Monday, October 17, 2011

Visual Latin~ Even boys like this Latin!


Are you ready? Guess what? We have another Latin program courtesy of the TOS Crew to review. Starting to get the idea that Latin is a major homeschool "must do" curriculum~ even if you don't subscribe to the "Classical" style of homeschooling?  But.... why???? (And how do I get my BOY to enjoy it?)

Enter:

Ah..... Laugh through Latin and master English... really???? Really!  Visual Latin's Dwane Thomas is very personable and real. He talks to the kids as though they are in the room with him, and he understands and deals with a lot of the arguments that kids might present for NOT learning Latin. One of my favorite quotes from the introductory lessons when answering the "Why" of learning a "Dead Language" like Latin, is that "I prefer to think that Latin isn't dead, it's just frozen!" :) He jokes and includes humor in his classes from the start.

And the reasons for learning Latin? There are a number, but here are a couple that stood out to me (and my kids, even:
  • Learning Latin will prepare you to learn other languages more easily
  • Learning Latin will almost certainly help with future test scores and general understanding of the English language.
As a matter of fact, you can get a glimpse of those reasons by checking out the first 6 lessons(4 Introductory Lessons and Lessons 1 & 2) of the Visual Latin for free, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Just remember that this link is here for later.... :)

I appreciate some of the methodology of Dwane's teaching as well:
SEEING Latin (the words are on the screen as Dwane speaks)
HEARING Latin (of course~ as the lesson is watched)
SPEAKING Latin (repeating the words after they are spoken)

Now a word about the lessons~ They are broken up into 3 very manageable chunks~
  • Grammar followed by a grammar worksheet that reinforces the concepts in the video
  • Sentences (Seeing the grammar in action) again followed by a worksheet
  • Reading ~ this is one of my kids' favorite parts~ Dwane reads abridged selections from the Latin Vulgate Bible, and this is the section where the students are asked to repeat the phrases. After this, they translate the selection in their worksheet. Right from the start, in Lesson 1, reading and translating sentences~ How excellent!

Side note: see that smile on Dwane's face in the image up there? It is infectious, and makes me smile every time I see it~ it has the same effect on my children~ when someone is genuinely enthusiastic, that enthusiasm tends to spread. I love the fact that Latin isn't causing groans and eye-rolling, dug-in-heel reactions. Everyone tends to be in a good mood during Latin. That's a good thing!


Visual Latin | A Quick Explanation from Compass Cinema on Vimeo. If you'd like a quick overview straight from Dwane Thomas, this is a good introduction.

How has this been working for us?  I've been using this mainly with my 11 year-old Middlest, because it seemed like it might be a good fit... it is! He told me he LOVES Visual Latin! (This, from an 11 year old BOY! :D ) My 14 year-old Eldest wants to sit in on the lessons, even though she is doing her own Latin Curriculum. She has pointed out that if/when Middlest completes this program, he will find doing any other Latin program a breeze, and as Dwane points out, any other language in general will be easier to learn with Visual Latin under your belt.
Lest I leave out my Littlest, I must mention that the 4 year-old insists on "Learning Latin" also. He sits in on the lessons, and often asks me to replay the "Reading portion" of the lesson while his siblings are doing their worksheets. He has been telling all of us (and some of our good neighbors) "I amat you!" :D He also says "Angeli cantant" very nicely! :) Here's the lesson from which he obtained that phrase~



Visual Latin | Reading from Compass Cinema on Vimeo.

A couple more things I should mention. We were sent Lessons 1-10 to review on DVD. They are also available as digital downloads which can be watched on computer, itouch, or ipad. Pretty nifty if you are on the go, or need to keep DVD players accessible for other purposes at the same time. Some TOS Crew reviewers reviewed the digital downloads, so you may wish to check out their reviews to see how that worked for them. :)

Finally, the Nitty Gritty~
Visual Latin is intended for ages 9 and up. It can be used for High School Credit with some supplementation. (Here is a great FAQ's Page that explains the answers to many questions...)

It can be purchased in a variety of ways, for both individual families as well as for group/co-op settings. I will give you some of the family prices here, but the purchase page is the best place to check out all of the options.
Complete Year One (Lessons 1-30) 3 DVD set $80
Downloaded Lessons (Lessons 1-10, 11-20, 21-30) $25
Individual DVDs (Lessons 1-10, 11-20, 21-30) $30

Don't forget that you can check out the first 4 introductory lessons as well as the first two lessons for free (Link on the purchase page above).

If you are interested in using a Latin course in your homeschool, and starting early (Or later.....), have boys who might not sit for more "Traditional" Latin classes, etc.... you really have nothing to lose, and much to gain(in my opinion) from test-driving this program.

Oh, and FYI, Visual Latin has, a presence on Facebook, where Dwane serves up a Latin word of the day with the same humor evident in the videos~ There are also occasional codes to use towards your purchase, so check it out! As a matter of fact, we have been allowed to share the current code, OCT$10, good for $10 off any purchase ~ but hurry, it's only good through this Friday, October 21.

As always, I hope that this review was helpful as you choose where to best spend your homeschool budget (I see Visual Latin purchases to complete the rest of this year in my future!). If you do take advantage of the free lessons, due to this review, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section of this blog. :)


Blessings~
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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