Famous Men of Rome ~Schoolhouse Crew Review~

We love history in this house. My oldest recently watched an episode of Drive Thru History that taught about Rome. He is fascinated with mythology and gladiators, soldiers and great battles. So when we saw that we had the chance to review  Memoria Press materials, specifically, Famous Men of Rome Set we did a little happy dance.
What is the Famous Men of Rome Set you ask?  Let me tell you about these awesome books!

The Famous Men of Rome is recommended for grades 4-8. This is a great addition to any studies you may be doing on Rome or just for the curious child.  Truly this can easily stand alone too.  This book is made up of approximately 30 stories that cover the history of Rome, from its beginning to the fall of Rome. The books contains numerous maps of Rome, Italy, and the Roman Empire, as well as a glossary of all the people and places being taught.  There is even a pronunciation guide and did I ever need it! haha

This is a very comprehensive set of materials. I was truly quite impressed. There are lots of amazing illustrations within the stories themselves as well as a full glossary of the people and places within each lesson.  And the maps – we love maps around here- my oldest draws them all the time. Bright colors and big bold letters make it easy to see where everything is as we journey through Ancient Rome.  There are excerpts too, in the Student Guide, from Horatius at the Bridge (these may be part of a performance my son is considering doing this fall for his speech/debate group).
The lessons includes:
  • Key People & Places
  • Famous Quotes
  • Vocabulary Words
  • Reading Comprehension Questions
Activities include:
  • Map work
  • Discussion Questions
  • Research Projects
The study begins at the very beginning, with the founding of Rome by Romulus.  Within each lesson is a famous man of Rome and the story of their life and Rome’s history as they relate to one another. This is all done in chronological order as well which I believe helps us to understand history so much more. Its like traveling through time!
As you complete each lesson you read a chapter from the textbook itself and then move on to the “Facts to  Know” which contains a brief summary of the most important details from the lesson. This includes names, dates, locations, famous quotes.  There is also a section for vocabulary and a number of comprehension questions.  The activities section was by far the favorite part of this for my boys. Since my oldest loves to draw, he really enjoy being able to sketch and create. I liked that there were so many activities and questions that encouraged further research (we are encouraging independent study and project based learning with my oldest) and so many of these assignments, they really made you think. There are also reviews every couple of lessons to ensure that the material is being learned and retained.
Have I said already how much I love these materials?
Famous Men of Rome includes an appendix full of amazing supplements such as worksheets, a timeline, a pronunciation guide (I needed this one too!)  and so much more fun stuff! The “Who Said That” worksheet is tons of fun!!!  I tell you, even my five year old son got some of these. He loves quoting things – great at memorization – kids always amaze me, and not just my own – at the things that they can learn and how easily they can learn them too.  (I was surprised at how much I learned from this and we aren’t even done yet!)
My son especially loved the drawing pages  which he used to draw maps and soldiers and reproductions of some of the famous buildings like the palace and the Colosseum. He always loves materials that include plenty of hands on activities!
It really helps make this fun for learning history.  As you read the lessons within this material, you feel more like you are reading a story. This is not dry and boring at all! This helps encourage and inspire my reluctant reader to read more; it also helps keep even my younger ones interested as we read together.  All of my children (ages 3, 5, and 9) really enjoyed these stories, and the information within really kept them interested ~ I was surprised by how much they managed threaten too (we are big on narration in this house!).   At the end of each story were comprehension questions from the which we did throughout the week, as well as other fun activities. This was so much fun for all of my kids – they are currently putting together their own army of Roman soldiers and my oldest is determining just how to build his own Colosseum with some cardboard boxes in the garage. I love how this has inspired them in their play. If there is one thing that really makes me love curriculum, its when I see my kids loving it (even after the “work” is done for the day!).
You can purchase the Famous Men of Rome Set for  $39.95  which includes three soft-cover books (textbook, teacher guide and student guide).  You can also purchase the teacher and student guide separately for $17.95 each and the textbook for $16.95.  There are flashcards too (we didn’t get those – oh pooh!!) for $12.95 and I might order those yet myself.  My son really likes that kind of thing!

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