It’s All Greek To Me

It’s All Greek To Me September 18, 2012
We made this Olympian Family Tree on the first day of our Mythology class with other homeschoolers.

Time once again for me to lament my crappy education.  The one where I never conducted a real experiment, one based on a real question.  Where I never learned how other people understood the world, in other cultures or in other times.  Where I learned how to read and write and pass Calculus, but didn’t learn anything about what made the world fascinating and beautiful and challenging.

I mean, really, how did I get through twenty-three years of schooling without reading a single Greek myth?  Or any myth from anywhere?  (Okay, I suppose some of you might consider that story I stake my life on a myth, but that’s for another post.  On Thursday, actually.)

Well, I’m finally getting around to reading all of those great stories with the boys, and we could not be more psyched.  Gods sleep with their siblings, swallow their children, and have very cool toys.  There is even a story about a god sprouting up out of another god’s discarded testicles.  C’mon, you could not make up better stories to get reluctant kids reading.

So here it is, our Mythology Unit.  We’ll spend the fall incorporating reading, writing, history, art, and science into Greek, Egyptian, Nordic and African myths.  To help us stay on task, I invited a group of homeschoolers to join us.  Every Monday this fall, we’ll meet with a small group of homeschoolers, all eight and nine years old, to read, play games, make art, and generally have a great time.  Best of all, I finally get to learn what everyone else learned in middle school.  Homeschooling rocks!

Over the next week, I’ll post about different activities we’re going to do.  Eventually, I’ll put the entire unit up as a separate page under curriculum.  For today, I leave you with two logic puzzles the boys wrote with help from the amazing Myia (aka, the Governess).  Good luck, and let us know how you do on them.  The boys will be psyched to know people actually tried them.

The Big Tornado
by Zach Barneson

THE STORY: Four Gods were practicing fighting.  Their names were Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, and Hera.  All of a sudden, a tornado came out of the blue and swallowed them up.  The four Gods lost their weapons and were thrown out of the tornado.  When each God woke up, he found himself with another God’s weapon – either a guard, a trident, a helm, or a master bold.  He also found himself in another location – either a mountain, a beach, in the city, or in the country.  Help the Gods figure out where they are and figure out what weapon they have.


1. Zeus did not have the helm and he did not wake up in the city or the country.

2. Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus did not have the trident.

3. Zeus woke up on a mountain.

4. Hades woke up with sand in his shoes.

5. Poseidon and the God who woke up on a mountain did not have the masterbolt.

6. When Poseidon woke up, he almost got run over by a taxi.

A Worksheet: 

Zeus Hades Poseidon Hera
guard guard guard guard
helm helm helm helm
trident trident trident trident
masterbolt masterbolt masterbolt masterbolt
country country country country
beach beach beach beach
mountain mountain mountain mountain
city city city city


Gods, Weapons, Seasons

by Ezra Barneson

THE STORY:  Three Cyclopses named Lightning, Thunder, and Thunderbolt were making weapons for some of the Gods.  They made weapons for Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.  They gave the weapons to the Gods during different seasons –winter, spring, and summer.  Based on the clues, match the Cyclops with the God he made the weapon for and the season in which he gave it to the God.


1. Lightning and Thunderbolt delivered the Gods’ weapons when the leaves on the trees were still green.

2. Poseidon received his weapon in the summer.

3. Lightning and Thunderbolt made weapons for Zeus and Poseidon.

4. Lightning never delivers weapons when the weather is really hot.

5. Zeus got his weapon during his favorite season.

6. The Sea God received his weapon during the season that we celebrate the 4th of July.

A Worksheet: 

Lightning Thunder Thunderbolt
Hades Hades Hades
Poseidon Poseidon Poseidon
Zeus Zeus Zeus
Spring Spring Spring
Summer Summer Summer
Winter Winter Winter


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  • Nancy Mc

    Although I HATED these types of questions on the GREs, these are kind of fun; thanks! Here are my guesses:





    I think we studied myths every year for about 6 years in school. I distinctly remember many quizzes where you had to match the Roman god with the corresponding Greek god.

    Have fun!

    • tedelschick

      Thanks for playing, Nancy. I won’t write in with the right answers for a while to give people a chance to do them. The boys were doing these kind of puzzles every day for awhile, and were loving them. Maybe if your entire future doesn’t rest on them, they are more fun?