Thursday, June 25, 2015

A TOS Review: Tales from the Circle C Ranch and Lapbook



Sometime back, I had the opportunity to review a delightfulbook by Susan K. Marlow. When I found I had the chance to review another book by the same author I was thrilled. We received Tales from the Circle C Ranch from Circle C Adventures. I not only received a paperback copy of the book, but a downloadable PDF of Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook.

This book was just a little bit different from the last one I reviewed. The main character is the same. Andrea Carter is a girl who lives in the 1800’s on a California Ranch. Instead of focusing on a specific period in Andi’s life, this book is a collection of short stories that were inspired by reader’s questions. It is a Christian fiction book and the author doesn’t apologize or wash over those tough issues that kids might deal with.

Andi is a bright and busy girl. She has a three older brothers and a sister. Their family is devastated when her father dies when Andi is very young. As a result, they are a very close family. I loved that everyone in her family has a role to play. Andi’s adventures are fun to read about and she has become a beloved character in our house.

Tales of the Circle C Ranch didn’t disappoint. We read about a hat and an unfortunate incident (at least to Aunt Rebecca), a pet snake and a wild horse race. There are 11 stories in all and each one is a delight.

 


I actually used the book in my Reading Class I teach weekly. I printed enough copies of the lapbook for my students. Each session I read one of the short stories out loud and then we worked through the lapbook component together. The lapbook contains a lot more than just bits and pieces about the story. The students learned about period clothing, California history and even limericks. Each lapbook component comes with a page or so of reading. I would assign my better readers each a paragraph as their class reading.

Both boys and girls had a good time with both Andrea Carter’s Tales and the lapbook. What kid doesn’t like horses? I have my own fascination with the animals, but alas…only from afar. The closest thing I got to a horse growing up was a goat. And let me tell you…they aren’t the same.

The lapbook is so well done and easy to use. My students enjoyed it immensely. It is almost 40 pages long and each short story has one or more component that accompanies it. It comes in color, but I just sent it to Staples and had it printed off in black and white since I was using it for a group.

I can’t say enough good things about Susan K. Marlow and her books. They are not only wholesome and edifying, but they contain enough adventure to appeal to all kinds of kiddos. She has created such lovely characters and we felt very much a part of their family.

The recommended ages for the book is 9-14. I speak from experience when I tell you that it will appeal to many ages as a read aloud. The ages in our little class range from 4-40something or another. The lapbook needs a little more skill level.

You certainly don’t need the lapbook to enjoy the book. It stands well enough on its own. I will say, however, that it added an extra layer to our studies. For example, in the very first story Andi wears a pair of contraband britches instead of the approved dress code for girls of the times…a dress. Many of our kids didn’t quite understand why that as such a problem for the adults in Andi’s life. The lesson in the lapbook explained why Andi wearing a pair of boy’s britches would have been such an issue.

I have another little funny to share. Andi's persnickety aunt is Aunt Rebecca. Everytime I would read about "Aunt Rebecca" I would get silly little side looks from the kids. Like I was actually the Aunt Rebecca from the book! If Mrs. Marlow is going to keep writing about Andi, maybe  she should consider making Aunt Rebecca the 'hip cool' aunt who is a fount of wisdom and everyone's favorite person.

I encourage you to check out the Circle C Adventures site. There are many more Andi Carter books available. There are even FREE enrichment guides for some of the books.

Happy reading!
 
 

 
 
 
 
You can connect with  Circle C Adventures via the following social media sites. Don’t forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews!
 
Dynamic Literacy Review

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Review: Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool



I had never even  heard of “Delight Directed Homeschooling” until just a few years ago. And, when I did find out that it was basically a child-led homeschool method I thought, “hey…that’s kind of what we’ve been doing anyway.”

Let me explain my thought process. When we first started homeschooling I filled our school days with a scope and sequence appropriate to Josiah’s age and grade level. I used my textbooks as our daily script. I was an educated teacher. I knew what I was doing.

