Friday, June 5, 2015

Famous Men of Rome Review

We received the Famous Men of Rome Set from Memoria Press to review. Memoria Press provides homeschoolers with classical Christian curriculum for a wide range of ages and subjects. The Famous Men of Rome set is best suited for children in grades 4-8. But if you have children that enjoy listening to stories and learning about history, then it could certainly be used by younger children.

Memoria Press Review
Price: $39.95

The Famous Men of Rome set comes with a Student Guide, Teacher Guide and a Text book. These three books will provide everything you need for a year-long course on Rome.
The text book covers 30 stories about Ancient Rome. Students can follow along and read about the rise and fall of the great Roman empire. There are colored pictures of artwork and maps in the text book to go with the stories. Each of the stories focuses on a different historical figure, starting with Romulus, the founder of Rome, and ending with Constantine the Great. Though technically the last chapter is End of the Western Empire, which doesn't focus on any specific historical figure. You'll also find a glossary of people and places and maps of Italy, Rome and the Roman Empire at the back of the text book.

In the Student Guide you'll find that each story has a lesson that includes: Facts to Know (basically a quick guide to the story, including names and places), 10 Vocabulary words, 5-10 Comprehension Questions, and Activities. The activities include drawing pictures, creating family trees, filling in maps and timelines, and research projects. There is also a test at the end of every five lessons.

I used the Teacher Guide to direct the lessons. We started by reading the story first, followed by talking about what they learned, remembered, and what was most interesting to them. Then we reviewed the Facts to Know section and identified the main characters and locations. We used the vocabulary section to learn new words and their meanings. Bean copied down the words using pen and paper, but Munchkin used Bananagrams. We don't focus heavily on spelling, but it gives them both good practice to work on it. Plus, they learn interesting new vocabulary words! For the comprehension questions, we start by going over any questions the kids have, then I ask them the questions from the book and write down their answers. After that we choose a handful of activities to complete. We don't always do them all, but at this point we are usually an hour into the lesson. So typically we spend the rest of the week working on activities. We work on one lesson per week, and there are 25 lessons, plus the 5 review tests.

I would also suggest checking out The Book of the Ancient Romans (these books are suggested for grades 6-9). They would be great to use for a follow-up unit study or as continued learning materials. There are also other curriculum packs similar to this one available, such as The Men of the Middle Ages.

Memoria Press Review

In addition to reading the stories in the text book, we also made a trip to our local library and picked up a few more books, including: Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (Hands-On History), Ancient Rome (DK Eyewitness Books), If I Were a Kid in Ancient Rome: Children of the Ancient World, Spend the Day in Ancient Rome: Projects and Activities that Bring the Past to Life, and Explore Ancient Rome!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiments (Explore Your World). Living books is our favorite homeschooling resource! Second to books are Safari Ltd toobs for small worlds and sensory bins. They have a great Roman figures toob, along with a whole line of larger figures.

We really enjoyed using Memoria Press' classical curriculum to learn all about the Famous Men of Rome! We look forward to using the curriculum for the Famous Men of Middle Ages and the Famous Men of Greece in the future. They are fascinating and exciting and can be used by a wide range of ages! I highly recommend them for anyone thinking about teaching their children and students about the Ancient Romans!

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