Exploring Greek Myths With Memoria Press (a Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I don’t recall reading much in the way of Greek mythology until I was in college. When I read Homer for the first time, I was hooked. Because we use a classical approach to history in our homeschooling, we’ve covered Greek mythology many times, and I think we all enjoy it. One of my favorite books about Greek mythology is D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Although we’ve used this book as a history accompaniment, I realized that my younger girls- who haven’t cycled through ancient history since they were in kindergarten and first grade- really didn’t know much about it.

I am planning an ancient history year with them in this upcoming school year, so I was really excited to be able to review the D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths set from Memoria Press with them.  I was hoping this would get us all excited and ready to jump into the ancients.

Studying Greek myths

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Memoria Press

Memoria Press is a company that offers classical educational materials for homeschools and private schools. They are well-known for their Latin programs (which we’ve reviewed before). They also have excellent literature guides (which we’ve reviewed as well).

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths set

The D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths set is intended for grades 3-6 and includes:

  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
  • Student book
  • Teacher’s guide
  • Flashcards of places and characters from the book
Classical homeschooling
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths is a large paperback. It’s divided into chapters that cover Greek gods and goddesses and a variety of Greek myths. The reading level is one that my girls- 10 and 12- could have read independently easily. But I love reading aloud, and the Greek myths are fun to discuss, so I read the book aloud. The book also has some beautiful illustrations that are a great jumping off point for discussions of the myths, so I shared the pictures with the girls as we read.

Greek myths

The literature guide book contains twenty-five lessons and five review lessons. Each lesson covers a certain number of pages in the reading book. The number of pages covered varied, but it usually took us about fifteen to twenty minutes to read the lesson’s reading aloud.
The lessons in the literature guide book contain:
  • Facts to Know- Names and places that are important in Greek mythology are listed as they are introduced in the reading. There are flashcards also included that have these facts and people so that you can drill them.
  • Vocabulary- Vocabulary words are introduced in context with a blank to write the meaning of the words. 
  • Comprehension Questions- Each lesson contained 5-10 comprehension questions that covered basic information from the pages read.
  • Activities- The activities for each lesson always included a reference guide to the beautiful illustrations from that day’s reading, along with discussion questions about the illustrations. There are also other activities including thinking and discussion questions, Scripture study, and more.
Homeschool curriculum
Every five lessons, there is a review. The review covers all of the vocabulary from the past five lessons, listing or matching the facts and people covered, and map work. At the end of all of the lessons, there is a final review that covers the facts and people with matching, short answer, and a chart. There’s also a review sheet that can help the student study for the last review section.
The end of the book contains a section of 110 drill questions, a place to list various topics such as “heroes hidden in youth” or “forty sisters”, maps, and a pronunciation guide for D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths.

Classical education

The teacher’s guide contains all of the answers to the study guide, along with some teaching suggestions.

Our use and opinions

Because we had one literature guide, I had Ashlyne actually work in the guide. I read the book aloud to both girls, but Rachel struggles with writing answers, while Ashlyne really enjoys it. I read the questions, facts, and vocabulary aloud so that Rachel could answer them as well.
We are not true classical homeschoolers, and we don’t typically use memorization to the extent it’s used in the study guide- memorizing all of the flashcards of people and places. We did discuss all of the these, and I did use the flashcards at the beginning of each lesson to review what we knew so far, but I didn’t require the girls to memorize them. 
I loved the way that the vocabulary words were presented in the context they were used in the reading. We spent time each lesson talking about these.
I also liked the balance of the basic comprehension questions- what happened in the reading- with some of the discussion activities in each lesson. I think both are important levels of reading comprehension, and I love discussion when we read aloud.
One of my favorite things about the literature guide is the explanation of illustrations in each lesson. The illustrations truly are very well done, and I loved discussing them.
This literature unit worked very well for us doing it together as we did. Ashlyne could have used the guide independently, but I don’t think Rachel would have done well with it. The amount of writing involved in writing out the vocabulary and question answers in each lesson would have been too much for her writing ability.
If you have a child who is a strong reader and writer, this would make for a great independent study, but if you have a child who struggles, don’t pass over this literature guide, just adapt it as we did. There is much good information here.
Other Review Crew members reviewed this literature guide and other materials from Memoria Press. Check out the reviews by clicking below.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

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