Until I didn’t.

Josiah is dyslexic. So much of my energy was taken up in that battle. If you are homeschooling a child with different learning needs you understand what I’m talking about. It was hard work for both of us.

It was after he came to me with a library book in his hand that the lightbulb came on. I can’t even remember what the book was about, but I do remember his shining eyes. He wanted me to read it and he wanted to learn more about it.

The work of learning to read was so hard. Why shouldn’t I let Josiah choose what he wanted to learn about?

It changed the atmosphere of our homeschool.  I started focusing on Unit Studies. Josiah asked to learn about meteorology, geology, archaeology, snakes, Star Wars (true story).  Our lessons became lively and inspired.


When I first began my journey as a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, I was immediately drawn to one of our incredible leaders.

Marcy Crabtree and I had a few things in common. She was raised in Arkansas and she and her husband had adopted their beautiful, one and only son as an infant.

She also is a “Delight Directed Homeschooler.” For a few years now, I have been blessed and encouraged by her blog and just by her presence…not literal presence…we’ve actually never met in person, but she has been available for any and all random questions and concerns.
 
http://benandme.com/delightful-planning?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Delightful+Planning+is+NOW+AVAILABLE%21&utm_campaign=20150624_m126312628_Delightful+Planning+is+NOW+AVAILABLE%21&utm_term=Delightful+Planning_3A+A+Unit+Study+Planner+for+Every+Homeschool
 

A few weeks ago, she sent out word that she had written a book just for me!

Actually, it’s not just for me. Anybody can utilize it. I give you my full blessing.  

Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool is full of inspiration and contains the most beautiful planning pages.

She outlines some of the more popular Delight-Directed homeschooling techniques and shares with us detailed ideas and insight.

I think one of my favorite ideas was the Fun School Jar. This is going to be our summer curriculum! It fits in nicely with our summer schedule.

When Josiah was going into Middle School I was concerned that our homeschooling practices would not fit in with a more rigorous study.  This is our 8th grade year. Next year is crunch time. Marcy addresses this in her book.

Here are just a few of her words.

This is the perfect time to help your student recognize his gifts, passions, and talents

and encourage him to begin exploring possible vocational training, mentorships, and

apprenticeships. All of these can be parlayed into high school credit in a delightdirected

way.

 

If you are interested in learning more about this method of schooling or this is something you are using already, I wholeheartedly recommend getting your hands on Marcy’s book.

Marcy has done such a beautiful job with Delight Planning. I can see her heart shining through. I am excited to be able to put into to practice some of the practical and inspiring ideas she has shared with us.

Check out the book and Marcy’s Blog (Ben and Me). Right now (until June 30) it is on sale at an introductory price.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A TOS Review: SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers


I cut my teeth on PBS documentaries. It could be because we could only get two television stations way out in the country where we lived. One of those was PBS. I still enjoy a good documentary. They have become an important part of our homeschool experience. We are fortunate to live in a day and age that we can truly utilize all manner of media to help us along. The struggle often is to find media sources that are not only educational, fun, but appropriate for my guy to plug into. I don’t want to have to wade through filthy language or inappropriate subject matters.

I recently had the opportunity to review the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers from SmartKidz Media .



What I Received

I received a full year subscription to the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers  Most of the resources are videos, but there are quite a few music selection; as well as a few book and study guide resources. I’ve listed some of the content included.

Animals & Wildlife Collections
Documentaries & Culture Collections
Health & Fitness
History Titles
Lifestyles & Cuisine
Science
Travel & Adventure: World Wide Discovery Collections
Cooking Instruction
Classical Music Collections
Cultural Music Collections
Cultural Music: Vol 2
Jazz and Blues Classics Collections
Relaxation Music Collections
Mighty E-Book Collection
Sign Language Collection
Special Needs Learning
Living Skills
Singing
Fun Zone

You can see that there is a BIG selection. Some of the sections have minimal content right now (or none at all). However, there is content being added all the time. We found plenty to keep us occupied. All the media is of the streaming kind so you will need to make sure your internet connection is a good one. It can be streamed on a variety of devices. We used it on our computers and Kindle Fire.

