Books - Augustus Caesar's World reviews, ideas ifchallenging

Including getting a later start using "English From The Roots Up" or "God & the History of Art"
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Re: Agustus Caesar's World

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

I summarized some of it.

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Amy in NC
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Re: Agustus Caesar's World

Unread post by Amy in NC »

This week dh got to 'teach' school quite a bit. So I asked him how he found ACW to be. I thought he would tell me he didn't like it, but I was surprised. He said he was enjoying it and said it was like a soap opera. So "As Augustus Caeser's World Turns" is a hit here. (At least for the parents.) Middle dd says she likes it, but doesn't understand everything. Oldest dd needs an all-around attitude adjustment (part of the reason dh is doing school) and says she doesn't like it. Well, 3 out of 4 is a good average. Well, I'm not expecting them to remember it all, just the highlights. ACW has way more info on Rome than I got in high school history. Anyway, gotta go. HTH

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Re: Agustus Caesar's World

Unread post by caod »

Thanks everyone. My concern was not in whether it was worth reading ACW at all. We actually enjoy it. We usually draw pictures and act it out in some silly way. My only concern was that to do that meant that we would be taking a long time doing it. We will xerox those pages and they can work on that as I read. I think we will do a history only week. This is probably the week for that.

Thanks again.
Julie in MN
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Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by Julie in MN »

asheslawson wrote:We are really enjoying this - and my kids have gotten into the stories so much that I find them saying, "did that really happen?" I feel the same way - sometimes I find myself wondering about the conversations that transpired between the characters - and wondering if that isn't just about how they went?? It appears that Genevieve Foster has written a story with known history - but I am assuming that some of the fun things that make the book so enjoyable are what she wrote into known history to bring the characters to life. I suppose there is no real reason to know this - except for feeling a little silly when my kids ask...did they really say that and wondering - did they?

We are also loving the entire layout of this year. Science has been so fun - more than I've enjoyed the past few years - but I think I'm finally getting a better grasp on how to fit it all in with my daycare kids and my infant granddaughter spending some days with us too. My dc are enjoying the experiments on the human body & they are excited about the lift-a-flap type models they made from the Body Book.

I haven't seen many comments on RTR - so I just thought I'd say - it has been very good - I enjoyed ECC & CTG and wasn't sure if I'd start to feel dis-enchanted with RTR (sometimes I second guess - no idea why) - but RTR is phenomenal. Thanks to MFW for putting this all together - I could not have done it!
I dont think Foster's books would be classified as "historical fiction" books. They might be called " children's history" books, in that events and interactions are simplified a bit, and a storytelling technique using a central character is used. She has won several awards for broadening this kind of children's history to include "horizontal" events around the world, not just a narrow focus.

It's probably useful to teach your kids that *any* conversation in a book is going to be somewhat fictionalized, unless it is directly transcribed from a recording (obviously something only available in recent times, but even then fairly rare). And even events are pretty much always remembered differently by different folks. But I've never heard that Ms. Foster did serious fictionalizing, such as adding major characters or events.

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Re: Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by asheslawson »

Thanks Julie - that is about what I thought - I just didn't know what to call it...ugh!! I hate that - for some reason I must have slept when my very particular English teacher discussed genres!! (By the way - she would have marked right through the word 'very' as she thought that was an over-used and not particularly good way to add emphasis!) I knew the conversations had to have been "assumed" on her behalf - but the history seemed fairly accurate to the best I can tell. I know I have come across some books that give dates about 2 or 3 years off and other minor deviances because it is difficult to know exact info on items over over 1,000 years ago (especially)! Either way - I had read some negative things that some had not cared for on her books and I am just so glad that we are enjoying it as much as we are. My dc ask for me to not stop reading it everyday when I reach the end of the assigned pages!
annaz wrote:I am liking this post! This is good news! I just ordered it and am waiting for it's delivery. :-)

May I ask how old your children are that are doing RTR? dd is 7 (until next week...her long awaited 8th!) and my ds is 11, and will be 12 in November. They are LOVING RTR so much. Today we made a clay pig, fashioned as the Romans made their children's toys - and they thought it was so fun. We are in week 4. Last week we did mosaic artwork - although I simplified it a bit. The book said to roll out clay, score it and break the pieces (which would have looked more realistic). But I have tons of craft foam I have picked up on sale - so I had them cut squares from craft foam and fashion their pictures from that. They are very nice. We have also enjoyed the stories, and the science so much.
annaz wrote:That sound fun! :)
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Re: Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by Poohbee »

I was just going to post something similar today! We, too, are really enjoying RTR. I am particularly pleased with the science. I know that people love the Apologia elementary science, and sometimes maybe want to sub out the science scheduled in RTR and do the Apologia anatomy book instead. However, I would recommend at least trying Janice VanCleave's book first! My kids and I love that the readings each day are short, and the experiments are simple and fun. We do the sketches in our science notebook, too. It's wonderful...not too much...just enough!

The rest of RTR has been great, too. My kids have felt that some of the readings in Augustus Caesar's World have been a bit long, but I told them it is a much more enjoyable way to learn history than reading a textbook. They actually really got into the reading today, about Antony and Octavius going to war against Cassius and Brutus.

