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Help! I Can't Homeschool High School: Facing Your Homeschooling High School Fears

I didn't have too many fears when I began homeschooling. It was something we had always known we were going to do, and I many homeschooling success stories around me. I had the typical days of frustration because I couldn't seem to get a certain concept across to a child. And there were a few moments of panic when I felt as if we surely must be "behind" some imaginary line of "where we should be right now." But, overall, I wasn't afraid of homeschooling...until we approached high school.

 I have to admit that this fear first struck when my oldest was the age to officially become a middle schooler. All of sudden the responsibility of homeschooling weighed heavily on me. Up until that point, we had been pretty relaxed homeschoolers. And, although I've always been one for making lesson plans and keeping records, I also love flexibility, and I like to use fun, different ways of learning- not just textbooks and workbooks. But, suddenly, I was faced with the prospect of transcripts and high school math and science and thoughts of college. And this seemed like a waaay bigger deal than it had been.

Homeschooling high school
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What if I fail? What if my kids can't ever do well on the SAT or ACT? How do I teach high school math? What do I do about lab sciences? How will I ever remember all the requirements for graduation? How do I keep up with everything? The tension kept building. The pressure was on. And, in the back of my mind I was sure I was going to totally fail and totally screw up my kids and they weren't going to make it to college and they would never get a decent job and they would certainly never know how to do algebra and one day they'll need therapy because I messed them up so badly.

Can anyone relate or am the only crazy one? Now I'm a little further down the road. I have a junior in high school and a freshman in high school, and I also have a middle schooler and a soon to be middle schooler. I'm also breathing a little easier these days. I'm sure you want to know my secret. You're waiting for some great and profound answer, aren't you? You read that post title, and you thought you were going to come and read and have all your questions and fears about homeschooling through high school answered and allayed. But I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't have all of the answers. So what is different? The difference is my focus, my perception.

I remembered a quote that I heard long ago in a missions conference at church. I was probably a high school student myself at the time. But the speaker said something during one of the talks one night that has stayed with me through all these years. And when I was stressing and obsessing about homeschooling in high school, these words returned. "The finger of God that points the way is on the hand of God that supplies the need." When God calls us to do something, he also equips us and provides everything that we need to follow His call. It really is that simple.

As parents, we believe that we were called by God to homeschool. And we believe that we were called by God to continue homeschooling through the high school years. So I don't have to be afraid because I know that God is going to provide what I need to homeschool my kids each step of the way. I don't have to worry about high school math. God knows what my kids need to learn, and He'll lead us that way. I don't have to worry about college. God knows what my kids are going to do as a career, and He will provide the path for them to head that way. Because we're called by God to do this homeschooling thing, the simple truth is that He'll guide us.

Homeschooling high school

I'm not absolving myself of all personal responsibility here. I haven't taken to laying in bed reading books and eating chocolates all day while I blissfully ignore anything I need to do in teaching my kids because God is taking care of it all. Part of God's leading and guidance is that He has led me to good people who can help me with a transcript. He's put in my path friends who know more about testing for college who have given me good tips on preparing my kids and registering them for testing. He's led me to articles and blog posts that have given me good information about how to keep a transcript and what records are important for high school. He's led me to speakers at the homeschool convention that have helped me understand more about helping my kids decide when and if they need to go to college and how we might accomplish that.

So I've chosen to pray and not worry. Seek God's will first and then seek answers to my practical questions. And because I'm learning to do this, I can learn along with my kids when I'm teaching them to pray and seek God's will for their own lives as they head through their high school years. And, hopefully, I'm teaching them the truth of that quote from long ago: "The finger of God that points the way is on the hand of God that supplies the need."

Why I Haven't Been Trusting Disney With My Kids and Other Thoughts About the Beauty and the Beast Controversy

I usually avoid controversial topics, ya'll. In real life and online I'm not a controversial person. Most of the time I'll bite my tongue and think in my head of all the things I could say. But once my buttons are well and thoroughly pushed...I don't back down either.

And so here we are. I've been reading the Beauty and the Beast buzz for weeks now. When the first few articles about "Disney's Exclusively Gay Moment" first began to come out, I started doing my research. You see, I have a raving Beauty and the Beast fan who lives in my house. And it's always been one of my favorite Disney movies as well. So the Courtney household has been eagerly anticipating this movie.

