Review of Memoria Press’ The Wars of The Jews Set (Grade 9+)

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My high schooler is using The Wars of the Jews set from Memoria Press as part of her Christian history studies.  Memoria Press is a company our family has used products from almost since the start of our homeschooling journey.  I love the Christian worldview and the way the materials are laid out along with the classical education perspective.

Memoria Press is a family-run business that was founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe.  According to its website, Memoria Press strives “to help promote and transmit the classical heritage of the Christian West through an emphasis on the liberal arts and the great works of the Western tradition. Memoria Press has developed a K-12 classical curriculum at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky, where its popular Latin, logic, and classical studies courses are written and field-tested.”

As a mother, I love the concept of classical education and love my children gaining a Biblical worldview, so The Wars of the Jews set from Memoria Press fits our family’s needs perfectly.  The set includes a Teacher’s Guide, a Student Guide along with the reader.  Because we were approaching our move from our normal school year schedule to our lighter summer schedule, this set was perfect for our sixteen-year-old daughter.  The set is meant to be used over the course of several months.  Our daughter worked on the course about three days a week for around an hour a day.

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The Student Reader provides the basis for the course.  This softcover book includes 10 chapters about the Fall of Jerusalem based on the words of Josephus.  I love the size and type of font used in the reader because it makes it easy to read.  The inclusion of maps, photographs, and other graphics helped keep our family’s interest.

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The Student Guide includes vocabulary and comprehension questions along with facts to know as well as a review at the end of the workbook. All of these items help to reinforce what the student is reading and learning about the time.  My daughter and I found the questions to be relevant and fairly straightforward to answer.

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The Teacher Guide includes the answers to all the questions contained in the Student Guide along with a test for the end of the course and its answers.  I love how the pages in the Teacher’s Guide display exactly what the student will see in their Student Guide with only the addition of the answers to the questions.

I have to say our family was very pleased with this set and enjoyed what we were reading and learning about each day.  I would definitely recommend checking this course out for yourself.

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You can read my previous reviews of other Memoria Press Products including by clicking on the title below:

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So if you are looking for materials from a classical education perspective, check out Memoria Press for yourself.

If you want to read additional reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew about The Wars of the Jews set, or some of their other products including Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) with Teacher KeySimply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words,
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History set, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Poetry, Prose & Drama: The Old English & Medieval Periods Set

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I love Memoria Press so I was so excited to receive Poetry, Prose, and Drama: The Old English & Medieval Periods Set this time to review.  With a daughter in high school, I am always on the lookout for quality, classical materials for our daughter to use, and the products from Memoria Press never disappoint, especially if when searching for Classical Education materials.

Memoria Press, a family run company, provides easy to use Classical Education materials ranging from Latin to Poetry to Reading and more.  From the foundation that Cheryl Lowe began before her death in 2017, the company continues to provide a wealth of classical educational materials.  For this review, we received the Student Workbook, Student Textbook, and the Teacher’s Guide.

When we began our homeschooling journey, Memoria Press quickly became a favorite of our family, especially when we began studying Latin. So when given a choice of what she would like to review,  Poetry, Prose, and Drama: The Old English & Medieval Periods Set was our daughter’s choice.  She loved the idea of studying some of the best pieces from this time period.  I knew I could trust the selections to be ones our family would approve of, and the materials did not disappoint me.  My only concern about the materials is the rather small font used in the books.  It made it difficult for me to read, and since I wanted to work through the materials with my daughter, this was a rather important factor.  According to their website, this set features poetry from the Anglo-Saxon Invasion to the Tudor Accession (449-1485).

The idea is for the student to create a notebook for this course and detailed instructions are provided about how to do this properly.  I was very pleased with the straight-forward nature and explanations provided in both the Teacher’s Guide and Student Workbook.  This notebook is where the student will record all the answers for the vocabulary words, discussion questions, comprehension questions and more.  I appreciate how the Teacher’s Guide gives parents permission to adapt the curriculum to adjust to your own family’s needs.  So I decided to allow our daughter to answer some questions orally rather than writing out answers.  Because this course can quickly become writing intensive, I could see the benefit of using an online notebook along with a program that allows the student to speak and then translates that into the document.  This would be especially beneficial for students who have difficulty writing for prolonged periods of time.

