Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Techie Homeschool Mom (A Homeschool Crew Review)

There's a saying that says "All Roads Lead to Rome".. While the statement refers to the Roman Roads, it does remind me that when studying history, Rome plays a huge part in much of the story.  Whether studying the life of Christ, Egyptian History or even Greek mythology and legends, the influence of Roman is apparent even when you're not looking for it.  Hence, it's important to study and understand the history of Rome and it's culture.

For the last few weeks, the kids have discovering more about the history of ancient Rome with Ancient Rome Online Unit Study, an online unit study from Techie Homeschool Mom   .

The Techie Homeschool Mom is an website that features various thematic unit studies for various grade levels.  From learning about holiday traditions all over the world, famous Americans, Astronomy, or artists, these unit studies take advantage of online resources to create lessons that are easy and educational.

Each unit study is created by Beth Napoli, a mother of 5 who considers herself a "geeky homeschooling mom".  Originally, Beth created these unit studies as a way to take advantage of resources available online to educate her own daughters. However, after the encouragement from others to share these units with others, Beth created the Techie Homeschool Mom site for others to have access to them as well.

We opted to review the Ancient Rome unit study because it looked as if it could easily fit in as a supplement with our current history lessons.  We are currently studying the rise of the Roman Empire, so this worked out perfectly for us and I have been able to fit this unit study in seamlessly with our existing lessons.

Techie Homeschool Mom unit studies are super easy to use.  Once logged into the website, the dashboard shows all the topics that are covered in the study.  For the Ancient Rome study, there are 50 topics that fall into 8 categories..  These categories include : Introduction to Ancient Rome, Roman Mythology, Daily Life in Rome, Roman Architecture and Engineering, Roman Government, The Roman Language, Entertainment in Ancient Rome, and Roman Military and War.  As each lesson is completed, it is grayed out, allowing for the student to quickly pick up where the lessons were left of once they log in again. 

Each lesson includes a combination of reading, videos, or activities that teach the subject.  For example, the "Touring Ancient Rome" lesson includes a video that featured a computer generated tour of Rome showing what the city would have looked at during Ancient times.   It also featured a website where the kids could read about the residential homes of the time.  There was also a second website that showed the kids computer generated images of what the homes would have looked like during that time.   After viewing the materials, the student completes the lesson by clicking "Complete and Continue", which grays out the lesson on the dashboard.  No other outside resources are required to complete the lessons - all the information is contained on the lesson page.

In addition to the lessons, students are encouraged to select an optional book for additional reading.  This is not required for the lessons but is part of the "Book Club" included in the lessons.  This book can be fiction or nonfiction and either is about Rome or features ancient Rome as the setting.  For our selection, the kids opted for The Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire.   The kids opted to listen to the book as an audiobook during lunch breaks.   At the end of each section of the unit study, the students are encouraged to answer a question (found on the lesson page) about their book of choice.  Students are also encouraged to participate in an app version of the popular "Heads Up" game - although we didn't do this as the app wasn't downloadable to our devices and this is also an optional portion of the unit study. 

Included in some of the lessons are fun activities such as making a sundial, baking a Roman honey cake and creating a Roman Road.   These have all been tons of fun to work though, but I think the honey cake was the most popular with the kids.  We had never had a honey cake before and it only used three ingredients.  We all agreed it reminded us of a Dutch Baby, a breakfast food that we make on a regular basis but the kids were more excited that they (mostly Ashleigh) made it all on their own.

 We also attempted to make a model of the Pantheon.  Unfortunately, our dome didn't work out (Mom's fault). But it was fun even so and the kids did learn quite a bit about the Pantheon. 

We will continue using the Unit Study until we finish it, which we estimate will take us another two weeks at the rate we are going.  Other students could complete the unit study in probably two weeks or so, but we have been working through it at a slower pace since we are using it as a supplement to our other lessons.  Each section should take around 2-3 hours to complete on average but one of the luxuries of this course is that it is a self paced course, so it can be done at whatever pace the student (or the teacher) feels comfortable with.

For more information about the various courses offered by Techie Homeschool Mom, be sure to visit her website.  You can also find her at the following social media sites:

Members of the Review Crew were given the opportunity to review their choice of seven different unit studies, each aimed for different grade levels.  Be sure to click the banner below for the opportunity to read their reviews.

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

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