Friday, October 28, 2011

Review of Memoria Press' First Form Latin

Thanks to Memoria Press, my son is getting to experience the best in formal Latin instruction with First Form Latin.  There are many Latin programs out there.  Even before I was fortunate enough to join the Homeschool Crew and review some of them, I was familiar with almost all of them.  Latin is one of those subjects that I consider indispensible.  Not only is it the foundation of our own language, but for Roman Catholics, it is also their lingua mater (mother tongue).  It was my favorite subject in high school, and I have always known that my children would take Latin, even before I knew that they would be homeschooled!

Why is Memoria Press an excellent Latin choice for your child? It is thorough, thorough, thorough, but, especially in the case of First Form Latin, gentle as well.  Many people know of my difficulties with my 2e (twice exceptional) son.  He is 8, but he is also frighteningly gifted and has many symptoms of ADHD.  That adds up to the need for a very specific kind of curriculum.  In his case, it usually means something several grade years ahead, but still suited to the maturity of an 8 year-old.  In this way, First Form Latin is wonderful.  The lessons are not long, but they pack a ton of information into each one.  Thus, a child can get his Latin fix without getting bored.  

The instructor of First Form Latin delivers each lesson in a straightforward way. While some Latin instructors focus on the humor aspect of the lesson (and I love those!), Memoria Press takes a more serious approach, letting the beauty of the Latin be the star of the show.

There are several components of First Form Latin, and while not all of them are necessary, there really is an advantage to having the complete program.

At a minimum, you will want the entire base package.  The Teacher Manual relieves you of so much work that it is worth the price.  Further, if you use First Form Latin with another child in the future, you will only need a new Student Workbook and Quizzes and Tests book.  The textbook itself is very special.  It is small and easily managed so the individual lessons don't overwhelm a student.  My favorite aspect of the text is just how clearly it explains things in such a small amount of space.

Just look at how much you get out of this one snippet.  You review the perfect stem of a first conjugation verb.  You see the conjugation (with the stem remaining in black and the ending in blue, a great visual cue). Further, you see exactly where the stem comes from (the third principal part of the verb).  Finally, you are told what the perfect tense means in Latin (essentially, the equivalent of the past tense in English).  For a longer look at this lesson, see the Memoria Press site.

Although I received First Form Latin free in exchange for my review, I would have purchased the program, as my son has been using Memoria Press since he started doing Latin.  I will continue to buy the First Form series as we get to it.  Third Form Latin was just released.  As Memoria Press envisions it, a student will finish the "Form" series and then transition into Henle 2.  I am confident that my son will be well-prepared to make that transition when the time comes.

We are a Memoria Press household.  To see other opinions, visit the Crew blog!

1 comment:

  1. We are using this (purchased myself) and really like it. It is thorough but not overwhelming. We are taking longer than I think is 'normal' but we like it. We also plan on continuing on with the 'forms' :)