How We Used This Product

Our summer schedule is fairly easy and breezy. We just jumped in and started watching what appealed to us. I was interested in those Sushi cooking videos. Josiah wanted to watch some sort of video series entitled “Designed By Nature.” He was fascinated.  He was also interested in videos about World War II.


This is just a screen shot of the front page. If you could scroll down you would see resource after resource.


I loved that I could just let him browse the site without worrying about what he was watching. There weren’t any questionable ads, either. Josiah is 13. I was horrified when this past winter he was watching a perfectly harmless video on Youtube and saw a commercial for a very popular movie that in no way shape (or form) should be in front of a young teenagers eyes. We aren’t the strictest parents in the world when it comes to media, but good grief! Somethings I just don’t want to explain at this stage in the game (‘nuff said).

One of my absolute favorite parts of the site was the music selections. There are several classical albums available in the fine arts section. And….Jazz! We listened to a creaky, old Ella Fitzgerald album. It was just heavenly. And I have to tell you about the Nature’s Odyssey collection. It’s just a little collection of ambience. There were a few evenings I put on Nature’s Song, which is a lovely recording of birds and crickets at nighttime. I fixed myself a hot cup of tea and pretended I was at the farm. I have found that gentle music and lovely songs create such a peaceful atmosphere. This was certainly a pleasant bonus.

I need to also talk a little about the Mighty Ebook Collection. It is primarily for preschoolers, but we enjoyed the Aesop Fables section. Josiah is dyslexic and this was a nice feature to utilize.

My Thoughts

This has been a nice product to review. I look forward to really use it more during our more structured homeschool year. I can see it being a valuable tool. I would like to see a handier search feature. I am a little bit random…I got distracted going through the videos. “Oh! Let’s watch that one. Wait! How about that one!”

You can connect with SmartKidz Media via the following media outlets. Don’t forget to click on the banner to read more reviews.










SmartKidz Media Review


My Favorite Things This Week




It's Summer!

So I'm a bit late to the party.

Today it was hot and humid and sticky and hot.

Did I mention it was hot?

Have you got any plans for the summer?

Cousin Camp is next week! This week we are having company. My dear Sister-in-law and her kiddos are coming.

Yay! We are really excited.

Josiah has a swim meet this this and in between all that I need to catch up on some stuff.

That stuff will get you every time! I'm trying to make sure that I'm not bogged down with the weight of my "to do" list. I want to make sure I am enjoying the ride.

I've been dragging out a few of my favorite things for inspiration. I thought I would share what I'm doing this week.

I'm listening to:

Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt (just smooth)
Farther Along - Dolly Parton, Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris

You can tell I'm a Linda Ronstadt fan. When I was a senior in High School I sang her version of Desperado for a showcase we put on in Chamber Choir. Later that year, a couple of friends and I also sang a few songs from the Trio Album that Parton, Ronstadt and Harris had released a few years before that. We sang "Telling Me Lies" and "Rosewood Casket." You have to know that this is the same group of girls I went to state with singing some sort of German choral arrangement.

I discovered the Trio Album on my Amazon Prime Music page. I sang Emmy Lou's part in High School.


I'm reading:

I always do some sort of favorite author marathon in the summer. A few years ago, I read through Anne Perry's "Monk" series. Last year, I read all I could by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables).  It doesn't matter if I have read them all before. I like repeats.

