only things I wish we'd done differently:

- have enough time to read a little Plato

- read the middle play of the 3-play Oedipus cycle ("Oedipus at Colonus)

- fit in these 3 great historical fiction books: Bronze Bow, Ben Hur, Eagle of the Ninth

 

As a *very* general literature guideline per year in high school, I'm shooting for about 6-8 harder works we do together and 9-12 solo books either at or a little below their reading level, which the boys read on their own, and then we discuss/write about a bit less than the works we do together.

 

In case it's helpful, below is a more specific breakdown of how we scheduled all our reading/discussing, and what resources we used to help us. BEST of luck as you plan out your ancients! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

 

EVENINGS (aloud/together)

Each week for 36 weeks, 1-2 evenings/week, read aloud 2 chapters from LotR. On average, it took 1-1/2 to 2 hours to read these two chapters.

 

 

 

DURING SCHOOL HOURS

 

1. LLftLotR Study Guide

Each week for 36 weeks, 2 days/week (spending about 30-40 min. per chapter), do the study guide together to cover those 2 chapters we'd read.

 

2. LLftLotR Additional Units

One week out of every three, we'd spend about 2 hours reading/discussing an Additional Unit. Sometimes we'd do it in one day, but usually we'd spread it over 2-4 days.

 

3. Great Books study

Each week for 36 weeks (spending about 45 min. per day), we read/discussed a Great Book together. Here's what we covered, and how long each work took us:

 

- Epic of Gilgamesh (abridged version by Westwood)

* 3 weeks

* SMARR literature guide -- brief, NOT helpful; wish we'd used the free online Spark Notes.

* Write short compare/contrast paper of Babylonian flood myth with Biblical flood account.

 

- The Iliad (Fagles translation)

* 12-14 weeks

* Novel Unit Literature Guide (Teacher Guide) for The Iliad

It was okay; designed more for a classroom; may have been more useful if we'd also gotten the student portion.

* Writing = summarizing/narrations of a brief paragraph on each of the 24 "books" (chapters) of The Iliad.

 

- The Odyssey (Fagles translation)

* 12 weeks

* Garlic Press publishers lit guide -- fantastic! Very meaty! Good discussion questions, literary analysis info, and writing assignments -- way more than we could use!

* Writing = successfully used several of the guide's assignment suggestions.

 

- Oedipus the King (1st of the 3 plays of the Oedipal Cycle)

* 1-2 weeks

* Spark Notes (free online lit guide) -- great; far longer than the play itself!

* Discussed only -- no writing.

 

- Antigone (3rd of the 3 plays of the Oedipal Cycle)

* 1-2 weeks

* Spark Notes (free online lit guide) -- great; far longer than the play itself!

* Discussed only -- no writing.

 

- various Greek myths

* 2 weeks

* read only; no lit. guide; little discussion

* used versions from an old "Junior Classic" series about 100 pages: included Phaeton (by Bulfinch); Prometheus (by Hutchinson); Jason and the Argonauts (by Kingsley); Orpheus (by Buckley); and Midas and the Golden Touch (by Hawthorne)

 

- The Aeneid (abridged version by Church)

* 3 weeks

* Spark Notes -- very helpful in seeing/discussing themes/symbolism/etc.

* Writing = brief compare/contrast paper of themes or characters or plot events of The Aeneid with both The Iliad and The Odyssey.

(This version is a young person's story-like adaptation; we were getting burned out on the ancient classics, and we had done the full translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey (which the Aeneid "springboards" off of), so an abridged version was fine for us.)

 

 

SOLO READING

On their own time, about 30-45 minutes a week, and this fizzled partway through the year and we didn't get through as many as we should have. Books they DID read included:

 

- God King (ancient Egypt)

- Shadow Hawk (ancient Egypt)

- Hittite Warrior (ancient Egypt/Hittite/Hebrew)

- Archimedes and the Door of Science (ancient Greece; non-fiction)

- various ancient Greek myths (about a book's worth)

- Ides of April (ancient Rome)

Edited by Lori D.
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another PS -- we also enjoyed some films from Netflix:

 

- The Ten Commandments (ancient Egypt/ancient Israel) -- the 1950s Charleton Heston version

- Jason and the Argonauts (ancient Greece) -- the 1960s Ray Harryhausen version

- The Odyssey (ancient Greece) -- 1990s Armand Assante version

- Ben Hur (ancient Israel/ancient Rome) -- 1950s Charleton Heston version

- The Gospel of John (ancient Israel) -- 2004 film; every word of John's gospel acted out and narrated

- Spartacus (ancient Rome) -- 1960s Kirk Douglas version\

 

And we got some ancients documentaries from Netflix as well.

 

Reading/discussing aloud together, films, books on tape, and abridged versions are all helpful for younger students not that interested in reading. We really enjoyed all of the ancients books we read, listed in the above post. I've also heard good things about the Teaching Company's lecture series, which also might be a way of substituting for a lot of textbook reading.

