Saturday, March 27, 2010

Learning Greek Mythology Through Music

Perseus looking for Medusa in the Gorgon Valley

Last week, our librarian sent us The Constellations - A Guide to the Orchestra by Jonathan Peters.  I thought the music would go over our son's head and I thought the stories may be too gory for a 3 year old boy... was I wrong!  He loves to sit and analyze which instrument is which Greek god and he narrates or performs the stories of Perseus, Medusa and the Sea Monster, Hercules, the Lion and Hydra, etc.  We read  stories and we play with flash cards.  He really 'digs' this stuff.  The stories are a little more violent than I would like for our 3 year old son - but I think the important thing is that we talk about the stories and learn from them.

In reading NurtureShock, I learned 2 important things:

1. Ethnic pride is very important to the self-confidence of children.  Part Greek, our son is learning about the gods and goddesses of his people.

2. Research has found that it is not the exposure to conflict that was difficult on children, but the lack of  time used in resolving it.  When educational shows use more time establishing conflict between characters and less time resolving it, children became 'increasingly bossy, controlling and manipulative'.  And if conflict is resolved in a respectful and affectionate manner, the children's prosocial behavior and sense of security actually increases.  Now, our challenge is to create better resolutions for the conflicts in the Greek myths.  

Some Resources (this will grow as we do more, so check back here):
Greek Myths Flash Cards for FREE!  Our son loves these cards!  Games can be played with them: matching, go fish, etc.
Learn About Volcanoes

Books our son really liked:
Greek Myths for Young Children
Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Our son loves Mary Pope Osborne's The Magic Tree House and he loves listening to these tales just as much.

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