This summer I've been reading "The Cat Who..." series again by Lilian Jackson Braun. I discovered these mystery books several years ago. It involves a pair of Siamese cats and their curious owner. I don't generally like cutesy animal books, but these cats are just quirky enough to be believable. There are a lot of these books. Sadly, the author died last year (at least I think it was last year). I have found several at Thrift stories and flea markets. I found a few other day for a quarter at a Thrift Store. The check out gal was also a fan and we commiserated over the fact that we both wished they would find a final book in a vault or stuffed in a pillow case somewhere.

I'm drinking:

So you know that I love my daily cup of tea. It has been a very satisfying and peaceful ritual during my day. A few years ago, I was at a friends house and she introduced me to a kind of tea that has become my favorite. She is not a tea drinker herself, but her college-aged son is. In his vast collection of tea was the Sweet & Spicy tea by Good Earth.

Oh my goodness! I was instantly in love. The only problem is that it's not easily accessible. I can't just run down to my local grocery store to keep my stash going. I drink it like it's liquid gold (my precious).

Anyhoo. Yesterday, Josiah and I were at a discount grocery getting a few last minute cousin camp munchies and I found a box.  I am enjoying a cup at this very minute.

If you like a little zip in your doo-dah, you will love this tea.

I'm eating:

My vacation has left me a little fluffier. It's just so stinkin' hard to stick with your normal routine when you are away from home. Plus, I have been in a really long plateau again and felt just a little discouraged. It was easy to indulge. Now I'm paying for it.

There are a few staples that have become my "go to" items in my healthier pantry. Almond milk is one of them. But my absolute favorite right now is the Ezekiel Sesame Bread.  I find it in the health food section (freezer) of my local grocery store It is expensive but I am the only one who eats it. It is made from sprouted grains and doesn't spike my blood sugar. My favorite way to eat it is toasted with a scant spread of butter (real) and a little bit of sugar free preserves.

I keep it in my freezer and just toast as needed. They have other kinds of sprouted bread, but I love the crunch and taste of the sesames. Plus, Josiah is not likely to use it for peanut butter sandwiches.


I've got to get off here...Much to do!





Thursday, June 11, 2015

A TOS Review: IEW (updated)




In the past, I might have referred to myself as a stalker. The subject of my stalking might have been Andrew Pudewa. Don’t worry. It’s not creepy at all. However, if I am at a homeschool convention and Andrew Pudewa is there I will be at every session he is down for. I don’t care if the session is entitled “How to Successfully Weave With Rubber Bands” (or some other such nonsense). Andrew Pudewa speaks the language of a busy boy. He understands how to encourage those mommas of busy boys.

Mr. Pudewa, of course, is the founder and director of Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Though I have never seen a course on “Successful Weaving With Rubber Bands” they offer some truly special products. Over the past few years, I have been blessed to review a number of wonderful products from IEW. This time around I had an opportunity to review Teaching Writing: Structure and Style and Student Writing Intensive Level B. This deluxe package is all from Institute for Excellence in Writing.
 
 
 
 

 

We received the newly updated Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (TWSS) set. It contains the entire 12 DVD seminar as well as the seminar and practicum workbook. It also included a year of Premium Subscription which provides access to the entire teacher training course, student demonstration lessons at four levels and monthly webinar training. There are also PDF downloads and MP3 downloads of Andrew Pudewa’s conference talks.
 
 
 
Keep in mind that this set is for the parent/teacher. There is over 14 hours of instruction here. The first 9 DVDs cover the 9 units of instruction involved in the Student Writing Intensive. The remaining DVDs are videos of Mr. Pudewa teaching all 3 levels of SWI. It is wondermous! 
 

In addition to all this magic, we also received the Student Writing Intensive Level B (SWI-B). It contains 5 DVDS. 4 of the DVDs are actual lessons and the other DVD is a parent overview.  It also comes with a three ring binder and a student pack. The scope & sequence, teacher’s notes and student handouts are also included. SWI-B is intended for students who are working at the 6th-8th grade level.

