Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Latin Road To English Grammar -- You CAN teach Latin!
I have to tell you that studying Latin has always been on my "probably should" list for homeschooling, but also on my "haven't got a clue how" list. Which means, it kept getting ignored. My 13 year old daughter has been hinting about learning languages for a year or two; so, we were excited to review The Latin Road to English Grammar, volume 1. I've heard about The Latin Road and Schola Publications before, and was curious.
The Latin Road to English Grammar has 3 volumes. When all 3 volumes are completed, the student has earned 2 high school language credits and 1 English Grammar credit. They are designed for students in 5th through 12th grade. Starting early allows them to be covered in a more leisurely fashion, taking 2 years per volume.
The Latin Road is designed to be taught by parents who have no previous Latin background. The parents are to work with the student, learning together. It is recommended that the parent actually work a lesson or two ahead of the student. Lessons should take about an hour each day, with students working half an hour with the parent, and half an hour on their own.
We found The Latin Road to be a comprehensive Latin curriculum. The Audio CDs are very helpful, allowing you to hear the correct pronunciation for each Latin word. We did find it difficult to figure out how the notebook pages were to be set up, and relied on the Teacher Training DVDs for that. It would have been helpful to have a sample of each type of notebook page in the student book and the teacher's manual. I definitely recommend buying the Teacher Training DVDs.
Although the program is designed to be worked through by parent and child together, we weren't able to use it that way. With 3 children age 5 and under, in addition to the four school-age children, I wasn't able to commit to the time involved. I intended to, but failed. My daughter worked through it on her own, with me using the Teacher Training DVDs to help her overcome any confusion along the way. I actually know two other large families who also use it in this way, the student working through the text without the parent. It isn't the ideal method for using the program, but it is possible.
The Latin Road To English Grammar can also be used in a multi-level way. It could be taught simultaneously to your 5th and 7th grade students. Work with them together for half an hour, and then have them each work independently for another half hour. They'd each need their own student notebook and their own set of worksheets and tests. They could share the textbook, flashcards and Audio CD.
The Latin Road To English Grammar is an expensive program, but it is reusable. Future students would need a new student notebook and a new set of worksheets and tests. It is reusable, but not entirely non-consumable. This is also a time-intensive program, but starting earlier and taking 2 years per volume would help to lessen the weekly commitment involved (for parents and students), and spread out the cost of the program.
It's an excellent program for the classical educator, or for those whose children will be entering fields that will benefit from an understanding of the Latin language or English grammar: medical fields, science fields, and professional writers. With the Teacher Training DVDs, it is especially user-friendly. The Teacher Training DVDs are divided by lesson, so you can go directly to the lesson you're needing to view.
My 13 year old daughter enjoyed her study of the Latin language. She enjoyed learning about the Latin derivatives in the word studies, and enjoyed learning to pronounce the Latin words. She greeted her Dad each night, excited to share with him the new words she'd learned that day. Her only complaint was the amount of writing involved in the notebook. However, slowing down the study to stretch it out over two years would allow a student to spread the writing out, if they struggle with extensive note taking.
Because we had not used The Bridge To The Latin Road, she had some "catching up" to do in the grammar department. The Latin Road To English Grammar introduced grammar rules she hadn't learned yet. However, it didn't slow her down very long, and she handled it well.
The best value for The Latin Road To English Grammar is by buying The Big Fat Latin Special for $249 (value of $297). It could be used less expensively (although not quite as easily) if you only bought the teacher's Curriculum Set for $149 and the Complete Student Package for $39.95. However, we found the Teacher Training DVDs very helpful, and they are included in The Big Fat Latin Special.
If you're interested in learning more about The Latin Road To English Grammar, you can view a Free Sample HERE. You can also find helpful articles about the importance of the study of Latin in our education, and read the Frequently Asked Questions at the website.
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Trusting in Him,