Memoria Press is one of those homeschool companies that I had heard of, but never used any of their products before. So, when the opportunity came for me to be able to review their Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set, I got very excited. Not only could I try out one of their products, but it fell into both History and English subjects. With any new product the first thing I would ask someone would be, who is this product for, how does this program work, and does it work? So let’s dive into these questions and get you the answers you are looking for.
Who is this product for?
This product is meant for kids anywhere from middle school through high school who are looking for an in-depth look into two classics, The Iliad and the Odyssey. Personally, I would pick a year to cover this when you are also covering Greek history, as that pretty much is what these books cover, just in story form.
How does this program work?
This program is set up where the student reads a chapter out of the book, watches a DVD lecture, answers some questions in their workbook and possibly re-reads the chapter. After several chapters there are tests to see how much the student has retained, as well as a final test. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are both set up the same way.
The books used in this program are the translated works of Samuel Butler. However, Memoria Press has changed the Latin names Samuel Butler used to their Greek names. All that to say is that if you are in need of an audio book for these titles, as we were, seeing as our student using this program is dyslexic, you will not find one. Memoria Press does offer these books as e-books and they do work with Kindle Text to Speech. So, if you really need the audio, that seems to be your only option. Hopefully down the road Memoria Press will come out with audiobooks for these works, but in the mean time the Text to Speech at least gives you an option to still use this program if you need the audio.
The DVDs are so well put together. The teacher for these lectures is Sean Brooks. He teaches enough background knowledge for kids to really understand what is going on in these stories. He does so all while using some humor, stories and pictures to illustrate what he is talking about. Personally, if we were to tackle these works again, I would not do so without these DVDs. They really are priceless when it comes to understanding this material.
The workbooks are a great way to help the students pull together what they have read, and heard in the video lecture. Each chapter has on average of ten comprehension questions, two discussion questions, some quotations from the chapter and any places or characters that are mentioned in the chapter listed with what their part in the story is. Because in the DVD lectures Mr. Brooks goes over some of the questions, the time the students are spending in their workbooks really is a great way to pull everything together and help them get ready for and study for the tests.
When it comes time for a test, the kids are not left wondering what is going to be covered. For each chapter the teacher’s manual tells you which questions to have the students mark off in their workbooks. Those marked off questions are the ones they will need to work on studying for the upcoming test. Especially for my younger middle school son, just knowing what he needs to study, helps him be confident in taking a test like this. Given that he hasn’t had to take many tests like this before, knowing that he feels confident in doing well on these is a huge relief for this momma, and I’m sure for him as well. Because of him being Dyslexic I plan on adding those marked off questions to our Quizlet.com account. This will allow him to study for the upcoming tests through playing some games. Doing this has really helped him in the past by making studying easier and fun.
Does this program work?
While we have not finished either of the books YET, I can say that this program has been amazing for my kiddo. Even with the given fact that he is a 6th grade Dyslexic student, he loves history and this program has been working very well for him, with some guidance on my part and use of Kindle’s Text to Speech technology. For each chapter he reads along on this Kindle while the app reads the chapter to him. When he is done reading the chapter, he watches the DVD lecture. Typically I have him do this the next school day. Then on the third school day he works on completing his workbook for that chapter. Because he is a little on the younger side of middle school, when it comes time for him to work on the worksheets, we talk through them together. This allows for some great conversation on our part and really is a joy in our school week. Also, by us working through those comprehension questions together I easily can see if he is understanding the material or not. If he is a bit confused I have him re-read the chapter again, using his Kindle text to speech option. Usually that second time listening to the chapter really makes a big difference in his ability to understand the story line.
We are excited to continue working through these books and feel that if your kiddo loves history or is looking for a literature challenge, then this just might be the perfect fit for your family.