Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who's Horatius and Why Do I Care?

image from Roman History

If you haven't heard of Horatius at the Bridge yet, you are missing out. He was an ancient world hero who defied death and unbelievable odds.

Cub and Flower are memorizing the 70 stanza poem this year for fun. Not really. I mean, they are memorizing it. But I'm not sure they own the fun part yet. I am exercising my rights as PaxRoMomma and making them do it whether they want to or not. Latin Highlands School introduces Horatius to their 5th graders and those who memorize the entire poem are awarded the prestigious "Churchill Award." (cause Churchill did it too. I figured if it's good enough for the British Bulldog, it's good enough for us). In other words, it's all for their own good.

The Lays of Ancient Rome are five ballads written by the Englishman, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and published in 1842. Horatius is the most famous of the ballads and consists of 70 stanzas.

Which leads us to "who cares." Seriously. Why have the kids memorize ancient history, an event that is hardly remembered and full of difficult vocab and places long forgotten. Here's why.

A. It teaches them history.
B. It teaches them vocabulary.
C. It teaches them geography.
D. It teaches them pronunciation of difficult words.
E. It teaches them presentation skills (such as slowing down, over pronunciation, over learning, etc).
F. It teaches them rhyme and meter.
G. It teaches them about the hero's of the past who exhibited character qualities such as courage, bravery and valor.
H. It teaches them that politics, events and decisions made last long past the people who made them.
I. It teaches them to stretch their brain, demand more of themselves than they think possible.
J. It teaches them the joy of ownership (cause once they've memorized something nobody can take that away).
K. It teaches them perseverance. Because believe me, they want to give up on this daunting task about every.single.week.
L. It teaches them to continue to exercise their mental muscles. They done lots of poetry memorization in the past. They watch Feeche and friends perform an entire Shakespeare play once each summer (average length -2 hours). M. They want to make me happy.
N. They want to earn the toy they've been promised once they complete the poem.
See how nice I am? I've committed to getting them the toy of their choice (within a specific amount) if they do in fact complete it. And I'll be vlogging it as well (now that is motivation for my little Hams!).

Horatius? We'd heard of him before, 'casue we're passionate about history too. This year, we're getting to know him on a whole new level!


the striped rose said...

Most excellent! :)

Silver Moon said...

Love it! We've done large memory projects like that before. They're so proud of themselves when they conquer it. We should do another one this year. Hm...

Amy Maze said...

Can't wait to see the vlog! Your posts always make me laugh =) Thanks for blogging! I love all the reasons you state for memorizing ancient stuff...thanks for linking it up to Trivium Tuesdays!