As part of Ruben's Updated Rome Study, I finished reading aloud Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster. It was my first book in Foster's World series. Riley read it on her own. She and I enjoyed it. Ruben did not.
I mentioned in a previous post that I more or less scrapped Heart of Dakota's Creation to Christ history and decided to end the year with Beautiful Feet's Ancient History. I wanted to try a test run to see how Ruben might handle Beautiful Feet's Medieval History study, which I'm contemplating for next year.
Some of the suggested BF readings for Augustus Caesar's World were a bit long for Ruben. I did break the lessons into two days to try to spread the reading out. Riley's been using BF's Ancient History study independently this year. She did not feel the readings were long. Riley read most of them in one day, then completed her notebooking assignments the next, also spreading each lesson over two days, but a little differently than what I did with Ruben.
Augustus Caesar's World tells what is happening around the world in the life and times of Augustus Caesar. Riley read Abraham Lincoln's World, also by Foster, in 5th grade, but enjoyed Augustus Caesar's World more. She made an interesting statement to me in regard to the Roman Empire being most of the known world in Augustus' time vs. Lincoln's world consisting of multiple continents and him not being the ruler of all nations. Based on this, she found Augustus Caesar's World more interesting. I wonder if it was really content or rather reading Augustus Caesar's World in 7th grade vs. reading Abraham Lincoln's World in 5th grade that had anything to do with her interest. Foster's books are very meaty and may be more appropriate for that middle to high school level. Since Augustus Caesar's World was my first read in this series, I have nothing to compare it to.
There were many interesting facts throughout Augustus Caesar's World that I didn't know or hadn't heard before. Although, Foster's final paragraph at the end of the book really made the greatest impression on me...
And so out of this world of the Caesars came another story of the triumph of life and courage over fear and death, a triumph seen anew in every spring that follows winter and with the rising of the sun each day. (Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster, p. 325)I appreciated the fact that Foster included Jesus' history and biblical passages in her world history. One thing I wondered about was why she skipped writing about the medieval world. Foster covers ancient history with Augustus Caesar's World and then jumps to The World of Columbus and Sons. From Columbus to the time of her death, she covered most of American history between her World series and her Initial Biography series. Birthdays of Freedom does include some highlights from the time between Caesar and Columbus, but I don't know of any other work by Foster that goes more in depth on that time period.
As mentioned above, the kids did notebook through their reading of Augustus Caesar's World. Albeit, they did have slightly different notebooking assignments. Riley followed the BF guide most closely. Whereas, I did modify some of the notebook assignments for Ruben.
If you've ever read or looked at a book in Foster's World series, you know that there are illustrated two page spreads throughout that serve as sort of a timeline. The books are usually divided into parts and at the beginning of each part, Foster lays out some of the characters with dates and times that she references throughout her writing. Ruben really enjoys coloring while I read aloud so I photocopied these two page illustrated spreads from Augustus Caesar's World. He colored them and pasted them in his notebook. The purpose of this was two-fold in that it helped him to have a visual timeline of characters and dates for reference while I was reading, as well as occupying his hands in a quiet activity that aided in his listening. I am including sample notebook pages from each of the children's notebooks below.
Overall, Augustus Caesar's World is a wonderful book! I think it's a must read for this time period. This must be why it's not only used by Beautiful Feet, but by so many others, including, Ambleside Online in Year 6, Simply Charlotte Mason, Sonlight, TruthQuest History, and Veritas Press to name a few.