Story of the Greeks – struggling please help

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  • amyjane

    So my boys 7 and 9 are having a hard time with all the names and places in this book.  They don’t know how to narrate because it is confusing and to be honest I get confused as well.  I will admit history is not one of my fav subjects.  Is the whole book this way?  Should I push through?  How do I help them with narrations?  Any help please???


    How much are you reading in one sitting? Perhaps just start off reading one paragraph and having them narrate back? Also, my children like to see pictures of what they are learning so sometimes I will google a picture(s) or take out our mapwork to show them before/during our reading time (if they are not provided in the book).


    My kids are having a tough time too.  Those Greek stories are much different than things we normally read.  Sometimes they do ok, sometimes I help them summarize what happens.  I figure that we will just keep reading…even if I need to help them through it.  I figure we can always forcus on some of the eaier reading for narrations.


    I have two about your age and one quite a bit older and we are doing okay.  I stop during our readings to discuss what is going on, maybe something connects with a book they’re already reading, like, Herodotus/The Parthenon. We always use a white board to write names of the people, real or imaginary, cities, etc., to attempt to keep it all straight.  I’m not overly worried about keeping it all “straight” but just gentle exposure to the Greek culture/history.  I’m actually enjoying this book much more than I did the Ancient Egypt one…don’t know why, but I am. 

    Oh, as far as pushing through, I don’t know.  I’m sure there are plenty of other chapter/picture books you could read to expose them to the Greeks…Heritage History has a bunch of them.  We plan to watch the Drive Thru History at some point, as well. 



    I would say this book is best for upper elementary and middle school. While younger ones can listen in, I would not expect much in narrations from younger kids.


    Thank you, missceegee, for typing that.  I have begun to hate spines in general, not being able to find one that I think would really connect for dd7.  I’ve started to realize that it may just be that she is only 7 and it will be a couple more years before she can fully digest and narrate back history material from a book that is meant to be read by the whole family. 

    Rachel White

    I second missceegee and recommend instead:

    D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths

    Men of Old Greece by Jennie Hall

    A Story of the GOlden Age of Greek Heroes – James Baldwin

    Old Greek Stories by James BAldwin

    Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers by Mary E. Burt

    Out Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago by Julia Cowles

    Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago

    Our Little Macedonian Cousin of Long Ago

    Aesop for Children illustrated by MIlo Winter (personal preference)

    A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales by Hawthorne on Audio

    They’ll have a fine foudnation with this. Add in some old maps of the areas referred to in the books and you’re good, IMO. They should be able to narrate from some, if not all, of these.


    Echoing Missceegee and Rachel…there are other books if you want something different.  Don’t forget, though, that children can listen to books several grades higher then they read and are capable to learning from it – you just may not get a “perfect” narration. Make sure that you are reviewing what you learned last time to help them tie together.  

    Other narration ideas: let them do coloring pages of the person you are learning about, have them draw a picture of something they heard in the story, make something with legos or clay from the story…etc.

    Using a map that they can follow the stories on is important. I even found that for myself when I was reading these on my own before the modules changed.  

    The Heritage History study guide has several invaluable pieces of info in it…not the least is the list of famous people and what they did in summary/timeline form. 😉 (Love their maps, too.  And the major events timeline! The whole thing was helpful simply because it made Greek History less confusing for ME as the teacher, lol!)  

    The books that Rachel recommended are available from Heritage History and/or the Baldwin project. Some are available as audiobooks from


    I know this was a month ago but I just wanted to add my two cents.

    I thought it was just us! We’re having a tough time with this book. But I have started doing something that has helped a lot. What really causes a lot of confusion for us is when I stumble over the pronunciations. It’s practically every other sentence. So now I sit with the lesson and the computer and look up the words that I’m unsure of. I think has a key that will pronounce it. Lessons are much better now that it flows!

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