The books cover the Anglo-Saxon Invasion to the Norman Conquest (which includes the literature of the warrior and the literature of the priest), as well as from the Norman Conquest to the accession of the Tudors (which includes literature of the Medieval Church and the literature of the common people).  Because my husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and has been for all of our children’s lives, our daughter was especially interested in learning about the sections about the literature of the Priests.

Again from the website, the materials include the following description, “The Poetry Prose and Drama Book One: The Old English & Medieval Periods Set includes poems from the Anglo-Saxon Invasion to the Tudor Accession (449-1485). This Set includes Poetry, Prose, & Drama: The Old English & Medieval Periods, the Student Guide, and the Teacher Guide. The anthology contains introductory readings that provide background information and historical context for the works as well as short introductions for each poem. The student book contains notes and instructions to the student, definitions of basic features, and an explanation of how to mark a book as well as pre-reading questions, reading notes, words to be defined, comprehension questions, Socratic discussion questions, and essay prompts. The Teacher Guide features notes and instructions to the teacher, and contains the answers to the questions found in the Student Guide as well as the Tests and Test Key.”

 

The first book in the collection is the Teacher Guide, which lays out everything the student is supposed to do for each lesson along with providing additional information, answers, preparation materials, reading notes and more.  It is meant for the parent to use to guide the student through the material.  However, with our high school daughter doing this set she could have worked more independently.  However, I love completing work with her, and especially literature or history – something this curriculum offers a wealth of each.  So this book provided useful guidance for me as my daughter and I worked through the materials.  The tests primarily use matching as a way of determining what the student remembers.  Our daughter appreciated this when taking tests.

 

The next book is the actual “reader”, meaning the book that has the actual reading material in it.  This includes selections from The Seafarer, The Wanderer, Andreas: A Legend of St. Andrew, Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, Caedmon’s Hymn, The Dream of the Road, Robin Hood Ballads and more.  She enjoyed reading the introductory materials because it gave her a wealth of information to share with her father and brothers.  She appreciated how the information was separated into sections with headings to make it easy to follow.  When we began reading The Seafarer, she appreciated the imagery and descriptive language used.  The section on riddles also captured her attention, since again she was able to share them with her father and brothers.  When we began reading the selection about St. Andrew, she appreciated the language and descriptions given.

 

As she worked through the questions in the Student Workbook, I tried breaking it up for her so she did not get overwhelmed by the material.  We found the mixture of vocabulary words and questions to be a good fit for our daughter.

You can find Memoria Press on Social Media here:  Facebook, Twitter with the Tag: @MemoriaPress, Pinterest, Instagram – with the Tag: @MemoriaPress, and YouTube.

All in all, our family was very pleased with  Poetry, Prose, and Drama: The Old English & Medieval Periods Set from Memoria Press.  Check this set out for yourself.if you are looking to homeschool classically.  You can check out my review of Second Form Latin here.  Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing other products from Memoria Press this week including their Latin programs, various sets from the Poetry, Prose, and Drama Series along with the Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program.  So click here or on the image below to check out more reviews for yourself.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set

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When I think of Classical Christian Education I think of Memoria Press so I choose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set  and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set to review with my daughter. For many years our family has strived for a Christian Classical Education for our children and finding the right Christian Classical Curriculum for our family has been essential to us.  That is why I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review these two products.  Our 15-year-old daughter expressed excitement upon receiving these products.  These courses are recommended for grades 4-12, and I think these recommendations are perfect. Of course, the older the student, the more in-depth they will go and the higher the expectations will be.

The one thing I love about Memoria Press is the variety and quality of products they offer.  This company has been a favorite of our family since we began homeschooling.  So it seemed a natural progression to try their Classical Composition courses.  Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set and we have enjoyed them so far.  The sets we received included both Teachers guides, both student workbooks, both sets of DVDs and a lesson plan booklet that covers both courses in a 34-week layout.

I love how the lesson plan booklet lays out everything in detail for each day, plus includes a checkbox for each day so I could mark off things as we completed them.  The lesson plan book also means if something happened and I was not around, our daughter could grab the lesson books and know exactly what to do.

