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Small People

Monday, April 22, 2019

Techie Homeschool Mom Review

Unit studies - I love, love, LOVE the concept, but I hate the prep time that it usually involves on my end. Sometimes it's not even the preparation time that is the issue; sometimes doing a unit study is far more teacher-involved than I have time to be, especially if the unit study is for just one child. I'm always looking for new unit study products to see if I can find one that is a better fit for our homeschool. I was delighted when we were given the opportunity to review Ancient Rome Online Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom.

For this review, we received Ancient Rome Online Unit Study, which is an online course created by Beth Napoli. Other than the supplies for the projects and a book that we got to choose, everything else is included online within the course. Nothing to download. No mile-long list of books to check out from the library (and then pay fines on because I inevitably forget to return them on time LOL).

We decided to use the Ancient Rome study for history for Brittany. Most days she would spend about 30 minutes on the study, with some days being a little longer if there was a project. I loved that, when it was time for Britt to do history, all she had to do was log in to the unit study and get started. Most of the time, she was able to do all of the activities on her own; all she needed was for me to get the supplies. After she was done with the study for the day, I would check in with her to see what she learned that day, asking her to share with me an interesting fact or something new that she learned.

I really appreciated the "Before You Start..." section of the study. There is a page that explains how the online unit study works if this is your first one. This was extremely helpful in getting me started. Another page gives a list of all of the project supplies needed and lists them according to the module they will be needed in. A quick glance at the course contents helped me see about when I would need to have the supplies on hand. That way I didn't have to buy them all at one time, but I also wasn't scrambling to try to get them the morning she was going to be doing the project either. The Book Club page recommends books that go along with the theme of the study and allowed us to choose the book for Brittany to read. There are 9 books recommended for Ancient Rome, at different reading levels, so there are plenty of options. We chose for Brittany to read Twice Freed since we already had that book on our shelves. The final page under "Before You Start..." is General Questions/Broken Links. Here you can not only submit a question/statement/broken link, but you can also see what others have submitted and Beth Napoli's responses. I love that she is quick to respond and fix things.

The unit study itself is a mix of activities, some online while others are hands-on, that really engaged Brittany's interest. For example, the first module, "Introduction to Ancient Rome," contains an online mapping activity using Google Maps to see how far you are from Rome, a video introduction of the history of Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, a website with a timeline of Ancient Rome, and a link to a 10-question quiz to see how much was learned.

While I appreciated that most of the instruction was online, Brittany really enjoys hands-on projects and was a little worried at first that there wouldn't be much in this unit study. She didn't have to fear, though, because there are plenty of hands-on activities that she's been able to do.

During the Roman Mythology module, she made a model of the Pantheon using a balloon, newspapers, and craft sticks.

In the Daily Life in Rome module, she made a Roman Honey Sponge Cake. She did this completely on her own from start to finish.

In the Roman Architecture and Engineering module, she made an edible Roman road. (They give 2 options for this project - one with sand, gravel, and smooth stones like a real Roman road and one with graham crackers, chocolate pudding, and shortbread cookies. She chose the one she could eat. I can't say I blame her; it was really good!)
She also did an amazing drawing of the Colosseum.

In the Roman Language module, she created her own Roman coins out of clay.

Brittany's thoughts:
I liked that I got to learn about Ancient Rome and that there were activities and hands-on projects, not just reading. I really liked learning about the Roman roads - how they were built and how many layers there were; I also liked the project that went with it because I got to eat it. It was delicious!

I am very excited that we have discovered this resource and am already planning to use several more unit studies in the future. Some of the other courses available include
  • Famous Artists
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Greece
  • Famous Inventors
  • Christmas Around the World
  • Solar System
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine's Day
  • and more!

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Are you interested in what others have to say about Techie Homeschool Mom? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

Solar, Ancients and Famous People Unit Studies {Techie Homeschool Mom Reviews}

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