Sixth Grade Ancient Rome

(For the first part of this block, please see this post:

I detailed in a previous post how we tackled our first three weeks of Rome, including drawing, painting, and mosaics, along with the resources we used.  The first three weeks also included, toward the end, an assignment to read “The Bronze Bow”, as suggested in the Christopherus Roman History Guide ( – however, I do not have this newest version but only the older version so do be aware there has been a revision!)  and we orally discussed this book and its major themes.

So, our major work in the first three weeks included drawing a beautiful cover page with aqueducts on it, a drawing in hatching from Penelope Lively’s book with summary, a drawing of the wolf from the mythology of Romulus and Remus along with a summary, a summary of the kings of Rome along with a wet on wet watercolor painting of the seven hills of Rome, a map of the seven hills of Rome, a summary regarding the plebians and the patricians, a wet on wet painting of Horatious Keeps The Bridge along with copying part of the poem by Lord Macaulay, a drawing of an elephant with centurian rider along with a summary of the Punic Wars.  This summary as the most extensive and covered about two and a half pages in a standard size main lesson book.

We then moved into the time of Julius Caesar and the five Caesars that followed.  Part of the Christopherus Guide (at least the old version) recommends working with heavily shaded photographs of busts to work on black and white and gray shading.  This is important for the adolescent, to work with the gray areas, as adolescents tend to be very black or white in their outlook on life.  The book “When The World Was Rome”  was most helpful to me as a teacher in this endeavor and we did some fine drawings with shading.  Portraiture in earnest comes in the eighth grade and high school. so to me what came out on paper was not merely as important as the process of attempting and looking at the highlights, lowlights and shading. We did portraits of both Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, along with supportive writing and summaries on these famous figures.

The book “Famous Men of Ancient Rome:  Lives of Julius Caesar, Nero, Marcus Aurelius and Others” by Harren and Poland was helpful here, along with Kovacs book that I already mentioned in the previous post.  A summary regarding the “first five Caesars” found in the Christopherus Guide was helpful.

We then moved into the life of Jesus Christ (I do NOT recommend part of Dorothy Harrer’s telling of His life as it contradicts mainstream theology and connects Jesus to the Essenes, although parts of it are okay and would provide good examples of the Beautitudes and the Apostles Creed for those of you not familiar with these things, along with many of the parables Jesus told). I still think Kovacs is a good source for this, along with the descriptions of the earliest Christians and our next summary was on this topic.   We then looked at Hadrian and others, and Marcus Aurelius.  There was a summary on these leaders, along with a map of Rome at its height drawn freehand.  I also assigned the book “Galen and the Gateway to Medicine” to our daughter and we discussed the life of Galen.

We moved on to talk about Constantine and wrote a summary and the early monks (Kovacs in particular discusses this, along with this next book) .  One book we moved into at this point was the Christian book, “Peril and Peace:  Volume I:  Chronicles of the Ancient Church”, which I read as a supplement to these lessons.  We particularly looked at Peter and Paul (also covered well in Harrer’s book), and then this book also covered Polycarp, Justin, Origen, Cyprian, Constantine, the Early Creeds and Councils, Athansius, The Great Cappadocians, Ambrose, Augustine (see book assigned below), John Chrysostom, Jerome, Patrick, and Benedict.

We are ending this week by looking at Attila the Hun, the Huns, the Goths and  the decline of the Roman Empire.  I will assign the book “Augustine Came to Kent” by Barbara Willard as reading for over the next block, and we will pick up with Medieval History in the spring.

Our blocks for January through May include European Geography, Business Math, Medieval History, Physics,  and I am putting together a small block on Colonial America for varying reasons which I hope to discuss in a future post.    We have already done Geometry, an expansion of botany into biomes and ecology that led into our Mineralogy block, and Rome.

Many blessings,

10 thoughts on “Sixth Grade Ancient Rome

  1. This sounds wonderful! I am wondering -do you include your younger children in these plans? As a mom with eight children, i am just starting using the Waldorf approach with my 5 yo ( seventh child), and keeping on with Tapestry of Grace for my over-eights. But i wonder how you homeschool the different ages? I feel sometimes that what I’m doing is the ONLY way i can make it work… But of course it isn’t! Thanks for your lovely, inspiring blog! I am enjoying it so much!

    • Stephanie,
      There are many, many posts on here about homeschooling multiple children. I have a four year old as well, along with two older children. I will say that the essential part of Waldorf is understanding the idea that it works in seven year cycles, so your five year old would be doing no academics but rather circle time, practical work, artistic work, etc. If my younger ones (the two younger than sixth grade) listen in or want to draw in a blank main lesson book, that is fine, but there is nothing academic that would be geared to a five year old. Waldorf is a very different educational philosophy, and takes some getting used to, I think! I structure my day so my little one has his school first, and the work of the day (sorely neglected as of late!) or preparing for festivals (in our religion Feast Days), seasonal work, etc is done together and I always have a helper with my four year old when I am working with one of the other children. The idea is for a small child under the age of 7 to be really and fully in the body during the early years in preparation for academics in first grade- which is age six and a half or seven.
      I don’t know if these posts would be helpful to you as you ponder: this one: and this one:

      Older ages can be combined in some ways. I guess it depends if you want to move that way for your whole family or just your youngest two children.
      Many blessings to you, I am very glad you are here and asking questions! I can also highly recommend Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie’s program, she is having a boot camp for rhythm here: that looks really fun!

    • Thanks, Carrie! I’ve been reading all over the site – and i love the idea of the different ages having different needs – just not sure how it plays out in a Waldorf family -with Mimi (my 5 yo) – i bought the Oak Meadow curriculum – it really slowed her down (she’d been doing a lot of math and reading just to be sociable) – and helped me to reconnect with what is important for *five*… a lot more music, movement,art, and exploring outside :). She calls it “Fun School” when we have that special time of day. I’d love to do the samething with my older children, and maybe thinking in seven year cycles would help to make it doable. I’ll do more reading 🙂 – and check out the course you mentioned 🙂

  2. Thank you Carrie for these posts on what you have been doing in your homeschool work, it is so very helpful for those of us who are behind you a few years in grades to see what is coming up for us.

    Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas time!

    • Thank YOU Maggie! You are one of most long-time readers, and I appreciate you and am wishing you the best and most merriest Christmas of all!

  3. Pingback: Gallery of Work From Sixth Grade Ancient Rome | The Parenting Passageway

  4. Pingback: Sixth Grade Ancient Rome | The Parenting Passageway

  5. Pingback: Free Lesson Block Plans and Ideas for Grades 4-6 | The Parenting Passageway

  6. Carrie, the summary here is extensive. It’s overwhelming to say the least. Thank you for sharing here for a first time Homeschooling mom attempting grade 6 Roman History. Much gratitude, swee

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