Norse Myths and Zoology!

Lief and Liefthrasl - by Kolea

Lief and Liefthrasl – by Kolea

After the performance of the Fourth Grade Norse play at the Peoples’ Theater, we spent the following two weeks in main lesson telling the stories of the final battle, Ragnarok, and the events that led up to the twilight of the gods. Ragnarok destroys the worlds and the gods, but also cleanses the world of evil. The few godly survivors play chess by the ruins of Asgard while the earth heals and a new heaven is formed. The children painted their visions of this peaceful new world and the only two humans to survive, Lif and Lifthrasil.

Why Norse myths? In the Fourth Grade, children begin to experience a sense of separation from their surroundings, and a desire to understand their place in the world as individuals. The Norse myths we study this year are very different from last year’s Old Testament stories. Now we meet powerful heroes, godly but not quite immortal, who possess human frailties. As the children sense their growing individuality, they hear of gods and goddesses with power and honor. Some have volcanic tempers, some are mischievous, some jealous or craving possessions, and all make mistakes that they try to rectify in one way or another. There are lessons and consequences in these captivating stories; mistakes might be made, but honor is upheld.

Solomon and Artemis

Solomon and Artemis

Our new main lesson block is Zoology, where the emphasis is on description and observation with a strong subtext: how do human beings fit into the world of animals and what are our differences and similarities? As we continue the animal studies we began in November, our focus is on the Class Mammalia, from bats to whales to ungulates. The three newest arrivals at Keystone Homeschool are the bottle fed lambs, Danny Boy, Rio, and Artemis. The children share in an exclusively mammalian practice by giving milk to these young ruminants!

This week is all about rodents, beginning with mice, beavers, and capybaras.
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