Friday, June 5, 2015

Memoria Press: The Book of the Ancient Romans Set

Memoria Press is a very familiar name for those who are interested in the Classical form of Education, and I have become a little more familiar with their products over the years that I have been on the TOS Review Crew. We have gone from "Prima Latina" and "Famous Men of Rome", to more recently, their Geography I set. This year I was sent The Book of the Ancient Romans Set.

While Prima Latina is clearly a Grammar stage, "learning by rote" curriculum, the Book of the Ancient Romans Set is definitely firmly set in the Logic stage of the Classical Curriculum.

THE TEXT (written by Dorothy Mills early in the Twentieth Century), is interesting and easy to follow for a Middle School - early High School student. My son has been enjoying learning more about Rome and the Romans through this text. Middlest felt that the many quotes from Livy, Plutarch, and others helped to give the text a greater authenticity and an ancient "voice" that he enjoyed reading. The text also includes photos and graphics to help flesh out the feel of Ancient Times.

THE STUDENT TEXT felt very familiar, given our previous experience with Memoria Press. The pages are all laid out the similarly with each Lesson including:

  • Facts to Know
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Activities (That are heavy on timeline and geography, but also include written reports, charts, and more)
  • Reviews for multiple chapters
The Comprehension questions are where you see the jump to the logic stage, because the student is required to do more than fill in a blank~ they are asked to answer the "Why" of what what happened~ to understand the reasoning behind the actions of those whose history they are studying. 

THE TEACHER'S TEXT is very straightforward, and simply gives the correct answers for the vocabulary and the comprehension questions.  There are also Unit tests and Keys in the back of the book. 

My son mostly did this on his own~ With approximately one lesson per week as our goal, he read the required pages, and then used the Student Guide to learn the key facts, look over the vocabulary, and answer the Comprehension Questions. 

Once the questions were answered, he would bring me his Student Guide to look over his work, and discuss anything that seemed to be of interest to him or to me. For instance, I thought it was interesting that when Rome was being founded, everyone was welcome regardless of their position in society~ including criminals of all kinds. Curious sort of reputations on which to build a community. 

The Book of the Ancient Romans Set is a great resource for those who employ the Classical Method of Homeschooling, and could be an equally wonderful fit for children who enjoy having a workbook to fill out.

Conversely, if your children dislike workbooks, or being confined to a set number of lines to write their answers, they might not thrive with this set. I was thinking about this as I struggled to read the words that were squashed into some of the spaces given. I might suggest using a notebook to answer the comprehension questions, which would allow for greater freedom as students begin to move beyond giving the shortest answer possible. ;) 

Please consider visiting Memoria Press on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their curriculum and community.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this set, as well as the Latina Christiana I set and the Famous Men of Rome set. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.

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