History is a favorite of mine and of the girls. I have always enjoyed learning about history – whether it is true historical fact, historical legend, and even myth that people believed as truth. Because of this love of history, I was really excited to be chosen to review the Famous Men of Rome set from Memoria Press. We have heard and enjoyed many good things from Memoria Press (such as New American Cursive) so we had every expectation that this product would be wonderful as well. We have not been disappointed.
The Famous Men of Rome Set has been interesting and a lot of fun. Roman history is full of interesting people. As a culture that was powerful and influenced so much of the world in its time and on into today, there is much to be gleaned from the men that made Rome so great. From its turbulent beginnings and founding, through its rise to power and time of conquering, and on through its decline, we found the history of Rome to be intriguing and fun to study. E, age 11, was who we had chosen this curriculum for but it was so interesting, we often found her littler sisters sneaking looks and listening in. So, we included them, too.
Famous Men of Rome comes with three components. There is a text, a student guide, and a teacher guide. There are a couple of other components on the website to choose from but these are what we were using.
The text is the meat of the materials, to me. It includes the stories of each of the men. There are 30 stories in the text. They move through history in chronological order, from the founding of Rome by Romulus. Each reading is broken up into three or four parts, making it easy to work through. Each reading also includes at least one drawing or picture and they are beautiful. (I have gone through the book a couple of time just admiring the artwork.) At the end of the text, you will find a list of people from each of the stories and some important facts about them. There are three color maps for reference.
The student guide and the teacher guide go hand in hand. The student guide is a workbook and the teacher guide is your answer key for that workbook. There are 25 lessons that correspond to the stories in the text. (There are fewer lessons than stories because several of the lessons combine people from the text.) There are several review lessons along the way. Each lesson has facts to know (suggested memory work), vocabulary directly from the text, comprehension questions, and activities. The activities include timeline work and map work in addition to other options. This classical curriculum on Ancient Rome could easily be an entire year’s worth of history for upper elementary or middle school students. It could also be more condensed and constitute a semester’s work. It all depends on how you need it to function. It’s flexibility is part of its appeal.
How We Used It
As I mentioned before, this was intended to be a history course for the oldest giggly girl. She did all of the reading and worked through the student guide, answering questions and completing activities. She tended to do the reading on the first two days of the week. She would then do the vocabulary and facts to know out loud with me on a third day. The fourth and sometimes fifth days of the week, she completed the comprehension questions and activities. I did not always assign every activity but she did about 85% of them. She most often did this independently, coming to me with questions or needing help. She also had me check her answers after she was finished with a lesson. But because of the interest of the other two girls, I found ways to include them in the learning.
I often read the story out loud for the younger girls. We would talk about the story as we went along, discussing important events or talking about the relationship of the people in the story. We would look at the maps together and find the places that were talked about in the text. We did the facts to know section out loud together. We also did the vocabulary section orally. In this way, the other two girls also learned a lot and were able to enjoy this well-written history of Rome.
What I Think
I have been thoroughly impressed with this history course. The books are beautiful, pleasant to look at, thumb through, and read from. But, even more, the text is well-written and easy to understand while encouraging significant vocabulary growth. Activities stretch understanding and help the student to comprehend the history of Rome and the impact it has had on the history of the world.
If you want to find out more, check out Memoria Press and the Famous Men of Rome Set. There are others on the Crew who have been reviewing the Latina Christiana I Complete Set and the The Book of the Ancient Romans Set. Be sure to hop over to the Review Crew to see what others had to say about these products.