Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Latin Adventures

I was sent Great Latin Adventures by Classical Legacy Press to review for you.

This was a tough review for me because we’ve tried Latin programs before and it has not gone well. When I said the word Latin, I got groans and gnashing of teeth from my children.

It is also hard for me to review a Latin program because, honestly, I am not in agreement with the whole Classic Education theory. I know, shocking. I may get kicked out of homeschooling for revealing that one. I am more of a Charlotte Mason, living books, unit study, delight directed, homeschooler. I think you should know that so you know where I’m coming from.

I appreciate how this program is laid out. I appreciate the lengthy introduction, and the Master Chapter Plan. If I thought I needed to teach my children Latin, and I had no background in Latin, these chapters would be a wonderful help. In these chapters Katharine Birkett, the creator of GLA, lays out for me the why’s and wherefores and most importantly the HOW’s of this program.

There are programs out there with many bells and whistles and DVD’s and Histories attached etc, but not GLA. GLA is a simple Latin program. And when I say simple, I don’t mean easy or lacking, I just mean it is Latin. It is not Religion, or History and it does not teach Mythology. It is just Latin. I appreciate that. (I’m not against Mythology by the way, we recently did a giant unit study on Greek Mythology, but I appreciate that there is a Latin program, especially one that is aimed at the younger 4-6 grades, where I can teach Latin without automatically having to teach about false gods as well.)

Katharine uses the classical pronunciation system rather than the ecclesiastical. I have no idea what that means. I read about it in the introduction, but, well, I didn’t quite understand it. The good news is that Katharine tells us that it really does not matter and that you can easily adjust the program to use the ecclesiastical pronunciation if that is what you prefer.

Katharine also gives examples in the Master Chapter Plan of how to use this program in a Homeschooling Family, A Christian School, and a Homeschooling co op.

In the Homeschooling Family (which I am assuming most of you are) she suggests working one on one (thought you can easily add siblings) three to four times a week for thirty of forty-five minutes at a time for thirty-six weeks of instruction per year.

This program is not the type of program you can simply hand to your child and walk away. It is going to take work on the teacher’s part in order for this to be a successful venture. However, I think if you as a teacher are after a Latin program that is simply Latin, and not full of unnecessary fluff, that will help your child in his future Foreign Language endeavors and also in the study of the English Language, I think Great Latin Adventures is an excellent choice.

Student Book $15.00 apiece (with a binder, $22.00)
Teacher’s Manual with CD included $30.00 per level (with a binder, $40.00)

You can go here to the GLA Faq’s page to see more about GLA and to see samples, and you can go here to see what others had to say about GLA.

Happy Homeschooling!

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