Review of Latin for Children: Primer A

Introductory Note:  I purchased this on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

We just started this after completing Song School Latin (see review HERE) and we love it!  Written by Dr. Aaron Larsen & Dr. Christopher Perrin for Classical Academic Press whose motto is “Classical Subjects Creatively Taught” this begins the first of many levels through the high school level offered by them.

I invested in their bundled package of the Primer A textbook, activity book, and DVD/CD offerings.

The DVD features kids reciting all the vocabulary as well as the CD.  They expect more from the kids, memorizing 10 Latin vocabulary words per week.  Conjugations are included as well as Endings and Grammar.

The Activity Book is what my kids love best.  Although not in color, the activities are fun and reinforcing for the week.

Their website has tons of support materials including fun videos, supplemental materials, and more vocabulary reinforcement.

In my opinion you cannot have a classical education without the classical languages.   I believe the benefits in teaching the classical languages are much more important than other subjects.

Conclusions:  I cannot help but be impressed with this company.  I have always had quick responses to email questions, no problems ordering online, and the content is top-notch.  I am grateful every day that someone has finally decided to form a company that focuses on the fundaments of 150 years ago in terms of education.  Their values line up with mine perfectly.

They also offer a Spanish program, Bible curriculum, Logic, and much more–things I will consider in the future.

Many companies offer a Latin program (thankfully) so you have a lot to choose from.  I have discovered CAP and I am sticking with them.  Their formula is fun and engaging for my kids and they are learning things I never had the opportunity to learn in school.

Gratefully, God has given me another chance and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Review of Rosetta Stone Latin America

Introductory Note:  I purchased this on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

I knew before we even started homeschooling I wanted to try Rosetta Stone for my family.  I had heard so much about it and it always gets great reviews.

So I broke down and invested in all 5 years.  It was a lot to cough up ($459 I paid but it appears the price has risen) but it offered a savings over the years and I looked at it as that.

Rosetta Stone is all immersion.  They believe in teaching you like you learned as a baby:  hearing it and mimicking the sounds.  You listen and then choose based off of what you’ve heard.  There is a written portion as you go along and it does appear on the screen.

I like this approach for my kids but I find myself explaining a lot of what they are doing.  I explain the grammar side and I feel as an adult I would be curious to know what I was speaking.

For instance, they do not go over the endings.  This annoys me because I would like my kids to know.  But Rosetta Stone emphasizes learning to speak, not how the language is put together.  I’m hoping this comes into play in the upper levels.

But my kids are young.  I want them to hear the language correctly (since I have a horrible accent) and learn that way.  There will be time in the later years when they are ready.

I bought the homeschool edition which comes with extra practice worksheets and a guide for parents.  It also tracks your child’s progress so you can review their scores at the end of each lesson.  You can set up different users that saves where you have stopped individually.  This is great if you have kids working at different levels.  You also don’t have to remember where you stopped!

The worksheets provided I have to do with my kids.  They are too young to do them on their own.  But great practice seeing Spanish written.

Each chapter reviews the previous chapter’s work.

Conclusions:  I think this is a great investment for the younger years.  This allows my kids to focus on English and Latin Grammar before we switch to Spanish Grammar.  With Spanish being so prevalent I believe teaching this is essential and the younger years is the place to begin while they are still absorbing everything.

My husband wants to use this for his work and I see us using this program for years to come.  A lot of money but worth it if you are seeking the spoken word.  They also offer a Latin and Greek program but I am hesitant to invest as it’s emphasis is on speaking and the value in Latin and Greek is on grammar and vocabulary work.

Review of Song School Greek

Introductory Note:  I purchased this on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

Since I had experience with Song School Latin I thought I’d try Song School Greek by Michelle Hahne.  I looked into Hey Andrew!  Teach Me Some Greek! but I had experience with Classical Academic Press (the company that produces this stuff) and admire them so I ordered this.

Now I understand the saying, “It’s all Greek to me.”

Greek is NOTHING like English.  Ok, so it is.  But compared to Latin, Greek is completely foreign to me.

I struggled with Song School Greek for a whole month before I broke down and bought the Teacher’s Edition.

The Teacher’s Edition comes with a viewable CD that introduces each chapter’s vocabulary so you can see how it’s pronounced.  I watch this alongside my kids at the beginning of each chapter.

It is set up much like Song School Latin with 4-5 vocabulary words each week, all set to music, and reinforcement activities.

Now we are progressing but it is not easy to say the least.  We finally have the alphabet memorized and will work on the numbers next.

I did not purchase the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker which helps children learn the Greek alphabet because I did want something more meaty.  In hindsight, this might have been a better place to jump in and I did consider purchasing it when we were struggling but I felt I had made my choice and I should stick with it a bit longer.

Conclusions:  Unlike Latin, there is not as much out there to choose from for Greek.  Learning Greek is definitely not for the feint-of-heart.  But I love it!  Absolutely love it!

Classical Academic Press does offer one more course after this but that is it.  I was told more is in production but it probably be too late for my kids.  But I will buy it when the time comes and pray more becomes available in this definitely under-utilized market.

Review of Song School Latin

Introductory Note:  I purchased this on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

My kids actually were introduced to Song School Latin by Amy Rehn and published by Classical Academic Press during their year in charter school.  However, they didn’t finish it so I bought it and did two chapters in one week and we finished right before Christmas.

It comes with a CD with all the vocabulary on it so you can hear the pronunciation, all set to music.  My kids love singing along.

In each chapter only 4 or 5 vocabulary words are introduced so after listening to the CD and completing the exercises the vocabulary became easy to master.

I did not buy the teacher’s edition as I don’t feel you need it for such an easy level.  The answers are easily found in the chapter.

Classical Academic Press has a great bonus website for extras pertaining to their curriculum including color sheets and other goodies.

Conclusions:  This is a great introduction for younger children to Latin.  It’s fun, easy, and has great illustrations.  The songs are catchy.  This book makes it easy to teach Latin as well for those hesitant to try.

If you are thinking of trying Latin, try this first before you dive into a more in-depth approach.  Latin can be fun and the crew at Classical Academic Press have found that balance.