Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
We were offered the opportunity to review a few books by Carole P. Roman recently. She has many assorted series that complement history and cultural studies. As soon as I saw the “If you were me and lived in Scotland” book I got excited. I've always been interested in Scotland and my fiance just moved over from there this week!
Learning About the World with Carole P. Roman Books
We got to review four books from Carole P. Roman assorted series. All four covered areas and time periods that we are already interested in as a family, but they would work well to help foster an interest for a child that doesn't want to study history.
- If You Were Me and Lived in… Scotland
- If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy
- If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece
- If You Were Me and Lived in… Viking Europe
If You Were Me and Lived in… Scotland
This was the first book we read. The boys learned a few new terms. The kids knew Scotland was a lot older than the US but learning that people have lived in the Edinburgh area for ten thousand years was a bit mindblowing for them.
This book does refer to a kilt as a type of skirt. When the boys saw that they immediately gasped and told Nick as soon as they could. Calling a kilt a skirt in Scotland is considered an insult, so I was a bit surprised she didn't find a different way to explain it in a book that is designed to help introduce children to other cultures.
It also says golf is the favourite sport. I asked Nick because he's never really talked about golf & he's a sports fanatic. He said their national favourites would be football, rugby, and golf, in that order. When I read that part about golf being the favourite, he said that would more be the older generations. Except he called them the oldies. Which is considered banter, not an offensive term in Scotland. He was quick to point this out when my eyes got huge like he was teaching the kids an insulting term.
Nick actually didn't know what cullen skink or a clootie dumpling were, but porridge is a favourite of ours. And tattie scones as so delicious with a fried egg and square sausage for breakfast! That page got me craving some of my favourite foods from Scotland!
If You Were Me and Lived in… Viking Europe
Ever since How To Train Your Dragon came out, the boys have been obsessed with Vikings. And I love watching the show The Vikings, so this was a book we were all looking forward to.
I liked the illustrations comparing current Norway to Viking Europe. The boys were quick to point out that the Viking village looked a bit plainer than How to Train Your Dragon.
I had never heard the difference between Scandinavians, Norsemen, and Vikings before. I like how it focused on the different aspects of Viking life and didn't focus on the raiding aspect too much. It did talk about the different classes of people and touched on slavery a little, which the boys have learned was a major part of life in many cultures.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece
If I hadn't met Nick, Greece probably would have been my vacation spot last year. I love reading about modern and ancient Greece. We've spent months learning about ancient Greece as a family. What life was like, their religion/mythology, foods, and more.
Most of the books show advanced between now and then, but Greece shows the ruins that people travel to see. I loved this because it showed that remanents of ancient Greece still exist and it hasn't all been replaced with new.
The boys were outraged that fathers made all the rules and mothers had to follow his rules just like the kid. They were interested in Sparta and we plan on doing a unit study on Spartan life in the near future. All I really know about Sparta is that the movie the 300 was based on it, so I have a lot to learn with them.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy
I grew up knowing that a branch of my family was Italian & the twins have been studying Italian for years. Learning about Renaissance Italy was definitely not a hardship and something we will continue to do.
Most of the foods discussed made us hungry, but we were all a little creeped out by the fact that cooks would put the feathers back on swans and peacocks to make them appear alive. While we understand that meat comes from animals and give thanks, that's a little too much for any of us to handle.
The boys were a bit taken back that girls were engaged around twelve and married by sixteen, to a much older man. And that girls were expected to act like an adult at a young age but also had to have a nursemaid with whenever she left the house.
How did we like?
I really liked that each book is a quick read and provides similar information for each place. For the historical locations, it helps connect them to the modern world.
I'd like to get Ancient China, the Mayan Empire, the Middle Ages, Ancient Mali Empire, Colonial America, and a few of the other historical ones next to match up with our history curriculum.
I did snag a couple of them with Kindle Unlimited because we all have the kindle app on our phones and have Kindles too. The kids have learned they can make the Echo dots read kindle books to them too.
One of my favorite parts of each book is where it shares a few names for boys and girls from that area/time period. I find it very interesting and the kids got super excited when Connor's name showed up under Scotland. We ended up pulling up an origin of names site and going through our family's names. Apparently 3 of the four boys' names are Scottish in origin. The 4th was an Irish surname. My name is Spanish and Nicholas is from Greece.
The glossary and pronunciation guides at the back of each book were also very helpful. When doing a unit study, these would be great for spelling and vocabulary words.
Would I Recommend Carole P. Roman's Assorted Series?
I can only speak for the “If You Were Me and Lived in….” cultural and history series but I highly recommend them! I think they would complement any history or world studies curriculum. They would also be a great foundation for building a unit study. Pair with documentaries and some fun recipes mentioned in the books!
More Reviews of Carole P. Roman Books
Want to know how other families used Carole P. Roman's assorted series as part of their curriculum? Click the photo below to check out other reviews from Homeschool Review Crew members!
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