Is it possible to laugh and have fun...and learn Latin at the same time?
Most people who have been through a Latin language course would say, "no."
I would have said that, too, because I'd taught Latin to homeschooled students in my community for a couple of years, and while our Latin curriculum was solid, it wasn't what I'd consider "fun" or something that students (or my own children) would beg to do the next lesson.
I've looked at four popular Latin curricula programs over the last three years, and thought I had found one that our family would find the most useful.
Until Visual Latin came into our home.
Visual Latin was developed by two homeschool dads who were convinced that there had to be a way of teaching Latin so that it was fun and meaningful at the same time.
There are currently 40 lessons available for Visual Latin - 10 lessons per DVD or download. The lessons are designed to be watched one day, then watched again a second or third time that week while accompanying free worksheets are filled out by the students.
You know what's nice? The Visual Latin worksheets are available for free download, and can be printed off as much as needed for multiple children in the same family. That is such a money saver compared to buying lots of workbooks for one family!
Each lesson contains 3 videos are less than 10 minutes each, so you get between 15-25 minutes of video per lesson.
If you've studied foreign languages in the past, or Latin itself, this outline may be familiar. Here are the concepts studied in each of the lessons in Visual Latin.
A. Why Study Latin?
B. Latin Then & Now
C. How to Learn a Language
D. Stuff You Should Know About Latin
1. Being Verbs Basics: To Be and Not To Be
2. Being Verbs Basics: Predicate Nominatives and Adjectives
3. Gender: Boy Words and Girl Words
4. Singular and Plural / E Pluribus Unum
5. Declensions / Meet the Cases
6. Adjectives Learn to Agree with Nouns
7. The Case Files: Nominative and Genitive
8. Counting to 10 in Latin
9. Active Verb Basics / Indicative Mood
10. The Case Files: Accusative
LESSONS 11 to 20:
11. The Case Files: Vocative
12. Changing Your Moods: Imperative & Indicative
13. The Case Files: Ablative
14. Meet the Pronouns & Question Words
15. Pronouns: Relative
16. Accusing Prepositions of Accusative Case
17. Verbs: Active & Passive
18. The Case Files: Dative
19. Pronouns: 1st & 2nd Person Personal
20. Pronouns: 3rd Person Personal
LESSONS 21 to 30:
21. Pronouns / Demonstratives: this, these
22. Pronouns / Demonstratives: that, those
23. Pronouns: Relative and Interrogative
24. Pronouns: Possessive
25. Nouns: 3rd Declension
26. Verbs / Infinitives - Active & Passive
27. Verbs / Infinitives - Ability, Negation & Indirect
28. Nouns: 3rd Declension - Neuter
29. Nouns: 4th Declension
30. Adjectives: Positive & Comparative
It wasn't possible for the girls and I to finish all 10 lessons on the first DVD we received. However, what we were able to view together was wonderful! We kept looking at each other in amazement - seriously! We kept saying to each other, "Oh, this would have been so much better for last year's class when we had mostly teenage boys!"
And they were right. Visual Latin would have been so much better. I wish I had known about it back then. Wow.
We love the short video lessons that are not only captivating and entertaining in their own way, but presented in a method that enables us to begin thinking more in Latin instead of just memorizing endless grammar forms.
Do I recommend Visual Latin? Wholeheartedly! If you have considered doing Latin in your home in the past, but were afraid to give it a try, this is the program for you. Shorter lessons; less expensive on the budget; more entertaining; more effective. We are thrilled to have been introduced to this new program!
Any negatives I can think of yet? Um - nope! Look at the neat handwriting on the board. Some Latin programs we've viewed had horribly messy, hard-to-read handwriting. This program also includes PowerPoint-style visuals, which are easy to read.
The price is right for my family.
The first 6 lessons are free to view on their website, so you can try it before you buy it.
The humor and entertaining teaching is family-friendly and especially appealing to boys and teenage young men, although my daughters and I loved it, too!
I guess the only drawback I saw is that it doesn't come with flashcards, although there are links on their website to free online flashcards that another parent made available.
As of October 2011, there are 40 lessons which can be purchased in groups of 10 lessons each for $25/section (download version). By using the first 30 lessons of Visual Latin combined with the first 17 lessons of Lingua Latina , this would equal a strong first year credit in high school Latin. Lessons 41-50 will be available in January, and Lessons 51-60 will be available in spring 2012.
Take a look here to see what other TOS Crew members had to say about Visual Latin!
For our family, personally, we are loving Visual Latin!
Disclaimer: I received one DVD copy of Lessons 1-10 of Visual Latin for review purposes; all opinions are my own, and no other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!