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Monday, May 31, 2010

Classical Legacy Press' The Great Latin Adventure Review

As a member of the TOS Crew, I've received a few different Latin programs to review. Each one has a different approach, and each one varies in the complexity of their system. Classical Legacy Press' Great Latin Adventure was the most recent Latin program we were asked to review, and I have to say, it has some very unique features.
The Great Latin Adventure was written by Katharine Birkett, a language lover who really knows her Latin! It offers two levels, and each has a teacher's manual and a student's manual. The level one teacher's manual spends 13 pages explaining the program-what it is, and more importantly, what it isn't. It ISN'T a video program, a self teaching program, an immersion program, or a Roman Culture or history program. It IS designed for students in 4th-6th grade (but could be used with advanced 3rd graders, or anyone older than 6th grade who wants to learn Latin). It is also decidedly Christian, and is one of the rare Latin programs with no focus on Roman Gods. It follows the Classical pronunciation (although pronunciation is not the main component of the curriculum), and Mrs. Birkett chooses to use macrons where many programs do not. (I must admit, although I've had exposure to Latin in other programs, I had never HEARD of macrons...or of alternative ways of pronunciation for Latin...and I appreciated Mrs. Birkett about both.) There are 12 lesson in level one, with each lesson taking about 9 days (or 3 weeks with a three-day-a-week lesson plan). That makes it a one year curriculum. The Level One course teaches students to:
•conjugate first conjugation verbs
in the present tense
•decline first declension nouns
•translate lively sentences featuring
subjects and predicate
prepositional phrases
adjectives and adverbs
•translate from and into Latin
Each lesson contains, in the student manual, vocabulary and a grammar lesson, study sheets, derivative worksheets, and translation worksheets.
The pros: The program is well organized and thought out. It is amazingly affordable for a Latin curriculum ($15 loose leaf/$22 in binder for the Student Manual and $30/$40 for the Teacher's manual). There is a pronunciation CD to help you pronounce the words correctly, but the program is also flexible enough to allow for the ecclesiastical pronunciation if you chose to use it. The teacher's manual gives you all the information you need to teach each lesson, including the answers to the student worksheets as well as pre-quizzes and quizzes for the student to take as they progress.
The cons: This is NOT a "jump right in the day it arrives" sort of program. You must read the teacher's manual, and allow for a small learning curve as you begin the program. And it's not a self-directed program. The parent MUST be an active part of this curriculum, so if you are looking for something that is a self-teaching curriculum, this is not it.
The bottom line: I wish we had received this curriculum at the beginning of the year. It arrived as we were winding down, and honestly, the kids did not get a chance to try it. But I intend to, because I really do think it is doable-even for someone like me who has no Latin experience of my own. And I love that it is so affordable.
To check out The Great Latin Adventure for yourself, go HERE. To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say (some received both levels, I got only level one), go HERE.
Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received The Great Latin Adventure Level One to review. The student and teacher manuals were the only compensation I received for this review.
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