I have always wanted to learn Latin but I admit to being very afraid and overwhelmed with so many of the programs out there! But then I was blessed with the chance to review the Visual Latin l program from Roman Roads Media ~ (http://www.RomanRoadsMedia.com/). This is a homeschool Latin curriculum taught by Dwane Thomas and it includes 60 lessons and printable worksheets to help student (and moms) to understand basic grammar concepts, sentence structure, and reading. In Latin. This usually goes for $100, but is currently on sale for $70. This is recommended for ages 10 and up; but I used this with my son who is 8 and we had a blast!
Visual Latin I comes with 3 DVDs although we received it as a digital download. The set includes 30 video lessons (1-30) as well as pdf files of instruction, worksheets, and answer keys. This is recommended to be used 3 times a week for a full year. And this is what we did as well although some days we watched more, or watched previous videos again (I am hooked on Latin myself!)
I always knew that Latin was important but I had no idea how great a part it plays in so many different things. Dorothy Sayers says it best:
“I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent.”
Without a doubt Iearning Latin certainly does help with learning other languages too like: French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (this is big since my oldest has a deep love for languages and I am not so adept in this area). It is also useful in learning languages which are a bit more complex, like German (the one I do speak). I have found it of tremendous help already in English and Grammar studies. It has done quite a bit for building up our vocabulary too.
With Visual Latin there are three short videos to go along with the three pages of worksheets. These are a guide for students and they range from grammar concepts, to practicing sentences and even reading in Latin. My oldest son loves this! He is eager to do a bit of Latin each day. I think I struggle with Latin more than he does. haha The instructor, Dwane Thomas, is excellent and funny too. He really knows his stuff and he knows exactly how to explain it so it makes sense too. He takes that fear of a complex thing like Latin away completely, replacing it with a silly yet encouraging method. Its great to be able to see as he teaches, how it all fits together, and not just in the study of Latin but other things too. History, literature, philosophy, romantic languages…I mean did you know that Latin is present in so many things? The deeper we go, the more I see how needed Latin really is for us to have a true understanding of any thing we study!
Each lesson incorporates three concepts: Grammar,” “Sentences,” and “Reading. Grammar in the first two segments and vocabulary in the last. The “Reading” segment includes reading, comprehension, and translation activities. A wonderful hands on way to learn Latin. I think it is an excellent “living” approach. Instead of using a textbook. Visual Latin provides opportunities for practice with vocabulary and grammar, as well as listening, reading, and translating which plays a most significant role in the program itself. And the videos for each lesson are about 15-18 minutes (about 60 videos in all) which is excellent for my oldest son who struggles to focus. Of course the humor and fun that is projected within these videos really helps to keep my son on task too! Have I mentioned how awesome it was to my son that many of the readings came right out of the Bible? The worksheet above is just one example of the many opportunities given to learn and read the language. Its a way to learn through full immersion and as someone who traveled and studied overseas, I can honestly say, this is the best way to learn any language. When you can of course!
The method used is so unique. The goal is not just to understand English grammar and vocabulary but also to be able to read it.. Its a fun way to learn while also being able to apply what you are learning to life and those things that a part of our every day. I mean what good is it to learn a language that you never get to actually use? Visual Latin, makes sure students ( younger students as well) understand the grammatical concepts that are being taught. This can be a truly wonderful way tor reinforce English grammar at the same time also. We absolutely love this program! It’s been a wonderful experience for us. While my two little ones are a bit young to really get anything out of this, it really did peak my older son’s interest and I can clearly see that Latin has its place in our home school days now. 🙂 I cannot wait for the chance to use Visual Latin II.
Dwane did make a recommendations for other resources too and we appreciate that. In the future we will very likely be adding Lingua Latin which is written entirely in Latin, thus relying heavily on reasoning skills to learn vocabulary and grammar needed. I can definitely see using this with Visual Latin! I don’t want to rush my little ones though so I may have to get this for myself. hehe
Just like all my children learn in their Bible Quizzing (at home too of course): Hear it, see it, speak it, write it, and think it! We can only truly learn it, if we live it ❤
Considering Visual Latin for your family? You can view sample videos of Visual Latin I and II to see if the method of this course will work well for yourself and your family. 🙂
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