Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Considering Latin Programs, part 4

Latin for Children by Classical Academic Press

Key Facts:
3 levels currently with another in the works
Cost: Text $21.95, Key $9.75, DVD $54, Activity book $16.50, and History Reader $9.75
Vocabulary: 240 words per year
Pronunciation: Classical (DVD) or Ecclesiastical

Thoughts based on online samples:
The text is nicely laid out. I like having all of the explanation in the student book instead of relying on a separate workbook. The only concern I have about the explanation is that it covers several things in a relatively small space. This tends to make me think that the DVDs would be a good investment to make sure that the material is covered twice to increase comprehension. The online DVD sample is great even though it took a couple of hours to download on my slow internet connection. After watching the lessons on the DVD, I actually think that I could teach the lessons myself; however, since the memory cds are only sold bundled with the DVDs, I'm stuck buying both to make sure my pronunciation is correct. I think Jessie might find some of the chants a bit fast, but we can always slow the pace down and do them together. Jessie also looked over my shoulder at the activity book online samples and thought it looked like fun as well. I'm glad to see that she's interested. I thought the variety of activities in the sample looked not only fun but also useful in reinforcing the material. The idea of the history reader interests me. It looks like a good way to practice some translation. Looking at the answer key, it's not the most interesting reader I've ever seen, but it is for beginning Latin students so it's probably all they can handle.

Thoughts based on reviews and posts:
Most of the feedback on Latin for Children seems to favorable from both parents and kids. The most common complaints are about errors in the book and the book not matching up with the DVD. These problems should all be fixed in the newest versions of the books and DVDs. The general consensus seems to be that both moms and kids like the DVDs although the reviews would have been for the earlier version. The format has changed somewhat as the teacher is no longer sitting at the table teaching a couple of students but is now teaching directly to the camera. A group of kids goes through the chants to start the lesson. The reviews for the history readers are a bit more mixed, probably because the sentences are a bit dry.

Final thoughts:
While I'm still trying to get my mind around paying close to $100 dollars for a Latin program, I think that of all the programs that I have looked at so far this one will do the best at meeting our family's needs in a Latin program. I think the format is fun and interesting enough to engage Faith's interest and keep her from groaning when it's time for Latin. (Who knows, it may even make Latin a favorite subject here like the Rainbow Resource review claims.) I like the way the material is presented both in the DVD and the student text. The pace of memorization seems reasonable to me, and the built in review weeks are definitely a plus for us. That's one decision made for next year. Hopefully, the others choices will become obvious to me as well as I prayerfully work my way through them trying to figure out the plan that God has for our family.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you would like to just buy the pronunciation CD, they sell it without the DVDs at Timberdoodle for $9.