How We Used It

I have always loved to write. I am one of those girls Mr. Pudewa refers to who could fill pages and pages when describing my pony. Not that I ever had a pony…that is a whole other issue (and blog post). Josiah is not a natural writer. In fact, he is dyslexic and struggles with dysgraphia as well. You can imagine the difficulties he’s had with the whole process. Thankfully, I have had IEW to help me along the way.

If you are looking for a program that has minimal teacher involvement this is not the program for you. But frankly, if your student is struggling with writing you need to get involved. I understand. You might not know where to even begin. The task is undoubtedly overwhelming.

The best investment in my opinion for the homeschool parent is the Teacher seminar (TWSS). This updated seminar is superb. I felt like I was having my own little homeschool conference in my living room…except that it included a hot cup of tea, my stretchy pants and an easy access to the restroom.

I would take a little time in the mornings to have a little "me time"...which also included an IEW seminar. Sounds about right to me!
This is just a page out of the workbook. I happen to be a doodler.

This is part of seminar. I love that I can see for myself the whole fuss is about.


The DVDs came in a really nice case. This is an update to the previous version. The video quality is terrific and I loved the interaction with the crowd. I just want to know why I wasn't invited. I am the official stalker, after all.

 

I can’t stress enough how beneficial this seminar has been to me. Mr. Pudewa explains fully his methods with samples and practical experiences.

The binder is really a life saver.  It is divided into helpful units and sections. There are recommended materials to use and tips on how to adjust the model for each grade level.  One of my favorite parts are the suggestions for special needs students


I hope I am not overwhelming you with all of my gushing. There is a lot of information that comes along with this program.  There are so many practical experiences. Mr. Pudewa models everything he teaches. I love to see what I am supposed to be learning!

You don’t have to sit down and watch the whole seminar at one sitting or groups of sittings. You can also watch a bit at a time just to stay ahead of your student. 

The Student Writing Intensive – Level B is specifically for the student. Josiah has enjoyed the lessons immensely..as much as a student can enjoy schoolwork. Mr. Pudewa is engaging. Josiah can watch the lessons as many times as needed.

You can read more about the program by downloading samples . Basically, the syllabus is divided between the structure and style of writing. The structure portion is divided into nine units. You can move at whatever speed you wish…according to the ability and interest of your students. You can repeat the lessons again the following year.  The syllabus of style is taught throughout the units. The concepts are introduced one at a time. These concepts are modeled and worked through.

There is a suggested schedule that comes with the curriculum. I found that we moved a bit slower than what was suggested. This is perfectly acceptable with IEW. 

I really believe that every student on the planet needs to go through this course.  Let me give you just a little example of the genius involved. The student will actually have a list of banned words. These words have nothing to do with profanity or naughty books. Instead, they are discouraged from using words that commonly find their way into a student paper. One of these words is said. The student is not left hanging. They are given a list of words that might be used instead. They are encouraged to use a thesaurus and dictionary.  For example, the student might use exclaimed, spoke, whispered or, my favorite, hollered. ‘Cause that’s we do in the Ozarks. We holler.

The whole curriculum is just a smart way to learn to write. The students don’t have to rely on any instinctive creativity or natural ability.

Here are a few suggestions for those of you who worry that your special learner might struggle with the program.

They probably will. If your child is dyslexic you understand that there is not a magic fix.  However, the beauty of SWI is that it doesn’t require the student to conjure up creativity. It depends on a model and stylistic techniques. Learning to write a keyword outline took Josiah a lot longer to master than it might other students. However, it is a technique that has benefited him greatly. In fact, it has changed the way I write as well. Who knew?

One of the big lessons I’ve learned from Andrew Pudewa over the years is the benefits of modeling. I’m not talking about the high stiletto and moody eye kind of modeling (as if). This modeling concerns showing the student how something should look…or sound. What are the processes one takes to get there? I have started this process in every subject in our homeschool.