We were so excited upon receiving these materials we just jumped right without utilizing the DVDs.  With the assistance of the teacher guide, we were able to figure out exactly what needed to be done, especially with the help of the Lesson Plan booklet.  We started off by reading the Teaching Guidelines at the beginning of both the Teacher’s Guide and the Student Workbook.  These clearly lay out the requirements, expectations, and layout of the assignments.  From the fables themselves to variations, outlines, narrations, paraphrases and even writing a final draft is described in detail.

The Teacher’s Guide also includes an advanced rubric for grading the student’s work.  There are even optional grammar requirements.  I found this extremely useful since we could utilize those requirements to help cover grammar instead of needing additional material.  There is also an introduction to the Fable Stage that describes imitation and suggestions for starting the writing journey.

As we began the actual lessons, our daughter expressed some distaste for reading out loud, but she is my introverted child.   So I really was not surprised by this.  As we moved through the exercises together, she really seemed to enjoy the lessons.  From writing down synonyms to writing outlines, variations, and paraphrases, she enjoyed all the activities.  She even enjoyed writing the final drafts.

The lessons on the DVDs are very well done and enjoyable to watch.  The information is presented in a way that is easy to follow along with what is being taught.  When the videos should be paused for the students to complete assignments, they are told to do so. Brent Vaden, the instructor on the DVDs, has the perfect voice for these DVDs.  He speaks clearly and is easy to understand.  Although I decided to watch the DVDs with our daughter and participate with her in the lessons, I feel she definitely could have completed the assignments on her own – especially with the help of the DVDs.

The lessons in both sets are designed to be spread out over 5 days a week for a two-week period.  This ensures there is time for doing variations (where the student changes the words from the original fable),  does an outline,  does a narration, and writes a final draft using paraphrases which genuinely fit the original story.

In Classical Composition II: Narrative, the layout of the materials reflects similarities to the Fables course.  The student watches the DVDs, does a reading, variations, paraphrases, outlines, additional variations and then writes a final draft.  Again the final draft is created on a separate sheet of paper. Brett Vaden provides the instruction for the DVDs, and he does an excellent job of teaching. the

All the work is done by the student in the consumable workbooks except for writing the final drafts, so this is a grab-and-go curriculum other than having the ability to watch the DVDs.  My daughter and I both are glad we decided to review these products.  If you would like to read additional reviews of Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set or of other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Second Form Latin

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When we first began our homeschooling journey many years ago, one of my main desires was to find curriculum that provided a Classical Christian education. Memoria Press makes classical education easier with Second Form Latin.  We have used a variety of curriculum choices from Memoria Press through the years, but I specifically wanted the Second Form Latin for myself.  I have a strong desire to learn other languages and Latin is at the top of my list.  I know building a strong foundation with Latin is important.  Second Form Latin is designed for students in grades 5-10.

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With our Second Form Latin kit, we received eight components which include: the student text, the student workbook, the Quizzes and Test booklet, the Teacher manual, a Pronunciation CD,  a Teacher Key, flashcards and instructional DVDs. The course contains five units which are broken down into 26 lessons plus a review for each lesson.  There is a pre-test on day 4 of each lesson.  If the student shows mastery on this pre-test, the lesson is considered complete.  However, if the student does not show mastery, the students should review and restudy the materials and take the quiz again on day 5.

A typical week will include for day 1:  Recitation, teaching the lesson, and workbook section 1.  Day 2 includes recitation and workbook section 2.  DAy 3 includes recitation and workbook section 3.  Day 4 includes Recitation, Workbook Section 4, Orill Drill in the text, and the Pre-Test.  I found this schedule quite manageable even as a homeschooling mom with other responsibilities.

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The student textbook contains the background information for the lessons.  Each lesson is on a two-page spread with the pages facing each other, so there is no need to flip pages.  Also, the pages are free of unnecessary information or other distractions.  So it helps keep the student focuses.

Each lesson has a segment on the DVD which will last anywhere from 15-20 minutes.  These segments provide a great opportunity to listen to pronunciations and to ensure the student understands what it is being taught.  From prior experience with other products from Memoria Press, these DVDs provide wonderful instructional information.  These DVDs include 3 discs with 8.5 hours of instruction.  The explanations are provided by former Highlands Latin School Teacher Glen Moore.  According to the Memoria Press website’s description of the DVDs for Second Form Latin, “The DVDs also include helpful on-screen notes, illustrations, diagrams, a full First FormSecond Form recitation, “Latin parties” (Glen’s version of unit reviews), and more!”

