Classical Writing Homer

Book II: Homer
Progymnasma Narrative • 5th - 6th grade


Theory The Homer Series of Books
Analysis & Imitation What to Buy
Practice (Writing Projects) Frequently Asked Questions

Narrative follows fable in the progymnasmata sequence. Master storyteller Homer is our mascot for this level. Homer is for the advancing writer who has completed Aesop. In Homer, students are presented with longer and more challenging narratives for analysis and imitation. In addition, more rigorous grammar and diagramming is practiced. The models in Homer include Aesop’s fables, Bible stories, historical legends, myths, fairy tales, historical accounts, and even nature studies.

Homer provides two years of instruction, which are typically completed during 5th and 6th grade. The skills learned in Homer build on those from Aesop and are the necessary foundation for all that follows in Classical Writing. Even an older students need to master these concepts, but usually they do so with far less time and practice. We offer the Older Beginners series to meet this need.


To complete the work in Homer, the student needs to study a grammar curriculum concurrently. You may use any grammar curriculum you choose. We recommend Harvey’s Elementary Grammar, for which we have produced Workbooks and Answer Keys. Theory learned from the grammar program is practiced in Homer as the student parses, diagrams, and imitates sentences from the model.
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Analysis and Imitation

In Homer, as in Aesop, we teach a four day routine for analysis and imitation. As in Aesop, Days 2 and 3 are vital for helping students to develop copia—a variety of ways to express the same thought. 

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Practice (Writing Projects)

There are ten writing projects in Homer; each complements concepts students are learning in theory, imitation, and analysis. Students also learn to rewrite a narrative in a different chronological order: beginning in the middle with a flashback; or rewriting a narrative backwards.

Writing is a process, and that editing is part of that process. As in Aesop, routines are developed in editing to make this as painless as possible. The Student Workbooks include editing checklists for each week’s writing project. These are very valuable to teachers in evaluating the student’s progress.
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The Homer series of books:

Homer is the non-consumable teacher text for the Homer program.  In order to make Homer a "pick up and go" curriculum, the student workbooks divide the work for Homer into 20 weeks for each year of instruction. For each week, there is a weekly assignment checklist, a copy of the model for the student to mark up, space to complete most of the exercises and assignments for each week, along with comprehensive editing checklists for each week’s writing project. The weekly checklist also lists each week’s assignments in Harvey’s Elementary Grammar. The optional Instructor’s Guides have teacher helps and Answer Keys. They also contain a copy of each model and each week’s assignment checklist. 

If you choose to create your own lessons plans, the optional Animals and Heroes may be a help to you in this case.  It contains model fictional narratives, Bible stories, and historical legends, as well as a few non-fiction narratives. You can use these to build your own lessons. You do not need this book if you use the Student Workbooks.

If you have students in 7th grade or above, you might consider our Aesop and Homer for Older Beginners, which covers the material in Aesop and Homer in 22 weeks. Please see Place Your Student for additional help in deciding what to buy.
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View the Scope and Sequence for Homer

View the suggested Literature List for Aesop and Homer

What to Buy for Homer:

• core text needed for all study of Homer
• contains model suggestions
• for advancing beginners of all ages
• two years of work for a typical 5th-6th grade student

For the first year of Homer work:

Student Workbook A
• consumable
• 20 weeks of assignments covering the first part of Homer
• includes all models and grammar assignments
• editing checklists for each writing project
Instructor's Guide A recommended

Instructor's Guide A
• non-consumable
• use with Student Workbook A
• 20 weeks of daily lesson plans and review
• has many teacher helps and notes for weekly lessons
• includes ways to apply lessons to other subject areas

For the second year of Homer work:

Student Workbook B
• consumable
• 20 weeks of assignments covering the remainder of Homer
• includes all models and grammar assignments
• editing checklists for each writing project
Instructor Guide B recommended

Instructor's Guide B
• non-consumable
• use with Student Workbook B
• 20 weeks of daily lesson plans and review
• has many teacher helps and notes for weekly lessons
• answers to grammar exercises, including diagramming

Also Available:


Animals and Heroes
• Models for Homer;. You do not need this book if you will be using workbooks A, B or Older Beginners

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my student is ready for Homer?

A beginning student of Homer should have completed Classical Writing's Aesop or the equivalent, that is, be a solid reader, versed in the basic parts of speech, and able to retell simple 300 word narratives in complete sentences.

What else should my student be studying along with Homer?

Your students will need a separate grammar program. We recommend Harvey's Elementary Grammar, which is a thorough and simple classical grammar text. However, you may use a different grammar text. We provide information to help you schedule your student's grammar lessons.

In response to requests from teachers using Classical Writing, we have also developed Workbooks and Answer Keys to go with Harvey's Elementary Grammar.

You will also need: 
    a spelling program as needed, preferably a systematic phonics approach
    a handwriting program
    a typing program - optional, but highly recommended

Although we give sentence diagramming instruction in the Homer text, if you are completely new to diagramming, a resource like Mary Daly's First Whole Book of Diagrams may be helpful. Online diagramming resources are listed on our Helpful Links page.

I’d love to buy Classical Writing but we are on a tight budget, and I have many students coming down the line.

Aesop and Homer and Poetry for Beginners are all two year non-consumable books. All the Instructor’s Guides are non-consumable, also. In fact, all the core books are non-consumable.

It may be possible to only purchase one Student Workbook and use it as a non-consumable book by having your students do their work on the computer or on separate paper instead of marking up the book.

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