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Classic Literature can be a bit daunting, ask me how I know. Thankfully Memoria Press has saved my skin once again with their Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set. Reviewing this set of classic literature with Isaiah has been way more fun than either of us could have believed!

Classic Literature

This set is a well rounded set. We were blessed to receive the following from Memoria Press:

  • Iliad (Translated by Samuel Butler)
  • Iliad Student Guide
  • Iliad Teacher Guide
  • Iliad DVDs
  • Odyssey (Translated by Samuel Butler)
  • Odyssey Student Guie
  • Odyssey Teacher Guide
  • Odyssey DVDs

 

These products are designed to be used by one student. If your homeschool has more than one student that will be taking this class, you must purchase a set of workbooks for each student.

I do want to say that I don’t usually apply the title “classical education” to my homeschool merit badges. That being said, this set of The Iliad & The Odyssey will fit into ANY homeschool literature class. The stories are absolute classics and I am so thankful that they were translated years ago, it makes reading (and listening to) them much easier.

The Iliad is a collection of 24 Books, each story related but in and of itself it is a complete story.

The Student Guide covers each book in The Iliad. You will find that the Student Guide has the following types of study for each Book:

  • Identifiable Places and Characters
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Quotations
  • Discussion Questions

This type of study is very in depth and requires many hours of work, from both teacher and student. Homer is meant to be digested not just read. Therefore many hours of study are recommended, upwards of 4.5 hours a week. If more time is needed for comprehension, you cam also add in more essay work that is provided. I completely agree with this suggestion by the company. The time required to just read the Books makes for a long period of study, but it is essential for complete understanding. The book work in the Student Guide is typically two pages worth of written work. The back of the Student Guide also as an Appendix which has the following information:

  • Genealogies
    • Genealogy of the Chief Trojans
    • Genealogy of the Chief Greeks
  • Alternate Names
    • (Alternate Names, Tribes, & Cities) for the Greeks
    • (Alternate Names & Allies) for the Trojans
  • Friends and Foes
    • (Favoring Gods) of the Greeks
    • (Favoring Gods) of the Trojans
  • Major Characters
    • for the Greeks
    • for the Trojans
    • Women of Troy
  • Words and Definitions
    • Weaponry and Armor
    • Ship Terminology
  • Character References
    • Genealogical
    • Ethnic/Territorial
    • Epithet (byname or a descriptive phrase describing a characteristic of a person or a thing)

The Appendix is an incredible addition to this course. It is helpful in deciphering Homer’s writings.

The Teacher Guide holds all of the answers to the Student Guide, has all of the tests, answers to the tests, and the same Appendix as the Student Guide.

The Instructional DVDs for The Iliad contains 5 discs; Disc 1 covers the Introduction and Books 1-3, Disc 2 covers Books 4-7, Disc 3 covers Books 8-13, Disc 4 covers Books 14-19, and Disc 5 covers Books 20-24. The introduction covers a significant portion of background to help the student understand why Book 1 begins when it does, who is fighting who, and what is happening. From that point, each Book is then covered with a deeper look into the Student Guide discussion questions providing more detailed understanding of the text.

 

The Odyssey is also a collection of 24 Books. 

Odyssey: (noun) a long and eventful or adventurous journey

The Student Guide covers each of the 24 Books with:

  • Identifiable Places and Characters
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Quotations
  • Discussion Questions

The Teacher Guide has all of the answers to the discussion questions, all of the tests, answers to the test, and the same Appendix as the Student Guide. The Instructional DVDs for the Odyssey contains 6 discs; Disc 1 covers the introduction and Books 1-2, Disc 2 covers Books 4-7, Disc 3 covers Books 8-11, Disc 4 covers Books 12-14, Disc 5 covers Books 16-19, and Disc 6 covers Books 20-24.

 

How This Worked for Us

This was a fun review for me and Isaiah! I’m sure you are shaking head in disbelief because how fun could reading the Iliad and the Odyssey truly be? More fun that I originally thought.

When I got awarded this review I thought that this would be like an other literature review we have done. Isaiah reads and answers questions, has a bit of discussion with me and done. I was wrong. Here’s why: when the students that Homer was teaching and the students that came after were learning his works, there wasn’t much writing involved. The students were to learn and recite ALL of these Books pr stories. Seriously, they had to learn them so that they could recite them from memory. They preformed these Books in front of their fellow students and often times they would perform for the local people too. No pressure or anything!

 

classic literature

 

Due to this practice, it is highly recommended that when reading Homer’s works it is best to read it aloud, to honor him and his works. So this is exactly what we did. We began with the Iliad and Isaiah made his way through all of the Greek and Trojan names, places, and gods as I sat in rapt attention. This was the absolute longest portion of the class for us. On average it would take us 1.5-2 hours to get the reading portion completed. Then from that point, Isaiah would go complete the pages in his Student Book. The book work would sometimes take him upwards of an hour. Then we would take close to an hour for discussion. This would sometimes carry on throughout the day as we would think of other things to talk about. I believe that I probably brought up more discussion questions because I was really involved in the stories!

I know bits and pieces about both of the Iliad and the Odyssey but going through this review with Isaiah has been eye opening for me. The depth in which Homer takes us into the stories is breathtaking. I know that I have enjoyed listening to the Iliad. It is a nice change for me to be on the receiving end of story time. I have enjoyed watching Isaiah read about the Greeks and Trojans. This is so much more than just me telling him about the Trojan horse. This is the amazing back story that I didn’t even know.

We both have stretched ourselves with this classic literature review. It has been heavy on some days as we must make the time to sit and read/listen but overall I do believe that it has been an enjoyable time. We have had more one on one time, which is always good. This is a bonding time for parent and child not just for a teacher and a student. Another wonderful byproduct of homeschool!

 

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Please visit my fellow Crew members to see what they reviewed from Memoria Press this go round and what they have to say about their product:

Click for More

 

I hope you enjoyed this review and that they come back soon to see what other great products the kids and I have to share with you.

In His Grace,

Callie

 

 

 

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