Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Bridge to the Latin Road

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.

While attending a classical cottage school for homeschoolers for four years, I became quite excited by the idea of my children learning Latin. I believed that it truly would give them an advantage with the English language. I have to admit though, that I was quite confident in leaving the teaching of Latin in the hands of the "Latin experts" at the cottage school. When we decided that we would continue homeschooling apart from the cottage school I was surprised that my dream of Latin-learning children did not dissolve completely. I just didn't exactly know where to turn.

That's why I was quite grateful to learn that we would get the chance to review The Bridge to the Latin Road. This is a one year program designed for 3rd through 6th graders to introduce them to Latin and prepare them for another 3 year program...The Latin Road to English Grammar. Basically The Bridge to the Latin Road prepares your student for further Latin studies by building in them a solid foundation of English grammar. Here is a quote from their website:

"The best preparation for Latin is not only a study in Latin roots, but solid basic skills in English grammar. The ability to identify the relationships of words in a sentence both by part of speech and sentence structure provides the student with the foundation for Latin translation work. And since no other language in the world affects English as much as Latin, learning Latin prefixes and root words not only prepares him for later Latin translations, but strengthens English vocabulary and spelling."

I'll be honest...I was a little intimidated by the kit that arrived in the mail: Two large binders (one for the student and one for the teacher), complete with 6 instructional DVDs, color-coded cards, 3 pencils, and a scaffolding ruler for diagramming sentences. However, when I began to watch the DVDs, I found that everything was laid out fairly simply for me with examples for each lesson on the DVDs.

Since my oldest son is still only in 2nd grade (one grade younger than the recommended age) I decided to take the program a bit slower. We only use it two days a week which is plenty as some days do require quite a bit of writing which is still a bit tiresome to him. It is a labor of love however knowing that when the program is completed his student binder will be an English handbook to use as a reference during the The Latin Road to English Grammar course.

I was pleasantly surprised that the lessons were broken down into bite sized pieces. Most of the lessons really only take about 20 minutes to complete which is very doable for us. There is a bit of flipping back forth to figure out exactly where we are supposed to be in the student binder. And though I find the instructional DVDs very helpful, I was disappointed that the instructions in them were not written anywhere in the Teacher's binder. After all, it's not always convenient to watch a DVD in the middle of our homeschool day and my memory capacity is quite limited, so watching the DVD ahead of time is not exactly ideal.

Nevertheless, I'm happy to have a program that actually makes it possible for me - of all people - to begin to teach my children to learn Latin. I have no reason to fear the English language or the Latin language when I have a thorough, but simple to tool to guide me. The Bridge to the Latin Road is that tool.

You can order the complete kit for The Bridge to the Latin Road for $139 or see more reviews of this product at the TOS Crew Blog.

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  1. Thank you for reviewing this. I plan to use it with my 3rd & 6th grade students.


  2. This review is so helpful! Especially since I have been considering using this for second grade (a year from this fall). Thanks for the info!



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