Sometimes I suspect there is an unwritten rule stating homeschool families MUST teach their children Latin. That’s not to say there are not some homeschool families we know where the kids are learning a modern language like Spanish or German. Instead, it seems like Latin is THE foreign language many homeschoolers work into their lives. There are many potential benefits to this…a better foundation to learn other languages, a better foundation for grammar, the chance to broaden vocabulary, etc. For our family, the first forays into learning Latin have been with the thought of attending Latin Mass and not needing to continually look at the translation.
Let me be quite candid and have a little ‘true confession’ time before I write specifics about this particular product we have been reviewing. This is the third Latin program that has come our way. The other ones have seen some use by us. But after the initial weeks of being eager to buckle down and really learn Latin, we slowly set it aside more and more until a long time passes with most of our acquired knowledge flying away.
I am starting to think we needed a different approach to our learning.
Latin for Children targets kids who are in grades 4 – 7 with no or little Latin learning in their background. It also does not assume that the parent has any background in Latin. While P is above their target audience by grade level, this is the one we are doing as a family.
Depending upon what you want for resources, you can go as simple as to use the consumable student text and teacher guide. For more practice in a fun manner, you can get an activity book with a few pages per chapter. There is also a history reader for reading IN Latin once you have worked part way through the student text. And, you can bring a teacher into your home with the DVD and CD set. If you order the Mastery Bundle, you will receive all of those materials. This is exactly what we were sent to review and I am glad to have each and every one of those components.
So far, we have been enjoying the balance of activities to learn and reinforce learning. The student text is meant to be consumed, with the child writing responses on pages. We tried to do the first lesson with just the one set of materials and no one writing in the text. That did not go over so well, but it was okay for biding time for the set I ordered to arrive. D is just a little sad that he is just learning alongside for now and not in possession of his own set at the moment. Worksheets have the student writing out translations, chants, filling in the blanks on grammar information, and learning about derivatives.
The DVD instruction has met with mixed reviews in our house. While I love it and even D will eagerly watch alongside to soak up more knowledge, P is more apt to say he could just read from the text. Yet, this particular child probably needs repeated viewing of the lectures just because he struggles with really studying from the text. Even with his less than enthusiastic approach to viewing lessons on the DVD, he will admit that the instructor does not grate on his nerves like other instructional material he has watched in the past.
Along with the DVD is a CD of all the chants for the kids to practice their vocabulary and conjugations. The boys actually like the CD chants better than the ones on the DVD. The words are all the same, but the DVD has a group of kids doing the chants compared to adults on the CD. I’ll call that one a personal preference for voices as well as slightly better audio control of the recording on the CD.
When Classical Academic Press offered a special coupon earlier this month, I decided to expand our resources to include the supplemental pack. (**Note on 3/30/17 that this is no longer available as a pack, but you can purchase items individually.)
The few items I am really eager to incorporate into our learning include the Clash Cards (think flashcards made ready to play games) and the pdf file of chapter and unit tests. Although, I think we will also enjoy the music CD for years to come. As these particular products were not within the scope of this review AND they just arrived a few days ago, I’m not going to comment upon how they integrate into the program. But, I wanted to share about it as this illustrates how wide a breadth of materials they offer for the study of Latin.
Along with the printed materials, Classical Academic Press takes the study of Latin to a level beyond those of other companies. On their website, you will find resource lists with free pdf files to help guide you, like this one for Latin for Children. I’m already utilizing several of these resources and am glad for those who have come before me and are now sharing.
But, this company takes it a step further with Headventure Land. This sister website offers games, videos and readers for Latin, Greek and Spanish. We got a kick out of the amo, amas, amant chant video where famous works of art chant this verb conjugation. Now that the boys have a few lessons under their belt, I am looking forward to their doing the online flash dash game.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Latin for Children and I am planning to keep everyone on track to make significant progress in our Latin studies. Classical Academic Press has gone out of their way to bring more fun to learning this ‘dead’ language and that fact has not escaped our notice.
The Latin for Children, Primer A Mastery Bundle we received retails for $99.95 plus shipping. Additional student materials are $22.95 retail for the Student text and $16.95 retail for the Student Activity book. They offer Latin studies for other levels as well as products that cover Greek, French and Spanish.
Disclaimer ~ Our family was provided with the Latin for Children, Primer A Mastery Bundle for the purpose of completing this TOS Homeschool Crew review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed here are our own. You can read what the other TOS Crewmates have to say about this and 2 other Latin products on the TOS Crew Blog.