Memoria Press Complete Programs for K-7
|Publisher: Memoria Press
Review last updated: September 2011
|Instant KeyPublishers InfoPricing|
Memoria PressFirst Grade Program
Memoria Press has been creating many of their own products for presenting a classical Christian education. They have recently created complete grade level packages with complete lesson plans that incorporate their resources along with some from other publishers. All subjects are covered, including Bible/religion.
Memoria Press resources use recitation, repetition, copywork, and memorization to develop mastery of skills and concepts. Literature, music, and art are incorporated for grades K-3. Literature guides for each level guide students through the study of real books rather than readers. Latin is introduced in second grade. Rod and Staff’s math program is used for all grade levels. Memoria’s Christian Studies program begins in third grade; these books guide students through study of The Golden Children’s Bible. Copybooks used in the early grades include verses from the KJV.
Rod and Staff’s Spelling program is used beginning with Spelling 4 used at third grade level—appropriate given the advanced level of the words in this series. Rod and Staff’s English texts are used for third through seventh grades. Nature walks and nature study are an important part of science study for the younger levels. Students in third grade and beyond study other science topics such as the relatively in-depth study of astronomy in third grade.
Lesson Plan books each cover a full school year. They have specific teaching instructions in about the first ten pages followed by detailed, daily lesson plans showing what resources to use, which pages to cover, and extra instructions as needed. Check-off boxes can be used if you want this Lesson Plan book to also serve as your record book. Guides have a suggested schedule for how much time to allot to each subject and the order of subjects, but this is followed by a blank schedule for you to customize your own schedule. Appendices at the back of each book include prayers, memory work, and other helps appropriate to each level. They also feature read-aloud book lists, poetry lists and music and art lists showing which selections correlate with each week’s lesson for grades K through 2. Read-alouds lists that correlate with lessons are included for grades 3 through 6.
The curriculum is very structured and depends very much on interaction with the teacher. The same curriculum can be used with either class groups or individual students, although things like discussions, public speaking, and some activities might be more enjoyable or profitable with more than one student. On the other hand, it will be easier to oversee and interact with a single child rather than a group.
Lesson Plans and packages for grades K through 2 are in their final format, while at the time of this review Lesson Plan guides for grades 3 through 6 are in their beta format and might change slightly.
The kindergarten program assumes that children can count to ten, print their names, and recognize most letters. In this half-day program, kindergarteners learn to read, mastering short vowel words and a basic sight-word vocabulary using Memoria’s First Start Reading course, Classical Phonics, SRA Phonics 1, Christian Liberty Press’ Nature Reader K, and EPS Primary Phonics Readers. While science and social studies topics come up within other subject areas, each is given only one dedicated lesson per week. Phonics, math, recitation, and copybook/memory work take place each day. Music, art, read-aloud books, poetry, social studies, and science rotate, sharing a half-hour time slot at the end of each day in the recommended schedule. The priority given to math and phonics is entirely appropriate for kindergarten level.
First grade expands to a full-day program, continuing to develop phonics and reading skills along with other subjects in a manner similar to that for the kindergarten program. Cursive writing is also introduced at this level. Classic children’s literature begins to play an important role in the curriculum with fifteen read-alouds and the Memoria Press StoryTime Treasures study guides.
Second grade introduces Latin with Prima Latina and brings in more social studies content within the classic literature selections with books such as The Courage of Sarah Noble and Little House in the Big Woods.
Third grade builds the historical foundation for a classical curriculum with D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths. Students also learn states and capitals, study astronomy, and read three longer novels this year: Farmer Boy, Charlotte’s Web, and The Moffats. They continue the study of Latin with Latina Christiana I.
Fourth graders move on to the Famous Men of Rome while also studying geography with Memoria’s unique program for classical students. Memoria’s Geography studies Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East, the primary regions encompassed by the Roman Empire. Geography is studied both historically and as it is today. Another new Memoria publication, The Book of Insects, along with its companion workbook introduce students to classification and the insect world as they observe, study, analyze, and sketch. Students also answer factual questions in the workbook. (These latter two items are still in beta versions at the time I am writing.) First Form Latin continues the Latin instruction. Fourth grade novels are Heidi, Lassie Come Home, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Fifth grade history progresses to the Famous Men of the Middle Ages. In keeping with the Middle Ages historical emphasis, students read King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Adam of the Road. Geography II, a yet-to-be-released Memoria Press book will also fill in social studies. Students may study either First or Second Form Latin depending upon their progress to this point. Birds are a major topic for science with a number of books and activities, but students also read the fascinating book Exploring the World of Medicine.
For sixth grade, students journey back to Greece with Famous Men of Greece, Horatius at the Bridge, and The Trojan War. They also study U.S. History with a number of resources. Science focuses on trees then addresses the larger world of living things with Exploring the World of Biology. For Latin, students might use First, Second, or Third Form Latin. Novels read are Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, The Bronze Bow, and The Hobbit.
Seventh graders continue study of the ancient world. However, moving beyond the grammar stage they study history and literature at a deeper level as they tackle the Iliad and the Odyssey along with study sets for Dorothy Mills' Book of the Ancient World and Book of the Ancient Greeks. Students study Robinson Crusoe and a variety of poetry for literature, and they are introduced to Shakespeare in the second semester. For language arts they also complete Rod and Staff's English 7 course along with Memoria Press' Classical Composition. Science uses Exploring Planet Earth. For math, students study pre-algebra. Students can continue with Fourth Form Latin or select an appropriate level of Latin if they are newer to the study of Latin.
If you like Memoria Press’ approach to classical education, these grade level packages are a terrific resource that will make your job much easier.
Prices range from $260 to $450 at the time of this review. Prices for beta versions of these programs will definitely go up for final versions.
- Suitable for: group or one-on-one teaching
Audience: grades K-6
Need for parent/teacher instruction: moderate to high
Prep time needed: low
Teacher's manual: essential
Educational philosophy: Classical with some Real Books
Religious perspective: Christian
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