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Sara Olds

BA - Humanities

MA - American Fine & Decorative Arts

Sara Olds received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Brigham Young University, and her Masters of Arts in American Fine and Decorative Arts from The Sotheby's Institute in New York. Sara also completed training in Arts Integration at The Crystal Bridges Museum....


Along with her focused study in business, her academic and work careers have given her unique insight into the practical application of the arts within various academic disciplines. Her interest in education blossomed during her master's program, when she recognized the failings of the traditional school system to encourage and teach individuals to learn to learn, and love to learn. She also became keenly aware of  the  Humanities' unique ability to unite information from various fields and solidify understanding of new material. The Humanities also indirectly teach skills for life, including critical analysis, empathy, and tolerance to name a few.


In addition to her love of the arts, Sara loves to teach. She has taught everything from swim lessons, to voice & piano lessons, to operating her own summer camp. Inspired by her second grade teacher, Sara believes learning is, and should be fun! 

World History & Geography:  Ancient Civilizations

Instructor: Sara Olds

Ages 11-13

Location: In-person & Online

Homework: Minimal - approximately 30-60 min a week. Most projects will be completed in the classroom. Some at home projects and Enhancement Activities will be assigned.

Materials: Kits will be provided for online students


Recommended texts that parents need to supply: Usbourne Ancient World, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, The Egypt Game, Black Ships Before Troy (The Iliad), The Wanderings of Odysseus


In this class, students will develop an understanding of the definition of “civilization” including its defining characteristics.  They will become familiar with many of the world’s major civilizations.   We start with an examination of Prehistory Theories of the human diaspora into all continents and Oceania to understand why these events are significant in our lives today - to understand the central ideas that shaped our history.  In this class, we will take a year-long journey through Mesopotaimia, Inda, Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as other ancient civilizations.  What were the dominant cultures, laws and art forms from these great civilizations?  How did they rise? Why did they fall?   What lessons did the Ancients learn that still shape our lives today? What can we learn to improve current civilization? We’ll learn about contributions from legendary philosophers such as Socrates, Pythagorus, Sun Tzu, Archimedes, Euclid, Hippassus, Confucius, and many more!  

​Our knowledge of the Ancients will come partly from our reading of historical fiction, classic literature and original people and their civilizations. We will also utilize documentaries from some of the world’s most renown historians. ​We will be studying not just to understand events, but to understand the major thoughts and ideas that came from those time periods, pivotal events and people, advances in science and culture and how those discoveries still impact us todau. 

 While we are in Mesopotamia, we’ll read an excerpt from the Epic Poem Gilgamesh. While in Greece we’ll read a retelling of The Iliad called “Black Ships Before Troy”.  We’ll also learn about the great philosophers like Socrates and Plato as we read (and watch!) The Allegory of the Cave. We will also study the great mythology of these ancient civilizations. Important readings from each ancient civilization we study will also be included. Usborne’s Ancient Civilization boow will be a great resource to explore and understand various fascinating aspects of each civilization. Scientific, technological, mathematical and linguistic skill contributions to humanity and academics from each civilization, if any will also be examined.

Students will choose from a variety of projects to show mastery of independent subjects within our studies.   Investigative essays, poetry, slideshows, artwork and more will be done within the class to help each student find how they prefer to master their learning.   We’ll make cuneiform tablets, build ziggurats, and construct our own codes and laws (just like Hammurabi) and more!  Of course, we’ll also play games like Seven Wonders – a game that helps players understand significant locations in ancient history and the importance of resources in building each location. ​​


Join us for a look at Ancient Civilizations and see how lives from thousands of years ago still affect our lives today!​


Fall:   Prehistory, Jericho, Mesopotamia & India

Winter:  Egypt  & Greece  

​Spring:   Greece & Rome


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