Next comes the Student Workbook.  This provides opportunities for the students to practice vocabulary, translations, declensions (which in the grammar of Latin, Greek, and other languages) refers to the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun or adjective that identifies its grammatical case, number, and gender), conjugation practice, word study and grammar, and more.  I found these assignments to be very easy to complete and the directions were easy to follow.

Then there is the Quizzes and Tests booklet.  This provides a quiz for each lesson along with a review for each unit.  Here are some sample pages.  I found these quizzes to be a good review of the material being covered.  Because I was the one doing this course, I can not say how long it took me to complete these.  I tended to work on them as time allowed me to rather than focusing on completing everything in one session.

The vocabulary cards provide a great way to review words, meanings and more.  I recommend finding a way to keep the cards together and organized.  One way would be by punching holes in these cards and put a ring through the hole to keep them together.  Or another way would be to put them in some kind of box.  I started off by using rubber bands but it did not really seem to work well.

There is also a Teacher Key which contains the answers to all of the Workbook questions, Quzzes and Test questions.  This provides a quick and easy method for checking a student’s work.  When we first began studying Latin many years ago, I had not taken any formal Latin courses, so I found the Teacher Key to be a great resource.

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You can find Memoria Press on Social Media at:

I recommend you check out Second Form Latin by Memoria Press along with all of their other resources which include such courses as Traditional Spelling I, Music Appreciation, and other levels of Latin for yourself.  If you would like to read other reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Course – The Book of Trees

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We reviewed The Book of Trees but Memoria Press also offers Latin Curriculum from Early Elementary to High School!  We have enjoyed using various products from Memoria Press through the years for Latin and my daughter was excited to have the opportunity to review The Book of Trees. The set we received to review included the Teacher Guide, the textbook, and the student workbook.  We did not receive The Tree Book and the Peterson Guide, so my daughter was able to use the Internet for research instead.  While I see the benefits of these other two books, I feel that supplementing with Internet research worked well for our daughter.

I enjoy taking a classical approach to our children’s’ education, so Memoria Press fits the bill nicely.  My daughter does not have plans to go into any science field in the future, but she loves learning about science.  However, it needs to be presented in a way that captures her interest.  As soon as I showed her the description on the website she was excited about the choices for science courses.  I enjoy seeing her engaged in her textbooks.

This set is designed for grades 6 – 8.  I was thrilled to see how captivated our daughter was with this set from the moment we received it.  I opened up the box and she immediately began reading the textbook and then started completing the pages in the workbook.  The textbook gave her interesting facts to share with our family.  The workbook provided opportunities to show what she had learned.

She easily answered the questions in the workbook.  Once she finished labeling the parts of the plant she even took the time to color the plants.  When her father arrived home, she had to share what she had learned that day with him.  I love watching her excitement when learning something new. She shared with hi what she found interesting from the lesson.

This set teaches everything from taxonomy to plant respiration to plant morphology, photosynthesis, flowers, and fruits.  Each day, my daughter typically did the reading in the textbook and then the pages in the workbook.  For most students, I think reading the textbook one day, doing the workbook another day and possibly doing extra activities or research on a third day of the week would work well.  After each lesson, she was ready and eager to share what she had learned with her family.  I never had to listen to her complain about the work or indicate that she did not want to do it.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the textbook.

I like the variety of activities in the workbook.  These activities included reading and questions, diagramming and labeling, actual hands-on activities, identifying trees, researching trees, and even opportunities for sketching.  For a child like ours that loves to draw this course is a great fit.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the workbook.

 

Finally, here is a picture of a page in the Teacher Guide.

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Memoria Press provides a wonderful glimpse into botany with this course.  Even though my daughter has not completed the course yet, I know we will finish it.  I see us possibly doing Nature’s Beautiful Order, another course by Memoria Press later in the summer.  The fact the curriculum is a company that provides classical Christian homeschool curriculum is a wonderful blessing for our family.

If you wish to read more reviews about this course or other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

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Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}


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