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I think you have to be realistic about what you and your ds can live with. Year 9 is pretty young to handle lots of unabridged ancients if you are not a person who loves a reading challenge, you know? I'd think about making some of them books on tape or (gasp...) abridged. We knew we could not possibly read both the Iliad and the Odyssey so we read Black Ships Before Tro, an elementary school version but really good, to review Iliad and then went for the real thing for the Odyssey. I know that is sort of heretical to say on these boards, but you have to do what works for you and your child and you still benefit from the material.

 

Don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I hope so

 

I was thinking of doing something like this:001_smile:

thankyou

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:thumbup1:thankyou very much Lori D . I will print out your advice, and follow your suggestions

 

 

Well, only use what you think will work for YOU! : ) But glad to know something there may be of help. It was so helpful for me 2 years ago when we were getting ready to bump up to high school to have people post their book lists, ideas of what worked/didn't work, schedules, and how much time it all took and what a day really *looked like*. For some reason, even though we'd been homeschooling for years, doing high school felt like we were starting homeschooling all anew.

 

It's nice to be able to "pass something on". : ) BEST of luck with your ancients! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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http://www.kolbe.org/pages.php?pageid=40

 

The link above is for the whole catalog. Then you can click on the links for the 9th and 10th grade years. Kolbe does ancient history in two years. In the 9th grade year, for example, the catalog first lists stuff for other subjects (like Catholic catechism) scroll past those until you get to the history books. They've got study guides for many ancient history books. There are parent guides and teacher's guides. We're about to start on Livy's Early History of Rome. It has questions (and answers in the teacher guide) about Livy, brief overviews of the content, and study questions about the content. The study guides don't include tests -- there's another thing you can buy for the year that includes syllabus, course plan, and tests.

 

If I had to plan my Ancient History year over, I probably would have relied more on these study guides.

 

This year I am basing most of our reading on the references in SWB's History of the Ancient World. Fortunately a lot of these books coincide with the Kolbe recommendations.

 

So far, my son has had an easy time of it. The first few chapters of SWB's book deal with civilizations without complicated literature. We have taken this opportunity to read:

Epic of Gilgamesh (Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Lit does a pretty good job, comparing this to the Genesis story)

Bulfinch's Mythology (or any other good mythology book. You don't need to read all of it... maybe the first 3rd. I did this as a read-aloud)

Aeschelus, "Promethius Bound" is an easy introduction to Greek plays, and the story of Promethius.

Odyssey by Homer (My son had read the Illiad a few years ago)

Till We Have Faces -- a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche story. This was so different than anything else this year, I thought it was important (as a Christian).

Sun Tsu, The Art of War

I Ching (just an overview of the book, spent one day on this).

Confucius -- I was trying to find the Analects, but didn't find them, so I had my boys read a biography that included some of his writings. This didn't take very long either.

Hittite Warrior goes very well with SWB's book.

Aristophanes, "Peace" (The Frogs or the Clouds are the more popular, but I liked Peace because it had dung beetles in it. My boys liked it too, and it's not bawdy. This is another quick read, but more complicated than Aeschelus)

 

Next up will be:

Plutarch Lives: Demosthenes: This is a (clean) version of an orator with perseverance. I haven't read through Cicero yet, but that's the companion Life, and I will either include it or one of Cicero's orations (I'm leaning toward the latter).

 

We're about to read Livy's Early History Rome as both history and literature

then...

Lord Byron's "The Destruction of Sennacherib"

Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire (I don't know what selections yet)

Plato: Trial and Death of Socrates (with Kolbe's Great Dialogues of Plato study guide, which includes The Republic and some others)

 

 

Hannibal's Speech To His Soldiers (from the book The World's Greatest Speeches)

Pericles Funeral Oration (from the same book)

Mark Antony's Oration on the Dead Body of Ceasar (from the same book... this is Shakespeare's work)

Xenophon's Memorabilia (I think)

Marcus Aurelius' Meditations (another Kolbe study guide will take us through this one)

 

I have to pre-read The Young Carthaginian by Henty, but I intend to include it.

 

Also we have the Aeneid by Virgil on an audiobook and we'll do that aloud.

As Christians, we will read Athanasius' On the Incarnation. I want to incorporate some other early Christian writing as well, but I don't know how much we'll have time for. The Didache would be good to go over, just so my kids know what it is. It's not long or complicated.

 

Toward the end of the year we're going to read Antigone, then George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and watch My Fair Lady.

 

Our ancient history year will end with Constantine. As we go along I'll have to decide whether to put St. Augustine with the ancients or with the medievals. He really should, I think, go with the ancients, but we might not have time to do him justice.