I first started seeing conservative Christians bashing the movie and threatening boycotts long before I ever read a review from someone who had actually had a preview of it. That in itself perturbed me. Conservative Christians are often the first to jump in and claim that the media blows things out of proportion and isn't to be trusted. But when the media gives an indication that Disney may be celebrating a "gay moment" somehow this same not-to-be-trusted media is fully credible, and we're going to form our opinions based on what we've read.

Beauty and the Beast movie controversy
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So when I finally had the opportunity, I began to read the reviews of people who had actually, you know, seen the movie. And, not to my surprise, it seemed that once again the media had made a mountain out of a molehill. But the Conservative Christian boycotting and bashing didn't stop. In fact it's built to a crescendo. Articles and posts and Facebook posts and tweets condemning the movie and condemning Christians who have chosen to see it continue. And many of these are coming from people who...guess what...haven't even seen the movie!

I finally was able to see the movie this weekend. (I'll admit that I've actually seen it twice now because it is AMAZING.) But when I went to the theater I almost felt like I needed to go undercover. Maybe I should hide and pretend to buy a ticket to some other less horrendous to Christians movie. Now that I've seen the movie, however, I feel as if I can finally give an opinion. 

So here thoughts about the Beauty and the Beast controversy...for what it's worth.

What actually happens in the movie is hardly noticeable and wouldn't be noticeable to someone who hadn't read all the negative press.

Let's pretend that we've never read the media articles about "Disney's Exclusively Gay Moment." I've heard Christian parents who seem legitimately concerned that their kids might be exposed to something really bad if they watch this movie. But here's the thing. Unless your kids are very astute or are old enough to have been reading Facebook comments, they'll never suspect that anything is different about the way the characters in this movie act.

LeFou is a comical character. He makes some comments to and about Gaston that we- because we're adults and have been reading all the buzz- can interpret as an interest in Gaston that goes beyond friendship. But, because he's a comical character, we could also interpret them as just meant to be humorous. Or as hero worship- which is certainly the case at the beginning of the movie.

There is a moment in which one of the male characters who's following Gaston is dressed up as a woman by the attacking wardrobe. His comrades are disgusted with their female clothing, but he doesn't seem concerned. He smiles at the wardrobe who tells him to "Go and be free!" Again, we who have read all the buzz can jump on this and say, "Ah ha! Here's a man who likes to dress like a woman. He's gay." But those who haven't read the buzz- including your young children- will just see it as a humorous moment. How many male cartoon characters have you seen dressed as women in any number of kids' movies. I can think of many off hand.

The "exclusively gay moment" happens at the end of the movie. In the great final dance, partners are whirling off to other partners and LeFou ends up with the man who enjoyed his feminine dress. The two sort of smile before the camera quickly cuts away. And when the whole floor is seen, you don't see any male pair dancing. Again, we can point out the gay moment because we've read all the buzz. Kids will see a comical pairing of two characters who have been funny characters throughout the movie.

I've heard this argument: The director and some of the stars of the movie are proud of the fact that Disney created an "exclusively gay moment." So, even if it might not be very noticeable on screen, we know that they're trying to "normalize" this behavior and condition movie watchers to accept sin as okay.

I'll deal more with the "normalizing sin and conditioning movie watchers to accept sin as okay" later. But let's consider the fact that these elements were added to the movie purposely by directors, writers, etc. who agree with the behavior and want to send a positive message about it. 

Do you know how many directors of how many movies and television shows think that sin is okay? Do you know how many times they've included sinful elements in their shows and shown them in a positive light? Do you boycott all their shows? Do you look up every single movie and television show you watch and find out the spiritual beliefs of all the directors, actors, screenwriters before you watch them? Perhaps you do. If that's your conviction, then you probably don't watch much mainline media. But if you haven't done that with every single show you've watched, why does it matter that this particular director and cast supported this particular behavior. Might boycotting this be a double standard if you aren't that careful about other media you consume?

I have never, ever "trusted Disney with my kids."

Some of the most interesting comments I've seen in regards to the movie are those people who have seemed genuinely shocked that a Disney movie is promoting homosexual love. Why? Why are they shocked? Disney has never, ever, ever claimed to be a Christian establishment. Never.

I saw a blog post that was apparently pretty popular in which the blogger was explaining how this decision on the part of Disney to include this "exclusively gay moment" had caused her family to cancel their upcoming Disney trip so that they weren't supporting this organization. Really?

