Monday, October 17, 2011

TOS Review: Visual Latin

The latest product I have to tell you about today is Visual Latin.  Every year when I make out my wish list for the coming school year, Latin is on it.  Every year, it fails to make the budget cut, generally because our budget for schooling is very small.  When I had the opportunity to review Visual Latin, I was very excited to finally be able to introduce Latin to my children!

Wonder Boy and Super Girl were unsure what to think when I announced that they'd be trying out Latin.  They'd never really heard of Latin.  I explained to WB that he'd learn to speak like a Roman soldier (because all things military appeal to him), and while he seemed intrigued, his reply was that he thought Roman soldiers spoke "Roman".

I sat them down with the Visual Latin DVD and printouts of the worksheets.  They watched all the introductory clips, then the first lesson.  I checked on them repeatedly throughout the session, and they were definitely very attentive.  They completed the worksheets easily and without hassle.  When I asked them what their favorite thing was about Visual Latin, they said they liked how easy it was.  I asked what they didn't like, and they couldn't think of anything.  Later I was able to sit down and complete the first lesson for myself.  I found the presenter (Dwane Thomas) to be entertaining and engaging.  I was slightly surprised at how easy it was for me to figure out the meanings of the Latin sentences that were presented, but some of that may be due to the one year of Spanish I had in school (I seem to remember a fair share of it).

Dwane gives an overview of why you should learn Latin, and I totally agree with his top three reasons: It opens the door to other languages, it opens the door to (better) English, and it helps you think differently. I already believed the first two things, then I heard his explanation of the last. He tells how the Latin word for "stuff" is impedimentum.  "Stuff" = impediment!  It was a revelation, I tell ya!  

I really like the format of Visual Latin, and can foresee purchasing more lessons for my children to do.  I think they are at a good age for it, though I know others feel children should learn foreign languages much earlier.  I did not find a recommended age on the website, but based on the fact that the lessons involve reading and writing, I'd say that probably about age 8 would be the youngest I'd try these, unless the child was an advanced reader.

Visual Latin is produced by Compass Cinema, and can be purchased at The Compass Store.  The price is $80 for Latin 1, which consists of lessons 1-30 on DVD.  One very lovely thing is that being DVD, it is non-consumable and can be used for all your students once they're ready (and as long as the DVD format is still useable in the future!).

**Note:  I received a free DVD copy of lessons 1-10 from Visual Latin for use in my review through the TOS Homeschool Crew.  All opinions are mine and my childrens!


Doreen said...

We really enjoyed this program. Learning should be fun, especially Latin! I'm stopping by from the Crew and now I'm a follower!

April said...

We found this program to be fun too! I'll be interested to see how it goes as it gets more in-depth. It's fun learning right along with the kiddos!


Sweetpeas said...

What a great idea, to tell your son that he was going to learn to speak like a Roman Soldier, that's sure to appeal!!!