It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nan's first research paper

I realize that I have been pretty quiet about our new curriculum this year. That is simply because it has been keeping me busy! This past weekend, we spent time with some old friends. One is a public school teacher, she was talking about being ready for change because she had been teaching the same grade for 9 years. I have to admit that I was a tiny bit jealous...I have taught a new grade each year for the past 5 years. That is a lot of work!

But the work especially regarding the new educational philosophy and curriculum has been worth it. Homeschooling is what our family should be doing and is a good thing for us. I just had the blessing of helping Nan finish up her first research paper! She had to pick a topic regarding ancient Rome,  find two sources, write and outline from each, fuse those outlines into one outline, and write her paper. I don't think I took on something this big until at least junior high!

She did a great job of picking a topic she found interesting which made the work seem more fun. Nan is obsessed with the online thesaurus as I think you will notice as you read. It certainly makes her sound much older than 9 years old! We are using the Essentials Program from Classical Conversations which includes using the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Interestingly, we will use the same curriculum for the next two years. I look forward to seeing her progress in this program, but I couldn't be prouder of the hard work she is doing this year!

Ancient Roman Women
By today’s standards ancient Roman women were treated like young children. Usually, the lives of the few wealthy women were not extremely awful. The poor women, who were mostly slaves, lived bleak lives. Roman women cared about their appearances. Women had numerous responsibilities at home but outside of home there were few. Women had very little rights or even none. 

In ancient Rome, women put a lot of effort into how they looked. The clothes these women wore are two layers of tunic and a cloak. Wealthy people could afford silk or cotton to wear, while average woman could only wear wool or linen. Rings, necklaces and bracelets, which were fashioned out of radiant glass or bronze, were common.  They also eagerly pierced their ears for earrings. Because there were not buttons or zippers yet, beautiful broaches were used to hold together clothes. They used powdered chalk or white lead as makeup to have pale looking skin. The makeup was poisonous!  Intently, ancient Roman women adorned themselves. 

While women mainly managed the household as wives and mother, some had other jobs. At home, their responsibilities were to cook, sew, weave, spin, and teach their daughters to do the same. Usually, women slaves were farm workers, midwives, or lady-maids. Poor women, who sometimes worked in shops, could be lamp makers or hair stylists. Wealthy women were fortuitous. They could become prestigious priestesses. As ancient Rome eroded,  wealthy women could own a business but had to hire a manager. Women, who were the center of the household,  occasionally worked outside the home.

Women had few rights in ancient Rome. Roman women, who were considered non-citizens, could not be involved in the government. That resembled a slave’s life!  In the beginning, women were not allowed to give any suggestions, but later limited suggestions were privately allowed.  Tragically, girls and women were provided little to no education. Women were always under a controlling guardian, who was their father or husband. As time passed, wealthy women could own land, and inherit wealth. In ancient Rome, women did not enjoy much freedom. 
Make-up, jewelry, clothes were very important to Roman women. Commonly, women had lots of responsibilities in the house but not other places. All women had very little freedom. Wealthy women would be considered fortuitous because they would have limited but more freedom than the poor. Ancient Roman women were not even considered citizens just like slaves or kids! 


  1. :) Great job--congrats to Nan for her hard work!

    Fortuitous indeed!

    Isn't it SO FUN to get to be there for each of these moments??!!

  2. I loved her use of fortuitous, too!
    Great article Nan!

  3. So impressive! Great work, Nan!