Monday, May 31, 2010

Great Latin Adventure

Classical Legacy Press, founded by Norman and Katherine Birkett, is ready to offer homeschool families a Great Latin Adventure. If you think the words Latin and Adventure should never be used side by side in a sentence keep reading. Fans of foreign language education will appreciate and understand Katherine Birkett's enthusiasm in writing The Great Latin Adventure curriculum designed for students as young as 3rd grade, but specifically written for grades 4-6.

"I have been a language lover since I was a girl", says Birkett. "Words, grammar, etymology, writing--I love them all. It's been my privilege to study Latin, French, and Russian under various teachers, and a bit of Greek on my own. A desire to share that love of language with children has shaped my Latin program", she said.

Birkett developed The Great Latin Adventure while teaching a homeschool co-op class. She searched for an appropriate curriculum that could meet the needs of teacher and student, found nothing and decided to write her own. GLA has been homeschool tested and approved.

The Great Latin Adventure is grammar focused, not conversational. It is also teacher intensive, but extremely easy to use regardless of Latin education background. The program is not computerized or self-teaching like other homeschool foreign language programs. It is Christian focused and does not include Roman history, culture or teachings on mythology.

The 232 page student manuals can be purchased three hole punched and ready for a binder for $15.00 or three hole punched in a binder for $22.00. Teacher's manuals are $30.00 or $40.00 dependent on presentation and come with a pronunciation CD. Classical Legacy Press accepts PayPal and credit card payments on their website.

The Great Latin Adventure is divided into two levels each containing 12 lessons. A table of contents of Level One can be viewed here. To view the Table of Contents for Level II simply click here. Each level of the Great Latin Adventure includes:
  • Detailed lesson plans
  • Built in exercises to drill grammar, translation and vocabulary
  • Vocabulary/ full chapter quizzes
  • LOTS of teacher's notes and tips for each chapter to build confidence
  • Answer keys that model the student sheets with answers
The Great Latin Adventure is divided into 12 chapters organized to take one school year to complete. It is encouraged to schedule lessons three times a week with independent study, like reviewing vocabulary with flashcards, expected. Students are expected to dedicate three, 30-45 min. study sessions per week to Latin to complete the program in a school year.

We received Level I of The Great Latin Adventure for free in exchange for this review. My 7th grade daughter Micah, a student of Latin for the past two years, helped me test market this curriculum. We found that although the 12 lesson curriculum is designed to cover 36 weeks of school we could easily blow through it in less than 6 weeks. Although the lessons are well designed, and very thorough in presentation, the material was not challenging enough to demand the amount of time allotted by the curriculum guidelines. Micah easily completed 4 days worth of work in a short one day session.

"I learned a lot from the program because there was a lot of information regarding grammar, and how many Latin conjugations there are. It seemed to be a little too easy for me, however. Too much time was spent on one particular subject which slowed me down a little too much. I think I would really like to take a course like this designed for an older student", said Micah.

Micah's summation is spot on. I loved this course for its ease of use, and detailed teaching instructions. The more notes and teaching aids I can get from a curriculum the happier I am. The Great Latin Adventure makes teaching Latin as easy as reading and following directions. Unfortunately, because it is written for the younger student it was not challenging enough for my soon to be eighth grader with two years of Latin study behind her.

Classical Legacy Press provides a 60-Day unconditional money-back guarantee for all of their products. Classical educators will want to take note of the company's Logic curriculum on their website too.

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