Oct 282008

There is a lot of disagreement among homeschoolers concerning the value of studying mythology.  Some, especially strict Classical homeschoolers or Latin-centered homeschoolers, place great attention on mythology in the early years. The article Why Pagans? by Cheryl Lowe of Memoria Press is a short defense on the value of studying the Greek and Roman culture. Others, take a more moderate view of studying mythology.  While recognizing some of the value in the forms of cultural literacy and understanding of ancient times, they do not elevate the Greek and the Roman culture to a higher place than it deserves.  I would consider Tapestry of Grace to be among this group.  Finally, there are some who disagree with teaching any mythology in the early years.  I would put the Bluedorn’s among this group.  This article explains their concerns and their definition of classical education. 

I guess I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, possibly leaning more to the Bluedorn’s perspective on this matter.  But we do study some mythology.  We are in Week 14 of TOG and my Upper Grammar kids have been reading D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths.  I think it has been a profitable study for them.  I was excited yesterday by the connections my older son is making with the Greek story of a flood to the biblical account.  He was interested in seeing how Noah was spelled in our Greek New Testament.  Then he was comparing the stories of Noah to the Greek and Babylonian flood stories.  We talked about the Tower of Babel and how all men would have heard the story of the flood before their language was confused.  Then after the people were dispersed they took the story with them.  Over time, the story was confused in the cultures that did not continue to follow the true God of the Bible.  He sovereignly preserved the true story which is recorded in Genesis.  I think this is an example of the light that everyone in the world has as mentioned in Romans 1 but has been distorted. The reading of the myths really enabled my son to see these connections for himself.  I’m always encouraged when he shows such insight!