Posted in Reviews

Memoria Press – French & Famous Men of Rome – Review

Memoria Press publishing is a family business, founded in 1994,  that offers simple and easy to use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools.   For the past couple of years, we have used Memoria Press’ wonderful Latin curriculum products in our homeschool.  For the past month, we have had the pleasure of working with the Famous Men of Rome set and the brand new First Start French set.

Famous Men of Rome
is one of a series of books that also includes Famous Men of Greece, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times.  Each set includes the text, Teacher’s Guide, and Student Guide.  The Famous Men of Rome text is a beautiful book, with rich, colourful illustrations.  It is designed for Grades 3-6.  My 10 year old son and I have thoroughly enjoyed taking turns reading it aloud.  Thirty stories cover the history of Rome from Romulus and Remus, all the way through Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, and the last emperor in the West.  Interwoven are myths, legends, and tales of Roman gods and goddesses.  Maps of Rome, Italy, and the Roman Empire are also included.  The Teacher and Student guides turn the text into a complete study of Rome.  The Guides include questions, quotes, vocabulary words, and activities.  I think the activities are one of the best parts – map work, art projects, and a timeline really bring the Roman world alive.  These books work beautifully along with the Latina Christiana series.  Learning about the peoples who actually used Latin makes it more relevant, and the Teacher’s Guide of Latina Christiana includes a reading schedule of the Famous Men of Rome text to compliment the lessons.  I really wish I’d had this when we first began Latina Christiana!  The Famous Men of Rome set is available for $39.95 US at the Memoria Press website, which saves 25% off the cost of purchasing separately.  It is also available more locally at Tree of Life  for $59.95 Canadian.

The First Start French I
set is designed for students in Grade 3-8.  The set includes a Student Guide, Teacher’s Guide, and pronunciation CD.  If you are familiar with Memoria Press’ Latin books, you will find that the French books teach in a similar manner.  The flow of lessons is much like what one would experience in an immersion atmosphere, starting with hello and learning how to address people, and proceeding to learn the  names of members of your family, pronouns, verbs, and on from there.  Each weekly lesson includes vocabulary, phrases, practice exercises, questions, and translations.  The Teacher’s Guide is very thorough, bringing you right through each lesson step-by-step.  Review Tests are included for every five lessons, complete with answer keys, and tests for each lesson are available as downloads if desired.  My favourite part of the program is that it includes French songs.  There is nothing more fun than including songs in a curriculum for a child – a fantastic way to keep them interested and engaged.  My 5 year old was thrilled to learn some French songs and demands we sing them daily, LOL.  We enjoy singing them as a family, along with the CD.  The CD was obviously recorded by a native French speaker, so your children can have a great example at what a proper French accent sounds like.  The only thing I don’t like about the program is that there is no time to repeat after the speaker on the CD as there are no pauses.  We are used to being able to repeat after the speaker on the Latin CD’s.  My son was very keen to learn French so that he can ultimately volunteer/work at The Fortress of Louisbourg, and he continues to enjoy learning French as we work through this program.
The First Start French I set is available at the Memoria website for $39.95 US.  Homeschool and More
sells the set for $49.95 Canadian.

And with this post I bid au revoir to the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I’ve very much enjoyed reviewing products for the last several months, and now it’s time to pass the torch onto the 2009-10 Crew.  I will be continuing to review products and posting homeschool information as usual on this blog.  Stay tuned, because coming soon is a Top Ten post about my favourite homeschooling products I reviewed with TOS!

Live, Love &




Kimberly is a homeschooling mother of two living with her dear husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and offers OBM, writing, editing, social media, and tech services. In her free time she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, volunteer in local theatre, and horseback ride.