Foreign languages don't always work out very well at our house. We have tried numerous times for a certain language and we just can't seem to make it work. I think we are foreign language stunted at our house!
We did happen on Latin a year or so ago and that has actually worked pretty well. We haven't been as faithful as we should be but we are doing it and the kids love it. So, when I was assigned to review the latin program fro Classical Academic Press, I was pretty excited. I was assigned to the High School level and that was a little daunting but I was thrilled none the less.
From the Classical Academic Press website:
Classical Academic Press produces superlative educational materials to advance the revival of classical education. We specialize in subjects such as Latin and logic, presented clearly and creatively, to equip and engage both students and teachers. These programs are the continuing, collaborative effort of distinguished scholars, teachers, and designers.
More specifically, we were set to review Latin Alive! The website has this to say:
Latin Alive! is a series of Latin texts for junior high or high school Latin study. Written by experienced and enthusiastic Latin teachers, Latin Alive! is an excellent introduction to the classical language. With an emphasis on grammar and solid understanding of the language, it goes on to frame the study of Latin in Roman culture and mythology, and also to remind us of the many ways Latin is present in our culture today. Latin Alive will be a three year series.
After perusing the website I was even more excited to get this product and start using it. There is so much information on their website, I strongly suggest you roam around it and read everything you can find. There are even some freebie games and such to use in conjunction with the programs. I'll tell you more about those later!
When the package came, I opened it up to much oohing and aahing from the kiddos. The book is appealing and the the DVD's were terribly attractive to them! We pulled it all out and looked through them all. That's when the panic set in. For me anyway!
This is Junior High/High School material and my oldest is just in 7th grade so I was a little concerned with how we were going to figure this out. It all seemed like it was way above our heads and I didn't think I would ever figure it out. I wasn't so excited anymore.
I sent the kids away and decided to read through the Teacher's Book completely and watch the first lesson to see if I could make heads or tails of it.
The good news? I did!
Between the Teacher's Book and the Introduction on the DVD, I was able to decipher the instructions as well as feel confidant in leading my children through this program. I was ready to begin.
We started the first lesson but only watched the first section. We then talked about what was in that section to be sure we understood it. We did each section that way and were able to do the exercises at the end of it without too much trouble. We weren't completely comfortable with it but we understood it! The DVD's are an invaluable tool that give this program an extra benefit by adding in the visual experience as well as the auditory. Being able to see what the instructor is writing on the board and having that visual representation of what she is saying is almost like being in a classroom with her. It was extremely helpful to all of us. Sometimes being able to see a person as they are saying a word helps you to know how to form the word yourself.
Now, since I have younger children that the intended audience of this program we are working through it at a slower pace than would be required for older students. However, Latin Alive! is easily adaptable to the schedule we set up and I am sure that it would be for just about any other schedule a family needed. This program is definitely worth a look see if you are interested in a Latin program.
Also, your student wouldn't need to have a previous knowledge or experience with Latin. Our family has only had about a year with another program that was designed for much younger children, so our experience was limited. But we didn't have any trouble understanding or jumping right into Latin Alive!. I may put this away until next year when I will have two students old enough to benefit from this curriculum with a little less intense involvement from me. Although, I am learning so much we may just keep doing it together and all learn Latin!
Latin Alive! Student Book can be purchased for $24.95 and the Teacher's Edition for $29.95 as well as Bundle options. You can also go here and see some samples of what is in the book and how the lessons are set up. Just scroll down about half-way to find the links for sample pages. Here is a video to give you a little more information on Latin Alive!
Head on over to Headventure Land to check out all the freebies this company has to offer. There are flashcards, books, games, and more! This is a fun way to supplement your class time activities as well as reinforcing what they have already learned.
Classical Academic Press also offers other language programs as well as Logic programs and others. Check out all this company has to offer. I know I can't wait to read what the other Crew members had to say about the products they used.
If you want to read what the other Crew members thought, head on over and check them out. There are reviews for younger students as well as the middle and high school levels.
**I received a Bundle Set of Latin Alive! from Classical Academic Press through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.