Thursday, April 30, 2009

Famous Men of the Modern Ages

I received the "Famous Men of the Modern Ages" from Memoria Press. I have other versions of the "Famous Men" series (Greece and Rome) and love how they bring history to life by bringing the people of that time period to life. Memoria Press takes their text even further with beautiful illustrations to compliment the written stories.

Famous Men of the Modern Ages starts after the fall of Constantinople with Lorenzo the Magnificent. Here is a direct link to the table of contents. I love these books because I have many gaps in my own knowledge of history. It was really sad how many of these famous men-- from only the last 500 years-- I knew nothing about. Some I remember memorizing, probably along with a date that I have long since forgotten. This book has interesting details about each person that make history more interesting.

Memoria Press also has student and teacher guides to go along with the text. The guides turn an interesting book into a year long study of the given time period. There are 33 lessons and 6 review lessons. They include quotes, vocabulary, comprehension questions, and activities, like timelines and mapwork. The teacher guide is the same as the student guide, but with the answers filled in. The Famous Men of the Modern Ages text is $16.95 and each of guides are $17.95 or you can buy the set of all 3 books for $39.95. My son is in 3rd grade and dislikes writing, so we did many of the comprehension questions orally. His favorite way to use the book was for both of us to read the text silently, then "have a contest" to see if he knew the answers better than I did.

If you are a classical homeschooler or would like an enjoyable way to fill in the gaps in your own knowledge, The Famous Men books are a great starting point. I think anyone would benefit from the text. I would not consider it a complete history curriculum, but it is far more interesting than any of the history texts I had in school and I expect my son will retain more from this book and study guide than I did from the "complete" curriculums to which I was exposed.

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