Monday, May 11, 2009

Memoria Press

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.

When I was in the 7th grade my Language Arts teacher spent about three months teaching us Latin roots. Call me weird, but my 12-year-old self was so excited about what I was learning. I was an avid reader and it simply delighted me that by memorizing the meaning of these Latin roots I suddenly had access to the meanings of hundreds of English words. Truly, I need no explanation of why learning Latin is beneficial to my children because I experienced firsthand.

Never the less, teaching Latin to my children is a rather intimidating prospect...

Latina Christiana was sent to me by Memoria Press in a small box brimming with helpful materials to aid me in my quest to teach Latin. What type of materials? Well, there is a Teacher's Manual and Student workbook, plus a pronunciation CD. Also included, (my favorite), was the Latina Christiana Instructional DVD set. This is a 5 DVD set with 17 hours of instruction following the Student Workbook. This means I can simply pop in the DVD and learn Latin right alongside my children. That's not too intimidating...

Also, the lessons are actually pretty short. There are 25 lessons and the course is designed to only have you do one lesson at the start of the week. The rest of the week is for review. Weekly quizzes are included as well. Over the course of the year students will learn 200 Latin words, 25 Latin sayings, two prayers, and three songs. They will also learn and be exposed to many English words of Latin origin so that they can begin to make the connection between Latin and English words.

Another gorgeous book we received from Memoria Press was Famous Men of Rome complete with a Teacher's Guide and Student Workbook. It seems the perfect time to teach a little Roman history is while the students are already learning the Roman language. So this book rounds out the Latin studies nicely. Famous Men of Rome is a unique read aloud with full color illustrations that tells the stories of 25 Roman men. Workbook pages help the students with vocabulary from the text, comprehension questions and even include some geography. The preface includes this statement,

"It has been the aim of the authors to make an interesting story of each man's life and to tell these stories in a style so simple that pupils in the lower grades will read them with pleasure, and so dignified that they may be used with profit as textbooks for reading."

I think they have succeeded. The stories have held my third grader's attention while certainly providing profitable education for myself.

The only real disappointment I have had just yet with Latina Christiana has nothing to do with the curriculum itself. It's simply that I don't think my little ones are big enough for the program just yet. The curriculum suggests it is suitable for 3rd-9th grades. Even with my oldest going into 3rd grade next year I think I will still wait one to two years before using the program with him. I feel confident that he could grasp the content next year, but he would still struggle with the reading and writing involved so I'd rather just wait. Memoria Press also offers Prima Latina designed for K-4th which can be used before Latina Christiana. I haven't looked into this yet, but you can find reviews of it and other Memoria Press curriculum on the TOS Crew blog.

For ordering information be sure to visit the Memoria Press website.

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