The adventures of a homeschooling family

Howard and Rachel
Annie, Emma, Sarah, Laura and Adam

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Form Latin

I have always wanted to learn Latin.  As a child reading books about children from way-back-then who learned Latin, I thought it sounded like something useful to know.  As an adult, I know that it would have been  extremely helpful, especially when taking those pesky tests in high school and when hanging around really intellectual folks..  I have been trying to convince Annie that Latin is cool and totally useful.  What follows is our adventure using First Form Latin from Memoria Press.

A white package arrived.  Annie was expecting it, so she tore right into it.  It contained a set of slick new books, a set of dvds, quizzes and tests, a set of flashcards and a cd.  We were given the First Form Latin Plus! It looked interesting, at least to me.  Annie was not so excited.

We began the following Monday, after I read over the lesson in the Teacher's manual.  We did the recommended greetings, I read the lesson and we started the workbook.  Overall, it wasn't too hard, but it was just the first day.  I had to keep looking up the pronunciation.  I tried to teach Annie my cool dance using the short vowels, but she thought it was ridiculous and was embarrassed.  (cool dance not included, you can make up your own to embarrass your pre-teen)

The second day we reviewed the lesson, and did another workbook page.  I was excited.  I was learning Latin!  Annie was not so excited.  The third day, we went over any other questions and did another workbook page.  I was still excited!  I am loving Latin!  Latin has rules without exceptions.  Sweet!  The fourth day, Annie hid from me, and bargained chores in exchange for postponing the lesson.

And so went the  days of our review period.  I remembered that often we learn more by teaching, so I had Annie teach me lesson 2.  She did a very good job.  First Form Latin states that it can be taught by someone who doesn't know Latin, and it can!

Now that our review period is over, I don't think Latin will be a daily part of our school day.  For Annie, I think revisiting the subject in a few years would be best. After all, she is only 12.  In our short period of learning, we did learn some useful words.  Magistra is teacher.  That explains some wording in one of her books.  Also, many of the spells in a popular wizarding series are based on Latin words.  Many of the words we use today have Latin roots.  I am hoping Annie will come around to my way of thinking in time for SATs.

Memoria Press, the publisher of First Form Latin states that, "completion of First Form Latin is equivalent to one year of high school foreign language." I can totally see that.  It reminded me of a way more detailed version of my high school Spanish class.  Instead of the drop-down head sets that we used back in the day, this Latin curriculum came with a DVD of lessons, complete with a teacher who explains the lesson and clarifies pronunciation.

Howard and I have been talking about it, and we would like to learn Latin.  We will be using this and hopefully we will learn enough to able to talk about the kids right in front of them!  I know it sounds kinda dorky, but I also want to be able to go back through those books I read as a kid and be able to do more than nod and smile, in a figurative way. 

Would I recommend this product?  Certainly.  Probably not for a 12 year old, unless it is in a co-op situation with other kids to practice with.  Otherwise, I think this is a high-school age product.  The publisher lists this for grades 5 and up.  You know your child best, so use your judgment.

If you have a high-schooler who would benefit from this, or are interested in teaching a co-op, First Form Latin can be found at the Memoria Press website.  The set that I reviewed costs $115.00.  If you happen to know Latin already and don't feel the need for the dvd or flashcards, a more economical option is available for $55.00.

Don't just take my word for it though.  See what other reviewers are saying at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.

disclaimer:  I received First Form Latin free in exchange for my honest review.  All the opinions expressed in this review are mine.

1 comment:

Helen & Bill said...

Very interesting, it is true that many of our words have Latin roots. Having said that, I humbly state that in our day, Spanish is far more useful and by the way, part of your heritage. However, since it is the basis of Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and probably a few other languages, Enjoy!