~New Users~
Introduction Getting Started Recommendations

By Genre By Level Summaries Series

~Study Aids~
Overview Timelines Characters Battles Summary Images Maps

User Guide FAQs

E-Readers Self-Publishing Copyright Terms FAQs

Using the Ancient Rome
Classical Curriculum

Read User Guides     Prepare Notebook     Select Books     Read and Review    

The Heritage Classical Curriculum is a reading-based program that can be adapted to suit students of a wide range of interests and abilities. To use most effectively, however, it requires a brief introduction. In order to help users who are unfamiliar with the Heritage Curriculum get started, we've prepared the following step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Read Curriculum and Electronic Text User Guides

Heritage History provides two user guides that should be read by students or instructors who are unfamiliar with the Heritage Classical Curriculum. The Curriculum User Guide provides a complete introduction to the Heritage method of learning. It explains the "living books" approach and how it differs from more conventional textbook based curricula. It also provides practical advice for keeping students on track learning the essentials, while maintaining enough flexibility to allow them to pursue their own interests.

Topics covered in the Heritage Classical Curriculum User Guide include:

  • The "Living Books" approach to history.
  • A list of available Heritage Curriculums and Libraries.
  • Heritage History's recommended sequence of instruction.
  • How to use the learning resources available in the Study Guide.
  • Guidelines for scheduling your student's reading assignments.
  • Guidelines for selecting supplementary reading.
  • Suggestions for improving retention, including oral and written Review
  • Suggestions for using Heritage Resources with other Curricula

The other User Guide that is of general interest is our Electronic Text User Guide. The Heritage History library contains both printable and e-Reader versions of all of its books. The e-Reader books can be downloaded directly from your computer to any iPad, Kindle, Nook, or other e-Reader and the PDF can be republished on any printer. Using electronic, rather than conventional publishing methods, Heritage history can make an entire library available for less than the cost of a standard textbook.

Topics covered in the Electronic Text User Guide include:—

  • Instructions for copying Heritage e-Books directly from your computer to your iPad or Kindle.
  • How to download and use free e-Reader software on your home computer.
  • How to keep printing and binding costs low.
  • Considerations for purchasing an e-Reader.
  • Considerations for purchasing a high performance printer.
  • Copyright status of Heritage History books and images.

Both guides should be read by students or instructors who have never used the Heritage Classical Curriculum. Many questions about the curriculum itself, and the options for using electronic texts are answered in these documents.

Step 2: Prepare an Ancient Rome History Notebook

The Heritage Classical Curriculum is a reading based program and the centerpiece of the curriculum is the Ancient Rome library. In addition to books, however, Heritage provides a collection of study aids including maps, timelines, and era summaries. These learning resources have been collected into an Ancient Rome Study Guide that students can print and place in a three ring binder. Most students benefit from having a notebook on hand with maps, reading lists and other reference material that they can refer to without logging into a computer.

Most of the material in the Study Guide is for review and reference. The maps section, however, contains outline maps of several important regions of Ancient Rome, as well as color historical maps. These maps are useful for reviewing the geography of Ancient Rome, and students may want to print out extra copies.

Vicinity of Rome Italy Roman Empire

Yet another purpose of a history notebook is to keep track of Book Selections and Weekly Reading assignments. The Preparation and Scheduling section of the Curriculum User Guide discusses how to use these forms to keep account of student progress. Several copies of each of these forms should be printed and placed in each student's history notebooks. They will be used to keep track of reading progress on a regular basis.

Step 3: Make Book Selections

Once a history notebook has been prepared, the task of selecting your student's individualized reading assignment remains. As explained in the Curriculum User Guide, each student is expected to read history for approximately three hours per week. Instead of studying from a single textbook however, he can read any of a number of books on the subject. He is even allowed a certain amount of time to read history books of his own choosing, even if they have nothing to do with Roman history.

A certain number of core selections, which cover the fundamentals of Roman History, are assigned to all students according to reading level. Once they have completed their core reading students can make their own choice of books from a list of supplemental texts. Supplemental selections can be biographies, episodic histories, folklore, or even historical fiction. In addition to these books, each student is allowed to make several free-reading selections during the year on any historical topic that interests him, either from one of Heritage History's libraries, or from some other high-quality source.

In order to help students and instructors make age and interest appropriate selections from within our libraries, Heritage provides Books Summaries and Series Descriptions for each library. The Book Summaries page provides a brief synopsis of every book in in the Ancient Rome Library, while the Series Descriptions provide information about the author and other available volumes for each book in the Ancient Rome collection that is part of a larger series. For most students, taking some time to familiarize themselves with the whole collection can be an enjoyable and educational venture.

It is not necessary to select an entire years' worth of books ahead of time. We recommend selecting only two or so books from each category (core, supplemental, free-reading) to get started. Students can add more books later on, as they finish their first selections. It is important that students have a range of books to choose from so that reading history never becomes tedious.

Step 4: Read and Review

The final step in using the Heritage curriculum is simply to make sure that students read their assigned history books on a regular basis. Many students enjoy reading history, but even the best readers are likely to neglect reading if it is not part of their regular study schedule.

An important part of the Heritage program is reviewing material. At least two comprehensive histories are usually assigned as core reading, so students are exposed to the major events in each civilization by at least two authors. In addition, students typically read several other biographies or episodic histories that provide depth as well as breadth.

The object of the Heritage program of study is to make the process of learning history as stress free and enjoyable as possible. Some subjects, such as math and foreign languages, cannot possibly be mastered without rigorous effort and written work, but history can be learned very well simply by reading high quality books. Even students who dislike writing and rote memorization are able to absorb a great deal of historical information simply by reading.

We believe that reading history can be a favorite pastime for anyone. History programs that fail to teach a love for history miss the most important lesson of all.

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