Did she not realize that Disney has, for a long time, hosted Gay Days? Disney's support of the homosexual lifestyle has not been a secret, folks. Why would we except this entertainment giant to do anything except what they've always done? In fact, why would we consider it shocking that any mainstream media company would "normalize" sin?

The Bible tells us over and over and over again that we are strangers, aliens, in the culture in which we live. Why are we surprised when a lost culture acts...lost? There are much wiser, more astute people than me who have written articles along these lines, but I'll say that I don't think that mainline media sets the tone for or determines how people will act. Instead art- of all forms- reflects the culture.

Disney didn't throw in homosexual overtones in Beauty and the Beast to turn your children into homosexuals. They added these elements into the movie because art reflects culture, and culturally that lifestyle is becoming more and more accepted and normal. It's the same reason that in television shows and movies, you can rarely find intact, two parent- one mom, one dad- families. The media producers aren't trying to brainwash parents into divorcing or abusing their children or having affairs. They're showing this in the programs they create because it reflects the current culture around us.

One of the recent article titles I've seen was "Do You Trust Disney with Your Kids?" (The article, by the way, is from Desiring God and is really well done!) This title made me really think. The answer to that question for Christian parents should be, "Absolutely not!" But that should have been our answer ALL ALONG, not just after this movie came along. We shouldn't trust Disney or any other media company with our kids. We shouldn't even trust a Christian media company with our kids. Because it's our job as the parents to evaluate what our kids are going to see and hear.

It's not our job to hide them away from all media- in my opinion. Media reflects the culture around us, and we can't hide our children from all of the culture. Instead, it's our job to evaluate and to decide when and how they need to learn about the worldview they're going to face in our current culture.

Beauty and the Beast movie controversy

If you are boycotting this movie because of a gay moment, have you boycotted other movies for other sins?

I'm going to state my position clearly. I believe the Bible is God's infallible Word. I believe that it gives guidelines that those who claim to be believers should follow in order to live a Christlike life. I believe that there are absolutes in the Bible and that some things are absolutely wrong- sin. I believe that living life in the homosexual lifestyle is a sin. But...I believe that there are many, many, many other things that are absolute sins. I do them every day. And I believe that a sin is a sin is a sin.

There are people who argue this point. "But homosexuality is called an abomination." Yes. It is. But do you know some of the other things God calls an abomination? Lying, murder, sowing discord among fellow believers (Prov. 6:16-19), arrogance (Prov.16:5), vain offerings (pretending to worship God with no real heart) (Isaiah 1:13), being devious (Prov. 21:27), a proud heart (Prov. 16:5), justifying yourself before God (Luke 16:15)- these are just a few things called an abomination in the Bible. I'll be the first to admit that I've been guilty of some of these. Do you watch movies and television shows that feature any of these sins?

The only verse I could find in the Bible that separates sexual sin from other sin is 1 Corinthians 6:18-
 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. And this verse refers to sexual sins in general- not homosexuality in particular. It also doesn't call those sins worse. It just says those sins are different than others because sexual sins are committed against the body- affecting the body- as opposed to outside of the body.

I don't understand why people are so upset about this movie and are boycotting it if they have watched most any mainline movie or television show recently. Have you watched movies where people had affairs? Have you watched movies where people were lying and justifying it? Have you watched movies where people were proud and arrogant? Do you storm Facebook and boycott those movies? Why not?

Perhaps one reason that an unbelieving world pegs Christians as harsh, legalistic, and intolerant is because of the way we act toward each other.

So many times Christians are labeled unkind, intolerant, harsh, unloving. Yet we know that's not what Christ wants the world to know us for. John 13:35 says By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. I'm pretty sure that some of the comments, posts, articles that I've seen recently don't do a good job of making Christians known for loving one another.

I'm not talking about living out a conviction in your own life and family. If you are convicted not to see a certain movie or go to a certain place or read a certain book, by all means follow that conviction. If you aren't taking your family to Beauty and the Beast because you have a genuine conviction that it isn't the right decision, then listen to God's leading and don't go.

But, at the same time, be aware of how your posts and comments affect unbelievers. If you have blasted the movie with harsh words about homosexuality but you don't avoid movies with other sins are you coming across as hypocritical? If you blast other Christians who are saying it's okay to watch the movie are you coming across as judgmental?  Whatever decisions we make about that line that we won't cross, those things we won't watch, we need to make sure that our conduct toward other believers and toward unbelievers reflects Christ.

