Friday, May 28, 2010

Classical Legacy Press~ "The Great Latin Adventure"

Classical Legacy Press logo

The last "large" review item for the 2009/2010 TOS Crew Year was The Great Latin Adventure curriculum by Classical Legacy Press. I don't feel like we really had enough time to really dig into the program, but I will give my initial thoughts and feelings.

Before I get to that though, I want to make sure that you are aware of all the information that is available on the Classical Legacy Press website regarding The Great Latin Adventure.

The Great Latin Adventure home page is the base from which you can explore product details pages, frequently asked questions pages,  when to start pages, and there are extensive sample pages for you to check out.

So, what exactly IS The Great Latin Adventure?  This bit from their website is a quick introduction:
The Great Latin Adventure is for Latin beginners in grades 4, 5 or 6. It's easy to teach, exceptionally complete, and absolutely no Latin background is required!
The program features in-depth grammar coverage, lively translation, and an extensive derivative component which is very popular with users.

From "mom's" perspective this is a very interesting program so far.
The Teacher's Manual is very extensive. The 13 page Introduction gives the "Why"  Katharine Birkett  wrote The Great Latin Adventure as well as an explanation of what the program IS and IS NOT (Much of this information can be found in the FAQs page referenced above). There follows "The Master Chapter Plan", which was a document I referred to on a daily basis for the first chapters. It was a little overwhelming the first "read throughs", but quickly became my "Guide" for structuring the lessons. It explains in great detail how each chapter is set up, and how to most easily progress through each chapter.

Moving on to the actual program~ The chapters all contain the following:
  • a Vocabularly Worksheet (all the information required to make flashcards~ I utilize a free itouch app gFlash+ which works with Google Docs to create flash cards, multiple choice quizzes, and tests ... the kids LOVE doing school on my itouch! This isn't the process recommended by Katharine Birkett, she espouses the handwritten form, for the kinesthetic value, but this works for us. If my kids had to write them by hand, they wouldn't get done at all, I'm afraid, and if they did, the cards would end up lost... we're one of THOSE households...true confession. ;p)
  • a "Grammar Lesson" which contains all the information needed to be able to fill out the  following worksheets
  • a Study Sheet (The child fills this out, making the information from the Grammar lesson quickly and easily available)
  • a Derivative Worksheet (Great for helping to remember those Latin Roots for future SAT tests!)
  • Multiple Translation Worksheets (As my children noticed... the same information in multiple forms. Most of the translation worksheets include some fill-in-the-blank portions, as well as other exercises that go over the lessons being learned in slightly different forms so that there is instant review built in to each chapter.)
  • Multiple Quizzes (a pre-quiz and a final chapter quiz~ These are only found in the Teacher's Manual)
A note~ This program is written from a Christian worldview, which eliminates references to mythology, and includes sentences to translate which include a Christian worldview. :)

A partial scope and sequence from the website
The Great Latin Adventure Unit 1 :
By the end of Level I, your child will have a thorough grounding in classical pronunciation and in the vital basics of the Latin verb, noun, and adjective systems.
Your child will know dozens of Latin vocabulary words and will be familiar with dozens of useful English derivatives.
You'll be amazed at your child's comfort level with the unique features of Latin grammar. Children learn to:
  • conjugate first conjugation verbs
    in the present tense
  • decline first declension nouns
  • translate lively sentences featuring

    • subjects and predicate
    •     nominatives
    • prepositional phrases
    • adjectives and adverbs
  • translate from and into Latin!
  • and more
And The Great Latin Adventure Unit 2:
By the end of Level II, your child will know hundreds of Latin vocabulary words and will be familiar with hundreds of useful English derivatives.
Your child will also be able to translate sentences containing
  • complementary infinitives
  • direct and indirect objects
  • imperfect and future tense verbs
  • prepositions taking the accusative
  • the ablative of means—an advanced
  • possessive nouns
  • and more!

This appears to be a very thorough, fresh curriculum, and my children (9 and 12) look forward to their Latin lessons. I have heard no moaning and groaning whenever it is mentioned, they enjoy learning more about some of the "Bigger words" (aka derivatives)that we use in the English Language, and my 12 year old particularly enjoys the "puzzle" of "translation".... :)

A little funny~ When my son told his neighborhood friends that we were learning Latin, he was met with comments of "But that's a Dead Language, why would you want to learn that?" The combined response from both of my kids was something along the lines of "Yeah, but Latin is one of the Building Blocks of the English Language, as well as being the Scientific Language. So, even if you don't know Italian, Greek, Russian or Chinese, if you know Latin, you could communicate with Scientists from other countries." You go, Kids! That's the way to get your friends thinking! I love that these conversations happen around skateboarding pals.... ;) What a way to break THAT stereotype! :)

My daughter is already looking ahead, and talking about what program she would like to tackle after we finish The Great Latin Adventure. We have a little while before we make that decision, tho', as going through both levels of The Great Latin Adventure in their entirety should constitute a 1.5-2.5 year course of study, depending on the pace you decide is best for your family.

Each Level requires 1 Teacher's Manual ($30 without a binder, $40 with a binder) and
1 Student Book for each student ($15 without a binder, $22 with a binder)

Don't forget to check out the sample pages~ I have a feeling that there is plenty of material to help you determine whether this program will fit your family as well as it does ours. You can also head on over to the TOS Crew Blog to see what everyone else had to share about their experiences with The Great Latin Adventure


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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