Friday, November 4, 2011

TOS Review: Memoria Press First Form Latin

Today we are looking at First Form Latin from Memoria Press, written by Cheryl Lowe.  When I received the package of materials, I was surprised at how much was in the box - a student text, a student workbook, a test/quiz book, two different teacher's manuals, a cd, dvds, and flash cards.  I have to be honest - I have never bought an entire brand-new of anything for our homeschooling endeavors.  Opening that box made my head feel a little swimmy - kinda like Christmas, and kinda overwhelming at the same time!

When I was able to sit down and go through the materials, I saw that the teacher's manual actually has lesson plans in it.  That seemed lovely, until I really read through it.  There was a lot of writing things on chalk boards - which we don't have any more - and a lot of very school-room type teaching.  This is just really NOT my style, nor is it my childrens' style.  I was really having a hard time seeing myself using this curriculum at all - and then I remembered those dvd!  They're not mentioned in the teacher's manual at all, so I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with them.  I popped the first one into my computer, and YES! - it is a video of the lessons being taught!

I sat Wonder Boy and Super Girl down with the first dvd and the necessary paper materials.  There are a LOT of workbook pages for the lessons, let me tell you!  The kids didn't grumble about it, but they had problems from the first page.  The first worksheet asks for "sound symbols", but the text does not refer to any.  I had to look in the teacher's manual to figure out what they were talking about.  And, though they were working independently on the worksheets, they misread the same instructions.  Super Girl, who is usually my more attentive student, had a hard time pulling the answers from the text.  Wonder Boy found some of it a little more intuitive, but was a bit dismayed at the amount of bookwork involved.

Overall, I have to say that First Form Latin is not for us.  It could have something to do with the fact that it is based on the Classical method of teaching, and we are definitely more Charlotte Mason style.  The curriculum is designed for either beginners in grades 5 and up (which was us), or those who have had Latina Christiana I.  I would definitely not suggest it for younger students who have not had any previous experience in Latin, unless they are the kind of child that really thrives on bookwork.

First Form Latin can be purchased from Memoria Press at  It retails for $55 for the texts and cd alone, or $115 with the dvds and flashcards included.  Other materials available from Memoria Press include complete grade level curriculum packages, as well as logic and rhetoric materials.

***Note:  I received the First Form Latin curriculum in exchange for my honest review through TOS Homeschool Crew.  All opinions are my own.

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