We are, at the moment, up to our pits in Ancient Greece. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were our gateway. Side note: I never understood the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. So there were these plants on terraces . . . big deal. Someone mustve liked gardens. Turns out that Nebuchadnezzar II actually fell in love with the Persian princess he arranged to marry and when his bride was miserable in her new desert home and was homesick for the mountains, he ordered a mountain to be built in the middle of the city and turned it into a paradise. That’ s love. It may also be complete myth as no one can really prove they ever exsisted. There you have it.
Anyway, our history book has reached Greece and we have emmersed ourselves. Our last trip to the library found books about mythology (thanks to Fr. Tyler and the Olympics, this is not our introdution), the Seven Wonders and an activity book titled Classical Kids: something something something. (That’s not the official title, but it’s long and I’m lazy.) This book has proved the most riveting of the bunch.
On the first perussal, the kids found the greek clothing and requested we make some outfits.
Off to Salvation Army we went for sheets. (Muy authentico.) Returning home, we had to decide if the boys were going to be citizens (free and with a two shouldered outfit) or artisans, workmen, or slaves (one shoulder and half the chest naked). In the end, modesty won and they both opted for the chiton of a citizen.
Here was another difficulty: Men’s clothing was called a chiton. Now, I don’t know greek so I did my best. Shy-ton? Chee-ton? Chy-ton? Turns out it’s kite-ton. Right. And much less awkward than the shi-ton that the kids had taken to saying.
So we measured and cut and set to sewing. After Max had sewn about 4 inches by hand and the others were foaming at the mouth to get going, I asked if they wanted to use the sewing machine. So very Classical, right? You should have heard the cheering. Max and Philip’s were quick and rather slap-dash but they carefully hand sewed buttons to the choulders and were done. Tess, on the other hand, was a careful seamstress and, really, quite a natural. Ellie had her turn, too, gingerly guiding the fabric through the machine while I controlled the pedal.
They were so excited they wore their new duds until long after sunset, growing up a crop of giant goosebumps. The boys decided the chitons were so great they would wear them to bed. They were up and out the door the next morning without breakfast and barely awake. The girls woke me up to pin on their peplos. They stayed outside all day, climbing trees, breaking swings (Tess was in the seat, Max on the back and at the apex one rope broke. Tess came in covered in grass and holding her head, dirt in her ear. “She went flying! I saw her land on her head!” Max said. But when the tears dried she was right back outside.) and collecting grass stains. That evening we had dinner at the Wittes. The boys insisted on showers and washing their chitons – we even pressed them much to the delight of my proud boys.
And so, if it hadn’t been for the rain and the cool days we’ve had, they would’ve lived in their greekery. When the sun reappeared today, out they came again. It’s one trend I don’t mind.
Ahhh, the benefits of homeschooling… all of the learning that has taken place on so many levels and for all ages! If only I could think of a way to bring that into my classroom.