As of yesterday morning, we can now say that we have read the entire book of The Iliad. Yes, every blood-spattered, rage-infused word. We read it. All of us, even the 10 year old. In fact, I think the 10 year old knew more of what was going on between the Trojans and the Greeks than her older siblings did.
This was my second time reading Homer’s epic. The second time was better. The second time around gave me sympathy for Achilles. It gave me an understanding of the sorrow shared between Achilles and Priam. It also fed me an intense dislike of Helen. I enjoyed feeling all of these emotions brought about by the written word. I love it when that happens.
It took us 7 weeks to read this monstrosity of a Great Book. 7 weeks! I don’t know how schools do it in 3. I suppose we could have squeezed it in that little bit of time if Emma had read it on her own but it was important to me read it out loud so that we share it as a family. In reading it out loud it leads to better discussion. Discussion is important to me this year and there were times of good discussions. I am hoping that these discussions will get better as the years go on.
We won’t be reading all of the Great Books as a family. The next one on the list–The Oedipus Trilogy–is one that will only be read by Emma and myself. Then we will return to Homer for The Odyssey, a story that will be enjoyed by the entire family. Tessa is already excited to hear The Odyssey. She knows about all that happens and is eager to hear the ‘real’ story.
So am I.