We didn’t really read anything new this week. Instead, we finished up our study of Norse mythology. Every year, we pick a new world mythology to study. We’ve done the major ones (Greek and Roman) and now have to pick from many of the other world religions. This year was any easy choice – Rick Riordan had a new book out that covered Norse mythology. It’s set in the same world as Percy Jackson, which we have loved, so we knew we had to read the books. We got a great introduction to the bones of Norse mythology by reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer. We can’t wait until the next book comes out, but that won’t be until next year. There are many other YA and middle grade novels that utilize Norse mythology as the core to the story. I’d recommend reading Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants. Gaiman is a great storyteller, and this is no exception, as we follow Odd in a quest to get the Frost Giants out of Asgard so winter will finally end.
Once we got a taste of Norse mythology, I wanted the kids to read some of the Norse myths. Now, you can go right to the source and read the The Poetic Edda or The Prose Edda. I didn’t think the kids were quite up for that, so we read some of the myths, edited for children. There’s a lot less blood and violence in the children’s versions, but Norse mythology really isn’t ideal for the sensitive child. We found two different books of myths in the library, which had a slightly different collection of myths – Odin’s Family, edited by Neil Philip, and Favorite Norse Myths edited by Mary Pope Osborne.
Whenever we study a new mythology, all the new gods and goddesses get confusing. Norse mythology is even more confusing since there are nine worlds in which characters can live. To get more information on the different individuals in the pantheon, we used the website godchecker.com. This website has information on almost 30 different pantheons, so we’ll be making use of it in future unit studies as well. They don’t provide too much in-depth information about the different deities, but it’s an informative overview, usually written in a humorous style, that provides enough information for you to find out more if you want it.
Overall, we’ve enjoyed our study of the Norse deities. I’m thinking we might have to watch the first Thor movie as our end of the topic review and see how many of the deities the kids recognize from their studies.
Linking up with the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly wrap-up.
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