UPDATE: Congrats to winner, Melinda Walters! Thanks to everyone for entering!
I had a hard time learning foreign languages as a young student. However, I’m excited to learn Latin alongside my littles! Following the classical way, we’re learning Latin, because it is a root language. This should make learning additional languages later, like Spanish or French, easier for all of us. Plus it will increase our understanding of the English language.
Since I am not historically good at learning languages myself, I started looking for a curriculum that would teach my littles and teach me in two ways: 1) teach me Latin and 2) teach me to teach Latin. Maybe you’re looking for the same thing? Let me tell you what I’ve found!
Once I started looking, Song School Latin drew my attention quickly. I had heard it praised among friends and CC is now recommending it in their catalogue. Classical Academic Press sent me the full program with all four elements for Book One to use with my littles. We’ve been trying them out over the beginning of our summer and I’m excited to tell you more about them!
Here’s the list of materials we’ve been using:
1. Teacher’s Edition: Contains copies of each page in the student guide, as well as 35 pages of bonus activities and answers for each activity.
2. Student Guide: 31 lessons divided into chapters with every 4th or 5th lesson being review of the previous lessons. Each chapter has 4-6 activities (like Practice Your Lesson, Grow Your English, Chapter Story, and Show What You Know) for the lesson, which could easily be divided into daily review activities. In the appendices, there’s a chapter-by-chapter glossary, an alphabetical glossary, and an end of year crossword.
3. DVD Set: Each new lesson in the guide has an accompanying teacher led lesson on the DVD. There is a female and a male teacher. The first teacher introduces the new words for the day in a conversational manner. The second teacher instructs on derivatives. There’s also a fun animated story featuring Simeon the Monkey which uses the new vocabulary words and is continued from lesson to lesson. A second animated feature, the derivative river, is also part of each DVD lesson. It’s a fun visual that demonstrates how the Latin word is the root of other words found in English, Spanish, and French.
4. Latin Monkey Match flashcard game: There are four decks included – red (ch 1-7), green (ch 8-15), blue (ch16-22), and orange (ch 24-30), as well as directions for playing Memory, Go Fish!, and Banana Peel. You can add in more decks as you cover the chapters. They can also be used as traditional flashcards to review the vocabulary.
5. Music CD (included in student guide): There are 60 tracks, divided into two portions; 30 for classical and 30 for ecclesiastical. Those two pronunciations are offered, so you can choose which you’d like to learn. The student guide explains the differences between the two.
Two days a week we’ve been watching a lesson on the DVD set. We’ve done the student guide activities mostly aloud as a group. In the future, I plan to have my two older guys (age 8 and 6) complete these independently with pencil and paper. While my two younger littles, when interested, can complete these free coloring pages. Classical Academia Press offers these free on their site with one page for each vocabulary word in book 1 (and book 2). Isn’t that a great option for the younger student? I think my oldest guy, who loves to color and draw, might choose to color these some of the time too.
As we add Song School Latin into our normal school day routine in the fall, my plan is for us to watch the DVD lesson one day a week, use another day to review the vocabulary as a group by listening to the music CD, and two days to complete the lesson activities. Each day will only be about 15 minutes worth of study, so totally doable for my young ones’ attention spans. While I’ve already seen my oldest really enjoying the lessons and picking it all up so quickly, I know even my youngest will glean some new knowledge here and there. They love telling people the words as they learn them. They’ve added the vocabulary words into their regular conversations with each other and me, which really is the best practice for all of us! They’re having fun with it and looking forward to each lesson.
Here are my favorite things about Song School Latin:
1. There is a DVD available to accompany the lesson. As I said, I need someone to teach me how to teach Latin, so I find this immensely helpful. Also, as we’re about to add a newborn into our family mix, I think the 15 minute break of someone else teaching and them sitting to listen will be very helpful to me in making our school day work.
It’s worth mentioning the DVD offers more information then the teacher guide or student book alone.
2. It’s attainable. While teaching Latin is intimidating to me, Song School Latin is not. The lessons are fun and simple and executable.
3. I appreciate that both ecclesiastical and classical pronunciations are provided, so you can choose which track you want to follow. (See what CC’s take is here.)
4. It’s working! They’re learning Latin and already making connections to English. How exciting to see them learn so quickly! A quick story: We learned in the first lesson that in the Latin alphabet, there is no letter w. When visiting a local craft store, we saw a line of chipboard letters. Since our last name is Watson, I strolled down the line to look for the letter w. It was the only empty spot and I said, “There’s no w.” to which my oldest said, “Just like in Latin.” HA! It caught me off guard, but I thought it was so cool to see his mind making the connections already.
Are you planning to teach your littles Latin? When do you think you’ll start and does this sound like a program you’d enjoy? After a friend’s encouragement to start with a little more Latin before the Challenge years, we decided to go for it. I think we’ve found just the right fit for our family.
If you’re interested, there are a few things you can do.
*You can order your own set for your family with this discount code, CCAH20, worth 20% off your order of all Classical Academic Press products except the live, online courses and Singapore Math. Good through July 6th*
*You can also enter below to win your own set of Book 1 materials, courtesy of Classical Academic Press. Giveaway ends July 5th. Happy entering!*
Need more convincing to learn Latin? Check out 5 Great Reasons to Study Latin