When I considered what foreign language the children were going to study this year, I never thought it would be Latin. What you say? Latin isn’t a foreign language. Well, since I don’t know the language and neither do my children (ah, that’s pretty foreign to me), for this school year, it is going to be our “foreign language” because I have not a clue or at least I did not until I was introduced to Visual Latin.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT
While their wives were homeschooling their children, homeschooling dads Dwane Thomas (father of five) and Thomas Purifoy, Jr. (father of three) did not want to be left out of the teaching process so they got together and came up with a wonderful idea to create a Latin curriculum. They figured if they loved Latin, then everyone should love Latin. Using their combined talents and skills of more than 15 years of teaching Latin – Dwayne’s specialty – and owning a production company (Compass Cinema), enjoying creating curriculum, and having production credits behind him – Thomas’ specialty, they have put together an in-depth, but simple to understand Latin curriculum that introduces and teaches students a usually dreaded subject in a fun and entertaining manner.
Visual Latin is a portable and repeatable Latin Curriculum that is available on DVD and as digital downloads in iTunes that can be viewed on a PC, Mac, iPod, iPhone, or an iPad. In our digital frenzied world, leaving home does not free your child up from doing his school work and surprisingly with Visual Latin, one of their boasts is that your child will ask to do his Latin lesson.
We had the opportunity to review the curriculum via a download. The instructions were simple enough to follow with the option of downloading the entire group of lessons at one time or retrieving them from my account when I was ready to use each individual lesson. They remain in your account so you can download anytime and as often as needed.
The four introductory lessons are as follows:
- Why Study Latin?
- Latin Then & Now
- How to Learn a New Language
- Stuff You Should Know About Latin
These lessons do a good job of convincing you of the benefits of including a Latin curriculum in your school as well as offer helpful tips and tools for learning the new language.
Also included were lessons 1-10 which cover the following topics:
Dwane teaches the curriculum which is presented in a series of short video lessons that are self-paced and allow the student to cover the material as many times as necessary to ensure the lesson is learned. The lessons are divided into three sections:
- Grammar – introduction of the concept(s) with hearing it and visual examples.
- Sentences – using the different parts to bring everything together in a sentence (sentence structure).
- Reading – or translation of the presented material. Hey, your child is reading Latin, after only the first lesson.
Each section has a worksheet (with answer key) that is to be completed before moving on to the next section of the lesson so the student can practice what is taught. You can read the scope and sequence of the curriculum.
Dwane gives you an overview of how Visual Latin works. You also get an idea of his style of presentation and a chance to see how funny he can be:
A few reasons why this program may work for your child is because the lessons are short, short, short, and he can see results quickly of having learned something at the end of each lesson rather than covering several weeks of material before coming to a point where everything “seems” to come together as with some other Latin curriculum.
Dwane is also quite engaging and he teaches to the children just as one would do face to face. So along with the occasional jokes he makes throughout a lesson, there are also a few times when he “flubs up” and the camera keeps rolling through his mistakes and all, but of course he corrects himself. After all, nobody is perfect and being taught by a “regular guy” is pretty cool while also making Latin pretty cool to learn.
Visual Latin is recommended for ages nine and above, but my daughter (seven) was able to follow along with the lessons. The only real suggestion for a starting age to use this curriculum is that the student be able to read. Although Dwane does most of the instruction for you, I would recommend that you sit down and learn the language along side your child. Not only is the information useful to your student, but you could also pick up a few tips that would be helpful in teaching other subjects like English (spelling) and vocabulary.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
You can currently purchase lessons 1-10 on DVD for $30 or as a download for $25. Lessons 1-30 are available on DVD for $80 (regularly $90). Lessons 31-40 are also available for purchase to continue the study. Do you want to “try before you buy? Experience Visual Latin in four intro lessons plus two regular lessons for FREE.
If you have a highschool student, then read how this curriculum plus some supplements can earn him required credits for school.
|The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.|