Review: Memoria Press – The Book of the Ancient Romans Set

In my role as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I recently had the privilege of getting to review the Book of the Ancient Romans set published by Memoria Press. Other members of the Crew were asked to review Latina Christiana I Complete Set (Grades 3+) and the Famous Men of Rome Set (Grades 4-8). You can check out reviews of all the products in the link below:

 

Memoria Press Review

The The Book of the Ancient Romans Set is recommended for students in grades 6-12, so I assigned the materials to my Greek History loving 13-year-old who recently finished up Eighth Grade. We used the product as published (read the assignment, complete the workbook pages, and check with the Teacher’s Manual) an average of times a week over a period of 6 weeks.

 

How does it work?

The The Book of the Ancient Romans Set, which retails for $39.95, includes the text, Student Manual, and Teacher’s Manual. The student manual includes 26 lessons and 5 review lessons.
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The student text is a 435 page book on ancient Romans, peppered with maps and drawings.
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The Teacher’s Manual is the cheat sheet for moms and dads – and is a copy of the Student Manual with the answers completed.

We used the curriculum as advertised with Big reading through the assigned pages in the Student Text, then completing the assignments in the Student Manual.
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The Student Manual sections cover topics including “Facts to Know”, “Vocabulary”, “Comprehension Questions”, and “Activities”. “Activities” can include map work, time lines, or research writing. Big is a fast reader and diligent student, and I would say she averaged about 30 minutes for each lesson.
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Observations:

Big enjoyed the readings in the Student Text. She complained a bit about the bias of the author in favor of the Romans – but she is a serious fan of the Greeks and is confident the Romans stole all good things from the Greeks. It’s pretty hysterical, actually. I loved that the book made her think, challenged her opinions, and really made her articulate her arguments. She’s still a pro-Greek ancient history fan, but she did really enjoy the readings. (I’ll also say that the rest of the family thoroughly enjoyed her rants on the Greeks versus the Romans!!)

Any bad parts?

Despite our best efforts, Big and I didn’t warm to the workbook approach to history. We’ve been a literature rich family for years and I was anxious to try the concise approach the Memoria Press presents. I have many friends locally who LOVE Memoria Press so I was excited to give it a try and see if it might fit us for high school. While we really did like the text, the repetition of the workbook, the flip and look up approach, and the redundancy of it were not good fits for us. One thing I did love – the maps. I loved how they had the students make the maps themselves and that’s something we’ll definitely use in the future.

Summary:

The Book of the Ancient Romans Set, designed for students in grades 6-12, is an interesting curriculum that could be a great fit for a lot of families. The text is well written and engaging, and the lessons are concise. The workbook is clear and easy for students to manage without any parental involvement. The Teacher’s Manual is straight forward and easy to use. If your students like a direct, workbook approach to history – definitely check out The Book of the Ancient Romans Set. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

 

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