We are on Week 3 and have been enjoying all of it! Thanks so much, Marie and MFW!
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Re: Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by wsterk »

hello. we are doing rtr with my ds who is 11yo and dd who is 10 yo. we are loving it so far and excited to get to the medieval times!!! Augustus World was about killing me in the beginning, but I am liking it more and more. We will keep pluggin' away. Glad the rest of you are liking it too!!
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Re: Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by kcmyworld »

I am enjoying RTR also and we, too, are on week 4. I must confess though that I'm not doing all the projects. Just now getting around to doing the clay writing tablet from week 1 :) I have enjoyed Augustus' World. My 9 year old daughter is tolerating it, though that's the way she is with most school work! My 11 year old son is doing a separate tutoring program, but always stops his work to listen when I'm reading the history. DD has enjoyed the science this year, seeming to grasp it reasonably well.
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Re: Augustus Caesar's World...really enjoying RTR

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

We are loving it, too. I really get into reading aloud from Augustus Caesar's world! So dramatic! LOL! I like the style, though - so much better than a dry textbook. My 10yo dd is in week 6. We've going to open all the jello boxes and make the arch tomorrow! :-)
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Getting the kids more involved

Unread post by DS4home »

kugoi wrote:I love MFW but it seems for a lot of stuff that the kids just sit and listen to me read. They are getting very bored. Next year I'll have a 5th, 3rd and 1st grader in RtoR (plus a 9th, but she'll be doing her own thing). I'm thinking about having the bigger two take turns reading, but with only one book, it's kind of hard. How do you engage your students more?
I have done some of that too at different times. Just to shake things up a bit I might have someone read a bit out of one of the books that I know is readable at their level.

Sometimes I'll get my dice out when they are dazing off and I'm not sure they are still with me. I have this dice set that has the basic 'wh' question words on each side. So after I read a paragraph or two I roll the dice and ask a question about that paragraph based on what what rolled. Example: I roll and get the word 'who'. So I make up a quick question asking who are we reading about? or who did she marry? etc.

At other times I will have color pages for them to work on as I read, so they are looking at the subject matter with their eyes (a picture) as they listen to the book being read with their ears. More input equals more retention! Sometimes Marie will have a hands on project that they can do while I read.

I will glance over the grid for the week and try to make a plan for all the reading time. If we have something scheduled like a clay activity one day, I will get it out and explain the project first, then when they get going on it I'll start the reading. I have also bought some extra history related color books. So when there are no activities or it is not a table activity, I'll pull out the color pages that would go with our reading subject. I use time line pieces as a coloring item for them to do when I read.

Do some of those ideas help?
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Re: Getting the kids more involved

Unread post by Julie in MN »

When we did CTG, we read the Bible portions in the evening with dad. That made us more refreshed for those important readings, and it freed up our daytime hours for more hands-on. Would that help?

If you're reading The Children's Homer, the manual suggests some questions as prep. Conversation often helped at my house, although it could get long with several kids.

My son is very active, so he might be listening while he bounced on a giant exercise ball or wrapped himself up like a mummy. I would quiz him on occasion to clarify whether he was listening, and he always remembered more when he'd been moving.

We also alternated sitting with moving. Sometimes I'd assign him to run around the outside of the house between readings, or do 10 jumping jacks. Before writing, we often did hand exercises and stretches (ala HWT method).

I think it's good to figure out how to build our own attention spans. It's something we all must do, but different things will work for different folks. For myself, writing while I listen helps (even if I don't use the notes later), as well as reading along in the book while someone is reading aloud.

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Re: Getting the kids more involved

Unread post by kugoi »

I've been letting them draw while I read. I read somewhere that doodlers remember more, but it seems to distract them. Maybe coloring sheets of the topic could work. I've also thought about having them take notes, but I'm afraid I would get constant interruptions of "how do you spell that?" or "wait, what was that last part?"
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Julie in MN
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Re: Getting the kids more involved

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Ya, I do think you need to experiment. I found that my son could move and still concentrate, but could NOT make noises while I was reading LOL
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Check-In Time

Unread post by Yodergoat »

We're using Rome to the Reformation for 5th grade. It is going very smoothly thus far and has been a pleasant beginning! It helps that this is a time period which interests the whole family.

One thing that I did not expect was how much my daughter would enjoy Augustus Caesar's World. We are ahead of schedule on our readings in that book just because she has asked me to continue. We have skipped whole chapters dealing with details about false gods, just because we find it sad as well as tiresome to read those sections. But the story of Octavian/Augustus has fascinated Gail, much more so than I had ever imagined it would. I had actually considered skipping this resource, but am glad now that I did not.

Thank you Marie and MFW for making yet another rich year!

P.S. A homeschooling friend who had been using MFW but switched to a different style of curriculum for this school year told me that she now laments that choice. She said, "I miss MFW's awesome books and all-inclusive teacher's guide," as well as adding that her current choice of curriculum is "not as exciting as MFW." I hope she returns to MFW for next school year!
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