Book Club

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 school 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.

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:
    • Location: Parent home, Green Hills. Address provided by email closer to event.
    • RSVP through our family newsletter link.
    • 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.
    • Ideas for pre-reading if you are new to the Iliad:
      • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, D’Aulaire. This book is very accessible for a basic overview of Greek mythology. It is also a great audiobook.
      • The Trojan War, Coolidge. This is a summary of the entire Trojan War and goes beyond the limited content of the Iliad but provides a great overview of the entire Trojan War cycle.
      • Not included in the MP cores, but another excellent introduction to this story is Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff.
      • If your child has already read the Iliad they will be a fantastic resource for you as well.
    • If you own it, do not hesitate to use your MP Iliad Teacher Guide to this text to help guide you through!

Planned schedule for the future:

  • Year Two, 2020-2021: The Odyssey, Homer, Shakespeare TBD
    • Dates:
      • October-Odyssey
      • January-Odyssey
      • April –Odyssey
      • July-Shakespeare
    • Ideas for pre-reading if you are new to the Odyssey:
      • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, D’Aulaire. This book is very accessible for a basic overview of Greek mythology. It is also a great audiobook.
      • The Trojan War, Coolidge. This is a summary of the entire Trojan War and goes beyond the limited content of the Odyssey but provides a great overview of the entire Trojan War cycle.
      • Not included in the MP cores, but another excellent introduction to this story is In Search of a Homeland by Rosemary Sutcliff.
      • If your child has already read the Odyssey they will be a fantastic resource for you as well.
      • If you own it, do not hesitate to use your MP Odyssey Teacher Guide to this text to help guide you through!
    • 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