I'm not sure that Jesus would have loudly and vehemently boycotted a movie. He was well known for angering the "righteous" people by hanging out with those who had a bad reputation, going to the places where they were, talking to them. His harsh words were usually saved for the hypocritical, self-righteous people around Him.

So there you go. I've seen the movie. I've read other reviews and many, many, many posts. And these things keep sticking with me, keep coming to mind. When it's all said and done, don't make your decision about the movie because you're jumping on a social media bandwagon. Instead, prayerfully consider what God's leading you to do. And show love and compassion for unbelievers and other believers alike in the way that you carry out God's leading. 

My Backyard Habitat Unit Study for Kindergarten and Early Elementary**Includes a FREE Printable Pack

As we head deeper into spring and look forward to summer here. it's fun to start thinking of unit studies that will involve getting outside and exploring nature. Whether you take a full break over the summer or decide to continue some homeschooling, unit studies are a fun way to keep learning.

In this unit study, kindergarten and early elementary-aged kids can learn about habitats and explore their backyard habitat. You can find a link to print out a PDF copy of the unit study activities as well as printables to use with the study.

My Backyard Habitat Unit Study
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What is a habitat?

Learn more about different habitats and the animals who live there.

What kind of habitat can I find in my backyard?

Backyard habitat unit study


More Fun Stuff

Free My Backyard Habitat Unit Study

Looking for more great unit study resources?

  • A Journey Through Learning has an awesome variety of unit studies with lapbooks. I love their lapbooks because all of the information you need to complete it is right there in the pack!
  • Homeschool Legacy is well known for their Once-a-Week unit studies. If you love the idea of unit studies but aren't sure to how to incorporate them with your "regular" curriculum, this is a great option. Many of their studies can also be used to get scouts' badges.
  • Moving Beyond the Page is one of my favorite unit study resources. They offer literature-based unit studies that can be purchased as a whole year's curriculum or individually purchased to cover a specific topic or book.
  • If you're looking for something a little different, Loving Learning Freely has online unit studies. These are awesome because they can be used fairly independently, and they teach students technology skills as well as the topic they are covering.

Love literature unit studies? Check out the 31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas post series for 31 different unit studies based on popular children's books.

Literature unit studies

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Resources to Help Your Family Celebrate the Real Meaning of Easter

Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian faith, arguably the most important. But it's easy to lose our kids' focus on the real meaning of Easter when we're surrounded by candy and eggs and Easter baskets and new clothes.

If you're looking for resources that will help you to focus your family on the real meaning of Easter as you celebrate the holiday this year, here are some ideas.

Resources to help families celebrate the real meaning of Easter
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We purchased a set of these eggs years ago when our children were small. For years they loved sitting down with the eggs on the weekend of Easter and talking through what the symbols in the eggs meant. You can hide the eggs and then talk through the symbols in each. Or, if you have multiple kids, you can just have kids take turns opening each egg and talking about it. As the kids got older, they enjoyed telling for themselves what the symbol in their egg meant.
Resurrection eggs for celebrating the real meaning of Easter
The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story: Stickers Included

The famous Berenstain Bear family features in this book. Like many kids, the cubs are enthralled with the candy fun part of Easter. But they learn about the real meaning of Easter in this story. There are also stickers for kids to have fun with in the book.

Berenstain Bears Easter Story to celebrate the real meaning of Easter

The Easter Story for Children by Max Lucado

This is a beautiful retelling of the Easter story written for children by well-known author Max Lucado.
The real Easter story for kids

Preschool and kindergarten aged kids can learn the real story of Easter while doing the puzzles and activities in this cute activity book.

Easter activity book to celebrate the real meaning of Easter

The Week That Led to Easter-Arch Books by Joanne Larington

Arch books are classic Bible story books that have been around since I was a kid. Their rhyming verses recount Biblical stories. In this Arch book, kids can learn about the week leading up to the first Easter and the true story of why we celebrate.

Book about the real meaning of Easter

This set of nesting eggs comes with a story book and can be used to talk to kids about the real meaning of Easter. Like the Resurrection Eggs, this Easter Story Egg can become an awesome family tradition as kids look at each part of the egg and learn about the real Easter story.
Activities to celebrate the real meaning of Easter

The Egglo egg kit is another way to use the fun of Easter egg hunts to teach kids the real meaning of Easter. The kit comes with a book and DVD that tell the story as well as Scripture rolls that fill the eggs and help kids learn the real meaning of Easter. The kit contains supplies that would let you have enough to share with a group of friends as well, so you can invite others over and talk about the Easter story. The Homeschool Crew reviewed the Egglo eggs a few years ago. I wasn't on the review, but you can find out more about what homeschool families thought about the eggs here.