 

This is a long list and I'm not sure how much we'll get through. Some of the bigger works are taking my son a month to get through, but he can read a play in a few days. He got through the Odyssey in 3 weeks, Till We Have Faces (with a study guide) in 3 weeks, Gilgamesh (with a study guide) in 2 weeks, Bulfinch's Mythology, reading aloud, in 2 weeks, and Sun Tsu and the I Ching in 2 weeks. I have decided what I think is the most important by pre-reading, and then we'll squeeze in other readings as we can.

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It took me a while to realize that reading a lot of plays is faster than reading one big work--in other words all ancients are not equal:001_smile: You can read some Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, the Art of War, a retelling of the Mahabharata and the Ramayan and the Norton Gilgamesh in the same amount of time as reading Herodutus--based on my experience of what I've gone through in the last few months. Herodutus is LONG, but fun and gossipy. I don't think I'll tackle Thucydides in the same year, tho, or expect dd to complete them both.

 

I am asking dd to cover 12-15 "works"--but I call the Orestes cycle (3 plays) one work, for example--in this school year. She gets to choose from a list developed from WTM, Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan, and other reading lists (after I looked at enough they all pretty much agree). The list also has a few easy history reads thrown in--Life in Old Athens, Rome on Five Denarii a Day--and some mythology books, as well as Spielvogel. Also, of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid, I am only asking her to choose two of the three. The list is much longer than anyone could read in a year, but this is both history and literature for us (two classes).

 

My other tip is that translation REALLY makes a difference. We have the complete Great Books set, but I've occasionally bought another translation when I thought the GB translation was too difficult or antiquated. Also, for difficult works, layout and print size can really make a difference. Some Penguin editions are so small print it really is painful.

Danielle

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  • 1 year later...
It took me a while to realize that reading a lot of plays is faster than reading one big work--in other words all ancients are not equal:001_smile: You can read some Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, the Art of War, a retelling of the Mahabharata and the Ramayan and the Norton Gilgamesh in the same amount of time as reading Herodutus--based on my experience of what I've gone through in the last few months. Herodutus is LONG, but fun and gossipy. I don't think I'll tackle Thucydides in the same year, tho, or expect dd to complete them both.

 

Danielle

 

:iagree: - to add my 2-cents:

 

(I have used Smarr Lit's Ancient syllabus to help plan quite a bit.)

 

We read about 1 "book" of the Iliad each day - and we read along using Fagle's (there is an abridged book-on-tape using Fagle's that helped us get started - very good for making sure that DS actually *read* the book rather than just skimming to get through).

 

The Odyssey we also read along using Fagle's - only with an unabridged version book-on-tape read by Ian McKellan -too cool! Sometimes we doubled up books on this one - some are only 400 lines or so, and we averaged about 700-800 lines a day.

 

I added thoughts from Heroes of the City of Man to the Smarr notes for these epics.

 

If I had a re-do, I would probably assign some response papers maybe every other week while reading through those - they were really very engaging for my "only read what's assigned" ds, but to read them straight through meant we did no writing about literature for several weeks.

 

I also heartily recommend the Greek play versions recommended in WTM - my DS thought Agamemnon was hilarious - but I'm certain the version had much to do with that. I think one thing that has helped my DS enjoy the plays is that we read through the Greek myths using Bullfinch's.

 

I also thought Genesis was very long, and very difficult to discuss. I won't do it as "literature" with my next ds. We are reading through the GreenLeaf Guide to the Old Testament as well this year, and I think I'll repeat that with the next DS. Job was somewhat easier than Genesis - we used the Smarr Lit guide, and that helped make connections to Gilgamesh.

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Again, Lori D., you saved my rear.

 

 

LOL!

 

And may I say, Jenn, that the combo of your Granny avatar, Granny quote, "cluttered" location, and "white trash mama" signature makes me bust out laughing every time I see you post. ;) Thanks for the giggles! Lori

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My son was very much like that. We read:

Gilgamesh (tapes, made a reed boat, TimeLife book about cuniform and Nat. Geo. article about Marsh Arabs)

Genesis (and talked about different translations)

The Illiad (read allowed and it took a long time, listened to the intro on the Teaching Company tapes)

Plato's Republic (this went over very well - don't worry if you don't "get" the first little bit)

The Oresteia (read out loud in parts as a family and looked at Greek theatre at the library)

The Birds (ditto) (he loved this)

some Greek poetry by Sappho (we just spent a few days on it - if I could do it again I wouldn't bother)

some of Plutarch's Lives (he enjoyed these)

Aeneid (just listened to tapes - he liked it very much)

Sophie's World (intro to philosophy)

 

We were supposed to add in some Aristotle and St. Augustine, but we didn't get to the Aristotle and my son begged not to read St. Augustine. He began it and said it was just The Republic all over again in a whiny way. I haven't read it so I don't know how accurate that is, but since my goal was to introduce him to literature that he would like and not make him fear and hate ancients, I told him he could skip it.

 

It went very well and my son enjoyed most of it. He wouldn't have read it for fun on his own but I'm not worried about that.

 

-Nan

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