I now have Josiah write primarily in pen. This bit of wisdom can be found in the appendix of the TWSS notebook.  Josiah's concern was that what he was writing was dark enough. He would write entirely too hard and spend way too much time darkening his letters. He worried over them. The pen helps with some of his dysgraphia issues. It also requires him to think just a little bit more about what he is putting on the paper. You might have noticed this, but pen is not easily erased.

The video lessons have saved my life. These lessons have almost become a bit of teacher training. I realize it sounds funny from a gal who actually has taught. They don’t do this kind of modeling in teacher’s college. You might go and observe a classroom and a teacher, but the kind of training you get from TWSS is invaluable.

In my opinion you don’t to have the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style to work the method successfully. And vice versa. You can teach writing without the Student Intensive. However, they both have been invaluable tools for my homeschool.

Can you tell I kind of like both of these programs? They have been a wonderful fit for us. This curriculum is not just for special learners…any kind of student will benefit.

 You can connect with IEW via the following social media outlets.  Click on the banner below to read more reviews. The Crew reviewed lots of great products this time around!
 
https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
https://www.pinterest.com/iewriting
http://vimeo.com/iewtv
https://twitter.com/iew
https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv
http://iew.com/help-support/blog
https://plus.google.com/+Iewriting/
 
 

 

 
 
 
IEW Review

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A TOS Review: Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal



 

There is nothing better than a Field Trip. Homeschoolers are notorious for making every outing a learning experience. I, myself, have been known to make a trip through the drive thru into a math lesson. The fun ones, however, are those special trips that are out the ordinary…..those days that we get to see and learn new things.  We just had the chance to review the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries. This is a brand spankin’ new product and we were excited to take it on a test drive.

I can’t say enough about Apologia Educational Ministries. It has to be one of my favorite publishers of Christian education materials. Everything I have ever used from Apologia has been top-notched. The ExploringCreation Field Trip Journal is no exception.

This product reminds me of a scrapbook. It’s got all manner of pages and ideas to help kiddos records their trips and experiences.  There are helpful lists and ideas for field trips.

One of the first things we started was to record the states we had already visited. There is also a place to record visits to your home state and locations around the world as well.
 
 

We haven’t had much opportunity to go traipsing around the world, but it was sure fun to start listing some of our other adventures.

 Shortly after we received the Journal in the mail, we got to participate for a commercial shoot in for a local theme park. It was certainly something that needed to be recorded.
I made sure there were plenty of pictures.

 
 
The Journal has lots of pages for Specific Trips.  It has a place for a map and pictures. It also has a spot to record how the day went.
 
 
We didn't use this little spot for this particular trip, but I sure like this idea. Last spring we went to visit the George Washington Carver Museum. Before we went, Josiah and I read several books about the scientist.
 
 
 
I'm sure Josiah could have figured a few more things to write down in this spot.
 


 
The journal gives you at least 100 ideas for field trips. I personally am ready to go on that Amazon Cruise or African Safari. There is also a password in the book that allows you to explore book extras. The site is a treasure trove of resources for field trips.
 
There is a set of pages called "My Special Spot." It encourages students to visit a special spot during all four seasons and record their findings.

Josiah chose the pond at my parents' farm.


He dictated a few observations and plans recording a few more throughout the summer. Thankfully, there is a lot to see at the farm.



There is another section in the Journal that is called "As I See It."  We haven't used it yet, but you can see that this page is dedicated for observations about the heavens.
 
  

This is such a great product overall. It is spiral bound for easy access and the pages are sturdy and colorful.

I have mention this a few times, but Josiah struggles with handwriting and drawing. He is dyslexic and deals with dysgraphia as well. He is not the kind of kid who is going to sit down with his colored pencils for hours and work in his book. For him, "less is good enough."

