Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review of Classical Academic Press' Latin for Children

For the past two months, I have been using Classical Academic Press' Latin for Children Primer A with my nine year-old daughter.  I received the program, including instructional DVDs, free in exchange for my review.  I was thrilled to be able to sample this program as I have a deep love for Latin and have tried many Latin programs.  We've been with our current program for a few years, and I just haven't felt that my daughter was progressing as quickly as she should.  Her lack of progress was not due to lack of enthusiasm or effort; rather, it was the fault of the program's glacial pace.  Since I've always been curious about Classical Academic Press' curriculum, I was delighted to try out Latin for Children.

I knew from the first page that I was going to love this program.  Latin for Children uses my preferred approach to learning Latin - grammar, grammar, grammar.  Other programs often use a vocabulary approach that has a student reading Latin passages very quickly, but with little to no understanding of the grammar on which the language is based.  There are so many reasons why it is preferable to have a strong grammar foundation in Latin before attempting to read it.  For one thing, a student can learn to write and accurately translate Latin more effectively by learning the grammar first.  For another, a clear understanding of Latin grammar can greatly facilitate an understanding of English grammar.

Ordinarily, I would not buy the accompanying DVDs for a program, but in this case I am so gratified that they were included in the package.  Now I know to purchase them for every level! The creator and instructor for this program knows how to teach Latin.  My own Latin teacher made Latin fun, interesting, and exciting, and Dr. Perrin does the same in this Latin program.  His teaching style is fairly informal, but 100% rigorous.  Also included on the DVDs are chants done by students to aid in the memorization of grammar and vocabulary.  These chants are not my daughter's cup of tea (she chants in a less sing-songy way, as I taught her), but for a parent with no Latin experience and no way of aiding a student with the heavy memorization required by a study of Latin, the chants can be a marvelous aid.

Latin for Children can certainly be used without the DVDs, but if your budget will allow, I strongly suggest them.

In addition to a rigorous, yet nonthreatening, approach to Latin, Classical Academic Press provides more support materials than any other program I know (and I know quite a few!).  Its accompanying website Headventureland is replete with games, videos, and other practice opportunities for all of its subjects.

I can't think of a single reason not to buy Latin for Children.  Although the entire course (A) can be rather expensive at $99.95, it does include the primer, answer key, workbook, DVDs, and reader.  Classical Academic Press doesn't require you to purchase the entire package, though.  For as little as $22.95, you can purchase just the primer, which is all you absolutely need to complete the course.  Visit the website to see all of your options!

I love Classical Academic Press' approach so much that I have already ordered its Greek curriculum. I further plan to use their Spanish curriculum as well.  To find out what other Crew members thought, check out the Crew Blog.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking at purchasing their Spanish curriculum. It was recommended to me by a Spanish-speaking person who had experience with it. I was taught Spanish in college by learning grammar and wanted my kids to learn the same way. By the way, I came across your review of their Latin program while searching for reviews. Thanks!