A First Look at Ancient Greece OR Ancient Greece for Littles

Four years ago, when I officially started our homeschool adventures (as in I had to fill out and send in an affidavit to the local school district for approval) we filled our deep dark winter months with the glories of the Golden Age of Greece!

I don’t remember it being as glorious as all that, but I do have very fond memories of this time. It seems like we were able to do so much! I was sitting here picking out the photos I wanted to use for this post thinking, how in the world were we so awesome and got so much done and did the coolest activities!?!?

And then I remembered, this was when I had only one child in “homeschool.” And he was in 1st grade. Yes, I did have 3 other kids (I’ve only upped that number by 1 since.) But with only 1 small child to homeschool, things were a lot more relaxed and simpler.

Or at least, they COULD have been. But instead, I filled up all our time with awesome and cool activities! These are only the ancient Greek photos! You should see the other fun stuff we did! (The moral of this unrelated portion of the blog post is this: when you have less kids, you will probably have time to do more awesome learning activities. But then you would have less kids and your heart would be less full. So I’m not sure it would actually be worth it. Just don’t beat yourself up with how awesome your homeschool used to be, or even could be. Just be your own awesomeness right now with what you’ve got.)

Anyway, here we go…

We read lots of books! We always read lots of books. But for some reason (maybe because I wasn’t as book crazy back then) I only took a photo of one. (Who takes pictures of books, anyways?) This was one of our very favorites.

DSC07101

We made Ancient Greek Lap Books! These took quite a bit of time (especially since 1st graders and preschoolers don’t necessarily cut things out and glue them on at an adult pace – not to mention how long it takes to color things in if your preschooler is a perfectionist. Now I’m starting to remember those tantrums.) You can find the free template for these lapbooks here.

We also made a Trojan Horse from a model in one of our activity books from the library. My husband thought this was dumb because if the story of the Trojan Horse was even real, in no way would Odysseus and Agamemnon have built a little hut on top of the horse. The whole idea was that of surprise. And advertising that people are hiding in the horse would have defeated the purpose.

He’s right, of course. But I didn’t care. Look! It’s so cute! And we got to paint stuff!

We made Greek black figure pottery. Technically these are little yoghurt cups and pipe cleaners (the handles) covered in air dry clay and then painted and drawn on with black Sharpies. So cute! We actually kept these cups for over 4 years! They lasted just about until the time Little Destructo learned how to walk. (He’s so cute, too!) I’m not sure if the Greeks ever painted butterflies on their pots, but 4 year old 21st century little girls do!

We made ourselves some Greek fashion tunics out of old sheets donated by my neighbor. You can’t really tell, but there are designs along the bottom hem of the tunics. Also, that middle photo! I just couldn’t help myself!

And then we ate “Greek” food and watched the winter Olympics. (This year, however, I’ve found a Greek restaurant and we are headed there for our culinary experience. I’m not sure if Kalamata olives, Greek yoghurt, pita chips, feta cheese, dates, and is that a sardine (?) really count as actual Greek cuisine. Then again, who knows how authentic the restaurant will be either. One thing is for sure, the Greeks did NOT have snowboarding races in their olympics! But ours are sure fun to watch.

DSC07231

And lastly, we (read I) made the Parthenon. This is another example of mom taking over. I probably took over a lot during the above Trojan Horse project also. But as you can see from our more recent Parthenon recreation, I’m getting much, much better at the hands off approach! đŸ™‚ This is what it is supposed to look like according to the project book.

DSC07148

Here is what we ended up with.

Not bad. Not bad.

Here is what the kids did with the extra straw segments and glue!

Classic!