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Latin for Children, Mastery Bundle, Primer A Review by Dawn King

Dr. Aaron Larsen and Dr. Christopher Perrin
Classical Academic Press
829 State Street, Suite 206
Lemoyne, PA 17043
717-730-0711
717-730-0721
http://www.classicalacademicpress.com

When my 11-year-old daughter announced she wanted to learn Latin because she wants to go to medical school, I cringed. The idea of teaching Latin intimidated me. Latin for Children solved this dilemma, and I consider it a gift from the Lord. Dr. Christopher Perrin teaches his daughters Latin in my living room on DVD, allowing my daughter and I to follow along! Teaching Latin to and learning Latin with your elementary students could not be easier!

The Primer A Mastery Bundle consists of the DVD set (3 DVDs and the Primer A chant CD), Primer A Student Text, Answer Key, Activity Book, and Reader.

The DVDs are wonderful! They feature Dr. Perrin teaching his two homeschooled daughters. The lessons are engaging and the chants really stick with you. After watching the first lesson with my daughter, I found myself saying the chants for myself throughout the day. Learning new vocabulary is almost effortless because Dr. Perrin includes them in the chants. In fact, I wonder, "Why don't they teach all languages this way?" The chants make is so easy.

Each of the 32 DVD lessons is about 15-20 minutes long. My daughter likes to watch the week's lesson each day. There is an audio chant CD as well, which you could use for practice.

The Student Text has tips for learning Latin, a section detailing both classical and ecclesiastical pronunciation (the CD and DVDs have both as well), and 32 chapters. Each regular chapter has a memory page, a grammar page, a worksheet, and a quiz. The memory page contains the chant and vocabulary for the lesson, plus a maxim in Latin. The first chapter's maxim is "In principio erat verbum" translated to "In the beginning was the Word." It looks like each maxim stays around for two chapters and the rest of the maxims are taken from famous literature instead of Scripture. The grammar page explains the details of how the Latin language works. The worksheet reviews the lesson, and the quiz tests your child's knowledge. Every few chapters, there is a review chapter which reviews material previously learned. The Answer Key, of course, has the answers to the Student Text worksheets and the quizzes.

The Activity Book has corresponding puzzles and word games for each chapter. The answers to the activities are in the back of the book along with a group game to review your lessons.

The Reader is an additional way to use what your child is learning.

The Latin for Children's publisher's website (www.classicalacademicpress.com) has an extensive FAQ section that even contrasts LFC with Latina Christina and Latin Primer. The website also hosts an online forum and a 90-page download to go along with the program if you so desire.

As wonderful as I think this program is (and I do think it is wonderful and plan to use it through all levels), I have also had my share of frustrations:

The downloadable tests and activities do not have answer keys, making it difficult to correct.

I'm quite unsure about what to do with the reader. The set does not come with a schedule (although I was told it is in the works and will be available on the website soon). The reader's lessons also have words that were not taught yet. After speaking with customer service, they recommended waiting until halfway through the book before using the reader.

I think that adding a comprehensive teacher's guide to schedule, explain how to use all the various components, and provide teaching tips in case your child gets stuck, etc., would be a welcome addition to the program.

Latin for Children is for third-graders on up and contains three levels: Primers A, B, and C.

Product review by Dawn King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2006

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