Book Club

Next gathering: Friday, July 17th, for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night!

Like many, I’ve long had a goal of reading classical literature – both for my own personal growth, and to enrich my homeschool. The HLN Book Club provided just the motivation, camaraderie, and accountability I needed to finally make it happen! It’s been an honor and a blessing to read, discuss, and share this journey through great books with other HLN parents and teachers. I’m thankful for the opportunity, and look forward to it continuing to be a meaningful part of my family’s HLN experience. 

-HLN Parent

HLN supports parents in continuing their own education by providing a classics book club. We employ the guiding principle of multum non multa which means “much, not many.” A modern phrasing would be “quality, not quantity.” As a classical tutorial we want to draw parents and teachers into some of the foundational texts of the classical tradition. We meet three times during the school year and once in the summer.

I’m grateful for this book club that gave me the courage to conquer this epic poem.  The Iliad was intimidating, but well worth the effort. I enjoyed reading it and learning about the culture, mythology, and military of the Greeks. Most of all, I loved getting together to discuss it with new friends over good food.  

-HLN Parent

Following the suggested Memoria Press Classical Studies sequence, each year we will focus on the following:

  • One classical studies text. These are texts that every student will read in their time at HLN and that parents may not have read, or may not have read in full, on their own. Through reading and discussion we desire to foster enjoyment and growth as well as to help parents prepare to engage with their children about these stories when the time comes.
  • One Shakespearian play. Each summer we will read the selection that will be performed the following fall at Shakespeare in the Park. HLN families have an annual back-to-school tradition of attending this play together in September. The specific play is announced each spring once selected by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

Pre-reading suggestions are listed beneath the text for those who are new to the stories. Almost all of these texts are part of the standard Memoria Press curriculum and are available with Teacher Guides if you need more help. Many of you will already own these materials and teacher resources in your homeschool library.

  • Year One, 2019-2020: The Iliad, Homer & Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
    • Year One Dates:
      • October 25, 2019 Iliad Books 1-8
      • January 10, 2020 Iliad Books 9-16
      • April 24, 2020 Iliad Books 17-24
      • July 17, 2020 Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – entire play. Join us as we read aloud the play via Zoom. See the July 6th family newsletter, sent at 2:15 PM, for RSVP and Zoom links or email the Directors. Since we are reading aloud, you are most welcome even if you have not pre-read.
        • N.B. Fall 2020 Shakespeare in the Park has been cancelled by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.
    • A few translations of the Iliad:
      • Samuel Butler (This is the version used in the MP sets. It is both scholarly but very accessible.)
      • Richmond Lattimore
      • Robert Fagles
      • Robert Fitzgerald
      • For those who want to know more about how the translations differ, this YouTube playlist is very enjoyable.

Planned schedule for the future:

  • Year Two, 2020-2021: Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare TBD
    • Dates:
      • October-Odyssey
      • January-Odyssey
      • April –Odyssey
      • July-Shakespeare
    • Shakespeare play (TBD)
  • Year Three:
    • Aeneid, Virgil
    • Shakespeare play (TBD)
  • Year Four:
    • Greek Tragedies (Aeschylus & Sophocles)
    • Shakespeare play (TBD)
  • Year Five:
    • The Divine Comedy, Dante
    • Shakespeare play (TBD)

“Until a few years back, I had never read the Odyssey and never thought to do so, except in the eat-your-broccoli sense that all cultured Westerners must eventually read Homer. When my young son Matthew’s class took up the ancient Greek epic, I read along with him. It turned out to the one of the most thrilling intellectual adventures of my life, one that was even more pleasurable because it was a voyage I made with my son.”

-Rod Dreher, How Dante Can Save Your Life