Learning About Ancient Rome with Documentaries

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Learning About Ancient Rome with Documentaries

In our classical homeschool, you’ll find a lot of flexibility. We use our lesson plans as a jumping off point, taking time to dive in deeper when my kids find a topic that they love.

Much to my astonishment, they are fascinated with history. Even my mother in law was surprised when my kids visited and headed for her bookshelf. She found my boys piled together in a chair, looking through a book on ancient history.

Tales of Greek myths delight them, and recently, they’ve become a bit obsessed with all things Ancient Rome. Rachel is studying Famous Men of Rome in her Classical Studies course this year. She and the boys are delighting in the stories of Romulus and Remus, Numa Pompilius, Julius Caesar and more.

Once we’re done with reading our book and reviewing facts with flash cards and recitation, my children sit around and discuss life in Ancient Rome.

“Mom, what kind of food do you think Roman boys had for dinner?”

“Would you be proud of me if I were a gladiator?”

“Mom, I think Rome sounds cool, but they weren’t very nice to women!”

They want to learn and investigate more, and I’m (very) limited in my knowledge of ancient times. After looking around, I discovered CuriosityStream, the world’s first ad-free, on-demand streaming service for quality programs that educate, inspire and entertain.

{CuriosityStream provided our family with free access to their platform. I was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own}

curiositystream ancientrome 1

Ancient Rome Documentaries We Use in Our Homeschool

When I first dove into CuriosityStream, I was a mom on a mission. I was looking for documentaries about Ancient Rome that I could stream for my children, so they could learn while I prepared dinner or folded laundry.

I wasn’t disappointed. Take a look at the ideas we have waiting in our queue.

(Disclaimer — Your mileage may vary with these videos. I’d recommend screening them first to see if they’re OK for your children.)

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire
This six episode series takes Roman history from Julius Caesar to the fall of Rome.

Rebuilding Ancient Rome
Fifteen episodes explore famous Roman landmarks from the Circus Maxiumus to the Colosseum.

Colosseum: The Whole Story
If you love architecure, this documentary is certainly for you. This two-part series takes a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the worlds of science, fashion, archaeology and culture are coming together for an epic renovation of this iconic Roman monument

Storm Over Europe
Germanic tribes played the pivotol role in the fall of Rome. This four part series looks at the Cimbrians and Teutons, the Goths and the Huns.

Colosseum – Rome’s Arena of Death
Travel back in time to the glamour and bloodshed of Ancient Rome’s gladiatorial world, where men fought for their lives to satisfy the whims of emperors and a bloodthirsty populace. Many of them were the superstars of their age: even noblemen aspired to be gladiators. How did they live and train?

Ancient Worlds – Part 5 : Republic of Virtue
How did an insignificant cluster of Latin hill villages become the greatest empire in history? Richard Miles examines the Roman Republic from Romulus and Remus, to the violence of its imperial end.

curiositystream selections

How Documentaries Help Us in Our Homeschool

As much as I’d love to be an expert in all things to my children, it’s absolutely impossible. We will often bump up against areas that I find myself woefully ill-equipped.

Enter documentaries. It’s a win-win for our family. My children aren’t allowed screen time until their lessons and chores are done. By having quality documentaries in their queue, my children are using their screen time wisely. They’re reinforcing their lessons, and having fun.

Another benefit? I’m able to brush up on my own learning. So much of homeschooling for me is revisiting things I learned many years ago. If I’m feeling particularly rusty on a subject, I can pull out a few documentaries to watch, refresh my memory and learn more to pass on to the kids.

nature documentaries to stream in your homeschool

Other CuriosityStream Documentaries We Stream in Our Homeschool

Don’t want to study Ancient Rome? Don’t worry. With over 1,000 titles of high-quality documentaries and series created by the most accomplished producers from all over the world, you’re sure to find something to investigate.

My boys are huge dinosaur fans, so we’re tip-toeing our way through The Rise and Fall of T-Rex

Maeve is too young for giant meat-eating dinosaurs, so we stick to the nature documentaries for her. She adores birds, so I’m bookmarking Hummingbirds: Jewelled Messengers for her. Added bonus? It’s narrated by David Attenborough of the BBC.

curiositystream science

My husband loves all things NASA and space travel, so he’s been watching Destination Mars.

curiositystream documentaries

How You Can Use CuriosityStream in Your Home

We use CuriosityStream just like any other streaming video on demand. You may find us sitting in front of the desktop, catching a video on the laptop, or using our Google ChromeCast to make the videos appear on our ‘big TV’. We even catch our favorite documentaries on our smart phones or tablets when we’re out and about.

Signing up with CuriosityStream is simple and easy on the homeschool budget. You can try a month for free to decide if it’s right for you. Once you decide that it’s a homeschool must-have, the monthly cost is cheaper than a latte at your favorite fancy coffee shop! (SD is $2.99 per month, HD is $5.99 per month.) I’ve even got a discount code to help you save more! (valid until 11/1/2015)

Using the code homeschool, you’ll get your first month free, then 15% off your next two months.

Here’s how to get started.

Head over to CuriosityStream and click on the Start Your Free Month button.

On the next page, select your preferred plan (SD or HD), add your email, and create a username and password.

You’ll be prompted to input your payment information, and see an option to fill in a promo code. With the code homeschool, you’ll see a discount applied to your cost.

Stay up to date with the latest news from CuriosityStream by following them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

Do you use documentaries to help your homeschool learning? I’d love to hear more from you in the comments!



  1. ElizabethClare says

    I really like this! We currently use Youtube occasionally in our homeschool, but I hate the ads and things that pop-up. Talk about inappropriate! This option is so affordable too!

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