I was a professor of Greek and Latin before we retired to Salmon Creek, where we enjoy the natural beauty, the challenges of maintaining our homestead, and walking on the dirt road. I wrote books and articles on Greek tragedy and philosophy. Never expected to reenter the teaching game out here, especially with younger kids.
Teaching sixth and seventh graders is very different from teaching college level students! I had a lot to learn and probably still do. We covered ancient civilizations last year, ending with the Greeks, my special favorites. This year, it’s been the Romans, then China, and now we’re doing Islam. Medieval Europe starts after Christmas, and we’ll go through the Renaissance and Enlightenment.
We use some excellent textbooks from Houghton Mifflin, and I supplement them with readings in original texts. We read semi-legendary tales about famous Romans in Livy as well as part of Virgil’s Aeneid. Students wrote long reports on Roman topics and saw a documentary movie about a gladiator. On China, we read Confucius’ sayings and tried to understand a culture where graceful manners and morality seem to overlap—very different from America. Students wrote papers following a Chinese woman from girlhood through old age. In January we’ll put up a giant timeline in the Yurt, to put together all the events all over the world that we are studying.
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