Having said all that, I feel that it is really important for us to have a record of this special memories. They not only preserve a moment in time, but they can become an excellent educational resource. I am going to help Josiah make this a special keepsake book for our adventures. I am and have always been the kind of person who loved to doodle, draw, write and record my memories. This is right up my alley. If you are in my shoes I suggest you do something similar. Maybe siblings can work on it together. You can also see that we included plenty of pictures. He did spend a lot of time pouring over those photos. I love that he now has a central place he can access all those adventures once again.

You can connect with Apologia via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125


Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A TOS Review: Famous Men of Rome





Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

Of course, these famous words come from William Shakespeare.  They are intended to be part of Mark Antony’s eloquent and fiery speech given at Julius Caesar’s funeral.  To be honest the most exposure Josiah has had to anything with “Caesar” in the title is the pizza place. You know which one.  

I take that back. He certainly has heard the name during our Bible readings.

Sadly, besides our Bible study I have exposed the boy to an appalling lack of ancient history. I was happy to remedy that when I had the chance to review The Famous Men of Rome Set from Memoria Press.

 
http://memoriapress.com/


 

The Famous Men of Rome is recommended for grades 4-8. Some of the stories are really shocking, adventurous, and bizzare…perfect for my 13-year-old son. You can use the product as a stand alone study or add it to any history curriculum. It contains 30 stories that cover the history of Rome and the men that made it great (or not so great).

We received a lovely book of stories that contained bright illustrations, a helpful glossary and colorful maps. We also got a Student Guide and Teacher's Guide.

The Student Guide includes:

Key People & Places

Famous Quotes

Vocabulary Words                              

Reading Comprehension Questions

There are also activities included in every lesson. They involve map work, discussion questions & research projects

The Teacher’s Guide was invaluable. It had all the answers! Plus a few extras.

All 3 books have a soft cover, but they are very sturdy and took up little space.

 

How We Used It

We are not a Classical Educational family. Memoria Press majors on this type of schooling. We have used several of their resources and I have found them to fit in nicely with what we do. We are more of an electic, mostly Charlotte Mason, do what works kind of family. I didn’t have to make a big overhaul of our school day to work on The Famous Men of Rome.

The study starts at the very conception of Rome and ends with its fall.  Each story and the men involved are written in such a way that captures the reader’s attention and imagination.

Because Josiah is dyslexic I did most of the reading. Some chapters were longer than others, but they were also divided nicely into paragraphs and sections.

I want to share with you one Josiah’s favorite chapters and the activities involved.

 
My friends, today I am going to tell you a little story about Mucius (pronounced myoo shee yuhs) The Left-Handed. Actually, I am not going to tell you the whole story. You will have to read it all for yourselves. Let's just say that Mucius tried to kill somebody, wound up killing the wrong fella and thrust his right hand into the fire.
 
 
 
Ouch! If Mucius wasn't left-handed before he was now! Josiah happens to be left-handed. He was floored by the lengths someone would go to make a point.
 
 
After we read the story in the we went to the Student Guide.  The first section is a list of Facts to Know.
 
 
 
The next section is vocabulary. I did have Josiah fill this section out. It was easy for him to do.
 
 
 
I did help Josiah with the Comprehension Questions. He dictated the answers to me and I helped him record them.
 
 
 
The activities in this section involved reading and memorizing parts of the poem, "Horatius at the Bridge."
 
 
He also had to locate some spots on one of his maps.
 
 
The poem was located in the Appendix in the back of the Student Guide. He was pretty impressed by the Roman Numerals. I think it's the whole Superbowl thing.
 
 
 
 
The Student guide also contains a few pages of magic. A Pronunciation Guide!
 
 
 
How brilliant! All makers of homeschool curriculum needs to do this!
 
 

As I promised the Teacher's Guide has all the answers to the questions.  This was one Teacher's Guide I really used.



 
If I had one complaint about the Teacher's Guide it would be that it was hard to remove the tests from the book. Otherwise it was easy to find any information I needed within it's pages.


 This has been a fun, fun study. We are starting a school break, but I think we will pick it back up for the Fall.

 


 

 



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