Activities for celebrating the real meaning of Easter

Phil Vischer of What's in the Bible? fame has written a book to help kids understand the true meaning of Easter. Buck Denver, the news reporter from the What's in the Bible? videos is trying to find out what, exactly, bunnies and eggs have to do with Jesus. You can get the book What Is Easter? along with DVD 10 of What's in the Bible? as a bundle. This DVD is about the gospels and the life of Christ and ties in very nicely with the content of the book.
Activities for celebrating the real meaning of Easter

This year as you prepare for Easter, pick up a few of these resources and begin some new family traditions that will help you celebrate the real meaning of Easter with your family. 

Activities for celebrating the real meaning of Easter

What's your favorite family Easter tradition? Let me know in the comments.

Why Should Your Middle School and High School Homeschooler Take Online Classes?

One of the questions I frequently hear non-homeschoolers ask when I say that I homeschool is, "How do you teach your kids subjects you aren't very good at yourself?" What they don't understand, and what I assure them of, is that homeschoolers today have so very many options when it comes to classes for their kids.

Yes, there are classes that the parent can teach. There are curricula that is self-directed. There are co-op classes and homeschool tutors. There are online videos with information about different subjects. And there are even online classes with real teachers and a real classroom set up.

Online classes for homeschooling high school
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Although I probably wouldn't use online classes with my elementary school aged kids- because I want more interaction with them myself- these online classes have many advantages when it comes to middle and high school. If you've been wondering whether or not online classes would be good for your student, here are some reasons why they're great, along with an introduction to an awesome group that offers a wide array of online classes for middle and high school. (And I'm teaching this year!)

Online classes free you up to work more closely with younger kids.

When my kids were younger, I preferred homeschooling resources that would let me teach them together as much as possible. I used unit studies and other multi-age resources that allowed the kids to all work on the same material at different levels.

But as my older kids reached high school, and I began to plan out classes that would meet the requirements for graduation, this became more difficult. Now I had younger kids who still needed my guidance to work and older kids who were doing more difficult classes that would go on a transcript.

Online classes can help to solve this problem. Older kids can be taking online classes, directed, monitored, and graded by a real live teacher, while you have more time to spend with the younger students who need close guidance.

Online classes allow kids the opportunity to learn from teachers who are experts in the subject area.

I will freely admit that I'm not a science person. As a high school student, I really disliked the subject. As a homeschool teacher, I've come to like it much more. But I still don't have a good grasp of higher level science concepts.

But...there are awesome online teachers who excel in the sciences. There are teachers who have a passion for physics (although I can't imagine why). There are teachers who can explain complicated chemical reactions. There are teachers who can make difficult concepts in biology understandable for kids.

Even though I can't be an expert in everything- can anyone?- I can find quality, online teachers who can teach the classes I can't teach.

Online classes for homeschooling high school

Online classes give kids the accountability of due dates and deadlines.

I don't know about your average homeschool mom, but I confess that I can be a pushover. I assign a project and make it due on a Thursday. But I know that all week my child has been sick. And then, Wednesday night when she did feel better we had friends over until pretty late. So, of course, when the project isn't ready on Thursday, I'll just stretch the due date out a little.

Taking a virtual class online gives kids the opportunity to have assignments with due dates. And, although extenuating circumstances can happen and accomodations can be made, kids will feel the responsibility of getting assignments done on time. This is especially important for kids who are planning to continue on into college because it's unlikely that a professor will excuse them from due dates as easily as I do.

Online classes let the kids experience teachers other than mom.

I love it when my kids get that inevitable question from a doctor or other some such adult- "Do you like your teacher this year?" So far, they've always answered, "yes," although they usually sneak a grin at me and giggle before explaining that they're homeschooled.

Although we've been a part of a couple of co-ops, our experiences have been mostly for fun and social times, and my younger kids haven't had many teachers besides me. Taking a virtual online class gives the kids a chance to experience another teacher's classroom style.

Even if kids aren't going to college after high school, they're going to be faced with the need to know how to work well with other adults. Taking an online class with a real live teacher who has a unique style and expectations can give kids an opportunity to practice this.

