I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered the second volume of Athenaze from Italy. Let me just say that the weak dollar is not in favor of my hellenistic studies... I'm just hoping that when it arrives in a few weeks it'll be the correct volume.
I'll be finishing volume one this week. It's been a great experience and I feel that it has put my Greek on a stable foundation. I've been studying/reading for speed and comprehension, so I've assuredly missed many of the finer grammatical points and constructions. However, the fact that I can still read the Greek without having to puzzle over many words or constructions confirms my sense of progress. I haven't reread any chapters, but I've tried to complete all the end of chapter assignments before I move on. The translations into Greek, however, are very time consuming and I've become lax with them. Greek is a more complex and tricky beast than Latin, for sure, but I also find it to be somewhat more elegant and sonorous. Maybe it's just my beginner's sense of wonder. Who knows which language I will prefer in the end?
I really look forward to completing the second volume, as I believe by then I'll be able to study unadulterated texts without great difficulty. In the meantime, I'll be going the traditional approach and taking up my copy of Mastronarde.
To my great pleasure, I found a Greek-Latin edition of Plato's dialogues in the university library. Of course most of the Greek is beyond me, but it is very satisfying to slowly comprehend bits of Plato's own language, one which was once entirely 'Greek to me.' I look forward to the day when I'll be able to read the Greek as readily as the Latin.