As I have mentioned in previous posts…some weeks I feel like I’m searching high and low to find one or two quality books or resources to introduce a certain civilization or historical period…then other weeks I feel like my job is to wade through the HUNDREDS of books and other items and find the best of the best. This week was the latter. Ancient Rome…so much to learn, and see, and do, and so little time! Here’s what I think is great enough to deserve a spot in your homeschool:
For visual learners (and what kid isn’t?), it’s hard to go wrong with the DK Eyewitness series of books. This one on Ancient Rome is great as a reference book or for kids to thumb through on their own…and coming in under $10 seems cheap for the amount of glossy, color pages you get.
CLICK HERE to Add DK Eyewitness Ancient Rome to Your Amazon Wish List
It’s always nice when a book can pull double duty, and by covering both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, this book does just that. If you have crafty kids, this will keep them in art projects for months.
CLICK HERE to Add Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome to Your Amazon Wish List
If there’s a “You Wouldn’t Want To…” book available, we will be purchasing it. My kids all love them, from the youngest to the oldest, and beg to be the reader when we read them aloud.
CLICK HERE to Add “You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator” to Your Amazon Wish List
I have to say that if I could only purchase one book for our study of Ancient Rome, this next recommendation would be it. First, because I’m a sucker for great, hardcover picture books…I just feel that they are timeless. I imagine reading them to my grandkids and passing them down to their grandkids. Second, because this is one of the very few resources available, in any format, that is set in early Rome (so during the early Roman Republic as opposed to the Roman Empire.) As if that wasn’t enough to recommend it, this book is based on a true story that was related by the Roman historian Titus Livius in his “History of Early Rome.” The real-life heroine of the story was honored with a bronze statue…one of the only females to receive such an honor in Rome…and a child at that. Suitable for ages 5-adult, this book is a wonderful addition to any family library.
CLICK HERE to Add “Brave Cloelia: Retold from the Account in the History of Early Rome by the Roman Historian Titus Livius
My criteria for a good independent reader is that it must be entertaining, wholesome, and contain enough historical details that it helps my kids learn about the time period we are studying without feeling like a text book. “Detectives in Togas” accomplishes all three of these goals. I am beginning to find that many of my favorite picks for historical fiction are books written decades or even centuries ago. They tend to feature a higher quality of writing and they are less expensive. Score! “Detectives in Togas” was originally published in 1953 and can now be purchased on Amazon with free shipping for under $7. If your kids like this book, there are two more in the series: “Mystery of the Roman Ransom”, and “Caius in Der Klemme”.
CLICK HERE to Add “Detectives in Togas” to Your Amazon Wish List
Another highly acclaimed children’s series set in the Ancient Roman Empire is authored by classicist Caroline Lawrence. “The Thieves of Ostia” is the first in the series and features a female lead protagonist. There are over a dozen books in the series and counting.
CLICK HERE to Add “The Thieves of Ostia” to Your Amazon Wish List
Books for Parents
As any of you who are following the blog know, I really enjoy reading books on the subjects that my kids are studying. This week, I am reading Plutarch’s “Fall of the Roman Republic.” I am learning lots of great stuff and am able to pass on some of the best background information and tidbits to my kids during our conversations. Reading these books enhances the “conversation” part of “Classical Conversations”…which is great, because that is my favorite part.
CLICK HERE to Add “Fall of the Roman Republic” to Your Amazon Wish List
If translations of Ancient Roman historians isn’t really your thing, here is a more modern version of the story of the fall of the Roman Republic.
CLICK HERE to Add “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” to Your Amazon Wish List
OK, I could literally add at least a dozen more books to this list, but I’m going to stop. Before we move on to the other subjects, I want to offer a few more non-book resources on Ancient Rome. First, there is a six-part documentary series that is available for free if you have a subscription to Amazon Prime, entitled “I, Caesar: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.” While we have not completed the series, the ones we have watched have been informative and interesting. While there is no cursing or “sex scenes”, more mature themes are touched on in relation to daily life in the Roman Empire. Parents should exercise caution before showing the series to young children.
I don’t have the chance to recommend a lot of resources for the littlest learners, but here are some fun extras for the study of Ancient Rome.
CLICK HERE to Add SuperToob: Ancient Rome to Your Amazon Wish List
I really don’t know how people parented before stickers. Need a child to sit still through church? Car ride? Dinner? Stickers are the answer.
CLICK HERE to Add “Ultimate Sticker Book: Ancient Rome” to Your Amazon Wish List
I have not watched all of this episode, but Bill Nye can usually be counted upon to provide good science content in an entertaining and understandable format. One heads up: He does discuss evolution. If this bothers you, you should pass on his videos in general. We have discussed our beliefs extensively as a family, and as a result, I do not personally have a problem with it.
I have purchased books from the following series before and been impressed. They are inexpensive, thorough, have great photos, and are short enough that we usually read through the entire book as a family in one or two sittings. Perfect as a no-stress supplement to many of our science weeks with CC. This book covers invertebrates.
CLICK HERE to Add “Invertebrates” to Your Amazon Wish List
As I’ve mentioned before, I very frequently include Montessori materials in our studies. I love the hands-on, discovery method of learning. I found a really cool (and FREE) vertebrate/invertebrate Montessori sorting game at HomeschoolDen. Here is a link if you would like to download the game:
We are continuing to use the Geography labeling worksheets that I created to teach/review all the Geography for Cycle 1. I print one copy for each week, slip it into a page protector, and then my daughter uses her super-fine-line dry erase markers to complete each page multiple times per week. I designed these pages specifically for them to be large enough for kids to use them with dry erase markers. If you haven’t downloaded my Geography labeling worksheets you can find them on this post:
Here are the dry erase markers that we use (can’t recommend them enough):
CLICK HERE to Add Lumocolor Correctable Pens to Your Amazon Wish List
We continue on this week memorizing our list of prepositions. We are coming up with our own hand motions for each of the prepositions and it is helping A LOT with the somewhat arduous task of memorizing a list of basically random words. Many, many people have been asking me when we are going to get a video up showing the hand motions. We are working on it. I promise. My goal is to get all the motions finished (for the entire list) and have that video up in the next couple of weeks.
We are continuing to use and enjoy the free Latin noun conjugation downloads from Family Style Schooling. But I also came across another free download this week that I’m finding very helpful. The kids in my Masters CC class were having a bit of trouble remembering the pronunciation of each of the noun endings. This chart is super helpful…just hang it on the tri-fold board for the kids to reference as they go through their verbal declensions (and, frankly, it helps me to make sure that I am pronouncing them correctly.)
Thanks for pushing through one of the longest posts thus far. This was such a fun week for our CC studies. Hope you are having a wonderful week as well…Happy Learning.