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.


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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