The World of Homer


Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view


Aims of the Course

This course is designed by our tutor Alison Samuels, a specialist in classics and former lecturer at the Open University, as a companion to our popular course Mythology and Religion of Greece and Rome.

Students as young as 11 can enjoy this course, which immerses the student in the world of Homer’s immortal poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the main course, students will use the Charlotte Mason tools of narration and discussion to help them engage and share their learning.

We will read whole books from the Homeric poems, and study the history and archaeology of the cultures which produced them, using the OCR textbook Myth and Religion (section 2) designed to support students studying for a UK 15+ examination in Classical Civilisation (details below). Students are advised to own the Odyssey and the Iliad (translated Lattimore). However, these can also be read in the online translations by A.S. Kline. Other materials will be supplied free as PDFs.

Add-On Options

The add-on writing extension for this course focuses on researching and composing extra term papers based around the subjects in the main course.

In addition to the weekly 1/2-hour webinar, students usually spend an average of 2 hours a week on researching and writing, and when combined with the main course, affords any US student an “honors” designation on their completion certificate.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

US students would be able to count this on a high school transcript for Social Studies or an elective, and with the add-on writing, bump up the level to an honors course.

For UK students, this course will create a rich environment covering and going beyond the specification requirements of the Literature and Culture option, The Homeric World for the OCR Classical Civilisation GCSE (Route 1). This course could be studied along (but not concurrently) with our Mythology and Religion of Greece and Rome course to satisfy the full requirements of the GCSE examination. Students wishing to sit the examination are strongly advised to take the Add-On paper for support with writing skills. Students are not advised to aim for a GCSE in one year unless they begin the course with advanced writing skills.


Who Teaches The World of Homer?

Alison Samuels is a former home-educating mum and a graduate of St John's College, Cambridge. She was one of the first women admitted to her alma mater, when it stopped being for men only. Her long teaching experience includes more than 20 years as a Classics lecturer with the Open University.
See all courses taught by Alison