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Classical Studies by Memoria Press

Guided Courses for
Famous Men of Rome and
D'Aulaires' Greek Myths

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Classical Studies Published by Memoria Press. Famous Men of Rome Guided Course by Cheryl and Leigh Lowe. Spiral bound paperbacks. Teacher Guide, 75 pages, $17.95. Student book, 75 pages, $17.95. Famous Men of Rome text, large paperback, 150 pages, $16.95.

D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Guided Course by Cheryl and Leigh Lowe. Spiral bound paperbacks. Teacher Guide, 75 pages, $17.95. Student book, 75 pages, $17.95. D'Aulaires' Greek Myths text, large paperback, 192 pages, $19.95. Published by Dell Yearling.

Please support by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors links shown above and in the review.

Memoria Press has revised and expanded its pioneering Introduction to Classical Studies with the Classical Studies series for Greek and Roman history and the Christian Studies series for Israel's history. Offering a workbook format for third to sixth graders, these materials make implementing classical education at home even easier.

Famous Men of Rome Guided Course

An essay, "Rome and America," in the guide explains the relevance of this program. Few Americans understand the influence of Rome upon our country. Our Founding Fathers viewed themselves as new Romans and set up the United States government using Rome as a model. Studying Roman history will help students and their parents have insight into our founders' intentions and purposes. "In fact without Roman history, the study of American history will always be incomplete and superficial," warn the authors.

Famous Men of Rome is a new version of a 1904 classic book, reprinted by Memoria Press. It provides brief biographies of thirty leaders in Roman history in the context of events of their times. Memoria Press commissioned a painter to do full color illustrations for the latest edition of Famous Men, and these are sure to capture the imagination of young readers, as they show people and action from the stories. Black-and-white line drawings and photos of busts of some of the famous men complete the illustrations. The book has handy resources in the back: a glossary of people and places (listed by story) and three maps.

The Famous Men of Rome Guided Course consists of twenty-five lessons and five review lessons in a workbook format. Each lesson covers one to two chapters in Famous Men of Rome and includes four sections. "Facts to Know," the first section, summarizes the people and important quotations in the chapter. Next, "Vocabulary" lists words that may be unfamiliar to the student and requires a definition to be written in the blank for each word. Recitation is recommend for the "Facts to Know," but both of the first two sections could easily be used to make flash cards or for copy work. The third section has from four to eight comprehension questions that could be done orally if the parent preferred. The final section has two to three activities including mapping, drawing pictures, timeline work, and further research.

The review lessons help to cement the eras of Roman history in the child's mind with a review of the monarchy and two reviews each for the republic and empire periods. Important dates, people, and locations are listed. The exercises are "Who Said That?" which shows a quotation and asks the student to write the speaker, and a vocabulary review in which the student chooses a word from the box and writes it next to the definition.

Resource pages are included in the back. A "Who Said That? Worksheet" provides a final exam on the quotations covered in the course. Four maps, a list of current European countries and capitals, and a Roman history timeline are also there.

The teacher's guide is a duplicate of the student guide with all answers filled in.

D'Aulaires' Myths Guided Course

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, originally published in 1962, is a classic text for children particularly known for its beautiful illustrations. The story begins with the creation of the gods and works through myths of the "lesser gods" and the gods' interactions with mortals.

The guide is set up in a format similar to the Famous Men of Rome guide. The first three sections, "Facts to Learn and Recite," "Vocabulary," and "Comprehension Questions," are the same. The fourth section, "Oral and Picture Review," encourages the family to identify the characters and important items in the beautiful illustrations in the text. A few additional questions for thought or research are included.

The review lessons, also similar to those in the Famous Men of Rome guide, occur after every five lessons. "Map Work" includes locations, both real and mythical, for the child to know, while the next section, "Summary," simply lists the names of gods, goddesses and mortals covered in the preceding lessons. "Fun Practice" has the same two activities on all review chapters: drawing a favorite story or god, and looking for references to Greek gods in the modern world. Students may submit their list of modern references on Memoria Press's website. The final section in the review lesson is the "Vocabulary and Spelling Review," in which the student chooses a word from the word bank and writes it beside the definition.

Supplemental resources include a list of the planets and their moons, a map of Greece, and a pronunciation guide. Again the teacher's guide is a complete reproduction of the student book with the answers filled in.

Recommendation: Memoria Press's Classical Studies Guides provide easy-to-implement workbooks, ideal for families who need a more directed, less parent-intensive approach for study. While Introduction to Classical Studies has a more integrated methodology and is less expensive, the Classical Studies Guides spend more time on vocabulary, facts, and quotations to memorize. The guides also are more specific in what map work should be done.

When choosing between the new guides and Introduction to Classical Studies, families should consider whether they wish to present the topics of Roman history, mythology, and Israel's history as separate topics with workbooks, or as one unit in a more Charlotte Mason type approach with increased teacher involvement. Whichever way the parent chooses, the student will be the winner, as the material covered in both is extremely important and largely ignored in the classroom environment of today's education.

Classical Studies Guides are also available for Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of the Middle Ages. However, these were not provided for review. resources related to this review:'s Classical Homeschooling Section with resources, links, and ideas for implementing the Christian Trivium
Interview with Cheryl Lowe
Review of Copy Books
Review of Introduction to Classical Studies
Review of Christian Studies
Review of Horatius at the Bridge Study Guide
Review of Mother of Divine Grace Syllabi
Review of Spencerian Script Penmanship Kit
Review of The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Berquist

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