Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New School Year Plans

Planning a new school year tends to be exciting because I love thinking about introducing my children to brand new ideas and stories about the world.  Since history and literature are our foundation, we read a great deal of favorite books on literature and historical events.  This year we are taking a voyage to Antiquity.

For three days I worked with moms who make up the group, and we shared our ideas and developed a plan for a really amazing school year for our kids.  Since we are following the Epic Adventures format, we decided on topics and kid-grabbing names, key points and open-closing dates.

Our biggest idea came at the very end of day three when we decided what opening day would be like. I cannot say because it is a huge secret.  In fact, the whole year has to be kept secret (from our kids) until that first opening day.  You'll have to come back in September to see what it is.

Moms Brainstorming
In the meantime, this is what our brains looked like (see white board).  We have three main components (Egypt, Greece, and Rome) and numerous topics (such as, land and culture, language, history...etc.) all with kid-grabbing titles (for example: "You're in d'Nile" for the topic, land).  Ok, I cannot reveal anymore.
Our brains via the white board
Four years ago, we did a Hero's Quest year and visited Greece and Rome.  This year we are including Egypt, too.  My youngest kids are too young to remember, so this will be their first year being introduced to the stories of The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and Greek Myths.  These are my favorite resources I will use with them, while my older ones will use older versions:

Everything I ever wanted to know (and not know) about mummies I learned from Mummies Made in Egypt, by Aliki.

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is perfect and complete as you could want for a young reader or listener:

Black Ships Before Troy, by Rosemary Sutcliff, is the story of The Iliad, but also includes the important reason why the Trojan War even began.  Perfect for young children, but you just need to break it up over several weeks for reading aloud.

The same for The Wanderings of Odysseus, by Rosemary Sutcliff, which is the story of The Odyssey. 

My favorite, In Search of a Homeland, by Penelope Lively, is the story of The Aeneid.  

There is still so much to do before our year begins, and September will be here before I know it. 

Come back later to see what the big idea is!  See you then. 

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