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Famous Men of vs Guerber

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Second grade history focus will be in Greeks and Romans. 

For read aloud- do you like the Famous Men series or Gueber Story of series? 

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Neither. Both are too mature. If I had to choose I'd do Gueber.

I would use this booklist from the library and substitute when necessary.

The You Wouldn't Want To Be... series is fun and informative as well.

My kids loved Friends and Heroes from Jelly Telly.

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I think I agree that I would use neither, unless your child is really into history. I have used Guerber's Story of the Ancient World for that young, but not the Greek or Roman books. I have no experience with Famous Men, but I believe they are also geared for an older audience.

ETA: I think I would try SOTW 1 if I were you.

Edited by hollyhock2
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I’m doing Famous Men of Middle Ages now with DS 9/3rd Grade and it’s pretty dense and dry so I’m not sure how much he’s actually getting from it. I doubt it would hold the interest of a younger child. I am reading this to DS and DD 6:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1845500822/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It really holds their attention, even DD, so I think it’s a great choice  the chapters can be long so sometimes I break up the reading over two sittings. It was recommended in DS VP self-paced Studies.

I second the You Wouldn’t Want Be series. DS has loved them since I first read them to him and he still enjoys them. They do a great job balancing being informative with being fun and interesting to hold his attention  

 

Edited by ExcitedMama
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On 6/4/2019 at 6:04 PM, Slache said:

Neither. Both are too mature. If I had to choose I'd do Gueber.

I would use this booklist from the library and substitute when necessary.

The You Wouldn't Want To Be... series is fun and informative as well.

My kids loved Friends and Heroes from Jelly Telly.

I am using Veritas Press for history. The cards list Famous Men. Using most of those books. I am not around a library so need to order all the books before the school year. 

But I am also looking at Easy Classical which uses Veritas Press, but uses Gueber instead of Famous Men. 

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I agree with @ExcitedMama --- I think Famous Men would be difficult for second graders. 

Here are some thoughts -- what about:
D'Aulaires Greek Myths (I think this would definitely keep second graders attention. My 5yo LOVES to hang out when his older brothers are studying Greek Myths)
Aeneid for Boys and Girls (disclaimer, haven't read this yet -- it's on my summer list)
In Search of a Homeland (Children's Aeneid) (again, I haven't read this one yet)
SOTW Vol 1  --- we will be listening to this again this summer as a prep for Famous Men of Rome
Mythology Books from Candlewick Press -- I know we have The Odyssey and the Iliad, and there's a neat book that's written like a Greek newspaper. We've owned these books for years, and my boys have loved them since they were very young. 
 

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I have a hard time not doing the recommend reading. I think the VP recommended readings can be used again in the future and Famous Men can be found at a reasonable price (I think I found it cheaper on Amazon than Rainbow) so you can always do it. You might find your child likes it. The pages are pretty short so it doesn’t take long. I’m continuing to do it with DS and looking at it as something that might help stick a little for when he comes back to it. 

I really love the Pages of History books too and so does DS. I actually added them into SOTW before starting VP and I’m very impressed with it. SOTW would be great to add in. With the activity book and chapter book you have a lot of information even if you can’t always add in the exrtra recommended books. 

Edited by ExcitedMama
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Both Famous Men of ... and Gueber are available on Librivox.  You could listen to a chapter or two of each to determine suitability.    If one of them would work, listen to the free audio version and save your money for other resources such as those mentioned above.  Also consider Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey series.  It is a good beginner retelling of the Odyssey.  

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Guerber, hands-down.  She is a much, much better historian.  We sometimes use the Famous Men series b/c we own them & Memoria Press has lovely support materials so that the children remember the materials; but I am trying to supplement them when we do, and I really like Guerber. 

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On 6/9/2019 at 2:08 PM, Sherry in OH said:

Both Famous Men of ... and Gueber are available on Librivox.  You could listen to a chapter or two of each to determine suitability.    If one of them would work, listen to the free audio version and save your money for other resources such as those mentioned above.  Also consider Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey series.  It is a good beginner retelling of the Odyssey.  

This is Part 1 of Osborne's retelling.

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Odyssey-Part-Mary-Osborne/dp/1423128648/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1560217431&sr=8-2

And Part 2

https://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-Gray-Eyed-Goddess-Return-Osborne/dp/1423126106/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

I'm looking for an alternate to Famous Men, as well, though my kids are older. We have tried to read Famous Men a few times but it is so over their heads that we never make it past the first pages. MP guides are no help.

How does Guerber compare to Mill's (MP uses Mill's in 7th/8th)?

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13 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

...

How does Guerber compare to Mill's (MP uses Mill's in 7th/8th)?

Mills is higher-level, conceptually.  Guerber is more story-oriented, Mills is (IMHO) a bit more abstract and it helps to have more general knowledge under one's belt.  Mills' book on Greece, for example, talks about Heinrich Schiemann's story and his excavation of Troy early on and then gives a summary of Mycenaean culture that discusses "a day in the life", art, &c. 

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Grueber (along with Bullfinch's mythology) is what my child used in his first high school level Latin/Mythology class. But, I think that it is not interesting enough to use with a rising second grader.

At 2nd grade level, I would recommend D'Aulaire's mythology, Mary Pope Osborne's books, Jo Napoli's Greek Mythology stories, Rick Riordan's mythology based book series etc. Some of these books come with study guides and supplementary activities which are fun for the early elementary stages.

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I would add in Aesops Fables to the above suggestions. Our library is full of retellings of ancient literature.  Have you seen the retellings of the Gilgamesh Story ? My children loved these.

https://www.amazon.com/Gilgamesh-King-Trilogy-Ludmila-Zeman/dp/0887764371

 

Famous Men series is great for older elementary and on into middle school. I started using it in 4th grade for my oldest. The content and reading would have been challenging too much younger than that for my children.

 

Yesterdays Classics has many retellings of classic literature for young students.

Genevieve Foster has books that are a higher reading level but might work for read aloud. My family used the one about George Washington last year. Short chapters with illustrations. https://www.amazon.com/Augustus-Caesars-World-Genevieve-Foster/dp/0964380323 

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