For the last few months, I have been tutoring a nine year old boy in English (vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc). Early on, I realized that the boy liked Medieval history, so we read some Arthur mythology. Unfortunately, most of my Medieval books are a little too advanced because I studied the Middle Ages in 6th grade. So the trouble remained: how can you keep the interest of a smart kid who has trouble reading?
I found a picture book on Ancient Greece to read. The boy was only interested in battles, but we talked extensively about the Greek phalanx and the Athenian battle strategy at Salamis. He plays a lot of board games with his brother and cousin which involve military strategy, so he caught on to the intricacies of Greek warfare surprisingly quickly.
I decided that we should read some Greek myths. Plato reports in the Republic that children are raised on Greek myths and Homeric poetry, so I thought I could use the stories. I remembered my love of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. The problem was that the boy got bogged down in complicated names of all the people and places. He liked the stories, but the names were too hard. One of the stories D'Aulaires sadly lacks is the story of Achilles. So I decided to write one that would not use as many confusing names. We will probably read it next week but I might post it for fun when I am finished.