St. Patrick's Day Reading List, Learning Resources, and Fun Activities

Spring is in the air- although weather in my neighborhood wouldn't show it- and St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is being able to participate in some holiday-themed learning. If you're looking for some homeschool learning fun that's St. Patrick's Day themed, check out the books, learning resources, and fun activities here.

St. Patrick's Day homeschool activities
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St. Patrick's Day Booklist

St. Patrick's Day Unit Study, Lapbooking, and Notebooking Resources

Teaching Heart has a great page of free St. Patrick's Day printables.

Want a unit study with little prep that teaches kids the basics of the holiday? Try this St. Patrick's Day mini Online Unit Study.

St. Patrick's Day Learning Activities

Learn about the science of carbonation with this St. Patrick's Day green soda pop experiment.

Find a Rainbow in a Jar experiment at Playdough to Plato.

Reading List, Learning Resources, and Fun Activities

St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Fun

Make some yummy St. Patrick's Day Green Mint Fudge with the instructions from Blissfully Domestic.

Print a free St. Patrick's Day coloring book from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Make creative Mosaic Shamrocks with these instructions from Happiness is Homemade.

Plain Vanilla has instructions for making Sparkly Lime Jello Playdough for St. Patrick's Day.

Starts at Eight has a free template to print for making these cool tissue paper shamrocks.

Even little ones can have fun making this simple Shamrock Sunchaser.

Another beautiful way to make a shamrock is with the salt paint technique in this activity from Rhythms of Play.
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Literature Extension Activities for The Children's Homer

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Literature activities for The Children's Homer
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Although the original Iliad and Odyssey are a little too advanced for most kids- and many college students and adults- they're great for learning about the ancient Greeks, their culture, their myths and legends, and their gods. Instead of wading through those classics, you can read The Children's Homer with your upper elementary and middle grade kids. It will give a great taste of Homer's original stories- perhaps preparing kids to read those later. It's also great to use as a springboard to learn more about Ancient Greece.

Some of these activities can be done using printables in this FREE packet- Printable Resources for The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum. You can download your packet here.

Book Information

Title- The Children's Homer

Author- Padraic Colum

Recommended ages- Upper Elementary/middle grades

Synopsis- In this children's version, the story begins by following Telemachus who is looking for his father Odysseus who left for the Trojan War twenty years ago and never returned, although the war ended ten years ago. In Part One Telemachus visits the famed Helen of Sparta for whom the war was fought, and Part One is largely a telling of stories from the Trojan War.

In Part Two, readers pick up with Odysseus where he is currently stuck on an island with the nymph Calypso. He could stay and be quite happy on this island where he was stranded, but he longs to go home. So he's helped along the way by Calypso. This part of the story recounts his journey and adventures back to his home.

Activities to Use While Reading the Book

The book can be a little difficult to understand because of the huge array of characters in the stories. Keep a log of all of the characters as you read. Record who each person was and how they relate to Telemachus and Odysseus- the main characters around which whom the story revolves. - Included in packet

Another confusing thing about the book can be the way that the story "flashes back" to previous events. Keep a timeline to help you understand when events are happening. (The timeline in the printable packet has main events noted and allows readers to record other events in relation to them.)- Included in packet

Use this free printable map to map out Odysseus's travels.

Odysseus is an interesting character. As you read analyze his character by recording information about him.- Included in packet

This free study guide has some great vocabulary words and discussion questions. (Click on the picture to open it up in a free google doc.)

This free set of flashcards on Study Stack will help kids recall the various characters in the story and how they're related.

Ancient Greece Resources

This page is full of resources about Ancient Greece for kids. You can find people, the gods and goddesses, places, and events.

Duscksters also has a while page of information about Ancient Greece for kids.

The Ancient Greece page on History for Kids has information about Greek life and culture as well as inventions, famous people, and the gods and goddesses.

Find ten facts about Ancient Greece- as well as some cool pictures- from National Geographic Kids.

BBC Bitesize has an awesome Ancient Greece resources page with seven interactive lessons kids can read and four short videos they can watch.

On Activity Village's Ancient Greece page you can find printables, coloring sheets, craft ideas and more.

Literature activities for The Children's Homer

Other Books and Resources

A Journey Through Learning has an Ancient Greek lapbook, complete with study guide that includes all the information you'll need to complete the lapbook.

Homeschool Share has a free Ancient Greece unit study/lapbook.

If you want a unit study with minimal prep, try the Ancient Greece Online Unit Study.

TOOLS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS: A Kid's Guide to the History & Science of Life in Ancient Greece by Kris Bordessa

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