Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our New Latin/Grammar Program: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

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For a long time now I have been really searching for a Latin program that would be easy to implement and incorporate grammar lessons that gently challenged Ken and DJ. Now it is time for me to share with you all that we have been reviewing Prima Latina published by Memoria Press as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and we are having major success while using this program.

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For just three days a week Ken and DJ have been learning new Latin vocabulary, how to identify derivatives, incorporating English grammar lessons, and being introduced to conjugations and declensions while using Prima Latina. We received the complete set, which includes a Pronunciation Audio CD, A DVD  collection that consists of three discs that include all the lessons with a Latin teacher who happens to be the author of the program the lovely Leigh Lowe ( 9 hours), Teacher's Manual, Student Workbook( 25 lessons), and Latin Christiana I Flashcards. I was really excited to get going with this program and after watching a lesson on DVD and reading the need to know information in the Teacher's Manual we started working with this program the next day. 


The first lesson I sat right alongside with Ken and DJ, and I learned plenty. About the third lesson into it I had to work with another child and let them know that they were going to be doing Latin on their own for the day, they loved it! I loved it!  I found the DVD to be a valuable component and wouldn't dare try to implement this program without it. It made having to use the Pronunciation CD minimally. Due to a previous Latin course that we were using they were getting confused by how Leigh Lowe was pronouncing the words that she introduced. Now the kids were discovering the different pronunciations that Latin can be spoken in Classical, Ecclesiastical, Christian and Medieval. Prima Latina uses the Christian Pronunciation and the DVD and  Audio CD only teaches this way, but if you are still interested in learning Latin with Prima Latina but like the Classical pronunciation you may still use this program. Prima Latina teaches Latin from a Christian perspective so naturally all of the prayers and songs are done using the Christian pronunciation.

The lessons always includes reviews of the previous lessons and after every 5 lessons Ken and DJ learned how to say a new prayer in Latin. Ken commented on how short the instruction was and how much she still was able to remember the past activity lessons. In our case each Latin period was about 20 minutes. Using this program every other day was perfect, just enough Latin and Grammar that kept them challenged and feeling confident at the same time. 

 The flashcards have Latin on the front.
  English on the back.

They also have enjoyed learning through the songs, and appreciated the style of the workbook. They especially like that the workbook had headings for each section, this made it easy for them to follow along with their instructor. The flashcards were used daily, even though they worked on their Latin instruction for just three days a week. I did use the Teacher's Manual to help me prepare for the next upcoming lesson. Once I found out that the lessons could be done independently of me I would do the DVD lesson alone and follow along with the manual. I liked knowing what was being covered and learning Latin too. This program made me feel comfortable teaching Latin and made me want to learn before my students. Knowing what was included in the lesson, what was being done in the lesson prepared me throughout the entire lesson, which for us each lesson took about two weeks to complete. I didn't have to use the manual for answers that were included because I had instructions right at my fingertips, and a bonus no heavy binders or books to carry from one study room to another, therefore I knew the answers. My kids were starting to give me compliments on my Latin too. It just took me only one hour prepping and learning to help assist with two weeks worth of work. 

This program is targeted for grades 2-4 it was just perfect for Ken who is entering seventh grade and DJ who is entering fifth grade. I bet if I had found this program earlier they would of been capable of completing this program in their younger grades too. The grammar instruction has been awesome, in fact I have replaced our previous grammar work with this one until we get to the grammar lessons that our Montessori Grammar materials will compliment this program, I can't wait until we get there! It is going to be so much fun using these two approaches to grammar together.

The cost of the complete set of Prima Latina is $90.90, but you can buy all of the items individually as well. To read samples and watch a DVD sample of the curriculum go here.

To get a great answer to Why you should study Latin? go here.


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