Monday, December 10, 2007

Considering Latin Programs, part 2

Latin Primer by Canon Press

Key Facts:
5 levels available: 3 primer levels followed by 2 grammar levels
Cost: Student & Teacher text $13.75 each, DVD $55, Cassette or CD $8, could probably find used since the program has been around for awhile
Vocabulary: 350 words in year 1
Pronunciation: classical

Thoughts based on online sample:
My first thought based on the table of contents for the teacher's manual and the student manual which I found at are that the layout is a bit disorganized. All of the vocabulary and chants are in one section, worksheets in another, and lesson plans or a few miscellaneous things like crosswords in the case of the student text are in a third. This would require a lot of flipping back and forth each week just to cover one lesson. The excerpts of the text I found only showed the vocabulary lists so I don't have any idea how the worksheet pages are set up. It is a shame that the publisher doesn't have better samples available on their website.

Thoughts based on reviews, posts, and/or comments:
Latin primer received mixed reviews on Amazon with some families who love it and some families who hate it. The latter thought it was expensive for a program of just memorization or considered it drudgery. Since the program is mainly memorization, I don't really see the need for the DVDs. I did find one post on the wtmboards where the mom simply used the texts and CD which would be a cost saver. I am a bit concerned that there is little to no translation work.

Final thoughts:
It was much more difficult to find information on this program than some of the others. My impressions are 350 vocabulary words seems like an awful lot to cover in one year especially since the text is set up with 27 lessons and no review that I can see. With mainly just lists and worksheets, I don't really see a lot of room for variety and fun to help peek Jessie's interest. While I do think memorization will probably be the bulk of any curriculum at this level, I would prefer to see a bit more explanation to put the memory work in context even if it must be a bit simplistic. I think there is enough of a variety in programs out there that I can safely mark this one off my list.

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