Friday, July 8, 2016

Laurelwood Books Once Upon a Time in Latin (Reader and Workbook) Review

I was recently given the opportunity to use Laurelwood Books' first set in their series of Fairytale based Latin Readers, Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin, Reader I and 
Olim, Once Upon a time in Latin, Workbook I for review. Each set in the series covers one or more fables, parables, or Bible Story in English and Latin. 

Reader 1 includes The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Crow and the Pitcher. 
Reader 2 includes The Good Samaritan, The Ant and the Chrysalis, and The Lost Sheep
Reader 3 includes The Feeding of the 500 and The Lion and the Mouse. 
Reader 4 includes The History of Creating the World
Reader 5 includes We Know a Tree by it's Fruit, and Daniel part 1
Reader 6 includes The Prodigal Son


The reader has a Latin pronunciation guide in the front, along with general instructions on how the Reader can be used. The suggestion is to do a page per day, along with the associated workbook page. I will admit that we took it a little slower, in part because it is summer, but more because my Youngest was having a hard time memorizing the words in Latin. He could give me the English translation, but coming up with the Latin words was much harder (as is to be expected). As a result, I tended to read the page with him, then read it again the next day before attempting the workbook page.

So how does it work? The reader tells the story in English, and then tells it in Latin. To assist with learning the meaning of the Latin phrases, the Latin vocabulary for each page is printed down the side bar.

We started with the story of the Tortoise and the Hare (because, while I love the story of the Three Little Pigs, I personally prefer the version where the wolf *doesn't* get eaten...whoops!).

The bottom of each Latin story page has a STOP symbol and the accompanying Workbook Exercise listed. This is very helpful. :)

The workbook includes a variety of exercises using the vocabulary from each page:
Translate words or phrases from Latin to English
Translate words or phrases from English to Latin
Fill in the blank with the English word(s), then translate the word(s) into Latin
Match the Latin word to the English Translation

Digging Deeper~ My son wasn't ready for Latin verb tense (or Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, or Ablative), so after reading through the first Digging Deeper with him, I decided that these sections would be better saved for a much later date.

Because I am not fluent in Latin myself, I wish that the pronunciation guide for the Latin words was included with the vocabulary on each page (Or even phonetic pronunciation for each word). I find myself turning back to the front of the book with every word (OK, this older brain isn't retaining that knowledge too well...) in order to help my son with his pronunciation. Since he already has a few issues with English pronunciation at times, this is a bit on the tough side.

I suspect that those who subscribe to a Classical Education style will really appreciate this take on teaching elementary Latin, and Charlotte Mason Learners might appreciate it in the sense that the lessons can be short and sweet. However, I felt that it was a lot more than my more relaxed style could maintain for very long, without creating a serious dislike of Latin in my son.

I like the concept, but I feel that it is akin to the idea of whole language reading ~ and I personally prefer the building blocks of phonetics. Please take a few minutes and see what other Crew Reviewers had to say, as we all come from different teaching/learning backgrounds, and others may have a very different view of this curriculum. Besides which, Laurelwood books has many other items that were reviewed including a State Study, Patriotic Penmanship, Latin Derivatives, and the Scripture Scribe Series.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Laurelwood Books can be found on Facebook if you'd like to check them out on Social Media.

Again, please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this and other offerings from Laurelwood Books.  As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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