First Form Latin, by Memoria Press
If you've been following me here on Joy In Our Journey for any length of time, you'll probably be aware that our family has used and reviewed a variety of Latin language programs.
When I found out that I was selected to use and review First Form Latin this autumn, I was glad to hear this good news! Ever since our family finished using the two-year program, Latina Christiana 1 and 2 by Memoria Press, I'd been curious about how First Form Latin (also by Memoria Press) would fit into our learning.
First Form Latin, an introduction to Christian (Ecclesiastical pronunciation) Latin for students grades 5-12, is authored by Cheryl Lowe, who also designed and wrote Latina Christiana that we used in our home for the last two years.
When a student completes First Form Latin, he will have earned one year of high school foreign language! Second Form Latin is currently also available, so a student could use these two years of material and earn the coveted two years of foreign language study that can be more difficult to earn while being homeschooled. Third Form Latin is currently in the pre-ordering stage, but it will be available soon as well, for additional Latin studies.
According to the Memoria Press website,
First Form Latin is:
I'm going to show you the individual pieces available for First Form Latin, and let you know what we thought of them:
Instructional DVD lessons:
The girls and I began to watch instructor Glen Moore on the first DVD introduction. There weren't any visuals to go along with his introduction, although visuals (PowerPoint style) did appear occasionally in later lessons. Right away, the girls said that if they hadn't had two years of Latin already, they would have not understood some of the concepts briefly mentioned. They felt like this would be frustrating to new students. However, we were definitely going to go ahead and watch additional lessons, to learn more about this program.
In the Introduction to Unit 1 , the girls noticed that the teacher didn't clearly define some key words, or that he went over new words too quickly: stem vowels, conjugations, action, tense. Yes, they are familiar with these words now after two years of Latin, but since this program advertises itself as designed for students and teachers with no Latin background, the girls were quite concerned that a student completely unfamiliar to Latin would have been shrugging his shoulders and saying, "Huh?"
When we began watching Lesson 1, we were glad to see that the DVD presentation followed right along with the wording in the First Form Latin Student text. And, some PowerPoint-types of graphics were available on-screen to help us focus on the new lists and concepts. Whew!
But then...disappointment. The chart showing the grammar form for Lesson 1 was in small print. Ugh. We could only tell what some of the words actually were because we were familiar with this chart/grammar from from using Latina Christiana, and because we had the student text open in front of us. Even when we got closer to our television, it was still not very easy to read the words. Maybe this is because we have an "old style" television that isn't a flat panel or HDTV. I don't know. I just know that we didn't have this difficulty with the other Latin program we were using. Each time the grammar chart appeared on the screen for the lessons, it was in far too small type/font size.
We liked the teacher's casual explanation of how Americans use words for "you plural", like "y'all", "you-uns", and "you's guys." My girls hadn't heard of the last two versions of "you plural", so they looked at me and said, "Nuh-uh! No one talks like that!" To which, I nodded my head and smiled. I haven't heard "you's guys" in many years, but I used to hear that when I was in junior high and high school!
Mr. Moore did interject some simple humor into the teaching. He's not a Saturday Night Live comedian, but he wasn't as serious as some Latin teachers can be.
He doesn't go over the new vocabulary and derivatives in the DVD lessons; students are to do that independently.
As the lessons continue on the DVD, the instructor tends to go faster and faster over some of the new material. We felt like he covered some things far too quickly for us; it seemed like he was rushing through the material. The girls would have preferred to go at a slightly slower pace.
Audio Recitation CD:
We thought the First Form Latin audio recitation practice CD was done very well, and would help students to quickly learn their new vocabulary and grammar forms due to the way it was organized.
The student text is well-planned and is easy to follow. This is an improvement over some other Latin programs we have used, although we all thought it would have been beneficial to leave some of the grammar charts and vocabulary/derivatives blank so the student would need to fill them in. This would help keep students more engaged while watching the DVD presentation.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!